Today, my second miracle baby turns 5 years old. The only thing that eases this path for me, is that she still lets me call her baby, still lets me give her lots of hugs, and only occasionally wipes my kisses from her face.
I wish that all parents felt their children were miracles, but I know that's not the case for everyone. It breaks my heart to see unwanted children, uncared for children, unloved children in the world, when the friends I have would give everything they've got to make theirs happy.
In my case, I believe my children truly are miracles. **Stop reading now if you get the oogies from reading about girly stuff**
In order to understand why my children have reached miracle status, you have to know my history. (Yes, my girly history). I got my first period on the day I graduated from Junior High School. (Oh, and did I mention the frilly white dress I was going to wear for the ceremony?). I was so proud - had to call all the friends I could think of. Yippee! (What THE HELL was I thinking???)
I got my second period two weeks later. And again. And again. And again. Let me just say, that no 13 year old should have to go through a clinical gynecological exam. Especially when they discover that not only does her uterus tilt backwards (making standard manual exams ineffective), but they also say something isn't "quite right". I was put on the pill as a way to hopefully regulate hormones and get things back to normal. Woo hoo - a 13 year old with a license to be promiscuous! (Don't worry, I wasn't).
For the next two years, I was put on higher and higher doses of hormone based pills because things still didn't function the way they were supposed to. It was a lovely existence to be a Freshman in high school who would wake up, throw up, then go to school. At 15 my doctors decided that the hormones either worked or they didn't. (Perfect timing - just when those pills might have come in handy for other reasons!)
All was going along rather swimmingly - or at least it was on the outside. Then my problems started up again.
I was in Maryland when I was struck by searing pain. It turned out I had an ovarian cyst rupture. Let me tell you friends, if I thought previous pelvic exams were bad, having one while a cyst is exploding takes the cake!
A year later, another state, and here we go again. Horrible pain combined with a fever of 104 had me at the emergency room - this time a pelvic infection and inflammatory disease known to cause sterility. No surgery this time, but a level of antibiotics so severe that I was given two choices - through an IV - or inserted directly into my heart.
I get out of the hospital, but still didn't feel quite right - I was still in pain nearly constantly. More tests, more invasive exams (my gynecologist and I were on a first name basis by this point). Now my problem had a name - Chronic Endometriosis. I was so heartened by the literature that was given to me to help me understand my condition. I remember so clearly what it said, "Our hope for treatment is to possibly retain fertility, but most importantly allow the patient to live a life without debilitating pain." You get those subtleties there? POSSIBLY retain fertility? In my mind, even though I was single - I didn't care about the pain, I wanted to have children! I asked my doctor about it, and was told, as kindly as possible, that it was highly unlikely that I'd be able to get pregnant, and if I did, I most likely wouldn't be able to carry a child to term. He suggested a hysterectomy.
For those of you that don't know me - you may not realize how stubborn I am. Not only did I refuse the hysterectomy, but I also refused to accept that I couldn't have children. Nope.
I had two horrible years - pelvic exams every single month, two more surgeries, and never given any false hope that a pregnancy was in my future. I was put into chemically induced menopause. For years, I wasn't allowed to have a period - (ok, so that was the good part).
Life moves along, and I was taken off the medication, as my symptoms had been alleviated. Lo and behold, I meet the man who is to become my husband, and we decide we're going to have a baby. (I did mention the stubborn part, right). Two months later I was pregnant, and 9 months after that I delivered a healthy, 8 pound, 3 ounce baby boy, to the shock and amazement of my previous gynecologist, who has now become a close friend of the family. 15 months after that, I deliver my 8 pounds, 5 ounces daughter, who had already given me plenty to worry about since I got pneumonia when I was 7 months along, and had lost all the weight I had gained up to that point.
When our now friend did me a favor of doing an ultrasound to determine the baby's gender (she wouldn't cooperate the first time!), I reminded him of the conversation we had in which he told me I'd never be able to have children. As a typical man would, he took credit - it was his treatment that saved the day. (My husband prefers to think he had something to do with it).
While both my children are miracles, my daughter does have one additional "wow" factor. She's the first girl-baby born on my husbands side of the family in over 100 years. Needless to say, it concerns T's mom - who finally has her girl, that my miracle baby girl wants a penis.
I would have more babies if I could - but my doctor's were right about one thing - I couldn't sustain any more - I had a hysterectomy a year and a half ago - and I still feel the emptiness. Especially on days like today - when my "baby" is no more, and I've got two big kids at home.