Thursday, March 25, 2010
Dave and I were married December 28, 2002 raring to add more kids to our mix. First year went by and no luck... so we got a Suburban and we were REALLY prepared to fill all 8 seats. Second year went by and no luck... so we talked to the docs. 5 no-good rounds of artificial insemination, 3 expensive and failed attempts at IVF, a total of 10 miscarriages, the beginning stages of adoption process, 5 years, and well over $50,000 later, no luck. We really looked at the girls as our greatest blessing--the chance to parent together could only have come with them, we figured. All the hormone treatments and stress and disappointment took a toll on me--docs said enough is enough, stop trying. So we did.
When we were married, the girls (then 7 and 9) took Dave on 100% and boy did he take them on. I loved to hear him bragging about his daughters at work, and seeing the pictures he had of them all over his office. He earned the title of Dad right from the start--I couldn't help but wish for the sake of his experience, that he would one day have the chance of knowing what it was like, to parent to a pre 7 year-old. But that idea was over for us, and we were moving on. I got a job and we traded the Suburban for a brand new Jetta.
Docs said there was no way I would become pregnant, and if I did, we would certainly be looking at yet another heartbreaking miscarriage. They wanted to schedule me for an ablation--I would be left sterile (as if I weren't already?). I scheduled according to their direction. One week later, a positive pregnancy test. We waited for it to fail. We waited longer. I didn't want to leave the house for fear I would lose the baby in public, or in a meeting, or at church. I didn't want to get attached to the idea that this one might stick... but my sister said she had a good feeling about this one, and that it wasn't over 'til the fat lady sings. Each day I sent her another text "no fat lady".
I became sick with bronchitis and was down for nearly a month... no fat lady. I called the doc to see what she wanted me to do now... I honestly didn't know, since we had never reached this point before--almost through the first trimester! An ultrasound was scheduled, and I can not find words to tell you how fear filled my entire being that day. But there was a heartbeat, steady and strong. Some red flags were noted at that appointment, and I was watched very closely thereafter. Ultrasound after ultrasound, regular OB appointments, parinatologist appointments, geneticist appointments, ER visits, weekly non-stress tests, blood work blood work blood work, and a trip to Hawaii got us through to the end.
October 3, 2008 Benjamin John Whiting was born a miracle to the family, healthy and strong. The girls say they prayed him here, and I believe it. Now I watch him connect with Dave and I remember why I wanted this for him. I watch Benny with the girls, and I know he was sent here not just for Dave, but for each of us. He has brought an indescribable level of peace, hope, and gratitude to our home; and he has brought joy--OH THE JOY. He lives in an adult world, with his nearest sibling 14 years his senior, but he is very well adapted and thrives on all the attention he gets.
There was a day I hated hearing stories like this, with happy baby endings. So for those out there still waiting for their ending, I wish I could say "stop trying, and it will happen"--but sometimes it does not. I know that. But endings to our darkest hardest times do come in one form or another, thankfully. Elder Wirthlin of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said this:
"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth. Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant. On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross. On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies. On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.
It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God. I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.
But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind. And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence. Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So everyone has heard of the "Soccer Mom", and there is a place for her. I, however, am a "Runner Mom". I do not belong on the bleachers. Cross Country Running is a fantastic and spirited sport for the runners themselves, but even more spectacular for the parents. Attending one of these races might be confusing to some, but for those of us who live for the season of the winged shoe it is exhilarating and inspiring. Crowds of spectators ebb and flow throughout the entire 5k course--you almost have to be a runner, to watch a runner here.
I know I am into the season when I know the names of each runner on the team. I feel part of the team when I know the route, and go to the toughest part of the course to cheer them up the climb. I know I'm a runner mom when I don't care how many people are in the stands watching me run across the empty football field - ALONE - to meet my girl during her final lap to the finish, screaming "LAST KICK, WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO, YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU ARE STRONG!!" While this is most assuredly a "sight", the best sight I have ever seen was not at the finish line or up a climb or during a kick.
This year Tori became a freshman at Timpview and ran Cross Country with Dania. It was there that I got to see the two of them supporting one another in their efforts. It was music to my eyes. I couldn't ask for better girls or sisters or friends. They are examples in so many ways and I love them for that. Dania sets the pace and Tori keeps it going. There are many benefits in being a runner mom, all of which, come from the view.
As you can see, Benny's mind has outgrown his physical ability. It scares me. It makes me want to keep him inside away from long drops and busy roads and dog poop. I suppose, however, an enclosure for the tramp is in order and will have to do. This reminds me of when Tori was about Benny's age and stepped off the side of a porch, just in time for Dania to grab the hood of her coat with her tiny 3 year-old hands. By the time I turned and heard a scuffle, Dania's arms and hands were trembling as she held Tori up from falling to the rocks below. Little kids should stay in an egg until they are ready to be set into the world. Really, it is amazing to me that they make it to the teenage years at all.