I haven’t acknowledged something, not to you, my readers, and hardly to myself. Because every time I think of it, it takes my breath away. This month marks a year since our miscarriage.
It seems as if we should have come full circle in a year. A loss, a new pregnancy, a new crushing diagnosis, but now we are home with our baby whose health issues are not as great as we anticipated. I feel like we should be standing on the mountain and instead we keep finding ourselves somewhere in between a mountain and a valley.
A year ago, my pain was so deep. I couldn’t believe we were back in a place of dealing with heartbreak because of a pregnancy. And then a few months later when we found out we were pregnant again; the excitement came crashing down when there was something noticeably wrong on the ultrasound. So bad, even I could see.
And now, it’s over. We were tossed back and forth between the rough seas and we should be standing on the shore. But we aren’t there.
Every time you add a baby into the family, things are hectic. Add a baby with complex medical needs, when you already have a son with a disability, hectic doesn’t really begin to describe it. This coming week we have 11 appointments between the two of boys.
Every time I think we’re approaching the base of the mountain, we end up sliding backwards into the valley below.
And I feel guilty for thinking it, for feeling stressed out and sometimes sad. I know Preston could still be in the NICU receiving dialysis had his diagnosis affected him the way it affects many. Why can’t I just feel grateful?
At church, I started talking to a man when he asked me about Preston’s casts. So, I quickly told him about his clubbed feet and his kidney issues, joking about how busy we are. He shrugged me off, saying, “You’re blessed, you’re blessed.”
Just days before I saw my son become a pincushion, as his veins were tired and had given too much. We then received news that we still don’t have answers to why his potassium levels are too high and the changes that we’ve made are not working- again.
I realize we are blessed with the greatest gift one gets in life—three beautiful children. But to not acknowledge that there are hardships in the blessings is not real. If you really want to get into it, it’s not biblical either. I’m thankful for the sad Psalms, the trying stories because I feel less alone. I know these feelings that I am feeling are nothing new.
So, here we are. We are not in the pit, but still in the valley.
But before moving to our new assignment, we lived in valleys for four years and here is what I know. There are hills in the valleys.
I can’t pretend we are standing on a mountaintop, I can’t pretend the dips are not present, but I can acknowledge the high points in the low terrain. I see them when my 4-year old daughter asks me if we can wake up her 2-year old brother to play—a day I wondered would ever come. I see it with my husband voluntarily takes all three kids on a Saturday morning to give me a mental break even though he too is in the depths and I see it in the sweet smile of a little resilient babe.
In the last four years, we’ve had one year of peace. It was between a heart surgery and a loss. It hurts to type that. It hurts to acknowledge how painful the years have been. At times I feel resentful and want to scream—enough already.
He sees that. He says it’s allowed. He knows I can be grateful for all He has done and also be tired and hurting. He sees me in the valley and assures me days on the mountain, days of calm, will come again.
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there. In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there. When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own. When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone. You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys God of the hills and valleys And I am not alone.- Tauren Wells – Hills and Valleys
Background to this post: After Preston’s injury to his clubbed feet, his second round of casts went beautifully. He had three sets, the third was only placed to protect the remaining sores, as his feet were already in the correct position. This past week we went into the next phase, boots and bars. I read that this phase is actually harder than the casts, and this week we saw why. They are hard to get on and babies are more prone to injury in the boots and bar than they are with casts. I spent 15 minutes getting the shoes on him on Friday morning, only for them to fall off. We ended up in an emergency appointment. The appointment didn’t help because no matter what we are doing, the shoes keep falling off. We also added a new medication this week because there has been no improvement on his potassium levels. We go back this week to see if the medication is working.