No news yet. We are seeing signs that things are getting ready. Patty has also been having some braxton hicks, so we feel our time has almost come. What I do have to offer is a reflection of some sorts. No news, just my thoughts before the big day...read if you wish...
As the time approaches I can’t help but offer a reflection on what goes through a father’s mind before his baby enters the world. This is normally a time that is completely focused on the mother and as well it should be. A mother can do things that a father just cannot. A mother has just spent the last nine months showing strength and courage that only a mother can muster up.
Our story is slightly different than most but at the same time it is the same as those other stories. When we first found out that we were having a baby we were ecstatic and almost didn’t believe it. We had been trying to conceive for almost two years with no luck. We were so nervous that we would go out of our way to make sure Patty did nothing strenuous in fear that we would somehow become un-pregnant. With that came all the planning, dreaming, and fun in telling others that our lives we about to change forever. Everything appeared to take on a new spin. You could instantly say “this time next year we’ll be walking the baby around” or “bringing a baby to the grocery store with you.” This appears to only be done with a first child since the ones that follow are carried with a more of a been there done that attitude. But with this being our first it seamed fit to get all wrapped up in the excitement. I have always said that it is good to get excited about stuff. It is healthy. That is why we were put here. To enjoy everything that God has given us and to truly be excited for it. What could be more precious than caring for a child, be it from birth, adoption, or even just babysitting. At first I felt guilt that I was making the baby one of the most important things in my life. I was disappointed in myself for not doing more to help others. I felt self centered and selfish. After some soul searching and praying, I realized that I was supposed to make this child my focus. My wife and family are supposed to be my world. I knew that God had chosen me to be a husband and a father, and that I can be called to help others at the same time.
When we received news about halfway into our pregnancy that our baby had a serious defect it was like someone had just punched me in the stomach. The excitement and joy that had surrounded us for the past 20 weeks had just been violently murdered. It had been replaced by intense feelings of fear which led to sadness and anger. The time between our initial diagnosis and our official visit with the area specialist was only a week but it could have been a year. It was one of the saddest weeks in my life.
I have always been a very positive person. I don’t like negativity. I don’t like focusing on all the bad things that life brings. I couldn’t help but fall into that trap. It wasn’t until we started sharing the news with others that I took ownership of it and started to turn things around. There was point where I decided that there was not going to be one more negative thought. Not one more ounce of doubt. Every part of me was going to be dedicated to positive thinking and taking care of my growing family. There was no room for fear or sadness. Sure, some days are harder than others, but from that point on there was to be no more negativity.
With that change of mind and spirit it was as if everything exciting had been let back in. Now it may sound crazy, but I could argue that having a baby born with CDH is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Regardless of the outcome, I have been changed, and I feel for the better. We will never take this baby for granted. We skipped that mode. We are already fighting for him or her. I have learned just how fast time does fly and that Gumdrop will be graduating from high school before I know if I am not careful. To let me know that she was pregnant Patty gave me a Willow Tree figurine of a pregnant woman. The name of the figure is Cherish. I have learned that you should cherish every day. You never know what is around the corner. The things in life that are really important have been made crystal clear to me. Love is so much stronger than anger and hatred, but it is sometimes much harder to spread. This journey has also brought me closer to Patty. I am convinced that we are closer because of the struggles we have gone through together.
It has also strengthened my relationship with God. I am not one to be holier than thou or push faith on others, but it has become evident just how much we need our Lord in our everyday lives. I have never prayed more or harder than I have in the past few months. It is amazing how the Lord works and I truly believe that I was intended to travel this path.
I wish everyone could go through this experience. Of course I do not wish CDH or any other disease on anyone especially a child. But I wish that everyone could have the life changing experience that I have had. I hope and pray that you take your struggles and hardships and turn then into ways to grow and triumph. Choose the power of positive thinking and love whenever you can. If you have figured this out already, I am slow and needed this to wake me up. If you have children or young people in your family, kiss them and hug them and cherish every moment. They are truly an extension of God’s love here on Earth.
Thank you again for the prayers and positive comments. We are so blessed. It won’t be long now!