For those who don’t know, I have been working on a memoir for ten years now. Yes, you read that correctly, ten, long, painful years.
The story begins with a complicated pregnancy, progresses into my late husband’s battle with brain cancer, and ends with my current life. I am now in the process of trying to find an agent who will go to bat for the finished product. In the meantime, for those who desire a little taste of the book before advocating for its publication (just kidding, but I don’t blame those of you who thought this way) I will be sharing samples of a few of the chapters in the next few posts. If you enjoy what you read, please spread the word! I can use all the words (and mouths and Facebook shares, and pins and tweets) as possible to make this ten year dream a reality. Thank you!
An excerpt from the chapter A Shattered Reality
“According to your faith it will be done” Matthew 9:29
May 8, 2004
I’m devastated; we found out yesterday that our baby has hydrocephalus, a term completely unknown to me. It’s water on the brain – too much water in the ventricles – and a small cerebellum, which breaks down into almost certain brain damage and death. I’m heart broken and hopeful. Now we have four months and our motto has become, “When God heals this baby.” We are believing and praying for a miracle and believing that “God’s not finished knitting this baby together yet.” We’re claiming verse after verse, “All things are possible to him who believes”; “Ask and these things shall be given to you”; “By his stripes we are healed.”
I’m truly learning what it means to pray without ceasing. We are claiming victory over Satan, and we believe that we will have a testimony to shout to the world. That being said, I’m going for a second opinion on May 20. The doctors will be amazed at the progress of this baby. The baby kicks me often signaling strength and determination and that gives me strength. We have a huge army of prayer partners and by faith we will overcome this.
When I went for a second opinion it turned out to be one of the worst days of my life. I don’t know if I was in denial of how bad the initial prognosis was but for whatever reason, I went alone. I remember driving to the appointment with butterflies swirling in my stomach; which I tried to dismiss as nerves. I remember trying to pray, but the prayers became stuck in my throat. Stepping into the elevator felt like climbing within a coffin where I would slowly suffocate to death. I remember looking around the waiting room at all the pregnant women with concerned looks on their faces, and thinking, why do they all look so sad? Do they all have problems with their babies? I remember walking into the ultrasound room and feeling the complete absence of warmth. No beauty relieved the coldness, no picture of a mother holding a child or a sunset over the water, nothing to remind those who nervously waited of the potential for joy within the world.
I remember feeling a large, heavy set woman poking and prodding with her stubby fingers at my thin, slightly rounded body as the silence continued to descend upon the room, the air thickened with many unspoken thoughts. I looked at this woman, the expert I was sent to, repeatedly trying to catch her eye to shake her unmovable countenance. I wanted to see a glimpse of understanding in her cold stare, but she continuously refused to make eye contact; she refused to make me an individual; she refused to feel anything for me; and I began to despise her. The hand pokes turned to prodding with the ultrasound wand as she silently walked about with an air of intellectual superiority, contemplating the defective nature of what lay within my round belly. I found myself suffocating beneath the smugness of her attitude, and in the uncomfortable silence, thinking about the nature of her large belly looming over me. I focused on her defective obesity as a coping mechanism to avoid thinking about the diagnosis that was coming regarding the imperfection held within my womb.
I lay upon the metal table, completely still, as she spoke in hushed tones with the nurse, and the gravity of the situation began to descend upon me. Hot, confused tears started to flow uncontrollably, and when the doctor glanced at me and noticed, she nonchalantly asked, “Where’s your husband? He should be here for this news.” I explained, blubbering through words, that we hadn’t realized the severity of the situation, and he had remained home with our other son.
The obese doctor started drawing repetitive circles on the white board, assumedly a simple demonstration of how she viewed my baby’s predicament. I sat there, feeling like a child who was failing miserably with a particular subject in school, but the subject I was in jeopardy of failing was that of being pregnant. My disappointed teacher drew a large head representing the accumulated fluid and then continued to draw monotonous circles around that head, signifying continued growth as the fluid increased month by month. I half expected her to finally draw a big BOOM with scribbles and chaos as the head ultimately exploded. She didn’t. She simply said, “If I were you, I would take care of it and try again. You are a healthy young girl, and you won’t have any problems getting pregnant. In fact, you will be doing this baby a favor because these kinds of fetuses have a way of spontaneously aborting because they are not supposed to make it. It’s just nature’s way.”
That baby today…
Just keep livin!!