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Sunday, September 7, 2008

TJ's Story

So at the point where we chose not to go to the picnic, I felt like God really closed the door on adoption for us. Why He opened it just to close it without it ever coming to fruition, I don't know. Sometimes I think we all get Abraham and Isaac moments. Moments where God tests us to see how far we will follow. How obedient we will be. How much we are willing to sacrifice. And sometimes He asks us to do all those things, but sometimes He provides the sacrifice Himself just to remind us of the fact that not only is He a covenant keeping God, but He is THE covenant initiating God. He is capable of causing the desires of our heart and then fulfilling them in His ways, not ours. And His ways are always so much more wonderful than we could ever have dreamed.

So at this point we aren't adopting, but we aren't getting pregnant by our own devises either. Mimi is about a year old and if we want our kids to be spaced close together, we need to think about doing the clomid soon. (We also struggled at this time with the idea of NOT using the clomid for a while and having 2 kids close in age and then another 2 kids close in age, but with a few years between the first 2 and the next 2.) And then in November God reminded us that He is really sovereign, and all of "our plans" for our family are really of little consequence to His master plan. (Looking back and typing this, gives me the chance to see how silly all our struggles were.) One day in the middle of November, I developed a pain in my lower abdomen. I have a history of ovarian cysts, and that's what it felt like. I also suffered from not-ovulating, but every once in a while my body would work and I would, and it would be really painful. So I figured that's what was going on. I actually slept that night on the couch because I could not straighten out my leg without severe pain (but even this was stuff I had gone through before, although not since I was a teen). By morning, I figured something wasn't right and I should go see my doctor. Thankfully, his practice opened at 5:30 AM, and I was there to meet him. He brought me back took one look at me, and sent me to the hospital. The diagnosis? Acute appendicitis.
So I drove myself to the hospital in the only car that had car seats in it for my children who were still at home sleeping (their daddy was home with them). I called him to tell him, and honestly, I am not even sure how all the details got worked out. ( Somehow my mom helped him get the car with the car seats and helped watch the kids so he could visit me in the hospital afterward.) I was whisked away to surgery, and my appendix was removed post haste. They figure it would have ruptured within the hour.
SO why am I telling you all this in the midst of TJ's story? Because somehow having my appendix removed restored my body's ability to ovulate, and much to our total shock, we found ourselves pregnant immediately afterward. God is SO good!
My pregnancy was great, which was good because I was a busy mamma with 2 kids 3 and under. I had more aversion than ever. We ate out a LOT because NOTHING sounded good, and what did squeak by as possibly palatable changed on a daily basis. But I can't complain. It was great.
Much to no one's surprise, I was "late" with TJ. 11 days late. Late enough that they ordered a non-stress test to check to see how he was doing. And it didn't look good. Previous to that point, I had had 3 non-consecutive days where I had had regular contractions every 5 minutes or closer for a few hours at a time, but each time they petered out without progressing to full blown labor. But they were hard to cope with because he was posterior, and those contractions really hurt my back badly. And after the 3rd day they occurred, I have to admit I was OVER them. Really over them. So when they said at the Midwife's office that I needed to go to the hospital to have a few more tests done, I was FINE with that. SO fine that I said, "why don't we just do this thing if I have to go to the hospital anyway"...or something like that. I was already 6 cm dilated thanks to those days to "false labor", and it seemed prudent to just deliver in stead of sending me home 11 days past due, 5 cm dilated, and 45 minutes from my hospital.
So to the hospital I went. This is where Marie can fill in the details I should know. She joined me there, and I think maybe she was watching my other kids that morning, so I am not sure where her kids or mine ended up (sad, isn't it, how quick memories fade?). I don't think my husband was with me either, so I think he had to drop everything and come join me. Anyway, TJ was born maybe 2 hours after I was admitted, and 1 hour after labor officially "started". I believe Melissa Etheridge's Brave and Crazy was the CD playing in the CD player during labor and while when he was born. (Yeah, there's a side of my musical taste not many of you know about-but I don't listen to her anymore because her lifestyle is openly wrong...but her music? I love it.)

TJ's gender was a surprise, we had chosen not to find out. I don't remember anyone announcing he was a boy...and I think I remember asking and the midwife telling me that was for me to see and announce. (Am I delusional Marie?) And isn't it funny that I can't even remember what name we had chosen for a girl? For a boy we had two choices. Ean Spencer (if we were to keep with our existing first initial trend) or TJ. We really went back and forth for a good 20 minutes. And it was almost Ean, but then my husband chimed in that he preferred TJ, and he's been TJ ever since.
He was my largest baby at 7 lb 15 oz. And he was wonderful. We left the hospital 22 hours after he was born, and it was good to come home. TJ was a insatiable nurser, and I spent most of the first few days at home sitting on my butt on the couch nursing him and watching TV. And that's where I was on the Tuesday after he was born. Sitting on my butt watching the Today show and nursing my son as the first reports rolled in that a plane had hit the Twin Towers. At first, they were certain it was a mistake...then certain it was not a big jet like the witnesses said but a small commuter plane...but then, oh, the first live feed from the area told a different story. a big gaping maw in the side of the building. And as they stood there filming the destruction, a second plane hit the second tower. On live TV. While I watched and nursed my son. And represented in my living room were two extremes. On one hand an action that had gone on since the creation of man, since Eve nursed her baby at her fundamental to life itself that scripture mentions nursing numerous times, and the Shad of God's name El Shaddai refers to the sufficiency found at a mother's breast...and on the other hand, in the blink of an eye, evil had a new face, Satan a new modus operandi. An attack on our own soil. A clash of faiths and of the intentions of our God/god. And yet, in those days soon after 911, the many in our nation found their solace in the same place my baby son found his, at the bosom that was all sufficient to met their needs.
Seven years have passed. My son no longer harkens to my breast, and his dependency on me wanes a little bit with each passing day. And I fear the same is true of our nation's dependency on our God. While it's natural for a child to eventually leave their home and cleave to another, man is NOT meant to leave his God. We were created to praise the good times and in the storms. We were created to love one another, not spew partial truths or misguided retorts at one another. We were created to be utterly dependant on God for provision for our lives in this world, and for the gift of salvation that ensures our future for eternity.
Is He your El Shaddai? I pray that TJ, and all my children, will always know Him as such. That they will always depend on Him for their needs to be supplied. That they would walk humbly with their God in ways I am still learning every day. That they would grow up, not with an allegiance to a country or a party, but to the God who has chosen them as His own. That's my prayer for TJ...Happy Birthday son!
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Tiffany said...

I love when you come out with all that wisdom and stuff. I didn't know about the "Shad" part. Cool.
TJ is such a blessing and has such an awesome smile and easygoing personality. Happy Birthday to him!

oneblessedmamma said...

I have to admit I had just looked up El Shaddai for Izzy B's dad, so it was fresh in my mind, but it seemed fitting.

chewhi said...

wow... I felt like standing with raised hands in those last 2 paragraphs... that was great.

Tree Climbing Mom said...

Thanks for sharing TJ's beautiful story. This post will be a wonderful gift to him one day.

DebiH. said...

Thanks for sharing a beautiful post! The first paragraph of your continued post ( the part about Abraham) is something that you said to me soon after I became pregnant with Nate. It gave me a peace then and I still associate that with Nate's "story" as well. I don't know if I ever thanked you for what that meant to us at the time...thanks:)
As for 9/11, Abby was just less than 3 mo old. I think that those of us with brand new baby's during than time experienced it slightly different. Blame it on post-partum emotions :) You expressed it perfectly.

Julie said...

Beautiful! I don't think I had your kids that day, but my kids and I were at "the horse swing park" park--it was a Friday (yes, these were the early days of GTHS). I left them with people at the park and headed to your house to get your radio and some other things, now it is coming back to me your mother was there with your kids. I met your husband in the elevator (we both arrived at the same time). This was one of the first birth's I'd attened and I was eager to do some "doula-ing" I remember saying, "can I heat up this rice sock yet?" The next thing I knew, you came out of the bathroom and could barely get up on the bed as TJ was coming out. Yes I think the midwife did tell you to check and see if it was a boy or girl. I think you were also considering the name William, although maybe I am delusional. By the way, readers, I am AKA Marie.

Melissa said...

Beautiful story and so well said!! I love these birth stories - since I wasn't around to experience them in person.