Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Mother's Thoughts

Everyone gets nostalgic around Christmas. Mother's get nostalgic on their children's birthday. For me, that's the same time. See, today is Jack's 4th birthday and I thought I would write his story here. This story is for you, but it's also for me. I like to remember............

It really all started Christmas 2004. Joe and I had been married 2 years and we still had not started our family. We were at my Grandmother's house and of course, family was asking "when?". "When?" You don't ask a woman who has been trying for over a year, "when?". You don't ask a man who has already seen a specialist and done all their tests, "when?". That simple word can spark tears. And, I cried. We shared our struggle. Not a new struggle to our family, as my cousin also had battled "when?" and the doctors came back with the answer "never". As we were walking out to our car that night, my family laid hands on us and prayed for a family that would be pleasing to God. I'll let you absorb that for a second.

I continued on with the doctor's tests. Joe was cleared, so the "problem" must lie with me. The last test they wanted to do was to inject me with dye and see where the dye would go; IF it could go. I broke down in tears (again) and told them that I didn't want to continue. I sat in my car in the parking lot, sobbing. Sobbing. I couldn't even start the engine. Sobbing, and praying. Lord, I want YOU to get the glory. I don't want the doctors to get the glory. I dried my tears and went home; verified that I was not pregnant.

One month later.............. I got pneumonia. I was so tired. I couldn't walk from the couch to the refrigerator to feed myself. Joe had his father fly in from El Paso to take care of me. He made my meals and drove me to my doctors appointments. He was (and is) so sweet. A friend came over to bring some soup and took one look at me. She said, "you're pregnant". I said no, that I just had pneumonia. She suggested that I take a test before my next chest xray. hmmmm, come to think of it, am I pregnant? I had just spent the last 19 months counting days, taking temperatures, buying umpteen pregnancy tests. Could I........? hmmm. But, I was way too sick to go to the store to buy a test.

Yep, you guessed it. Joe's dad. Picture this: a 70 year old man, with broken English, walks into Walgreens and asks where the pregnancy tests are located. I can only imagine what the lady must have been thinking. Oh, and when I asked him to get me one, he said, "they make tests for that?". So cute.

Well, since I am writing this story, you can probably figure out what the test revealed. WE WERE PREGNANT! After all this time! Did the doctors make it happen? No! God gets all the glory. When I finally gave up my control, God gave me the greatest gift; motherhood.

However, the story doesn't end there. You have to hear the delivery story, as I think it's pretty funny.

Oh, and by the way, it was the most beautiful 9 months of my life. Never sick. Glowed from head to toe. The world's cutest belly. And I could eat all that I wanted. Oh to be pregnant again.............

I was speaking to a friend, who just happened to be pregnant at the same time, about delivery. I was joking around saying that I need an aspirin for a papercut, and that I would definitely need drugs for delivery. I am so glad that she gave me the Bradley Method book. There was so much about my own body that I didn't even know. If you don't know, the Bradley Method teaches women how to work with their body during labor to deliver naturally. Beautifully. The way God intended.

Sarah, my super good friend, agreed to be my doula. She had taken time off work at Jack's due date, so that she could be with me. Well, we all know about due dates, right? You might as well give due months, instead of due days. His due date came and went. Sarah had to return to work, in Yosemite. In winter. When snow can close the one and only road out. Come to think of it, snow could close the only road out of Oakhurst too. hmmm.

December 23, our church had a Christmas carol event. We went to church that night and sang Christmas carols for hours, while sipping hot chocolate. It was so much fun. Sarah came home with us, but had to return to work on Christmas day. Three am I woke up with a BIG contraction. When you are pregnant for the first time, you keep wondering, how will I know? What does a contraction feel like? Let me tell you, I KNEW! I quietly went to the living room to do my meditation. I kept track of the times and intensities. At eight am, I went into Sarah's room to tell her that today was the day. She was already awake. She had been laying in there, praying for me, since six am. And she didn't even know that just through the wall, on the other side, I was already in labor.

We woke up Joe, to let him get prepared. What were the first words out of his mouth? "Today?! I have to go Christmas shopping today." Well, you're having a baby today. Don't get me started.

I continued to labor and track at home for a few more hours. Sarah was wonderful. Joe read the newspaper.

When we felt is was time, we drove down the hill to the hospital, about one hour away. At first, they didn't want to keep me. I told them that I was not driving back up into the snow. I was staying put in the waiting room if I had to. Funny thing. I got a room right away.

Again, Sarah and I made a wonderful team. I had my relaxing nature sounds music. We breathed. We visualized. She fed me ice chips. Joe read the newspaper. There must have been some good news that day. I wouldn't know, as I never got around to the paper that day. Every time he turned the page, he had to rattle it real loud. Uggg. Sarah nicely suggested that he go get some coffee.

When he brought the coffee back, he slurped it so loud. Every sip. I'm trying to get in the zone, here! I'm visualizing my cervix opening, here! Sarah suggested Joe go to Home Depot. Ahhh, peace and quiet.

Soon after, I got the feeling to push. Sarah called Joe to come back. It was time! An hour later, he strolls in. Folks, the Home Depot is across the street from the hospital. And what does he say, "she hasn't had the baby yet?! See, I know I should have walked around the store one more time." Anyone else getting the feeling that my husband is uncomfortable in this situation?

One hour later, Jack Isaiah Rodriguez is born. Naturally. Beautifully. With all glory to God. On Christmas Eve, 2005. Remember how my family laid hands on me at Christmas? Jack was born within that year. Glory to God.

"“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high." 1 Samuel 2:1

where Glory meets my suffering