I have been thinking a lot lately about how to make my blog more meaningful to the world. Yes I share bits and pieces of my personal life, I share my religious beliefs, and I share my family. It allows me to keep an online journal in a sense and remember the defining moments of my life. If you have ever met me you know that I like awkward first encounters. I love to start conversations with people who I have never met and within five minutes I have heard their entire life story and we become best friends and I need to send them an invitation to my wedding. It is something that I have enjoyed. Every time I come across a new “life story” my heart grows just a little bit more. I try to put myself in their shoes and realize I can’t imagine even a fraction of what they are going through. I realize that we are all our own unique individual and that we will all have different ups and downs in this life. Hearing these stories make me a better person. I learn of such happiness, growth, and the knowledge that there is a greater being out there. Humanity has such good in it amongst the darkness and it is rarely highlighted. I want to highlight that and share it with my readers. I have gone out into the cyber world and found people I have known for a life time or spent 5 minutes with and have asked them to share their stories with me. I gave them no limits, no strict instructions, just to share “Their Story,” what has defined them, what happy moments they have experienced, and what kindness they have felt. I didn’t ask for my writers to add religion, but many have. No matter the religion, these stories are worth reading. Take a moment to find the story that is buried deep in someones soul, allow yourself to learn from those around you.
Post One: The People I Find: Whitney
I am so glad Whitney was willing to share this on my blog. She is such a strength to so many. If you read this, send prayers her way for her and her little family! For more on Whitney and her journey check out her blog here. This post was written while she was on bed rest.
Whitney’s Unknown Story
As the chaos and uncertainty of an unexpected hospital admission has winded down, I have found myself alone with my thoughts as I sit in the bed to which I have been confined. Almost two weeks ago, when I was 22 weeks, 6 days pregnant, my water broke unexpectedly with huge, embarrassing gushes of fluid down my legs at Wal-Mart.
I went to the hospital in hopes that I had just peed my pants and would have a great story to tell this kid one day. Unfortunately, my membranes had ruptured prematurely making the story I would tell him much different from what I could have imagined.
I will tell my son how much I loved and yearned for him even before I knew him. How his Dad and I did extensive fertility treatments off and on for years trying to just be pregnant with him. I will tell him that September 26, 2013 was one of the happiest, most frightening days of my life as the doctor told me the treatment had worked and he was growing in me—just tiny cells, but alive and well.
I’ll explain to him how the ultrasound which showed his tiny peanut form was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and that I could have listened to the strong pitter-patter of his heart for days. I’ll tell him how I carried the ultrasound picture with me for weeks, so excited to be a mom.
He’ll know that each day, at least ten times a day, for 18 weeks, I retched to the point of broken blood vessel s on my face; how thrilled I was to have a very physical sign that I was pregnant. I’ll tell him about the time I craved chicken strips during a night shift and how they ended up in a patient’s garbage can after being projected violently out my nose and mouth.
I will tell my boy how feeling him kick, turn, and wiggle inside me made me made me teary and blissfully happy and I couldn’t wait to get a big belly to show off (I’m still waiting for it).
I’ll tell him that when my water broke, I was terrified and sick about the fact I might lose him. The NICU nurse in me battled with the desperate mother in me when it came to making the hard decisions of treatment we faced.
I’ll explain how the first few days in the hospital were critically scary. The many medicines I was given to protect his brain and help his lungs mature made me really sick and my whole body ache. The nurses had to take my vital signs, check my reflexes, and monitor my son every hour for almost two days. While no one was able to sleep, we had no problem worrying about him.
He’ll understand how precious he is when he knows how many hundreds of kind, lovely people prayed for us, fasted in our behalf, and selflessly served us. How I felt strength and comfort beyond my own capacity because of those around us.
I will tell him that while I was so willing to be on bed rest to stay pregnant and help him grow, I had really hard days that I spent sobbing and wishing I could rewind and do things differently.
I’ll tell my son how reading and singing to him during his non-stress tests were the highlights of my day and how his non-typical accelerations in heart rate made me so proud. The nurses and doctors praised our son for his stubborn attitude and fighting spirit.
He’ll understand how much his Dad loves us because of the way he balanced work, things at home, and making time to be at the hospital every single day. Our boy won’t remember how he kicked like crazy when his Dad was near, but I’ll always have the memories of soft guitar lullabies, the three of us snuggling on my tiny hospital bed, and Ben getting teary when he would have to leave us for work.
He’ll know, as I do, that our being a family was no accident. I feel like I already know my little boy and he knows me even though we have yet to officially meet. I think our son chose us to be his parents and I am so grateful.
I will tell him how each day I stayed pregnant with him, we thanked the Lord and counted our lucky stars. Each night when I’d snuggle into bed, I was filled with gratitude for another day—another 24 hours I could give my son to grow and thrive inside me.
Most importantly, I’ll try to help him understand it was all worth it and for him, I would do it again. From the daily, burning fertility shots to weeks of lonely, soul crushing bed rest; it has been a hideously beautiful journey that I would start all over tomorrow if I had to. Yes, there are days I feel super picked on and I ask myself “why” at least once an hour, but I have learned so much.
I am stronger and more capable than I realized. I will fight for all I’m worth, even when the odds are against me. I guess in that regard, my son and I are very much the same.
Thank You Whitney!
Since this was written, Whitney delivered the baby via c-section after developing an infection. The little guy made his debut at 1 pound, 12 ounces and is 13 inches long, they named him Jude and he yawned yesterday!