I have two posts almost ready to publish, but for some reason I haven’t tweaked them, pushed publish.  Maybe they’re not ready.  I had hoped that this post would be happier than the last full of all my funny quips, dreams of mascara’s dancing in my head, but instead I am wound up with so much uncertainty and worry that my stomach hurts and Chris and I try not to look at each other for too long, because my eyes well up with tears and we…just…don’t…know. 

Part one of that is Exhaustion. All three of our boys have been diagnosed with pneumonia in the past month.  I wasn’t really surprised when Jonah was diagnosed, he was the 7th of 9 third graders to be diagnosed.  I wasn’t prepared for how long it would last, for the lethargic spirit that would steal his joy in little things like eating dinner with us, or even reading before bed.  Of course when it happened I was dealing with my own health issues, a stupid blood clot from a vein I’ve had my whole life.  Not life threatening, just an annoying nuisance.  But we powered through it, and as a week and then two passed by I thought we were in the clear. Then of course Micah started crying  inconsolably on a Saturday afternoon after being whacked in the face with a yoyo.  And don’t get me wrong, most 4 years olds would cry like 4 year olds when being hit right in the eye with anything, but not my Micah.  He’s tough as nails, and it was so uncharacteristic of him we started to watch him. By Monday his breathing was labored and he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  By Friday Daniel was diagnosed. I spent the past week in a fog of being up all night with the kids, checking temps, breathing.  Micah had to return to the doctor to change medications when his pneumonia worsened.  I visited the doctor’s office 7 times in 6 days.

Part two is this little spot on the upper thigh of Micah we found last Wednesday.  We saw it when he was getting out of the shower, neither Chris and I have ever seen anything like it. So we looked at the internet, and what it looked like was not good.  I took him in the next day.  The pediatrician wasn’t our normal doctor whose eyes I can read, who I trust to give Grace a catheter and who has seen me cry, so I didn’t have any way to know what his reaction meant.  He looked at it and said, I’m going to refer you right away to a specialist.  He used the word biopsy. He talked about as soon as possible, he even called the specialist and made the appointment for me.  He said a lot of things.  And in that moment all I thought about was how much I hated him, how I hated his calm voice. 

Of course it had nothing to do with him, or his voice.  I hated him because he couldn’t give me answers that day, he told me it could be nothing or something…which isn’t his fault. Hate seemed an easier emotion than fear at that moment. 

For those of you who know me, you know that Micah is my Sugar.  He came after the darkest experience of my life, and has filled our lives with sweet laughter that coats your throat, and seeps into your heart. He is happy, and has always been a truly easy child.  My entire pregnancy with him I told him constantly how much I loved him, how excited I was to be his Mom.  I had never said those things to his sister, so I will never know if she knew how much I desired to be her Mom, to get to know her.  I wasn’t going to make that mistake with him.  My OB would let me listen to his heartbeat for minutes and we’d cry and say how it was the most beautiful sound.  As my pregnancy came to a close I began to be filled with an anxiety that something would be wrong.  So much so that my blood pressure began to rise and my doctor gave me the option to be induced. I accepted immediately, anything to see him sooner, I knew how fast things could go wrong. After losing a child, the anticipation is very very different; you don’t want to not be pregnant anymore or get it over with, you want your child to be ok.

I was induced on a Sunday morning.  My friend Emily gave the gift of spending her Anniversary sitting next to me. My Mom and Chris held my legs, all of us holding our breath.  Even being induced he arrived in less than 5 hours, and when my doctor told me his heart rate was dropping and I either pushed him out in three pushes or we did an emergency C section,I pushed him out in two pushes.  He came out face up and  the cord was wrapped around his neck, and all I could ask over and over was, “Is he ok? Is he alive?”  

“Please…tell me he’s alive.”

Micah was fine, but I had complications, they couldn’t seem to stop the bleeding and my doctor told Chris I had to wait a couple of years before we tried again.  Chris wouldn’t say anything, but I could tell he was worried,  but for me, my situation seemed so little in comparison to how beautiful and healthy he was.  My doctor was able to stop the bleeding and with in an hour I was able to hold him.  He was so much darker than his brothers, and he would just stare back at me.  For the first six months of his life I never put him down.  I could rock him for hours and sing to him.  He was never fussy, he would laugh and laugh at his brothers.  When he was really little I had him in a cosleeper in the bed next to us. If he didn’t stir I would gently shake him to make sure he was still breathing until I eventually just had him sleep in the crook of my arm. 

I have enjoyed every moment with him.  He is one of those kids that everyone wants to be around.  He loves life. He went through a phase where he refused to wear clothes for almost a year. He has peed in every public place we’ve visited.  He loves women and has been saying that Taylor Swift is his girlfriend since he was barely three.  He loves Bon Jovi, and could listen to “It’s My Life” over and over.  I love his curly hair and huge blue-green eyes and the most beautiful long eyelashes.  I love that every morning he wakes me up by screaming in my ear, “IT’S A BRAND NEW DAY MOM!”  He loves preschool and loves to pick up his brother’s from school.  He is very protective of Grace and is not afraid of sticking up for himself. The way he greets his Dad and godfather is a nice punch right to the belly, and then he’ll give the best hug.

Since the day he was born I have told him everyday how much he matters to me, how loved he is.  I didn’t do that with Jonah and Daniel until after I lost their sister.  Both were shy and struggled with their confidence, but Micah and Grace never have…I really believe it’s because they’ve never doubted.  They have known from the moment they could hear my muffled voice in the womb, they were wanted. They are loved.  When you don’t know how it is to grieve a child, you don’t appreciate your kids the same. You complain about their attitudes, you long for breaks, and for them to grow up.  When you never get to see your child laugh or blink…you view your other children differently…You see them. I know I mentioned this in the previous post,  That was the one gift my Mary gave to her siblings, I see them. 

Last summer I read the book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert while we were at the family cabin in Montana.  In it there is a medicine man who is prophetic.  Most people who have read this book that I’ve talked to thought it was too slow, that the author was selfish. My sweet friend from Italy’s family thought she portrayed Italians as lazy.   But for where I was at I liked it, I just kept coming back to my own faith.  We were in the midst of trying to decide if Grace would have surgery for her Kidney condition and that was at the forefront of my mind. But while we were there I had the most intense and vivid dream I had had in recent years. The medicine man was there and I stood before him with Micah and Grace. I asked him if Grace would be ok, and he said Yes, she would have a long and happy life. But he said, “But you need to watch him(and pointed to Micah)he needs you to always have his medicine with him. Watch him.”  I woke up and woke Chris up.  Micah has had chronic croup for years, and we travel with an oral steroid…but it shook both of us.  Without going into more detail, I’ve had dreams that have come true…and few of them have been positive. 

And then we found this spot.  A lot of people have said, “It’s probably nothing.” But what keeps plaguing me is, What if it’s not?

I’ve heard, “It would be so rare.” But what if we are the rarity? Who I am to say that I’m above or it’s not going to happen to me.  My dear friend Kristy grieve’s her sister Amy. My dear friend Joan grieve’s her daughter Mary.  My bonus dad Papa John was the last person I would ever think would have salivary and  lung cancer he never smoked or chewed.  And really, normally I’m not the glass is half full person, but this month has broken me.  Between pneumonia, blood clots,  to the financially and emergency fund draining with water damage and having to replace our kitchen floor…yesterday. And now the not knowing. 

I am broken. 

It would be easy for me to lose faith right now.  In fact I’ve questioned my faith over and over, and in many ways I’m barely clinging.  But I’m clinging. Because I know that no matter what we are going to get through this, and we are going to pray and trust that God is going to be there.  And any of the lies I’ve heard that God hasn’t taken care of us, or that he abandoned us are just that…lies. 

My friend Amy gave me a quote today:

”Without somehow destroying myself in the process, how could God somehow reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me.” -Frederick Buechner

In a few hours I will sit with Micah as they take off the spot, I will hold him and comfort him.  And then we will wait while they biopsy it, and wait for a phone call.    I will hold my husband’s hand, and I will tell all of my kids how much I love them.  And I will cling, and wait for the result, and let God comfort me…because no matter what the results are, if they are nothing or something…No matter how broken I am, we will get through this.  Because regardless of this month, or what is to come I have no doubt I am blessed.  Broken? Yes, but definitely blessed.