Feeble Knees

Friday, January 20, 2006

One Year Ago

Can I even really remember what life was like before Bug?

It's been over a year now since Bug came into being. We had decided it was time to try to have a family. We had no idea how long it might take, or whether or not we'd be able to. Since we were married, we've made many choices and decisions with an eye towards having kids someday. We never really entertained the idea that wouldn't be able to have any. We knew it was theoretically possible - that happens to a lot of people. And we had no way of knowing if we'd be one of them.

Months before I'd gone for physical to make sure I was in good health. I requested a test to determine whether or not I was a carrier for a genetic disease that runs in my family. If I tested positive (I did) we planned to have Mr. F tested. It was a long wait while we waited for his test results. During that time we asked oursevles many "what ifs". What if we both had the defective gene? Could we gamble with one in four odds? What if we gambled and our child lost, and was born facing a lifetime of drug therapy, maybe even lung transplants, perhaps even the possibility of not outliving his parents?

It was never a thought in my mind to have an abortion, which is why I wanted to know ahead of time whether or not we both had the disease-causing genes. My reasoning, at the time, was that if we knew there was a one in four chance any child we conceived would have this deadly disease, then I would probably opt not to have children. I didn't think I could go through it. Mr. F took a different view however, and I was blown away (and a little humbled) to learn how much more faith he had than I. He was still willing to try, no matter what, and let the chips fall where they may.

It dawned on me then that I had some trust issues with God. I didn't trust Him to see to it that our baby wasn't born with this disease. After all, my nephew was born with it. Why should I assume God would protect me and my child from this defect when my brother's family wasn't? I know He doesn't work that way.

I also didn't trust Him on the grounds that I feared He'd allow something like that into my life so that I would learn greater dependence on Him. What skewed thinking, eh? Ah, but you see I know that does happen sometimes. And I was afraid God would decide that a little humbling was just what I needed.

He was probably pretty disappointed in my line of thinking. And I'm a little ashamed to admit that's how I was thinking. But so it was.

Mr. F tested negative for the gene and we decided to give the green light to baby making. The first month I swore I was pregnant and was devastated to find that I wasn't. The devastation was really remarkable. I never thought I'd ever want a baby that much, and here I was, crying my eyes out over multiple negative test results.

The next month, January, I was convinced I wasn't pregnant. I wasn't even going to use the one last remaining test I had on hand. I was going to save it for the next month. It couldn't possibly have happened. But then strange things started happening to me, like absentmindedness and an inexplicably intense thirst. What I was sure couldn't be was in fact so.

And so Bug's been throwing me curves ever since.

Looking at him now - he just woke from a beautiful little nap - he's so much more than I ever could have anticipated a year ago. Many of my fears back then were unfounded, and I had no way to imagine the joy and incredible depth of feelings that awaited me. Some of the things I worried about then seem so silly now, like giving birth itself. I should have worried more about what came after, and my ability to cope with it.

Every day of the three hundred and sixty five since Bug came into being has brought a new discovery - about him, about myself, Mr. F, our families, God, and what we all mean to each other. I don't think like I used to, and boy oh boy I don't feel like I used to - physically or emotionally. It's almost like being spiritually reborn, in some ways. Life is dearer, more miraculous, less ordinary, less uncertain. Some choices are a no-brainer, others are harder. There are questions on top of questions and the stakes are suddenly higher.

The biggest change of all, and the biggest similarity to the experience of being reborn spiritually, is the complete recognition and awareness of the fact that my life is no longer my own, that I am not hanging out here by myself to fulfill my own wishes and wants. Only when you have a child, it becomes even more instinctive to think of some one else's greater good before your own. You don't have to work at it so much as it just happens. That is a gift of grace from God, I'm sure of it.

Not sure how to end this post. Bug keeps pulling my attention from it, else it would have been posted much earlier today. Just needed to mark the time past and remind myself how far we've come, and how fast the weeks and months flew. Wonder what things will be like a year from now?

I can't even guess.
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