I have debated for several weeks about whether or not I should share this. I still don’t know. But there’s this longing in me to share my story. Maybe for personal healing. Maybe because someone out there needs to know they are not alone. Maybe there’s no reason. But alas, here it is.
For the past seven months, I have expected this baby would not make it. This is my story…
I was crushed when I found out that I was pregnant. Heartbroken. Angry. Discouraged. Ready to give up. I told God numerous times that I could not handle this. I could not walk this road. Literally the past 5 months had been filled with suffering – physically especially.
A few months prior I had been unable to walk for weeks – at least not without extreme pain. Lyme disease took over my body. My body seemed bi-polar as I bounced back and forth between fever and chills like a really intense game of Pong. There were times where I could have sworn my joints were on fire. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep due to pain shooting through my body. Before my diagnosis I was convinced I had to be dying. The pain was so fierce. Unrelenting.
But the biggest pain? That came from the looks on my kids’ faces as I had tell them over and over, “No…mommy can’t hold you…. Mommy can’t play soccer…. Mommy can’t take you to the playground.” It was horrid. Humiliating. Painful. Hopeless. Guilt-ridden. (self-imposed…)
And more extreme loneliness. (Let me admit – this is definitely in part my fault. But the truth is, few people came. Or called. Because…I didn’t tell people. I felt awkward writing some sort of “So…I have Lyme disease” email And…I don’t think a lot of people know how awful and debilitating it is.) I put on the good old, “I’m okay.” face.
I was a liar.
I wasn’t okay. I was lonely. I was in pain. I was convinced I was the suckiest mom ever. I was still trying to process nearly losing my mom a few months prior. I was hurting. I wanted to know I mattered and I was starting to feel like I was only worth the pictures I took to people.
And I didn’t say anything.
Probably not the best idea.
People can’t help when they don’t know and you don’t ask.
And I did no one any service by walking through it all that way. But…it’s what I did.
Then came the month when I committed over-booking suicide and felt crazy burnt out. Again – bad idea.
My body was still in pain. And so I decided I had to take off.
That’s when I found out I was pregnant.
Enter initial heartbreak.
Literally, I physically could not fathom doing this. Not now. Not with all this pain. And not without maternity coverage. (minor detail, right?)
I was broken. Bleary-eyed. I went to a clinic to see if everything was okay. I’d been having very little morning sickness (not normal for me!) and I was convinced this baby wasn’t doing well. But – he was there and okay. I was mildly shocked
Then it started.
And a decent amount of it.
At this point in time, I didn’t have a doctor because I hadn’t found one we could begin to afford.
I called a doctor-friend in our church after 3 days of bleeding. One of her colleagues agreed to give me a free ultrasound. (still beyond grateful for this…)
There had been so much blood and the sickness was gone at 8 weeks. I knew this little one couldn’t be there. There was no way. As I sat on the tan cushy chair and stared at the tan walls I contemplated how I would handle it when I heard those words, “There is no heart beat.”
But there was.
He was there.
But the complications didn’t stop. It actually got worse. I became convinced there was no way this baby could make it.
Every 2 weeks I would go in to see if this baby was still alive.
Every 2 weeks I arrived convinced this little one was gone and I would have to say good-bye.
Every 2 weeks he was there. Alive. Okay. Growing.
But I wouldn’t let myself get attached. Because I knew too many people who had miscarried late. And my body seemed bent on not carrying this pregnancy through..
Finally at nearly 20 weeks it stopped. Or at least mostly. I started to think maybe – just maybe he’ll survive.
And yet more complications came. An issue showed up in the ultrasound which left me spinning. And again wondering if he could make it.
Three weeks ago, it hit me though. Even if I lose him – wouldn’t I rather know that I gave him all the love I could?
As I drove down the road, tears in my eyes, I told him we’d get through this. And that he might have to be strong and brave and be a fighter. I placed my hand over my belly and felt him move. And I told him I would fight for him. For all of his life.
And I cried.
Because this little man? He’s a fighter. And no matter how many days he has, I will give him all of me. Because holding back is stupid. And he’s a blessing. A blessing that came at a beautiful time even though I was convinced that it wasn’t. And I am grateful for this little man. And I could not be more excited to hold him in just a few weeks…
(And for clarification, he’s doing well and though we’ll know more in a few weeks – we’re both doing well!)