Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts from Above

For those of you who don't know, I struggled with infertility for years.  After four years of unsuccessfully trying to start a family, my husband and I were thrilled to finally be pregnant with a little boy.  We named him Michael Hunter and anxiously awaited his arrival.  We both went to every appointment with joy and couldn't wait to hear his heartbeat or see him on the monitors.  I was high risk and not without complications, and was put on bed rest.  I was in an out of the hospital towards the end, but after a few scares and scores of doctors looking after me, we had finally made it to the home stretch.  In my final weeks of pregnacy, I had made it full term and was told I could deliver whenever I went into labor again.  We were so excited and couldn't believe how our lives were about to change.  Only, they didn't change the way we had planned.

During a routine test (a non-stress test) where the labor monitors are placed on my belly to monitor heart rates, movement, and any contractions, my son mysteriously died.  Five days later, he was delivered as a stillborn.  It was and still is the most devastating thing that could ever happen to us.  Parents are not supposed to outlive their children.  Births are supposed to be joyful events.  We have been deceived by modern medicine and science into thinking that everything can be fixed and repaired, and that the human race is in control.  We were taught a harsh lesson that day about the powers of the universe.

As much as that tragedy still affects us, we have been able to find joy in life around us.  We went on to have 2 more beautiful and healthy children.  We got messages all around us that proved love is eternal and ever lasting. 

My first Mother's Day was a horrible event.  Was I a mom?  I didn't have the chance to experience all-nighters and 4 am feedings.  I couldn't say that I had even experienced little newborn cries, kisses, and cuddles.  I had never changed a diaper, or wiped a runny nose.  But my arms ached for my baby. 

And then the most wonderful thing happened.  Life.  All around me.  Birds and flowers and butterflies surrounded me everywhere I went.  My FAVORITE flower is the rose.  I love red and pink ones especially.  They are beautiful in any color, and I always have them in my garden.  We even planted a special rose garden in memory of our son, Michael.  Only, I am a terrible gardener.  I didn't even think anything of it at first, since my roses rarely bloom.  I never pay enough attention to them and fertilize them.  Yet there on Mother's Day, every single rose bush in the garden was covered in buds and blooms.  Dan said to me that Michael got me roses for Mother's Day. 

Seven years and one big move later, Michael has yet to miss a Mother's Day.  I was really worried this year.  With everything going on with the business, my Master's degree, and the kids - PLUS - Dan's job and school, our yard looked like a big over grown pasture.  When it froze here during the winter, we were so excited that the freeze would kill all the weeds and make the yard look neater.  Sad.  

Then it was no longer winter, and here we were facing another Mother's Day.  The constant reminder that I really have 3 children and not 2.  I didn't think that Michael would be able to work his magic this year.  The rose bushes were hidden underneath all the overgrowth.  I swore that some of them were even dead.  I had started to prepare myself for a let-down later in the week.  I figured it was my own fault for totally neglecting the yard.  Then a few days before that Sunday, I noticed buds forming on some of the rose bushes.  I couldn't believe it!  On Sunday morning, I walked out into the yard, and was greeted with the most wonderful presents ever.  There they were - all of the bushes blooming like crazy.  Roses everywhere I looked.  They seemed to have just burst into bloom over night.   

Thank you baby.  I love you too.


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