I can’t believe that today we are celebrating Tara’s third birthday. In some respects it seems like I just found out I was pregnant with her. God blessed us far more than I imagined in the birth and life of this little girl.
It’s amazing to listen to her speak, hear her play, and to watch her just be. She has memorized many Scripture verses, has quite the imagination, and is such a little girl in every sense of the word. I love the current season (though there are aspects I could do without), and I am trying to cherish it because I know it’s fleeting.
When I look at her, I see desire fulfilled in a very sweet way.
I found out on Christmas morning 2006 that I was pregnant. I was utterly shocked, all I could do was cry. I was so excited and was in slight disbelief over what the home pregnancy test said. All this despite being nauseated for about two weeks prior and napping for about 3 hours a day when I was not a napper.
You see, the year before, I had a major surgery done on my uterus. After a routine OB/GYN appointment that led to an immediate ultrasound, then CT scan, then a referral to an OB/GYN oncologist, the first conclusion was that I had a rare form of uterine cancer. I sat for two hours in an oncologist’s office with at least twenty other women who were at least 30 years older than me. After doing an internal exam, the doc did not think I had cancer but wanted me to have a PET scan done just in case. Oh, and he wanted me to see an fertility specialist. This threw me a little. His reasoning was that all he knew was cancer, but the fertility specialist saw far more things than himself and would probably be able to help us more.
After passing out during the PET scan, I realized the toll the whole situation was taking on me. It had been a sweet time with the Lord and my husband. I trusted that the Lord would see us through whatever ended up happening. But the thought of not having children was unbearable to me. I had been praying for and longed for children. I think I pushed that aspect out of my mind just to get me through the craziness of the moment. I was not fearful or sad about the possibility of having cancer. I was resting in my Lord.
The PET scan showed nothing so it was off the the fertility specialist. We sat through a long consultation with him in which he looked through all of the scans and discussed what he thought the issue was. It was mind boggling and the hardest possible diagnosis that I could have been given (but I don’t remember what it was now). He wanted me to have an MRI. So, off to another scan very early in the morning.
I received a phone call at work the day after having the MRI. It was the oncologist who we’d not seen since being transferred to the fertility specialist. He told me that he had just consulted with the radiologist and the fertility specialist. They believed it was cancer again. He had already scheduled OR time and wanted to know if the date and time he chose would work for me. In a dazed state I told that yes, it would be fine.
So, in November 2005, I had a myomectomy done. Going in, the plan was to remove the mass and do a frozen section biopsy and send the rest off to a lab for a biopsy. If the mass looked obviously cancerous, my uterus would be removed. Otherwise, they’d just remove the mass and go back in later if results from the section sent off were cancerous.
Now, the weekend before my surgery (which was on a Tuesday), we both were given peace that everything was going to be okay. In other words, we believed the Lord was communicating to us, though different people, that they would not discover cancer.
When I woke up from the surgery in the recovery room, in my loopy state, they let me call Blane (who was waiting for me in my hospital room). I had told him beforehand that I wanted him to tell me what happened. He told me that I still had my uterus and did not have cancer. I remember feeling like I could leap out of bed because I was so happy. (Only I couldn’t because I was loaded with drugs and I just had my entire midsection cut into). As soon as one of the doctors came to visit me, I asked them when I could have kids. He told me that I should wait two to three months to heal, but that I should be able to have children as if nothing ever happened.
I was elated. Still drugged, I asked Blane if I could call people and tell them. He allowed me, probably cringing, as I made a fool of myself. I remember talking to one of my brother-in-laws crying to him, “I can have children!”
So I was in disbelief. I struggled with believing I would ever have children. Not only due to the situation that had happened but because I felt I did not deserve the gift and privilege of raising and shepherding children for the glory of God. A year or crying, watching other women get pregnant and complain about it, and my heart was a mess. And I didn’t believe what my husband did.
So my pregnancy with Tara was a gift and a blessing. But it was not easy and I didn’t enjoy the majority of it.
After battling through first trimester nausea and debilitating migraines, I had a few weeks of respite before the eczema on my hands and arms left me absolutely dependent on Blane. Out of a desire not to take medicine, for the best health of our baby, Blane had to do everything for me because it kept getting worse and worse. Women came three times a week from our church to help me around the house.
I cried a lot then, too. I also walked a lot. I had nothing else to do. I remember for lunch I would eat peanut butter. Just peanut butter on a spoon. I could at least get a spoon in the jar with my hands, but that was it. Good thing I love peanut butter (funny, Tara can’t stand it ).
After 48 hours of pro-dromal labor (body is working hard but not progressing), my baby was born. They told me it was a girl and I made them double check, I was in disbelief! You have to understand, everyone thought I was having a boy. Two friends even bought me boy clothes (our ultrasound revealed nothing as to the sex though). I again, was elated.
And then they told me how much she weighed. 9 lbs, 1 oz. I was in heaven! My two secret prayers were answered! I had a wonderful first year of motherhood. It was easy, fun, and I relished in doing what I always wanted to do.
So Tara has been a blessing. We have had (and have) our difficult times. It’s not been easy, but it’s been such a gift. I don’t take pregnancy or children for granted. I didn’t have to wait nearly as long as many other people I know have had to wait for children (and some are still waiting), but I have tasted the feelings that come with unanswered prayers and desires of the heart. To say, “it’s hard” is an understatement.
And to think we have any control over the womb is a big lie.
Truly, “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” Proverbs 13:12.
I love you Tara and am so thankful for you!