Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The kids are asleep and I just want to say that I've had good days, and I've had bad days. The good days, however, are starting to outweigh the bad. I've had some crying, but crying is good.

A good idea was deleting my Facebook account last week. Facebook is, to me, just a silly little reminder of how great everyone else's life seems to be and how lame mine is. I KNOW that is not true. It's kind of like in the first grade, when I saw Kiki's Cabbage Patch Lunch Box and had to have one, NOW. Life was not complete until I had it.

You ever notice how everything in our society is geared towards producing something, or attaining something, or working toward something? I am "working" on being more relaxed, on sometimes just relaxing and not doing particularly anything but reading a good book and listening to the kids laugh on the swingset.

It's refreshing!

I am tired of living that way, because I am no longer a child, and I shouldn't behave like one. I am a 30 year old woman with more blessings than I can shake a stick at, and the funniest husband for miles around.

Yesterday, he and Lu were contemplating a drawing she had done at preschool. I was out of the room, so this was all just overheard:

Scott: *laughing* Oh, Lu! This is so cute! Who are all of these people in the picture?

Lu: Well, this is you, me, Mommy, and Asher.

Scott: What's this other thing? It looks like an exploding egg?

Lu: Ummmm...well, **laughing too** maybe it's water?

Scott: *starting to laugh*

me: *laughing in the other room*

Scott: Yes, let's just pretend it's water, shall we? Eggs don't do too well in this household.


With this grief, there's so much to process. I have hesitated in calling it grief, but that's what it is. I think it's hard for Scott to understand fully because it wasn't his body that has been physically altered, but he sure tries.

Tomorrow, my dear friend of 10 years is coming to stay with break in our guest bedroom for a week. The timing couldn't be better on this one, and this girl makes me laugh like Rosemary's Baby. (Wait, did Rosemary's baby ever laugh, or just cry?)

I am organizing closets, making beds, getting excited to jump up and down and cry when I see her.

Crying is good.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

my grandma told me to stop reproducing

We were 30 minutes late to a birthday party, already, and in the middle of our town's craft fair/yearly parade.

There was a cop who had a gun in his pocket about 15 feet away from where we were standing on the curb. I didn't make eye contact with him as Scott speculated on whether or not we should cross the street.

Scott is ever the know the type: look both ways before crossing the street, don't pour buckets of sand over your head and into your mouth at the play ground, wash the underwear before you wear it, take the pins out of the shirt before you put it on, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I blazed forward, out onto the street, right in front of the local high school's 50 member marching band. Come hell or high water, I was getting to that birthday party, and no damn cop was going to stop me.

Scott later told me that the cop looked at me, looked at Scott, smiled, and shrugged his shoulders.

We made it to the party. The kids' little friend "K" is two years old, and the sweetest little lady you could ever hope to meet.


I can't tell you how I've been feeling, because it changes dependent on the barometric pressure of the atmosphere at sea level in Beatrice, Georgia.

OK, not really. That's about as much sense as my emotions make at this point in time. Scott tells me I really should "blow a tube" more often, so we can get more awesome meals brought to us. I tried to pull one of them off as my own, but the tell-tale "not our casserole dish" caught me, red handed.

My Grandmother called me yesterday, and our phone conversation lasted exactly 1 minute and 43 seconds. It went like this:

Grandma: Oh, Rachel! I am so glad you are all right, Oh! I am so happy you are all ok!

Rachel: Yes, grandma, me too! It was pretty scary! I...

Grandma: Oh, someone just came into the room to visit me!

Rachel: Oh, would you like me to let you go?

Grandma: No, we can talk for a bit.

Rachel: Yes, well, like I was saying, it was pretty scary, but everything turned out all right.

Grandma: You know, you really shouldn't try to have any more babies. You should be happy with what you have and not try again since you have so much trouble with that.

Rachel: Yes, I can see why you would have that thought!

Grandma: Yes, I'm glad you think so too. Well, Morris is here and I need to go. Glad you are OK, bye then!

I suppose once you've reached your 97th birthday with nary a case of whooping cough in your medical file (OK, to be fair, breast cancer at 54), you get to dispense all of the advice you'd like to.

Still, though, it did get me thinking.

And on that note, let's take a tour of my reproductive bits, shall we?

Fun for all! No exploding gonads this time, I promise:

After the offending tube was removed and booked for time in the "medical waste" bin:

OK, who am I kidding? IT's ME we're talking about. The two last pictures are the ectopic pregnancy. See how big it is? The tube was SUPPOSED to be as big as that slender little piece on the right. Not good.So, the doctor said the following:

1. My fertility is still intact; possibly better now because that jacked up tube is outta there.

2. She liked my photographs so much she wants to use them to teach medical students. FAB-O!

Notice how no one knew I was pregnant this time? Yeah, kids, that's by design. I figured I could leave everyone out of the drama if any occurred. JUST KIDDING!

That didn't work so well, did it. Still, it's my modus operandi from now on. When your embryos explode and die you aren't quite as anxious to tell the four corners of the earth you are, uh, "Expecting."

"Expecting what?" they say, and you reply, "I don't know, unexpected abdominal surgery? awesome meals delivered by friends? note pads with the hospital's monogram?"

There's a lady I've been talking to from a support group who had an ectopic, then FOUR healthy babies with her one tube. My aunt, who struggled with miscarriages and the like and then had a healthy (handsome) son, told me at the end of a phone conversation, "Ha! You think God can't work with one tube?"

I needed to talk to her.

I don't feel desperate, or incomplete, or anxious, not so much like I used to. Sure, I have moments where I get really pissed off and cry, and then God brings me peace again.
I know that whatever happens is the way that it is supposed to be. I also know that whenever I think that I could have stopped this from happening, that is a lie from the Deceiver.

I cannot control everything, and the sooner I make peace with that, the better for us all.

So, not sure where we're going from here, but like I said,
I think we're going up...
God is good, He aint finished with me yet, He's bottled all my tears, I'm surrounded by friends who know how it feels, yadda, yadda, yadda...
I'm blessed.
We're going up.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

an $85 divine appointment

Last night I got my body out of the pajamas I had worn for 4 days in a row and showered my skanky self. Because I like to pray in the shower now, I prayed, "Dear God, please help someone encourage me tonight, or the other way around, because I am feeling pretty dang crappy."

I was all set to go to a local marketing research firm to talk about my political views, long before the day of days. They were set to pay me $85. Therapy money.

It was pretty obvious from the outset that the client who was hiring the research firm to do this discussion group was trying to get information on how to "sway" conservatives over to the other side of the fence regarding universal health care.

Let's just say that I am quite happy to have received my health care during a time when universal health care hasn't been put into practice yet. I could just imagine standing at the ER counter with a belly full of blood and having them say, "Well, take a number, and we'll get to you in 2 or 3 hours." Hahaha!

So, anyway.

There was a guy across from me who was spouting Rush Limbaugh facts and figures as though he were channeling the great one himself. Another man next to me kept saying, "Don't believe the propaganda!"

I was trying not to cry, because I couldn't take Oxycontin and drive to the office at the same time, and my belly really, really hurt.

The lady who was directing the whole thing came in and said, "Well, we only need 10 of you, so I have held a drawing to eliminate 2 of you 12."

Guess whose name came up as one to be eliminated?


I was SO disappointed that I had bothered to take a shower, just to be sitting in a conference room that smelled faintly of stale cigarettes and death. My jeans were fastened with one of Lucy's hot pink hair rubber bands, and I wasn't wearing a shirt that covered my crotchal area so well.

The guy next to me looked as though he wished he hadn't looked in that general direction.

The guy next to me also happened to be the other one picked to stay out of the discussion group.

"Hey, I get it now! The people in charge are PRETENDING that going into the next room is a privilege, but what's really going to happen is that this is Obama's top-secret plan to rid the world of conservatives. The next room is really a gas chamber!" I said.

Everyone started laughing, even the lady in charge.

Then everyone left except for me, James, my crotch rubberband, and a couple of stale sandwiches.

The lady in charge came back, and all of a sudden we were talking about God.

I told them about my experience on Friday, and though I'm sad, I know there was a reason. I feel peace. Sadness is there, but peace is there more.

She lifted her head and said, "Wow! What does it feel like to have that kind of revelation? I long for that kind of thing!"

I told her that all it was was a willingness to surrender, I think, to realize that nothing you do matters to the mind of God, but that you give your future up into His hand.

She told how she wasn't ready to do that, because she worked at the local children's hospital and saw things no person should have to see. Her niece died of leukemia, and her nephew died from injuries sustained to the head when he fell off of a swing at the playground.

James related that he had just helped his brother die. It only took 3 days. One minute he was walking through the airport and the next, he had a blood clot the size of a grape in his head.

We were talking about how all of this suffering and sadness should be natural, because death is a part of life. But if death is such a part of life, why does it pain us so? Why is it so hard to let go?

I believe it is hard to come face to face with death and loss because we weren't originally programmed that way. God's original plan for us was to live forever in communion with Him.

And anything less than that is not enough for the human soul.

Which explains the longing I have felt for Him,
which explains the joy in letting go of things I thought I had to have control of.
which explains the almost aching anticipation, the wondering about what God will do next in my life that will knock my bobby socks off.

I heard a story on the radio today about a little boy who went to the candy shop. He eyed a huge jar full of candy on the counter and asked his mother if he could have some. "Help yourself, son!" the shop owner replied.

The little boy was hesitant, keeping his hands to his sides, so the shop owner put his own hand in the jar and placed the handful of candy in the boys' outstretched hand.

"Son, why were you so afraid to put your hand in there and get it for yourself?"

"Mom, why would I do that? His hand was so much bigger than mine!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

my ectopic pregnancy

Friday morning I was supposed to go get my blood drawn to make sure an ectopic pregnancy was showing itself the proverbial door, and then I was going to meet a friend at Costco. Three days before I had been given two shots of Methotrexate in order to get the embryo out of my fallopian tube. That morning, though, I woke up with the same pain in my side I'd felt for three weeks. It still just felt like a pulled muscle. I thought I had a hernia on my c-section scar.

I said a prayer in the shower: God, help me know what to do today. I want this drama to end. I don't understand what this pain is; guide my steps today, because I want to be OK.

I kept getting ready to go but was so light-headed and at one point had a sharp pain so intense that I curled up into the fetal position on my bed. We were running late (yes, I know. shocker of the century) so I considered skipping the blood draw and just going to meet my friend Rachel at Costco. I figured I could always do the blood draw later on in the day.

The pain intensified as I drove, and by the time I was getting the kids out of the car, I couldn't stand upright. I was having trouble focusing on Asher's belt buckle and didn't quite understand what was going on. The pain seemed to be coming from that one specific area, but at the same time seemed to be in other areas of my body as well: shoulder, hip, down my leg.

It was odd.

Fair warning: mentioning the word "ectopic" in an obstetrician's office is much like standing in the Northwest Airlines baggage line and telling the man next to you that you're dating Bin Laden. Things start to HAPPEN, and people start to move.

So I mentioned eptopic, and the receptionist told me to leave a urine sample and she'd talk to the doctor. The pain was so intense that I walked over near the women's restrom and huddled in a corner, just waiting to give my sample and sit down somewhere. I do remember that Asher was carrying a rock inside one of his toy cars and Lucy was saying, "Mama, WHEN are you going to let me paint my nails purple? I've been waiting sooooooo long!" Some women were watching them and saying how cute Lucy's hair bow was, but I was really in too much pain to respond.

After I left the urine, things happened quickly. I was escorted into the sonographer's room and the sonographer saw that my abdomen was packed with blood and the tube was nearly bursting. A nurse came to take me back to the doctor. Even through all of this, I felt an odd calm.

The doctor came into the room immediately after I arrived: "We have an emergent situation here. You have a rupturing ectopic pregnancy and you need immediate surgery."

She was already on the phone talking to the people in the ER; telling them to get ready for me and not to waste any time. She was using words like "internal hemmorhage" and "stat" and "maternal death" and suddenly I couldn't find any air.

Asher is clutching his rock and looking back and forth between the doctor and me with big eyes, and Lucy starts saying, "Mama, what's going on? What is going on?"

I realized I'd better pull it together or I'd scar my kids for life, so I kneel down and whisper, "You know how you have to be brave and have surgeries?" She nods, eyes a doleful liquid brown. "Well, now it's my turn, baby. Mommy has something in her tummy that is making her sick and she needs to get it out. Now I have to be brave, Lu, and I'm a little scared."

The doctor is talking again: "OK, I know you are scared, but we really need to get moving. You need to call whoever needs to come and get your babies."

I call Scott, and to my recollection, our conversation went something like this:

Hello, this is Scott!

me, whispering, trying not to cry: That ectopic pregnancy is rupturing. They have to operate right away or I could die.

Where are you?

Somewhere, like, oh, I don't know. Somewhere, like, you remember where I had Lucy? It's the building next to that building. And it's women's healthcare is the name of it...something like that. Women's Group Obstretics? They all sound the same, you know. Do you know that place?

Um, sort of. Where will the kids be when they are operating on you?

I don't know. But they have to get this out of me, honey, she did say we don't have a whole lot of time.

OK, so will the kids just be wandering around the ER? How will I find them?

I don't know. Just come here, please? Just come here and someone will bring them to you.

At this point the doctor is tapping me on the shoulder and telling me we need to get moving. Scott later told me that his friend at work was wondering if everything was all right. He heard, "Where will I find the kids?" and didn't think that sounded like a real productive phone conversation. :)

At this point, I feel like maybe this is someone else's life, and I slipped into her skin somewhere between the highway and the side street.

A lady with wildly colored crocs is waiting with a wheelchair, and she comments on how well-behaved the kids are. I think they were scared into submission a little bit; they did whatever she told them and their eyes were huge the whole time. Some woman was waiting at the ER with a note pad, and the nurse told her we didn't have time for pre-admission. She said she'd have to do all of that stuff while they were hooking me up to IV's, or just not do it at all.

Some nurse named Kristen came in and saw the kiddos huddled into a corner, me crying, and said, "Hey, Kids! How would you like to have some pudding and watch Sponge Bob? Do you like grape juice? We're going to have a really fun time in here!"

I will tell you this: If Scott's mutant sperm and my rejected gonads ever happen to make another child that oh, you know, has a butt hole and doesn't explode my remaining fallopian tube, we will be forced to name that child Kristen. Kristen was a rock star, and the kids knew it.

Soon my mother in law arrived, armed with Suzy's Zoo stickers for such a day as this. She and the kiddos busied themselves putting stickers all over each other while nurses stuck me with needles and took my blood pressure every 20 seconds.

Scott arrived, and the first thing out of Lucy's mouth was, "Hey, Daddy! Did you know what I love most about you? I love that you wear striped shirts. That looks great on you!" *sniff* The girl always knows just what to say. Lucy needs to be catheterized, so my mother in law and Scott situate her on the bed so I can cath her.

Scott leans over and says, "Hey, bet this isn't exactly how you planned for your day to go, huh?" He also adds, "I'm pretty sure we're going to be getting a letter from our insurance company, imploring us to stop having s*ex."

Best thing about our relationship: we have matching senses of humor.

Here is the part that I was going to leave out, because I almost don't believe it myself. I've been trying to figure out how to convey it to people, because words will never do this moment justice. They just won't.

I heard a voice speak, but it wasn't audible. I could feel the vibration of the voice in my heart, and it rattled my bones. This is the best way I can describe it. I don't know how else to, really. It shook the core of me. Here is what it said:

Rachel, you work and try so hard to keep bad things from happening. You try to keep it all within your control. You fight what I want to change in you. STOP. Stop fighting, stop fighting against me. Let me guide your steps and I will guide them where I want you to go. You knew everything about ectopic pregnancy symptoms and yet here you were, on the brink of death. Nothing you do can save you. Stop trying so hard, and lean on me.

It was crazy. I know that it was God speaking to me, I know it, like I know that I have ten fingers and the sky rains water.

By this time the doctors said they were ready, and I was fighting hard to keep the tears at bay. I made sure I held each of those little hands, the hands of my children. I grabbed Scott and hugged him hard. It was one of those moments that you never forget; the kind of moment you tell your grandchild about. The kind of moment where the earth shifts a little bit; maybe for your benefit, maybe not. Maybe it was just always tilted that way, and you hadn't noticed until now.

My family walks down the corridor, leaving me alone, and I think my heart might split in two. What if I never, ever see them again? What if this is it? What if it all comes down to this, and I don't raise my children?

The panic starts to swell, and that same presence I felt before comes back:

I will carry you. I am holding you. I am with you to the ends of the earth.

The panic subsides and this amazing, speech-stopping calm takes hold of me. I want to experience that again. I know who is talking to me. You can think I'm crazy, but I know it. I knew I was in His presence, or that He was in mine. That He cared, and that He wasn't letting me go.

The prep nurse gave me a sedative and told me she'd bring Scott back again. I told him how much I love him and how much he means to me, of course. And then I told him those things we don't tell each other when it's just another rainy Monday and he's late for work and sad the weekend's over and I'm wondering how I'm going to survive another morning of "Wow Wow Wubbzy" with my sanity intact enough to clean the toilets.

He's holding the bag that contains my clothing and the packet from the admissions people. I comment that I'm not leaving this damn place without a pretty note pad on which to write letters to my friends, and he produces it. We're both nervous as you know what, but we pretend we're not.

The nurse tells Scott it's time and tells him to say his "goodbyes".

I woke up with a mask on my face and asked the nurse if there was a clown car in the room. The doctor came back and said, "Rachel, you are a very, very lucky girl today. There was a lot of blood and we had to take the tube."

Scott told me later that both doctors, knowing I wanted dearly to keep the tube, looked at this tube full of dried blood and wasted embryo, and then at each other. They both nodded their heads and one of them removed it. She later explained that they both discussed and agreed that if this were their body, they wouldn't want that tube in there for this to just happen again. It wasn't healthy. The other one looked good, and so did my uterus, they say. Who knows.

Scott is gathered from the waiting room, and he is led to the wrong bed, where I hear him exclaim, "That's not my wife!" I start calling, "Honey! I'm over here!" and everyone is laughing.

I hug him, eat him up, breathe him in. He helps me into my clothing, kisses me, we drive off.

I guess I could sit here and tell you that I've been crying so hard and so shocked that this happened and just devastated and wanting to try again and desperately aching for another child to fill this longing in my heart. I have to tell you that that is not true. I have every assurance in my heart that what took place on that day was God-ordained, and that God did heed my call to Him that morning, that call to guide my steps. The doctor told me afterward that had I chosen to go to Costco instead, I probably would have simply collapsed there. I woke up a few nights ago, in a panic about losing the tube. Again, that same calm came over me, and I took a deep, quiet breath and fell back into a dreamless sleep.

I don't cry, because I'm not afraid any more.

Not afraid.

If you've read anything I've written for any length of time, you will fully know that much of what I do is based in fear. I research and read and wonder and pray and time things so that nothing "bad" will happen, so that the "worst" can be avoided, so that I can be "spared" some pain or another.

I am still trying to process what happened in that surgery waiting room and beyond, I am. Maybe God needed that surrender from me. Maybe he needed me to fall into His arms and tell Him, "You are enough. Nothing more than you will ever make me happy. Not another child, not another car or a better friend, not a smaller jeans size or fewer wrinkles. Not praise from my husband, not a successful pregnancy. Nothing. Nothing but you is what I need."

We all do it, it's human tendency. Wrap yourself up in something you can control. Throw yourself into having children, acquiring things, volunteering time at church, working, making anything BUT God your idol.

And God longs for our surrender. He loves us. I heard an amazing quote once: "If God stopped thinking of you, He would cease to exist."

It's all wrapped up in a nice little bow of cliche and Christian book stores and WWJD bracelets, but at the core of it, that is what it is. I can't change the package: it's surrender. God offers us the grace, that coccoon in the palm of His hand. Then, it's our turn: will we accept? Or will we go our own way? We have to take that step off the ledge, that freefall into his hand, before He can take us further.

What happened in that room was surrender, and I don't ever want to go back to who I was. I choose not to.

Of course I'm sad, of course I am. Of course I wish what happened hadn't happened. I have no idea if we are done having children or if God has planned to bless us with more. We are both open to the possibility; to waiting and seeing. I no longer feel a desperation to control.

And on the same side of that coin, how can I wish away the blessing that came with this pain? How can I wish away such an enormous relief, such a washing away of the burden that covered me?

Fear, indecision, guilt, longing, isolation, loneliness, heartbreak. They are not from God, and I will no longer allow them to take residence in my heart and my mind.

I heard this song on the radio, the song that's playing, and it made me cry my eyes out. It was playing for me:

They all fall
Like a million raindrops
Falling from a blue sky
Kissing your cares goodbye
They all fall
Like a million pieces
A tickertape parade high
And now you're free to fly

Carryin' a millstone malaise
It's been pulling down your gaze
You pound the pavement
It don't give or care
This weight ain't yours to bear

Why you holdin' grudges in old jars?
Why you wanna show off all your scars?
What's it gonna take to lay a few burdens down?
It's a beautiful sound

When that muffled sigh
Says you're barely getting by
Cut your burdens loose and just simplify
This is not your floor
You're going higher than before
Drop the weight now
Wait for the lookout guide
Look outside

As they all fall
Like a million raindrops
Falling from a blue sky
Kissing your cares goodbye

It's time to leave your burdens in a pyre
Set a bonfire
'Cause when you lay your burdens down
When you lay your burdens downWhen you drop them burdens
What a free-fall
What a thrill
Bury them all
In a landfill

The thing I've longed for, more than anything in this world is communion with God. I believe with all my heart, this verse, the verse that I taught to some children the day before the surgery:

Proverbs 3:5-6
"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

I have not been acknowledging Him in all my ways. I'd pretty much decided that my ways were better than His; that I knew best.

No longer.

I'm ready for this ride, Lord. You gave me a taste, and I want more. You always surprise me, You find a way out when I thought I had none. You hold me when I am full of sorrow, You rejoice with me when I am glad.

I'm ready for the freefall.

Friday, September 18, 2009

happy to breathe

I had emergency surgery today to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

The doctors tell me I am lucky to be alive; I was moments from completely rupturing.

My belly was packed with blood.

I lost one tube, which the three doctors who operated believe has been defective all of my life.

I will post the whole story soon, but it's an amazing story that will leave you praising God with me.

The way things turned out was exactly the way they were supposed to happen.

I have never smiled a smile more tearful, just to hear my husband's voice after he was led to the wrong woman in the recovery room and say, "That's not my wife!"

I have never been more pleased to breathe in the scent of my musky little son, to kiss his sweaty little cheeks.

Never more grateful to hear my daughter whisper, "You were brave through surgery, Mom. Just like me."

To have my mother in law lean in and kiss me.

To hear my mother cry on the phone when she heard that I was all right.

All these, a prayer. Of thanks, of jubilant supplication.

Funny how an experience like that can make a human just, well, happy to breathe.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Do you ever have so much going through your mind it's almost hard for your mind to go another step?

That's how this last week has been.

It's interesting to me how my kiddos always hone in on where I am in the house and want to come and play near me. It makes me feel good.

Now they are fighting over dolls.

Did I tell you that this weekend the kids helped clean the cars? Asher was still wearing his pajamas at 4 pm, and we could only find one Croc, so that's what we went with. Lucy has worn the same dress 3 days in a row. Hey, you're only a kid once.

I've been reading a book about mindfulness. Mindfulness is basically the art of observing things around you instead of instantly attaching an emotion or idea to what you are observing. I am not very good at this, and I am trying to do it better.

Of course, Kabot-Zinn is a hemp-smoking tree hugger (dang it, I'm attaching an emotion to my observations...there I go again) who also says that we all need to be more mindful so that we can lessen CO2 emissions before we do more damage to the planet we can never undo. And that we were opressors, not emancipators, in the Iraq war. He says there is always more than one way to look at something, which I totally agree with. But then he gives us his very politicized viewpoints on a very unexact science (global warming) where my computer geek of a husband is not very mindful in point out that computer models are used instead of direct observation to come to a conclusion, and it annoyed the very hell out of me.

I'm not sure how much mindfulness a human being can employ. Our past experiences and foregone conclusions dictate many of the ways we view the world.

Can it be undone?

How does this all paralell with what I believe about man's inherent sinfulness and fallenness before a holy God? How can simply being "mindful" cure the world of its ills?

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

singing...or not.

Oh, children, young woodland nymphs, and stay at home mothers longing for Vodka on the rocks...

listen closely to my cousin and I playing in our "band". It's slightly off-key and we really need help, but this video is amusing, is it not?

Oh, dear...I need to upload it to a reputable site, because this isn't working. Anyone have any good video-uploading-site suggestions?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

to joy

The house is quiet. Nana has the kids, Scott is golfing.

Just me and my thoughts and the cicadas outside.

We spent the day yesterday dealing with Lucy's impacted colon. The radiologist told us that her colon may now be permanently overstretched.

We don't know how long it has been that way. Immediately I turned to Scott and said, "I can't believe I let it get that bad."

I get tired, tired of always blaming myself. Tired from blaming myself for decisions we have made on her behalf. I get so weary, wondering if we are making the right decisions, resenting others who don't have to make these decisions. Wondering what buying size 4 princess under*wear instead of mass quantities of size 6 diapers would feel like.

And yet, I cannot allow myself to be bitter. I cannot allow myself to be angry. Sitting in that hospital, watching stockinged feet of 3 and 4 year olds with bald heads, I cannot be angry.

Things I have learned on this journey we all are on:

1. Friends who send you these in the mail, along with a card that says "hugs", deserve an extra crown in heaven.

2. You have to say "no" 95 times before you can say "yes" once. It feels good to know that, and to put it into practice. This from a perpetual doormat.

3. Sometimes apple pie is ok for dinner. And breakfast.

4. Realizing that pregnancy and newborn announcements are a trigger for sadness, and not checking into facebook 95 times a day because I know I will check it and then be depressed when the day was going so well beforehand, well, sometimes it's better to turn off the computer.

5. Withdrawing from social interaction (both online and in real life) can be very healthy.

Oh, these things are all so intertwined - Lucy's issues, the miscarriage, other things that have been going on. I don't divulge because sometimes divulging costs too much.

Why do I expect myself to perform on so many different levels when I wouldn't expect any one else to? Why do I not extend to myself the same grace?

I must do these things more: watch my children play, hug my husband, notice the special weight of a silver ring on my finger, caress the curve of a little hand, watch the afternoon sun slant on my yellow walls, snuggle into clean sheets at night time, immerse myself in God's unbelievable grace.

Realize it is all cyclical, that the next season will relieve what is now.

When I feel I can't breathe, strong hands will help push me along.

Soft fingers will beckon me, slowly, to joy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

appointment today

"You are engaged in a militant battle against pain. It's a losing battle, but you're still trying to fight it."

"You spend nine hours a day thinking about your obsessions. What else could you be doing in those hours?"

"We are going to get you better. I have to warn you, though, it's going to get worse before it gets better. OCD is a tricky monster."

"This week, listen to your thoughts. Listen to how many negative thoughts you have a day. Don't judge them, bad or good, just take note of them. Try not to follow compulsions to alleviate the anxiety these thoughts produce." (hahahaha)

"You can beat this."

**deep breath**

I can. More later.