So This Is Who He Was Talking About

This is Thomas, my baby.  Someday he will undoubtedly be taller and stronger and smarter than I am, but in my mind and heart he will always be this soft and squishy little snuggler.  We've been doing lots of snuggling lately.  He's transitioning from two naps a day to one, so he's spending some time each day feeling tired and irritated and just plain grumpy.  So we snuggle.  We get the binky out, we settle into the glider, and we snuggle while watching cartoons.  It helps us both keep our sanity.

I adore this little boy.  His little one year old body just melts into mine and our breathing settles into a familiar rhythm.  His skin is like satin.  He radiates warmth.  And his head...oh, the smell of his little boy head should be bottled.  I love to press my cheek to his soft hair and draw a deep breath...this is my son.  This is the one He was talking about.

Who who was talking about?  When?  Huh?

Let me explain...

In the winter of 2005, I started to have some strange physical symptoms that were scaring me.   I had crushing pain in my chest, breathlessness, fatigue.  After a while the crushing pain subsided into sort of a dull ache in my chest.  I wrote it off to maybe pulling a muscle while exercising because, you know, I work out SO often (ha).  But that's what I told myself.

In the back of my mind, I kept wondering if there was something major going on...but hey, I was 32 years young.  What were the odds?

I kept what was going on mostly to myself because I knew what my family would say.  They'd say exactly what I would say to them if the tables were turned - especially given the crud that floats in my family's genetic pool.  My own Daddy has heart disease, and endured a quadruple bypass when he was just 41 years old.  For Dad to have had that sort of buildup in his arteries by age 41, he surely had stuff quietly happening in his heart long before that.  Say...when he was 32...

And then there was that one night.  Luke was working late - I think he had clients in town and was out to dinner with them.  So I was home with my (then) 3 little ones.  And my left just HURT.  I couldn't identify any particular muscle or movement that was was just a radiating pain that started under my left collarbone.

So I did what anyone would do...I called my sister.

She's younger than I am...but not really.  She's wise, beautiful, strong - and has always been MUCH smarter than her older sister, the punk.  I love her to pieces.

AND she's a registered nurse.  Those nurses man, they are way underrated.  If you have a doctor who is disrespectful or dismissive of the nurses around them?  Find a different doctor.  But I digress...

I called Tiffany.  "I need nurse Tiffany right now, okay?"   "Okay" was her cautious response.  I could almost envision her putting on her little white nursing hat.   Not really - they don't do those silly little hats anymore, but I sort of wish they did so I could tease her about it (both my sisters actually...both nurses!  Can you believe it?)

I explained my symptoms to her and I waited for about 2 seconds for her to tell me that it was alright for me to just put my feet up and wait for Luke to come home.  But that message never came.

When I resisted the idea of going to the ER, she did what any good nurse and sister would do.  She threatened my very life.  It went something like "Get yourself in the ER right now, or I'll come over and drag you in myself."  I laughed.  She didn't.  

She's a tough broad...she could totally drag me pretty much anywhere she wanted.

Ack.  Dangit.  An ER trip?  Now?  I didn't want to go, but I knew I had to. 

So I called Luke away from his meeting.  He rushed home, and I rushed out.  We weren't thinking very clearly, obviously.  Note to self - if I ever have chest pain again have someone ELSE do the driving to the hospital!  Probably not all that wise to drive myself, but that's what I did despite my husband's desire to drive me.  I had to go NOW.  He had to stay with the kids.  I'd call from the ER as soon as I knew anything.  

I got in the car, and headed down the road.  It was an early December evening - pitch dark by about 7 PM.  It was eerily quiet and still.  It seemed that there was no one on the road but me.  The radio was off, there was just the sound of the running engine and my wildly busy thoughts.

I can still remember sitting at one intersection in particular - the dark and quiet corner of Victory and Overland.  You'd have thought it was 2 in the morning for how dark and quiet it seemed.  Or maybe I was just tuning everyone else out.  I was sitting at the stop light.  That red light seemed to almost pulse it's red light at me.  I was anxious to get going for fear that I'd chicken out and not go at all, but at the same time I was willing that light to stay red forever so that I didn't have to deal with bad news.

My mind was racing.  

Thoughts of fears, thoughts of practicality, prayers, emptiness - all swirled in my head at the same time.

Boy, I sure am glad I got that life insurance policy before this fiasco.  

Oh Lord, I don't want this to be happening.

What's that insurance policy worth?  Yeah, Luke could probably pay off the house and hire someone to come in and help with the house and kids for a couple of years.

I'm too young for this.  It must be imagination probably.  My arm is feeling better already.

I wonder how heart surgery compares to the pain of childbirth.  

Sammy is so young.  Man, she wouldn't even remember me.  At all.

Do we have the money for this right now?  Can't this wait until I can go to my normal doctor?

Ben and Clara - oh, they need me.  They'd miss me.  They'd feel the pain of my loss.  Oh Lord, I don't want my kids to have to go through that.

Luke - my precious Luke.  I finally found him, and now this?  Will he marry someone else?  Will someone else love my kids the way I do?  Is it even possible?  I want him to be happy and to not be alone...but the kids.  What about them?  He's a great daddy - he'll do what's right.  I have to remember to tell him that I want love for him.

Why are my hands shaking?  Is that a symptom of something?

Damn.  The other light is turning yellow.  Mine's gonna turn green soon.  Deep breath, Daiquiri.  Don't get in a car accident on top of all this.

In a year from now, will my children have their mommy?

In a year from now, will my husband be considering the idea of somehow moving on with his life?  

In a year from now, will my parents and sisters be visiting me in a place I really don't want to be?

And then, to no one in particular...What does this year hold for us?

That's when it happened.  I was thinking my most unimaginable worst case scenario.  I was feeling completely alone and lost and fearful.  And then He spoke.  He spoke in that still small voice that is almost like a thought of my own...but where did that thought come from?  I know that voice - that's not mine.  And this time?  It was almost audible.  If I wasn't so overcome with stillness and peace, I would have whipped my head frantically to see if I could SEE where that voice was coming from, even though I already knew.

He said, "Daiquiri, my sweet, this year holds another baby for you."

WHAT?!?  Don't get me wrong - I loved the idea, but where did THAT come from?!  I was thinking death and pain and suffering and loss and fear and all other things horrible.  A baby was certainly not even the tiniest of blips on my crazy little radar at that moment.  And He answers my rhetorical question with NEW LIFE.

Sheesh.  Only Him, ya know?

My light turned green, and I drove.  My thoughts were quiet (except for the occasional "did I really hear that, or am I crazy?").  I was not afraid.  

Oh boy, this story could get really long.  I don't know though - you're probably not all that interested in every single little poke and prod that I endured that night and in the following weeks.  

Let's just say that if you ever want IMMEDIATE and thorough care in the ER, simply walk in the door and utter the words "chest pain".  Wheelchair...pokes...monitors...15 different people....a million questions.  I was thinking someone would take a quick listen with a stethoscope, but I got a whirlwind of every imaginable test instead.  Thorough is good, I guess.

They didn't find anything frightening in the ER that night, but I was referred to a cardiologist.  That good man put me on a very steep and fast treadmill, and monitored my heart while they kicked my butt.  I failed the treadmill test.  It looked like there was something wrong.  

Fear.  Nightmares.  Doubt - did I hear what I thought I did?

At the time, Sammy was just 13 months old and I was still happily nursing her.  But the next test they needed to do involved injecting a radioactive dye into my blood so that they could get a better look at my heart.  Unless I wanted my little Sammy to start glowing in the dark, I had to find another way to feed her for about 4 weeks.  I decided to wean her instead.

I wasn't ready for any of this.  I wasn't ready for this test.  I wasn't ready to wean my baby.  I wasn't ready to get bad news.  I wasn't ready to be begging for my very life in my prayers every 3 minutes.

The test came back just fine.  There was nothing wrong with my heart.  

A month and a half later, I learned that I was pregnant.

A year after driving myself to the ER one dark and scary night, I had a my sweet little 3 month old Thomas Robert.

I still look at him as my little ray of hope - my promise.  My evidence that I'm not crazy and that the voice I heard that night was exactly Who I thought it was.  And every now and then as I watch my little boy run around the house, chase the dog, throw the ball, torment his big sister...I think : 

This little boy was in the Plan long before he was here.  This little boy was meant to be.  This little boy is exactly who He was talking about.

Lisa  – (5/14/2009 12:54:00 PM)  

OH MY GOSH! Daiq-thanks for sharing this story!!!

Anonymous –   – (5/14/2009 01:44:00 PM)  

I could read the things you write all day long. Just like Jennifer I'm crying...Thank you for sharing this story!

aknaturegirl  – (5/14/2009 03:28:00 PM)  

You are amazing! And always so inspirational. I am in awe of all you give despite your own busy life. I am glad to call you my friend (and tutor ;-)

Craig and Bethany  – (5/14/2009 05:47:00 PM)  

Oh man, got tears in my eyes. I love it when you tell a story. The silhouette of God is stunning.

Love the reflection in the clock in the last pic too. :)

Leigha  – (5/14/2009 07:17:00 PM)  

Wow! I loved this!!
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous –   – (5/14/2009 09:26:00 PM)  

Very good! I knew the ending but it was very intersting reading it.


Amy Krupinski  – (5/14/2009 10:54:00 PM)  

You have some amazing testimonies. We have an amazing God! And you are a wonderful testimonier ;)

Jessica  – (5/15/2009 08:15:00 AM)  

God is Awesome! And so are're getting to be the way I start my day.

Rachel Beran  – (5/17/2009 01:55:00 PM)  

Came over here to your blog from Becky's blog. So glad I did!

I have a little boy who is 2 years old. I could absolutely relate with and was touched by the things you wrote about him.

The whole story captivated me...very raw and real emotions that you expressed so vividly.

God speaks to us in such beautiful remarkable gifts! Thanks for sharing this story.

Welcome!  – (5/19/2009 02:59:00 PM)  

Stunningly beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm glad God is in the heart business.

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