Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Year And A Day

[pics removed by request of family - sorry!]
Nothing like a bit of cake in our toes

The bib is messy, but the sentiment is pure...

Oh all right, here's a demure one of the boy in his birthday suit

As many of you know by now, our journey to having the boy was a long and sorrowful one. After having two beautiful girls without really "trying," we tried for seven years - with seven miscarriages - to have another. No one could tell us why I kept miscarrying, or what was wrong. We had all sorts of tests - all normal. I refused to take fertility medication, between my personal convictions about such things, practicing full time, not wanting to deal with wacky mood swings, and two bouts of pre-eclampsia telling me having a litter would not be wise, it just was not a road I wanted to go down. So it was an ongoing heartbreak with each passing month and year. Then, after a year of retirement and two months after we got to NY, my Beloved answered the call, once again, to go overseas for two one-year contracts to support airfield firefighting and security for 8 Army bases in Kuweit. Naturally, this hindered our reproductive efforts. To top that off, I'd begun having terrible, wildy out-of-sorts cycles. So I figured the factory was letting me know it was going to cease operations. I called - and reset - 3 appointments with the OBGYN because I was busy with work, and I think I was not ready to hear bad news or schedule surgery.

In August of 2006, on a last-minute whim, I packed the girls up for a roadtrip. We took off for VA, AL, and decided to drop in on the EWTN 25th anniversary weekend before heading to Chicago, and then home.

We stopped in Hanceville at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament on our way to Birmingham. It was lovely, very reminiscent of the beautiful churches we'd seen in Italy. We sat for about 20 minutes at adoration, and for the first time in a long time, I prayed about my fertility issues. At 38, still without answers, I was ready to give up the issue and be content with the two wonderful daughters we have. Knowing several people who've struggled for years with infertility and have NO children, I've always felt a bit selfish praying for more. My girls are an embarrassment of riches. As one who likes to get answers and solve problems, it was quite a struggle for me to let it go. But I knew it was time.

I said to the Lord, "I'm not asking anymore. Your will be done, not mine. would be nice. " And so with that, I tendered my resignation, wiped my eyes, and walked out, feeling very tired, but strangely at peace.

The next day, we went to the convention center to see some of the speakers and to attend Mass. Along the way, we bumped into one of the Brothers (Br. Leo) who the girls recognized from the EWTN kids' programs. We said hello, and I introduced the girls. "Are these all your kids?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied.

"Only two?"

(I was a bit shocked by the frankness of the question, let's just say.)

"Yes, ummm, but not for lack of trying."

He looked at me with a raised eyebrow, so I told him what we'd been through, and asked him to pray for us. He looked duly shocked - even a tiny bit ashamed, to his credit - and assured me, in no uncertain terms, that our family would be in his prayers.

The next day, my younger one (Therese/Our Lady of Fatima), came up to me with a locket depicting the Infant of Prague that she'd picked up at the Shrine's gift shop. She had been "telling all her secrets" into the locket from the minute she unwrapped it. She said, "Mamma, I told Him everything. I told Him we needed another baby. He understands."

(Whoa. Okay...)

The following weekend, my husband came home for his sister's wedding. I was in the midst of one of those bad, 6 weeks off/3 weeks on cycles. He was home for 10 days, and with houseguests and wedding madness, opportunities to be alone were scarce, shall we say.

A month later, I went out with some law gal pals on a minor bender, wherein much wine was consumed, but not so much that I should've felt awful the next day. I couldn't move, and I got sick late in the afternoon. One of my friends joked that I was losing my touch, or I was pregnant. Lights went on. I got a test.

It was positive, and I was elated, but even more terrified. The Beloved was not due home until April, I was due in mid to late May. I went through the whole pregnancy alone in my adult inner world, scared half to death until 24 weeks, then 28, then 32...all sorts of complications, a slightly positive AFP test, which I chose to ignore (and rightly so). My girls were amazing - they became the caregivers, picking up extra responsibilities around the house, doing more for themselves, and growing up in ways I couldn't have imagined.

On the big day, they watched him come into the world (from outside the OR and behind the drape for a c-section, never fear), 3 weeks early but healthy and perfect, bringing our miracle to life. Each day that has passed since then has been a joy and a blessing. He is the sweetest, most even-tempered little guy, he is adored and cherished, and I still pinch myself to make sure it's all really happened.

When I call him our Miracle Baby, I really mean it.

God has been very good to us.


Angela M. said...

Pass the Kleenex!!!!!!

God bless your family, Kit!

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

The Brookboy is going to HATE that last picture when he is a teen. (So hang onto it for blackmail material.)

gemoftheocean said...

Kit, that was beautiful.

Kit Brookside said...

Hi Father!

Two words:


Anonymous said...

Beautiful story. What a beautiful baby to go with the story.
You have been throuh rather a lot to get to this place-God bless you.

DigiHairshirt said...

Great story!


Excuse me, I'm a little verklempt . . .

(But keep mum about miracle babies, will ya? I just turned 47 and my great-grandmother spit out my grandfather when she was 49, so I've got two more years to fly under the radar. If I suddenly killed the rabbit, the shock alone would drive Digihusband into an irreversible coma!)

Anonymous said...

Amazing story..

swissmiss said...

Beautiful story and even more beautiful little boy!

Digi - my Grandma had my uncle when she was just shy of her 50th. I have a picture of her--this matronly woman with her grey hair pulled back in a bun with horned-rimmed glasses holding the hand of this little boy. For the life of me, I couldn't think which of my cousins it was...then realized it was my uncle!!

a thorn in the pew said...

Thank you for this story. You were very brave to say "I'm not going to ask anymore". That was hard to read because I have prayed for God to take away my desire if it is not His will...and it stays. Thank you for your story. God bless!

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

What a happy, hopeful story. Thank you and happy birthday to the sweet boy!

Exspectantes said...

Thank you for sharing...what hope and trust. God Bless You!

Angela M. said...

Here we are more than a year later. I was desperately trying to find a devotion/miracle/patron to turn to when I found out fellow blogger Tara's newborn grandson was seriously ill. I remembered this story and am now involved in a novena to the Infant of Prague. Please thank "Therese" for me - she was my inspiration whispering into the locket.