Tag Archives: mother

Mothers Don’t Get Sick Days

Tea ~ Lonestar Chai
In a mug and in my oatmeal this morning

[Reflecting on surgery to remove my gallbladder 2 months ago while recovering from a major lower back injury from a bike accident. Throw in the process of moving just for kicks.]

Can you call it recovering when it gets worse everyday for a month and no amount of chiropractic adjustments or painkillers, prescribed or otherwise is relieving the pain? I was in this accident to avoid seriously injuring a toddler who was where they should not have been, unsupervised on a bicycle with training wheels on the lakefront bike path in Chicago during rush hour. Did I mention that this path sees 30,000 people a day during the summer months? I thank God that Z was not with me on my bike like he was the day before. And I will never again ride my bike in Chicago. It’s just not worth it.

For 5 weeks, this injury was worse than post-op, but also at the same time as post-op. I say to you – Don’t ever take your health for granted. We say or mean “health” as nonchalantly as “food” or “water” in our culture of privilege. It was the hardest 3 months of my life when the 4-hour stomach cramp episodes started out of nowhere in May. They increased in frequency, with a traumatic instance of vomiting and nearly fainting on the CTA red line and hitting my then 5-month-old’s head into the hand rail in the process of pushing my sweet guardian angel, Katie, an off-duty OB/GYN from Evanston, out of the way so I did not throw up on her while I handed him to a complete stranger. I also handed this stranger my phone and had my husband’s phone number up and ready to go should I indeed pass out. Greg picked me up at the next el stop to take me to the hospital. The ER nearly sent me home because my symptoms were gone after 4 hours of waiting, but not before I insisted on an ultrasound thanks to the suggestion of my brother, Phil, at breakfast that morning. Katie asked me if I was ok. I deliriously replied, “I need to have my gallbladder taken out.” She thought I sounded ridiculous. She also thought I was falling asleep before she came over to my side of the train to check on my baby and I.

Thankful for my health does not even begin to express that need as a mom. Mothers do not get sick days, especially nursing ones. I could not lift Zeke for 5 weeks. I could barely stand upright. I cried…a lot. I called my mom to come 2 days early before surgery because I couldn’t even take care of myself, let alone my baby. It was an extreme emergency. She couldn’t even understand me on the phone because I was sobbing so hard that it was difficult to make out any words. I’m so thankful for my mom! She is perhaps the coolest, most selfless person I know and one of my best friends. My parents are such a blessing! My childhood best friend, Kim, also came to do the heavy lifting for a few days all the way from Baltimore. Greg tried to work from home as much as he could while transitioning to his new job in Indiana.

Looking back on it, I’m not sure how I made it through all of this. Strength and healing from the Lord sustained me through all of your prayers. I’m so thankful to be PAIN FREE. No stomach cramping, no back issues. It’s been about a month without pain. I can run, bike, lift moving boxes from room to room and wear my baby! I think I missed wearing him the most – at the grocery store, going for walks, out on adventures and hiking. It’s the easiest way to bring him contentment. But don’t ever take your health for granted; you can lose it in a second.

If nothing else, I want to stay healthy for this guy!

If nothing else, I want to stay healthy for this guy!

Be encouraged!

Having a Baby is Like Studying for a Test – Part 1

Tea ~ Moroccan Mint

You know when you have big events or life changes going on and that is sometimes all you can think of to talk about? Or when you don’t know someone very well, that is all they can think to ask you about? If you’re in college, they ask, “So, how’s school going?” or if you’re getting married, “How are the wedding plans coming along?” or if you’re expecting a baby or adopting, it’s “How are you feeling?” or “How is the adoption process getting along?” I’ve observed this over many years and I really try my best to not monopolize a conversation with the “obvious” stuff about me. Of course, if people ask I will be polite, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty and past all the fluff. Life is too short for a lot of fluff.

I’m not going to talk about how I’m feeling or our baby registry or what color we’re going to paint the nursery because honestly, those things matter very little in the grand scheme of things. A couple of years ago, my heart started to change and God was moving me in a direction of a real desire to experience being a parent and pregnancy. I never thought it would happen. People assume that because I’m a woman that I automatically want to serve in kid’s ministry or hold other people’s babies. Nope. Too fluffy. Greg & I weren’t sure we even wanted our own kids when we first got married. We knew adoption was part of the plan at some point. So when I told Greg, who was not anywhere near a place to desire having our own children, nor did I expect him to be anytime soon or to just flip the switch and start now, I said, “I just want you to know, my heart is changing in this area.”

He only said 2 things:  1) “Ok, thanks for telling me.” and 2) “Why do you want to have kids?” A perfectly legitimate question. I think I’m crazy for wanting kids! This does not come naturally to me at ALL. There is not a single moment in my life, before telling Greg a couple of years ago, that I had this aching desire to be a mother. You can’t get much done as a parent. You’re tied to your house and your baby’s schedule for years, and then school & extracurricular activities after that. I felt like I would accomplish nothing as a parent and be incredibly frustrated by the whole process. I wanted to do things that mattered instead of selfishly procreate like everyone else (we also considered adoption as doing something that mattered).

I shared with Greg that I want to have kids because I feel that I have hit the ceiling on my understanding of God’s love and sacrifice for me. I want to know and comprehend just a glimpse of a love as passionate as a parent for their child. The heartbreak Abraham felt for Isaac as he walked with him to the place he would sacrifice Isaac as an offering to God:

“Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Sacrifice of Isaac by Rembrandt, 1635

Sacrifice of Isaac by Rembrandt, 1635

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”” ~ Genesis 22:2-14

Wow, I cannot even imagine this! I’m not a parent yet and I cannot comprehend how difficult this must have been for Abraham. What’s even more crazy is that God experienced the full weight of this with his son, Jesus. God tested Abraham in Genesis, but it was not a test with Jesus Christ, it was Redemption Day for all of us when all the sins of the world were put onto the shoulders of the one man who had never sinned. I want to know and understand that love, the love that God has for me every single person!

I want to be a parent to love others better. I want to be a parent to grow in understanding of God’s love. I want to be a parent to grow in Christ-likeness and character that brings glory, honor and praise to our Savior. I want our child’s life to be a living sacrifice to God. After all, He is giving us this blessing & responsibility. Yes, He wants to give us good things for our pleasure, but what will bring me the most pleasure is seeing our son grow in his own knowledge of God’s love for him and sharing that love with others. That is what matters, and I trust that The Lord Will Provide.

Be encouraged!
Read Part 2