I know that I’ve been blessed beyond belief. I realize that I’ve achieved the dream many women with endometriosis are unable to. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has been able to have children. I try to not take that for granted, I try every day to love my kids to the best of my ability and cherish every moment with them.
From around the age of 8 I knew I wanted to be a mum, like most 11 or 12-year-old girls I was blessed with a cabbage patch doll. Her name was June and I was able to practice my mothering skills. I never imagined that a normal part of womanhood would turn into something so hideously cruel. As if the pain and debilitation wasn’t enough the disease threatened to take away my motherhood dreams. One of my earliest diagnosis was that it would be difficult for me to have children and if I did want them I’d need to have them sooner rather than later. Fortunately, I was in a committed relationship so we decided to fast track our plans of marriage, but having kids was still only a thought. At 21 I married my sweetheart.
3 years later we found ourselves at a crossroads, the options were to travel overseas, a dream we had been having for a while, or to try for kids. My health wasn’t great so we knew that we had to act pretty quickly if we were going to hopefully have kids. We sought extensive prayer and surprisingly I fell pregnant much quicker than expected, we were both ecstatic! Unfortunately, I suffered a miscarriage and subsequently my body went ‘haywire’ for months afterwards. My hormones were all over the place and I was just a total mess. Life seemed way too hard and heartbreaking!
As the months dragged on my specialist suggested hormones to reset my body. After one of my scheduled blood tests we got surprising news – I was pregnant! It was really early therefore the Dr wanted to wait a couple of weeks and complete an ultrasound to confirm things were going as they should. Those 2 weeks dragged on and I was so nervous. But great NEWS a nice strong heartbeat was heard!
I was pregnant, the thing I desperately wanted, and I was miserable. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t enjoy it! Physically I was constantly light headed as I had low blood pressure, I felt nauseous, weak, exhausted and highly emotional. I felt totally ripped off! I wanted so badly to be that ‘glowing person’ you hear about, to be floating on a cloud of pure euphoria and joy. I should have been celebrating such a rich reward BUT I I was miserable and grouchy! Friends around us were going overseas or buying new cars or buying new houses as their last big splurge before the baby. I was jealous.
One particularly bad day was when we heard from our friends in Ireland who wanted us to go visit. I simply wasn’t well enough. I was livid. I went to church with a dark cloud of ‘woe is me’ hanging over my head. That day we had a visiting retired missionary lady, she spoke of the great work that her and her husband had accomplished overseas, the amazing places they had been fortunate to visit and all the good they had achieved. She was happy with how her life had turned out, but she said, now being of a very elderly age, she was desperately sad that she was never able to have a family. Her words literally took the breath out of my lungs! I was almost struck to the floor. God clearly reminded me that the world can wait, the opportunity to travel will come at the right time and all the other material things I was desiring are meaningless in comparison to the gift of a child! I’m sad and ashamed to say that this was only one of the numerous times God had to remind me how privileged I am to be called “mum”.
Another reminder when we went to Melbourne to visit family and friends with a very young child. I was still adjusting to this whole motherhood thing. The friends that we stayed with didn’t have kids so had planned the weekend not really thinking about a young baby being in the mix. One afternoon the plan was for the boys to go off while the girls went to the beach, I hadn’t packed suitable beach gear for our son so I declined. That left me alone for quite a few hours, not the weekend getaway I had imagined. Our son was unsettled, maybe from the travel, so it was a difficult afternoon. I should have been celebrating such a rich reward BUT I was feeling very frustrated! In sheer desperation I put our son down for around the 20th time and took my bible out to the lounge room. I cried. I cried out to God and started searching for encouraging words.
I was drawn to Psalm 127: “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” Psalm 127:3-5 NLT
Those words cut through my frustration and annoyance! New words suddenly whirled through my head: A gift! A blessing! An inheritance! A rich reward! How joyful!
I wasn’t instantly transformed into super mum but God did start to transform me into the mum I needed to be. But I’ve discovered it’s a continual process. Kids change, develop and grow. Their needs change. What I need to do to assist them changes. It’s the world’s toughest job but I cherish it as the greatest job I’ll ever do.
Today my gorgeous son turns 17! As I attempt to usher him (and his younger sister) into adulthood I’m desperate for God’s empowering more than ever. As I continue to press in for my restoration I need strength more than ever to be the mum I need to be for them.
My family is such a source of pure joy and I’m so grateful God has blessed me with their company.
I love them so much!
Many blessings, Keona