Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Most Triumphant Tuesday

At this time last year, this post is going to press at 11:19pm, I had already been escorted via ambulance, without a family member or support person, from an urgent care center to my hospital's ER, had already been x-rayed, and stuck with numerous needles, and was only just beginning a journey I'd not planned on, nor knew just where it would take me.  Sometime after 11 that night, I was going in for my first CT scan - to determine just how bad the infection, which had perforated my lung and seeped into my chest cavity, was.

Or so we thought.

As it would turn out, the initial prognosis would not be accurate, and provided a false hope, the first of many to come, that a chest tube would sufficiently drain the infection from my chest cavity and the antibiotics would work on the infection in my lungs.

I was just 16 days post-partum, and while at times I was delirious with fever and pain, somehow I was able to remain cogently focused on what needed to happen for not only me but our whole family to get through this;
...Oh, dear God, this angel in my arms just got to meet me, and the other two still have so much mothering needed - surely they need me more than You need me!  And Seth's faith, it's still in process and I fear if I were to pass that he would crumble.  Please spare me and heal me so that I can do your will with my family and reflect your glory to everyone with whom I interact!

So, once that primary business was attended to, then it was:
...I need to advocate for my baby's well-being, for me to continue to nurse him I need to receive meds that are compatible with breast-feeding...
I need my breast pump, and there are formula samples at home to help with the baby's immediate food needs...
Does this hospital have those fabulous breast-feeding gowns that the sister hospital, where I'd had Christopher, did?  If not, I need some nursing jammies from home...
We need people - family, neighbors, those from our church circles -  to help with the two older children getting to school and maintaining normalcy...
We need to contact our insurance broker, as our new plan was just days from kicking in...
Seth needs to be able to work, having just had some unpaid leave for Christopher's birth, we couldn't afford him to miss more...

My blackberry was heavily used while I was in the hospital.  I alerted my online friends from the past 9 years to what was unfolding via Facebook on it.  I e-mailed our church's list-serve with updates on it, made phone calls, etc. to deal with the details that floated through my head.  Technology is a wonderful asset and I will never take it for granted.

But...this is where this post is misguided and turning into something I hadn't intended.

I don't intend to relive those long days, as someone who is haunted by them, with this post.  I've already done that here, in case you are so inclined now that I've piqued the interest of those who do not know the story.

Rather, I meant to say that today was a triumph and a day of countless gratitudes.  Beginning with hearing this song first thing this morning, as I took the kids to school.

I know the initial part of the song is about a mother losing her child, but as I heard these lines;

To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling. 

I couldn't help but think that we were so close to the situation being reversed, to my infant son never getting to know his mother, who loved him and prayed for him while she knit him together in the womb.  I didn't fully realize just how close I was until this winter when I heard about a woman that some church friends of ours knew, exact same age and circumstance as me, who'd gone septic from her pneumonia and died from lesions the sepsis caused on her brain.  And tears formed in my eyes as I sang along with the chorus:

This is what it means to be held. 

How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life 
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved. 
And to know that the promise was 
When everything fell we'd be held. 

God held me, in the shelter of his unfailing arms, as everything that had been a constant in my life suddenly became tenuous and unknown.

He held my husband and my children, granting them peace and assurance that I couldn't.

He held my baby boy through the arms of all his grandparents and the many surrogate "aunts" that emerged from our church body so that he was always comforted with a physical touch of love, clean outfits, dry diapers and soothing movements when tubes and exhaustion tied my hands from providing these to him.

He whispered encouragements into my ear as His lovingkindness inspired the visitors from our church who sat with me.  One of these moments I treasure the most came from an older woman from church who, after I'd confided that I felt weak in my faith because I was finding it difficult to count all the trials as joy, responded that even Jesus, God himself in the flesh, knowing all things, had asked our Heavenly Father to change his circumstances if it were in His will.

He provided [and continues to do so] for us financially during the resulting financial maelstrom.

I could tell of these things forever, in the many ways that my Heavenly Father has held me during a hellacious year, but it is getting late.  Suffice to say that in some ways I'm still being held by Him, and in others, I've grown enough to let go and, as His agent, seek others who need holding - yet another blessing, because without this experience I wouldn't be able to minister to those in similar situations.

I'm thankful that a year later, the only lasting effects are felt in the occasional itches of my incision scars and our pocketbook.  The first is SO minor, right?  And the second is going to be ok...just need to allow time and faith to do their work daily.

I am alive.  And beyond that, I am fit and healthy, and can hold a normal lung capacity's worth of air on an inspirometer with ease, unlike the 1/4 capacity it pained me to achieve a year ago.

I've had 365 tomorrows in which to love my husband and mother my 3 wonderful children, and countless more to come.

I have family who love me unconditionally.  Family determined by the bonds of blood, marriage, and the common threads of faith.

I received notice that my Bolder Boulder packet is ready for me to pick up tomorrow.  It is happening.  I am running my first 10k (on record - I ran one on my own a couple of weeks ago just to prove to myself I could) on Memorial Day - in celebration of the anniversary of me being released from the hospital.

And my God has helped me and held me in order to get here the whole way long.

How's that for triumphant?

© 2006-present Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. This gave me chills! What an amazing testimony you have.

  2. Amen and Praise God. That is an awesome testimony. Best of luck on your 10k run.

  3. Amazing. I am so glad things worked out that way. What a wake up call to those of us just surfing around the internet today.

    Thanks for sharing it.