In everything, give thanks…

WINDY HILLS © Alessia Giangrande | Dreamstime.com

Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s usually the time we set aside to give thanks for all that we are grateful for. I’m sure there will be countless posts, tweets, and status updates about being thankful. Instead of giving you something standard or cliched about being appreciative and grateful, I want to share a story that is a bit more personal and is one of many things I’m grateful for.

My son is my first child. However, I’ve been pregnant twice, and my boy came of my second pregnancy. The first time was in 2007. It started off okay; there was some cramping, but I was told to expect that. My doctor set up an ultrasound to confirm my due date during my 9th week, which happened to fall on my golden/champagne birthday (I turned 27 on the 27th). So, I figured what better gift than to see those first images of this new life.

However, what was supposed to be just a regular ultrasound to confirm dates turned into an urgent situation when the doctor saw that the baby had implanted in my fallopian tube and not my uterus. I was admitted to the hospital and scheduled for emergency surgery. There was a range of emotions – from shock to hurt to confusion. But even in the midst of all the craziness, there were moments I could laugh at:

  • The woman who wheeled me over to pre-op and tried to sell us some body oil. My husband entertained her foolishness as she tried to tell us the many scents she had and would come find us during her break. (Hey, can’t knock her hustle)
  • My husband telling me after the fact that the medication used to sedate me before surgery made me completely incoherent. According to him, I was literally saying, “blah blah blah”
  • My husband innocently asking if the doctor could just go in and puff some air into my tube to shoot the baby into my uterus. The sound effect he made when he asked…oh, pure comedy.
  • And the winner of my Golden Birthday dramedy was walking out the bathroom door in the ultrasound suite to find an elderly man in a wheelchair looking right at me. This would not be an issue except for the fact that I wasn’t wearing pants. The bathroom was close and the tech told me it was okay to go without my pants on. His reaction? A loud and awkward “Unhhhhh!” I quickly hollered for my husband to get my pants, but the damage was already done — I just hoped I didn’t give the old man a heart attack.

Remembering the parts of the day that made me laugh is just one of the things I’m grateful for because it made that day easier to deal with. But even more than the laughs, I’m grateful that God spared me that day. Apparently, ectopic pregnancies are pretty painful, which indicates something is wrong. In my case, I had absolutely no pain and was therefore clueless to the danger I was in. That tube could’ve ruptured at any moment, which could’ve killed me. But God saw differently. It wasn’t my time. Plus, my appointment was in a hospital. Not a doctor’s office or a radiology center. This was not by chance, coincidence, or luck. This was God placing me in the right place at the right time. After the surgery, a nurse helped me to the bathroom and shared with me that she, too had a “baby in heaven.” That right there is one reason testimonies should be told, because her sharing that told me that I was not alone in my situation and my feelings. Her words were kind and motivating and I thank God for using that nurse to let me know I wasn’t alone.

My husband was amazing to me during this time. He never left my side. He made sure I took it easy. He didn’t rush me back to work. He prayed over me when a few days after returning home from the hospital, I was in so much pain from the cramping that I was in  tears. He gave me the space to deal with all that happened in my own time. We talked a lot about what it all meant. About God’s hand in all of it. It ultimately drew us closer.

A week after the surgery, the doctor told that me that I may have some trouble getting pregnant. The damage to my right tube was so bad that the surgeon had to remove it. He told me that I could experience another ectopic pregnancy, which could lead to either damage to or removal of the tube I had left. Getting news like that can go one of two ways. I could’ve gave in to defeat and allowed depression to overtake me. Threw up my hands and said, “Well, I guess I’ll never have kids. I’ve only got one tube left.”  However, Scripture says that “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) It also says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”(Colossians 3:2) I trusted that if God’s plan was to bless me with a child, I’d have one. That day came on October 1, 2008, when my son was born. Except for the worst acid reflux ever, the pregnancy itself was fine. (And yes, he had a head full of hair for anyone that believes in that old wives tale about heartburn during pregnancy)

The child God blessed me with is such a joy. Every morning when he wakes up he has the hugest smile on his face. He’s so happy to see his parents and exclaims, “Good morning!” with his arms outstretched. I often think if all of us could wake up like he does every day, what kind of condition would we be in mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Isn’t it amazing that even a three-year-old can teach you something?

I wanted to share this because every day I’m grateful. I know that I was and continue to be immensely blessed. Despite the obstacles and setbacks I’ve experienced, I am thankful for each day, a wonderful husband, and a amazing child. God’s still working on me and I expect His continuous blessings to fall on me and my family. Happy Thanksgiving and I wish you all peace and blessings.

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