Saturday, April 24, 2010

32 Wks, 5 Days: Silver Linings

Bedrest is horrible. I think I've made that abundantly clear. I cannot put into words the toll it has taken on not just me, but my entire family as well. But yesterday, as I was trying to cheer myself up, I came to the realization that some very positive things have come from this, too. Things that probably wouldn't have happened any other way.

I have actually had to slow down. And rest. Last summer, I caught pneumonia bad enough that it caused partial collapse of both lower lobes of my lungs. I had to miss some work and school, as I was in the hospital for a week. But as soon as I was released, I was back in full swing. My own illness was not enough to make me realize that I was pushing myself too much. But when the health of my unborn child hangs in the balance, I have no choice. I don't think anything else, barring (Heaven forbid!) E bcoming ill, could have made me do this.

I've actually spent the past 3 months of my life being with noone but my family. We take our moments with our loved ones completely for granted. In my hustle and bustle of school-to-work-to-school, I missed my boys. I knew I did, but I didn't realize how much I was missing until I was here with them, each and every day. For once, it is my signature on report cards and permission slips. I am the one who gets to help E with his math homework. I have the priviledge of hearing him come home from school and tell me all about his day, whether good or bad. I've been able to snuggle with him and read books or watch tv without worrying about what task it is that I am leaving undone. And J! We have spent the past few months being a couple again. Sure, it stinks that we can't do much more than talk--there are no trips to romantic restaurants or exciting "dates"-- but he has been here every step of the way. He reminds me daily of why I fell in love with him from the beginning.

And for the first time, I have been able to sit and reflect on what it is I truly want out of life. Free from the influence of my work or anyone else. And I've discovered that I really do love my career. I always thought that, while I love what I do, I wanted much more. While it is true that I will still want the higher degrees, because that is just my nature, I do not have to chase prestige and money to be fulfilled in that way. I can instead spend my efforts building on the foundation I have already established and still be just as happy.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. I would not call myself religious. Actually, the complete opposite is true of me. But I have always believed there is some force out there guiding us. I can honestly look back at the events of my life and come up with some positive life-altering result of even the worst crisis I have experienced. (And there have been quite a few, let me tell you!) The death of my mother rocked my world, but I can honestly say that I was forced to grow up, free from her coddling me, in a way I never would have otherwise. When Iwas told I had a brain tumor years ago, the scare was great enough to push me to pursue everything I wanted in life--returning to my hometown I had missed so much and finally going after the education I have always wanted. And when we lost everything during E's pregnancy, and I thought we would never bounce back? Well, that forced me to finally get the education needed to establish a career I love so much. Without it, I would have remained a college dropout for the rest of my life.

When I became pregnant this time, I knew in my mind that something was going to come from this. It was just too serendipitous. We used to want another, and had long since given up. I had not been on birth control for over 8 years, and it never happened. We were just about to pursue permanent birth control, anticipating the start of med school for me. Plus, I was so busy that I didn't even have time to do what it is one does to even become pregnant for months on end. (I will not permit myself to go into anymore detail than that. That would be....gross.) Yet still, in that tiny window of time, after 8 long years, I got pregnant. I just knew in my heart, once the feelings morphed from shock to disbelief to happiness, that Zachary would make a profound contribution to our lives. That he is here to fill some void we didn't even realize was there in the first place. For all I knew, he could grow up to contribute something amazing to medicine or society. But now???

Now, I'm starting to wonder. Is this Zachary's gift to me? I realize how horrible this sounds--children are not here for us, we're here for them. But seriously. Is this why he is coming to us? To force me to realize what I had been missing? To show me the true value and beauty of my family? To instill in me an appreciation for the life I have built for myself?


  1. You took the words right out of my mouth, but said it so much more eloquently, of course.

    You've inspired me to post on this very topic.

  2. Thanks! I don't know if Iwould call my random 3AM mutterings eloquent, but....LOL

    Can't wait to see your thoughs on this, too. I keep checking your blog, as I know anyday will be the big day for you! Almost there!