Yesterday was my son’s first day at school. He was so excited. As were most of the kids and all of the parents! LOL I even helped a parent chase down and recapture a run-away 1st grader who had decided that going to school just wasn’t for him! After I got dismissed by my 2d grader, I held the door open for students and supply toting parents. As I greeted parents and students, a strange set of memories flooded me…
I was a reluctant mom. And an old one at that. I had never planned to have children. In my logical mind, I had no guarantees that I could raise children as successfully as my parents had raised my siblings and I. So I figured if I wanted to chase a career, and neighborhoods and neighbors weren’t what they used to be, I should just be happy with a niece and a nephew. I was good.
Then came the MS diagnosis in June 2003. I accepted that my life had changed. So instead of having 310 reasons NOT to have a child, I now had 311. Its not that I couldn’t conceive a child with MS. Its just that the disease is so unpredictable. And I presumed that maintaining my life would be all consuming, again leaving no place for raising a child.
Adding insult to injury, a series of TIA’s swept through my brain in July 2004, just a year after the diagnosis. The TIA’s ignited a massive and extreme exacerbation that was relentless. It left me paralyzed on the entire left side of my body. I was scared crapless! For a brief moment I thought it was the beginning of the end. But for those who know my story, it was merely the beginning of the new rest of my life. I battled and fought my way through PT and OT for months to regain all that I could with the goal of re-establishing a normal life. Everyone thought I was crazy to believe that I’d regain what had been lost – but I’d had my conversation with God, made my demands, we negotiated and came to a deal. That’s all I needed to know. And its how I pursued my therapy – with the knowledge that I’d fully recover, because He’d promised me I would.
Life was just starting to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and in February 2005 I discovered I was pregnant! I was mad as a hornet! Me and God were fighting again! I finally said I wasn’t going to speak to Him again, and He said “Fine. But you’re going to need me eventually.” Three weeks later, I got over myself, got down on my knees, and asked for forgiveness and further instructions. I was going to need some divine help on this one. Weekly visits to the high risk obstetrics clinic. Weekly poking and prodding and predictions of gloom. Months on end of throwing up everything I put in my mouth or being constantly nauseated. Then the fibroid tumors that I didn’t know I had started growing at the same rate as the baby. Gee! Anything more coming!??!!
The pregnancy went 40 weeks. I ended up having an appointment for inducement. Instead of a ‘birthing plan’, I had a ‘survival’ plan! The plan was to do whatever was necessary for me to survive the trauma of child birth without having another storm of TIA’s, a more sever stroke, or another exacerbation and get the baby out as quickly as possible. And oh by the way, no MS medications during the pregnancy!
It wasn’t until years later that God finally told me that my son was given to me as a vehicle for my healing. I sponged off of my son’s perfect immune system for 10 whole months, thereby fortifying my own immune system.
My son started 2nd grade yesterday. He’s healthy, intelligent and articulate. I’m preparing myself for master level track & field competitions in 2014. And I’m planning for my 50th birthday celebration. I’m good.
Its funny how the first day of school will bring back some memories…