Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Twinkles in our Eyes

Here I am on the homefront. Waiting for him. 26 weeks left. 18 have come and gone.

It is odd how his lifestyle there has created in him an oxymoron. He is softer but tougher. It might be equal to the way a humanitarian feels when returning back from a third-world country. Gone are the entitlements and higher standards for living. But there is a new and more fulfilling entitlement- that of freedom and appreciation for life. He's not taking any crap off anybody. But he's the most compassionate and considerate man I have ever known. Even moreso than when he left.

We talk every two to three days. We have a video date about once a week and I even got to see his new mustache which he said grew in all different shades. In moments like these I am reminded of the journey our life and love has taken.

If you know us very well at all (and even if you know us just a little), you know about our struggles with starting a family. It's not something we keep a secret. Maybe one day I will sweep it under the rug. Maybe one day my new life will help me forget. But I'm not sure I want to. I have now, an appreciation for life and family that I never would have known. I guess you could say I have developed similar feelings to those that my husband will bring home next February. I guess I once knew entitlement and now I know how easily reality gets in the way of what you always expected you would one day be awarded.

We figured out it was "time" about two years into our marriage. That was in April of 2007. The very first time we tried, I got a positive pregnancy test. Justin was back at flight school and I had to wait all day to tell him the news. I wasn't even sure I wanted what I had received. I wasn't sure until that little pink line faded over the next few days and I suffered what they call a "chemical pregnancy." We went on to try and fail twice more before last November, never making it past a faint line on a few pregnancy tests.

Last November, in between doctors, and right before finally turning to some real fertility help, I found out I was pregnant again- and further along than I had ever been- at almost 5 weeks. The very next day my father called and said, "Come home. Your grandfather is dying." Justin was gone again, this time hiking his dream route on the Appalachian Trail with his childhood friend, Phillip. I couldn't tell him my sad or wonderful news. And I couldn't figure out how to feel. That afternoon, after a subsequent blood test confirmed the news, I sat on my couch waiting for him to call. Behind tears, I prayed, "Dear Lord, if you will just let me keep my grandfather, I will give this baby back." I'm not too concerned with how that comes across. It doesn't mean I didn't want what I had or that I was writing off the creation of human life. I, in no way, had any control over what would happen with that pregnancy, except to nourish my body in the hopes that I could create a healthy home for it for 9 months. I was simply offering up my own needs to God and trying to prove to him the sincerity behind my prayer. Justin later told me God doesn't work that way. But I was desperate.

We lost the pregnancy two days later- the day before Thanksgiving. On January 20th of this year we buried my grandfather. The next day, I found out I was pregnant again.

With help from a hormone supplement (one we discovered I was lacking, through our newfound saving grace of a doctor), we just knew this was it. I told strangers my news because I couldn't tell anyone I knew, and it was just too difficult to keep it in. The next week, I was in New York City at the gift mart. I was taking it easy, given my new state. But I started to bleed lightly after a few days and realized it was happening again. I was losing it. Again, devastation. I called home to my new doctor and we made plans for the future. What was causing this? To my surprise, a week and a half later, I was blood tested again, only to find that after arriving home from the trip, I was still very pregnant. But something was wrong. My levels weren't where they were supposed to be. At 7 weeks, they removed the ectopic pregnancy which had made its home in my left fallopian tube. They were able to salvage my tube and finally remove the cause of all my hormone imbalance- endometriosis. A silver lining amidst my two years of gray clouds. Finally, some answers.

Justin and I had one more chance to try before he left for Iraq. I thought that would be it. It made sense. Let me assure you, people, God doesn't always make sense. I was monitored closely in this process- assuring that all the right circumstances were there. All the stars were aligned and we just knew this would be it. I found out our attempts hadn't worked, of all days, the morning he was leaving. I remember sarcastically saying, "Thanks, God." Entitlement.

Since Justin has been gone, life went on to demonstrate to me that God knew what he was doing. Life went on to show me that He has a plan. Life went on to teach me how to make it. Life goes on for me, even though sometimes I feel like mine is the only one standing still. As my friends get pregnant, decorate nurseries and read books about child-rearing... As my husband serves thousands of miles away from me, I take a good hard look around and think, "God knows the desires of my heart. But to receive them, I must delight myself in Him."

So delight is what I will do. Please pray for us and for this journey. I hope it is a short one. But I know better than to expect it to be.

post signature