The New Year is a time when people reflect upon the year behind and make resolutions for the year that lay before them. I'm not much for making resolutions so I'll spend some time reflecting upon this past year.
This has been a year of changes. Three major changes to be specific. I'll start with the first and most amazing change. As you know that change happened in March with the birth of my son Nathan. I am still amazed at the very thought of him. He makes my heart smile, he brings joy to my day and he brings a purpose to my life. He is growing everyday and constantly learning new tricks. Most recently he has learned to sit up, and his new favorite activity is to be chased. He crawls away from you and squeals and laughs until you come toward him. I just love hearing him laugh!
Before giving birth I had always heard women say that labor and delivery is some of the greatest pain you may ever experience, but once you hold your baby in your arms all of that pain just fades away. Like the pain of the birthing process has faded our eight years of infertility are now just a dim memory. That's not completely accurate but I'm not sure how else to put it. You see, I still remember the heartache, the disappointment and the daily battle against despair, but I don't feel those things anymore. At least not for myself. My heart still breaks when I hear about friends that are having to walk that painful journey and I pray that I always will remember the details of that journey so that I can pray for and be an encouragement to women on that road. Throughout our long journey toward parenthood the Lord placed women that had once walked in my shoes into my life. I can't explain how they ministered to me just by recognizing the hurt in my eyes before even having to say a word. I want to minister to women in that same way.
The second major change occurred in May when my parents moved to North Carolina from California to be near us. Let's be honest, it was to be near Nathan. I think we were all a little nervous about living in the same town because the last time we had lived closer than a 7 hour drive was way back in 1994. But having them here has been an incredible blessing. I don't know how we would be making it through change number three without their support and encouragement. I have loved spending time with them and Nathan absolutely loves having them here.
The third and final change started in July. I woke up July 5Th with a very swollen and excruciatingly painful knee. I figured I had moved wrong in the night and with a little rest I would be back to normal. I was wrong. Long story made short I was diagnosed with CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphade Dehydrate) and Rheumatoid Arthritis in my left knee. I've not been able to return to work since the initial onset of symptoms and now walk with a cane when walking more than a few feet. Nathan and I have spent many nights at my parents house so that they can help me take care of him in the mornings and most of our days are spent there too. My doctor has used medications to stabilize me so that I don't flair-ups like I was having at the beginning, but I still swell if on my feet for more than an hour or so and find carrying Nathan rather difficult when everything is swollen. Rob has been a great help too. He has really stepped up to the plate to help me out at home with cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. Financially life has been very stressful because our income was cut in half when I had to stop working and up to this point I have been unable to qualify for any form of assistance. I'm too sick to be able to work, but not sick enough to get disability and since I'm technically out on a medical excuse I don't seem to qualify for unemployment.
I don't know how all of this will work out but I know that God will continue to provide for us. I know that I have incredible parents that have helped in more ways than I can describe. I know that I have a fabulous husband that has been working hard to provide for his family and who has put my health needs above the stresses of our situation. I know that I have a beautiful son that I love watching grow each and every day. I know that despite the outward appearance of our situation I am a blessed woman.