Friday, February 15, 2019

Seven. The perfect number.

From the time I was a little girl I wanted to be a mommy. Our journey to grow our family has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. There was a time when we didn't know if we would have any children. Pregnancy did not come easily for us.

My body has been a home to eight babies. Four who we get to raise on this earth and four who are in heaven. God has given us the great gift of three babies who grew in the bellies of their birth mothers. What joy! Where I thought there would be none, there are seven.

Seven children. 

Not in my wildest dreams did I think that would happen!

But here I am living this crazy, chaotic, overwhelming, wonderful, joyful, beautiful life as the mother of seven.

Seven years ago, a woman at church prophesied over us that we would have seven children. At that time we were expecting our fourth child. The idea of seven seemed impossible!

Fast forward to after we brought our seventh child home from China. We were in church again and a different woman looked at me and said, "You have seven children. You have the perfect number." There was something about the way she said it. It brought a welcomed peace over me. I had miscarried our last baby and I ached for another baby for some time. I was clear with the Lord that I wanted him more than I wanted anything and that I trusted him. Shortly after her statement, that ache was gone.

God, in his sweet way, gave me peace for what would come.

For many years I have struggled with pain that has grown increasingly worse. I just couldn't bring myself to accept a hysterectomy even though I knew it would bring incredible relief. In January, I couldn't ignore the problem anymore. I started dealing with iron deficiency anemia as well as the pain. Two Iron IVs and a CT scan later and I was ready. Ready to say yes to the hysterectomy. Ready to end the cycle of pain. I need to be healthy and full of energy to raise my babies. It was time.

I was lovingly cared for by my family doctor and all the staff at his office. I am grateful for the skilled medical care they administer with compassion and wisdom.

Once our OBGYN got my surgery scheduled it was time to get our support team in place. For me to step out of life requires a team. Let's just say there is a color coded calendar (thanks mom!) that indicates who is doing what over the next few weeks. Two incredible sets of grandparents and a super dad were ready and willing to help.

So many sweet friends have come along side us to offer any kind of help we need. We are grateful for the loving gestures and prayers on our behalf. I thought it was neat that during the middle of this decision making process our pastor encouraged me with the same verses God had just shown me. I love how the Holy Spirit works! 

Psalm 103:2-4
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy."

Then God gave me this verse as my hysterectomy theme verse.

Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

I meditated over these words over and over again.

My God is with me.
My God is mighty to save.
My God will rejoice over me with gladness.
My God will quiet me by his love.
My God will exult over me with loud singing.

I had the opportunity to have deep discussions with my older children who were concerned about how my surgery would go. I had the chance to speak the truth to them that calms my own heart...God knows the number of my days. We must live this life fully without being crippled by fear. God loves my children and my husband even more than I do. He would care for them if my number of days on this earth were done.

My cousin sent me this fabulous pink kimono robe and hilarious hysterectomy coloring book. A package of love and joy sent right to my door!

My sister stopped by the night before my surgery to bring a gift basket from all the sisters as well as some gorgeous flowers. She stayed to visit for a while and her presence brought us such happiness. My sisters know how to make a girl feel special.

Here is the poem she wrote for me. I adore it!

Let's start with the good that comes with telling your uterus goodbye.
No longer will you suspect that she's trying to kill you, because she is, no lie.

You've tried to be patient, but this uterus is out to destroy!
So now we must ask ourselves, "Does it spark joy?"

The answer is no, so we take time to thank it so much.
Then we call Dr. K to take the organ, tubes and such.

You will feel so much relief, it will make you want to dance!
You will even be like, "Come hither"  to your hubby for romance.

You will prance past the pad and tampon aisle with glee!
Extra absorbent, more layers? No thanks, none for me.

And when emotions swell up and your heart hurts with good reason -
Remember that God's word says that to everything there is a season.

A time to weep and a time to laugh, knowing your Heavenly Father has you.
He delights in you so deeply and your sisters sure do too.

So goodbye to the parts that have served you so well.
And "Hello" to this new season in the words of Adele.

Choose to set your heart and mind on the truths that He has said.
Joy and plans for good are coming and you can laugh at the days ahead.

Love you Sis!

When we arrived at the surgery center I was already fighting back the tears. All the feelings came rushing in. I kept thinking about how silly it was that I have endured many surgeries with no tears and here I was bawling my eyes out before I even got my iv in. All the years of growing our family. All the pain I have endured. The reality of the baby season ending for us. It was all just too much. I am so much stronger when I need to be brave for my babies. This time it was all about me and I crumbled. 

God in his kindness gave me the best mother/daughter nursing team. They are friends from our town and they showed me such love and tenderness. Our Dr. was my beloved Dr. K who has taken care of me through all my pregnancies. I knew I was in excellent hands with him. Everyone who worked with us was incredible.

My tears did stop once that shot of liquid courage was put in my iv. It was a welcome relief. 

Before I knew it, surgery was over and I was in recovery.

I drifted in and out of sleep in the recovery area. In the moments between sleep I could hear music playing. I was tickled even in my drugged state. I knew God intended to exult over me with loud singing but I didn't know it would come in the form of music in the recovery area. It seriously made me laugh. An inside joke with him.

This man. He has been through it all with me. Right by my side. He has held my hand through the joy and through the pain. So many years of loving me well. We have grown this family together. We have walked the floor with tiny babies. We have lost sleep and nearly lost our minds. We have clung tight to each other and to the Lord. We haven't done it perfectly but step by step we have done it together. We are proud of these precious blessings and we are thrilled to be their parents.

Now we will embrace this new season together. Hand in hand. We have big plans to dance the tango in Argentina in the spring. There are so many more adventures to come!

For now it is a time of healing. I know it will get better day by day.

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