My baby will be four months old this Thursday. The time is flying by, and I am loving motherhood even though I'm rather limited in what I can physically do. I saw an eight day old baby today who weighed a full pound and a half more at his birth than my baby at birth, and yet he still looked so tiny. Can my baby really have been that teensy? Those days were such a fog of pain that I barely remember life with my babe, and we didn't really take any photos until my parents arrived one week later. Ah, experienced parents were right. Time really does fly when they are wee ones.
In two weeks, I'll be off to see the specialist. I admit to being afraid of the exam and of what he may say about surgery and wait times. While I've been through the exam before and I know I will not die even though it will be very painful, I am still fearful. But hopefully, my courage will rise to the occasion when the time comes, and I will gut it out once more with aplomb. It really amazes me how my courage is growing through this. I am such a fearful wimp when it comes to needles, drugs, doctors, and hospitals. But those things are becoming old hat, and I'm getting braver as the days go by.
I am ready to be better. Someone told me today that she saw a long road ahead of me in the healing department. I am hoping she is wrong. It's already been a long road, and I'd really like it to come to an abrupt conclusion with a suddenly healed fistula. I don't care how that happens - a miracle from Jesus, a surgical procedure by a competent colorectal specialist, or a fairy godmother with a medically inclined magic wand. (Okay, so the last option is pretty fictional as far as I know.) I just want to be better so that pain will be a thing of the past, being a wife and active mommy will be a thing of the present, and climbing will be in my future.
If you don't know what fistula is, I encourage you to google it. And then I encourage you to read up on the stories of women in developing nations who suffer these on a regular basis. If anything, my future may include supporting or helping NGO's that help women in Africa find healing from fistulas. If I thought my life was difficult from mine, their lives are far more challenging.
Finally, I was sharing with someone today that I feel like my life has been on hold for four months, and that it will remain on hold until all of my injuries are resolved. (And there may be other issues needing surgery after the fistula. I discovered some rather prolapsed body parts during a brief jog to the car the other day. Really, a woman should never feel like she's about to drop an organ like a chicken drops an egg while she's running.) And though I hate feeling like my life has been on hold and I'm impatient for it to get back to normal, I am learning a great deal. I've never been able to read books about the holocaust before now because the sense of suffering was too overwhelming for me. But now, I've read seven books on the subject, and have been helped by some of the stories I've read of women who found their lives on hold due to long stints in concentration camps. I've watched as they continued to live, and I want to be able to do the same once this time of suffering has passed. And like the women in the stories I've been reading, I also want to adequately grieve and forgive and move on when the time is right. I don't want to be bitter or focused on this hard experience as all negative. I've met far too many women on a birth board who sound like bitter old hags harping about their negative birth experience. My precious baby is worth too much to have me act like that. He needs a mama who can find the good in this hard time, and he needs a mama who can model peace and quiet joy even in sorrow and suffering.
If anything has occurred to me during these past four months it is this: it is possible for courage, beauty, and good fruit to come out of suffering and trauma, and that possibility is only dependent on my attitude. We may not get to control this life as we'd like, but we can make it a positive experience even during hard, unfair, painful times. I can't really articulate that as I'd like, but it's a work in progress, as am I.