Answered prayers

5 Feb

It’s almost my birthday again and once again, I’ve been thinking about what is, what was, and what could’ve been. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about me and Chris’ baby. About 3 years ago, we tried to have a baby. After several months of diligent practice, I finally missed my period. When I was about 2 weeks late, I took a pregnancy test. Negative. Another couple of days went by, I took another one. Negative again. When I got to the 3 week mark, still no period and about $100 spent on pregnancy tests, I went to the doctor. Negative test again. They said that doesn’t mean anything, maybe it was too soon to tell. Fair enough. I didn’t need a test anyway. I knew, I just KNEW I was pregnant. I felt exactly like I did the first time when I was pregnant with the kids. I went almost 5 weeks without a period, then I started bleeding. At first it was just a little, but then I started getting major cramping and something felt wrong. I went back to the doctor who told me that I needed to have a D&C. She said if I ever was pregnant, I wasn’t anymore. She said that 1 of 2 things happened: 1. either my period was just screwed or 2. I was pregnant, it “didn’t take” (her words, not mine), and now my body thought it was still pregnant. Either way, I had to have a D&C. It was horrible, awful pain, both physically and emotionally. But me being me, I just didn’t deal. Chris chose to deal by deciding that I never was pregnant, I was just mistaken. I chose to deal by pretending the whole thing never happened, but my heart ached for what could’ve been. Chris and I decided that we couldn’t do it again, it was too hard, too dangerous for me (they said that if we tried again there would be more problems because of all the scarring I had from my first pregnancy), and we’d just adopt when the time was right. We left the door open to try again, never say never and such. None of that changed what was in my heart.

I knew in my heart that we had a baby, but it was gone. Just not meant to be. But it was there, and it’s stayed with me for the past 3 years. I think about it sometimes. When I see a baby, my heart whispers wistfully, that’s not for you. Your baby is gone. I sometimes think what his name would be (I imagine it as a boy), and what his name would be (Matthew Christopher, Matthew because it’s my favorite book of the Bible, and Christopher, after his daddy). He’d have dark hair (like his parents) and crystal clear blue eyes (like his daddy). I usually try to push those thoughts out of my mind quickly. But the door was always open to try again, right? Well, the more time passes, the more I know that the previously open door is slowly closing. I’ll be 31 this month, getting a little too old to start over again. The kids are 10 after all. Last Sunday I was sitting in church, and there was a baby a few rows in front of us. I smiled as it cooed and looked at his momma with his big beautiful eyes. I was surprised how fast tears sprung to my eyes. As I blinked them away, I heard a voice saying, let it go. It’s time. Let it go. I didn’t say anything to Chris, it’s been an unwritten rule that we just don’t talk about what happened, and I didn’t want to upset him, or worse, make a scene in church by being a big crybaby mess. That voice kept repeating over and over in my head to let it go, and I tried (unsuccessfully) to ignore it. Finally, on Monday night I broke down and talked to Chris. I let it all out. How hurt I was that we’d never really talked about it, how I knew that we had a baby, but it was gone, how I knew it was a boy and that his name was Matthew. I did pretty well, every time I felt those hot tears in my eyes, I tried to blink them away, when I failed, I tried stealthily wipe them before they hit my cheeks (have I ever mentioned I HATE crying?). Chris patiently listened, nodding at all the right times, then he stood up, put his arms out and just said, come here. He hugged me and rubbed my back and assured me everything was ok, I was ok, and that he was so sorry for not helping me deal with this at the time. (This my friends, is why I’m completely and madly in love with him. He’s my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the greatest guy in the world.) I felt better, and that night I prayed. I prayed for strength, I prayed for answer, I prayed for peace.

The next morning I was doing my morning reading online, and I read that over 10,000 dogs were put to sleep in an animal shelter in the next county over. I was horrified and broken-hearted. There I was, emotionally drained from the past 2 days, now crying over these damn dogs, like I don’t have enough issues. This was what I prayed for? This was my answer? Angry now, without even thinking, I clicked on the county website to find out more about this animal shelter. Before I knew it, I was looking through the available dogs for adoption. There were so many sad faces, so many dogs that needed homes. I just sat there crying. Then I saw this black puppy, with big blue eyes. I tried to ignore it, I tried to go do something else, but my mind (and my heart) kept going to this one particular puppy. I sent Chris an email with the dog’s picture and said, I think we need to adopt this puppy. He wrote back, Me too. Find out what we need to do. He got off work early and we went to the shelter. It was so sad, both of us being dog lovers, we just were so broken hearted to walk through the aisles of homeless dogs, most doomed for death. Then we saw him. There was that sweet face and blue eyes, sitting quietly, not barking and jumping around like the other dogs, like he was just waiting for us. I said, that’s him. Chris looked at me and nodded.

After we filled out the paperwork, the lady behind the desk smiled and said, you saved two dogs today, the one you’re taking home and the one that can take his spot. Congratulations on your new baby. We just smiled. She was right, he was our baby. The answer to our prayers. He’s even got blue eyes, just like his daddy.
His name is Luke (a nod to his Southern roots, he’s named after Luke Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard, who incidently I had a major crush on when I was little. I even had blue footie pajamas that said “I Love Luke” with a heart and Luke Duke’s picture on them) and we’re completely in love with him. He’s brought me so much joy. And knowing that we saved his life…I just don’t even have words. Sometimes the answer isn’t all what you thought it would be. Sometimes it’s better.

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