The Gift of Life!

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She always knew she should never have had a baby ……… she looked down on this tiny life. The tiny fingers curled around her finger through the opening of the incubator and tears just rolled down her cheek as the nurse walked briskly into the room. “She probably won’t live more than 72 hours” the nurse said abruptly, “she just can’t breathe on her own”…each statement piercing her heart! The nurse adjusted the tubes that are feeding and breathing life into this tiny body and walks out of the room just as she had come, quickly! After all there were other babies to look after!

It was her fault she concluded, after all she knew she was going to be a horrible Mother. It didn’t matter that the doctor who read the ultra sound misread it and that the baby was taken to early(6 weeks to early), she still felt that she should have known better. God could never really give a terrible person like her a baby to care for……..she knew nothing about babies in the first place……and then she had 2 babies in 13 months and it was almost to much to bear when you know that you are going to be a terrible mother…..there was not one thing in her life that she could see that led her to a place where children were in her picture. The only thing that she felt she was ever good at was looking after her animals……..cat’s, dogs, horses, bunnies, goats…..you name it she had it…..but babies & children…well that was an entirely different story…..!
Both babies were delivered by cesarean section and she had to go under general anesthesia for both because of complications with delivery with the first one and the second one was planned because it was just easier that way(or so she had originally thought)…….. so, she did not get to experience the
first breath of her babies, or their first cry…..when she finally did get to hold her babies she was in awe of this new life given to her……but she just didn’t feel anything really…..she expected overwhelming mothering instincts to take over when her babies were born but nothing happened…..no feelings of joy…….no natural instincts kicked in as far as she could tell……..she was a failure at breast feeding because she did not have enough milk for her first baby….he was colicky too and so there was very little sleep…..and just as she had finally got her son settled into a routine & sleeping more through the night because of the formula she put him on, she was pregnant again. Morning sickness began again but this was not normal morning sickness……this was morning, noon & night sickness…..more came out than stayed in kind of sickness……then she developed bronchitis and she didn’t have a choice but to ask for some help…..moving during her 7th month of her pregnancy didn’t help much either……and now a sick little girl was born to her……was God punishing her? Maybe because she was not happy when she discovered that she was pregnant both times….. God was punishing her for her bad attitude…..after all babies are gifts from God aren’t they? So why did she feel so bad? She spent day after day in the hospital with her sick little girl, pumping milk so they could feed her the milk through a tube……she watched from a distance as the doctors came and went….mostly not saying anything to hopeful just in case something went wrong……always saying that it would be a month before they would even consider letting her go home……..
The improvements came slowly…….first the baby started breathing on her own……a few days later she was off tube feeding and was breast feeding fairly well……..then came a horrible day when she walked into the ICU nursery and found the nurse, the same nurse who told her her baby would die, feeding her baby with a bottle, and feeding her another ladies breast milk……..and then life as she knew it fell apart……..it was only holding on by a thread in the first place……..someone was trying to tell her “oh it’s not that big of a deal” …… poo pooing her tears………but it was a big deal………a very big deal……..in incubator next to her baby was a crack addicted baby whose mother was pumping milk for her baby too…….what would happen if her baby got that milk? Or worse, what if that Mother had AIDS? The hospital administration acted quickly and send a Psychiatrist to the room to help calm her and tried to reassure her that the milk her baby received was fine but nothing could stop the flow of tears…….and she demanded to have her baby released…….she was being unreasonable in the Hospital’s viewpoint……..the baby was still not breathing without extra oxygen……..the nurse was put on leave so this highly irrational mother would not have to see her……..but by the next day after much persuasion from an insistent husband who threatened to sue the hospital, the baby was being released from the hospital on strict orders to bring the baby in for daily monitoring of her vitals and oxygen levels……..Finally she arrived home……emotionally exhausted…..still physically weak from the cesarean………she had to ask for help again……she just couldn’t cope with it all………and within a day of her being home she developed a really bad case of mastitis and the little amount of milk she did have for her second baby just dried up……no amount of pumping brought the milk back……and the formula she used to try to feed the baby the baby had an allergic reaction to and kept very little of it down………she was a terrible mother……nothing she did was right…..Why would God give 2 babies to someone like that? Why didn’t she have any natural mothering instinct? When was she going to feel the joy of having her babies? She was raised in a Christian home and it just didn’t seem right that none of these things were falling into place…..Where was God? Life became a routine where you got up and somehow made it through the day….she was so caught up in her own self pity that the miracle and the gift of her children was taken for granted although she did try her best to care for her young family it just never seemed like she felt fulfilled………when would she ever be happy?

I’m sure that by now you have probably figured out that this story is about me…..This was almost 14 years ago…..I went through a real crisis of faith and postpartum depression….& after many counseling sessions I came to realize that God never makes mistakes, and He didn’t make one in giving me children…..they were a gift from a God who loved me enough not to let me stay selfish! I grew up when I had my children, they have taught me so much about faith, about love and most importantly that even though I am not a perfect mother, I am a perfect mother for them! I had to let go of several misconceptions…..one being that I would suddenly “feel” motherly……I had to learn the hard way that feelings are fleeting and I had to sometimes do things that didn’t feel right but were the right thing to do…..
the feelings would come in time….
…..failure is just a stepping stone to success….
I would never trade my children for anything now……..but……I still cry at those commercials where the women is taking a pregnancy test and is eagerly awaiting the results and when it shows positive and she shares the exciting news with her husband and they hug with joy. I wish I could have experienced those feelings instead of the dread I felt when I realized I was pregnant both times ……I didn’t get to experience planning to get pregnant and the excitement that comes with it and I didn’t get to witness their first breath or their first cry……but something I am realizing is that God in his infinite wisdom chose me for these children he knew I needed them and they needed me…..through their life I am learning to live…..really live with Joy & Purpose.
That is God’s gift of life to me!
Brandon is nearly 15 now and full of life & Cassandra is now nearly 14 years old and is a beautiful, vivacious young lady…God has been so good to me!
Enjoy these pictures with me and a short walk down memory lane…..

Cassandra at 8 months old
My little Princess ready for church @ 18 months
Brandon & Cassandra when Brandon was 3 and Cassandra was 2……they are still very close!
My daughter and I a year and a half ago…..she is the Joy in my life……my son is the humor in my life…..both are amazing children…..I think they are growing up to be amazing individuals by the grace of God!
* Please note…this is my disclaimer….this story was extremely difficult to share as I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and re-living some of those feelings and how I have failed my children on so many levels still disturbs me to this day but, I am a work in progress…..I am on a journey….the end destination is to be with Jesus when he will finally say to me “well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”. I can hardly wait for that day!

This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Art Bookbindery, “Empowering Writers to Self Publish.”
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24 thoughts on “The Gift of Life!

  1. Crystal…you are such a brave woman. You are so open (even when it might feel strange). That is such a wonderful thing to share. There are too many of us women who keep thing bottle up inside and say, “Look at me. I’ve got it together.” Yet inside we feel like an inadequate little girl. You’re story wasn’t just touching. It was reach-down-and-rip-out-the-strings-to-my-heart touching. I haven’t been reading your blog long, but I do know that you are an incredible woman. And I know God looks down and smiles big on you, girl. You have made Him a proud Papa! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and life.

  2. Thank you for such honesty. Your story made me cry because look at what joy those children have brought you. Maybe not at first to you, but look at all of this now. Not only are you the perfect mom for them, but they are the perfect children for you. I had similar feelings as you with my second child. I hope a new mom in your position will read this so she can find some peace through knowing she’s not alone. Thanks again for sharing!

  3. WOW! What a story. As if I haven’t shed enough tears in these past couple of days, you thought that I needed to shed more. Well you cried with me yesterday so I can cry with you today. What are friends for.

    Love you
    Darla

  4. Thanks for sharing the story. How early was your daughter born?
    Crystal, don’t feel like you have given your children the raw end of the stick. You are growing in the Lord and in your role as mother and wife. Yur kids love you and as long as you keep striving to grow they will see this, and not the failure you think they may see. Jesus loves you!

  5. Hey Crystal,
    Wow, I enjoyed reading that and I know your story will be an encouragement and reassurance to many people.

    Women are not all cut with the same emotions and reactions and instincts.

    I get flack sometimes for having no desire to bear my own children. I’m sure I will have maybe one, but I would very happily skip the entire pregnancy.

    But my parents already know they are probably going to have grandchildren that aren’t neccesarily be from their gene pool.

    And that’s ok. We are all called to different experiences.

    Jocelyn, my Adrian cousin, is another mother that I love talking to because she’s just so real and down to earth about her feelings of mothering.

    These will be the perks of having children in my 30’s – I will have much broader and realistic expectations because of the honest stories from a variety of real women.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of all my children. It is a hard, hard, thing to go through. I’m so glad we both came out victorious!

  7. wow! What a story you have! I have been really enjoying reading everyone’s entries for the CWO contests. Thanks for sharing!

    Ali

  8. oh Crystal, I can relate so much to what you wrote.. though I’m somewhat still in the middle of it due with #4 (out of 7 pregnancies).. so slightly different, but a lot of the same… it is amazing what God knows to be right and what we think is right.. hugs and prayers.
    You are a beautiful woman!

  9. Isn’t it amazing how we allow ourselves to feed into hysterics instead of leaning on the Lord for guidance. We KNOW he is there, waiting, and yet, yadayadayada. I hope one day I can be as strong as you obviously are.

  10. Oh, I just want to hug you.
    I’ve never been through anything like tht, but I KNOW that you are not the only one and I want to really encourage you to keep on sharing, because there are so many women out there who need to hear this story.

  11. What a beautifully honest and poignant story. May you be blessed with peace and confidence in the LORD…the One who gave you these dear gifts….because He loves you! He knows each day of your life….(Psalm 139)…and would not have sent these sweet children to you if it had not been His will! God Bless you for loving them…and for your gratitude to the Giver of life!

    Praise Him for the miracle of your little girls life…and the work He has done in your life.

    Diane

  12. Wow…..I had no idea that was a part of your story…..
    It’s amazing how children are such a blessing from the Lord, and how the enemy has done such a good job at perverting it, to the point where a lot of people don’t even want to have kids, because they have all these unrealistic expectations that are simply NOT from God. It seems that no matter how much you try to not have expectations, you just do, and they’re always let down. Well-meaning people step in and try and make it better, but there’s nothing anyone can say to a mother who feels inadequate, only God can minister to those wounds. I can relate to a small part of your story. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I was 16, as you can imagine, no one was pleased. Even the birth and bringing her home was tainted, by the surrounding circumstances of a teenage mom, it’s just not the way God intented it to be. When my hubby and I would talk about having kids I would get scared, because the only experience I had to relate it to was awful. The only one who could convince me otherwise was God. Even if in your head, you can reason that what you’re thinking is wrong, it still doesn’t make the feelings any less real and painful.
    I can not imagine having two unplanned pregnancies back to back. It’s amazing how God has a different plan for each of us, and how His was carried out. He wanted somuch more of your heart, and used this experience to get to the deep parts of you. This is such a faith story Crystal! How you came out on the other side recognizing God’s will for your life, how He calmed your fears. I swear, if God actually showed us what our walk would look like, none of us would walk it we’d be too terrified! He doesn’t show us where He’s leading us, but He assures us that He’ll be with us. Your story testifies to that. Thank you for sharing. You’ve stirred something in me to reflect on what God brought me through….

  13. You are so amazing to make it through all those trials. I can just see God saying “Well done my good and faithful servant”. I also know he gave you these kids cause he knew that with his help you could make it through the trials. You obviously love your children very much. Wouldn’t you say that is better than planned pregnancies, first cries, and breast feeding in a family with no love? So sorry about the crabby nurse. And so glad you tried to do something about her. If more people would do that all that would be left are the Florence Nightingales!

  14. Thanks for sharing your story, its really moving to see, how God carries through and makes a blessing out of everything.

    Love the motto you chose for you blogger profile!

    Thanks for coming over to my blog,
    Helen

  15. Crystal, you are such a beautiful blessing, and those children are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing that awesome story!

  16. I’m sorry that was so hard to share! Many women need to know that they are not alone in feeling like that. Brave women like you telling it like it is will help others to get through the dark times in their lives.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  17. Thanks for your story. I didn’t exactly wanted my first baby, and it took me a couple of months to really be in love with him. Then we tried for an other one, but it didn’t work, until the timing was so bad that we decided NOT TO get pregnant… I feel relieved to know I’m not the only one who looks back at pregnancy as a being bitter sweet memory. Thank you! 🙂

    By the way… I’d do it all over again! It took a little while, but I love them both very much!

  18. What a great story Crystal!! Thanks so much for sharing!
    I can relate to some of what you said. Thanks for your honesty!!

  19. Thank you for sharing such a difficult time in your life! You are not alone and I am sure that you will bring comfort and hope to many experiencing this same thing. God Bless you for taking this risk, you will be blessed!

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