On This Day, We Said Goodbye

*A fair warning to any readers, this post is extremely personal and written in total transparency, and I feel comfortable doing so. A lot of what I will write about I’ve never shared before. Miscarriage is an experience that is so extremely unique for each and every mother. It is always dealt with differently, and this is my story of loss. I hope to encourage those who have gone through similar situations, and I hope to show you through my complete honesty the love, fear, anguish, and longing I felt through these times. I also wish to be here as support to anyone who needs/wants it. If you feel uncomfortable discussing this topic, please kindly move on, you don’t have to read a single word more if you don’t wish to.

 

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I’m sitting here today, watching my two favorite little boys play with their tractors,

completely coated in dirt, and while my heart is so beyond full from these two precious babies God has given me, I can’t help but think about and long for my two babies in heaven.  5 years ago, Blake and I were living in Alaska when we found out we were expecting our first. 481171_4308283111017_1065490006_nWe were over the moon excited, and each day of that pregnancy felt like a fairy tale. It was too good to put into words. I was eating healthy, staying active, spending most of my afternoons walking the shoreline at Lowell Point Beach, watching otters and porpoises play in the cold waters of Resurrection Bay, bordered with towering mountains and glaciers. 470632_4090174778445_1511614262_oIt was a beautiful start to a beautiful little life. We started looking into all things birth and had so many great plans for a little nursery back at our house in Joplin MO where we would be having the baby. We dove in head first to this new parent thing because, by-golly, we were SO ready. One day while we were at church I started having severe pain in my stomach. I thought I would just get up and walk it off, cause-well-pregnancy. It’s pretty weird all around. I walked outside for a little bit by the river and under the pine trees, taking deep breaths and wondering what I must’ve eaten wrong. It never dawned on me that something was very “off”. After about 20 minutes I was in even worse pain, so I asked Blake if we could head home so I could maybe lie down. On our drive home I remembered noticing the pains were coming in waves, but never thinking anything of it. After being at home and trying to rest for only a few minutes, something like an electric shock went through my body when I realized I was bleeding. I just wondered if that happens in normal pregnancies, because this WAS a normal pregnancy. It was perfect and it was meant to be. We decided to drive to the nearest hospital which was about an hour away just to get things checked out. It was one of the most painful drives of my life, but only physically, as I emotionally had not come to realize what was happening. I remember it coming into my head for a split second, “What if… No. Nope! We’re good!”

We arrived at the hospital and watched the Olympics in the waiting room while they got things ready. They told me they would do an ultrasound and I was actually excited, thinking how fun it will be to see our little 10 week old muffin, cooking away. I wasn’t in denial at this point, I had shut out my earlier dark thoughts, yes, but it wasn’t like I needed to constantly quench those worries. I really just had no thought of this happening at all. The doctor, a sweet red-head with some of the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen, performed the ultrasound. Even then, I had no nerves, just happiness. Then I saw the perfect form of our child. It’s adorably big head, little arms, hands, feet. The umbilical cord which connected me to my my baby. Everything looked perfect. Then I realized how silent the room had become. It had been a while too. Without taking my eyes of the screen, off the form of my perfect baby, I could feel it. The shift in the room. My baby was perfect and tiny and… still. Completely still. Then she said it, the doctor turned to me with pain in those kind eyes and told me, “I’m so sorry, there is no heart beat.” I remember I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I didn’t have a throat anymore. I couldn’t see then, either, past the tears that wouldn’t stop for days to come. I remember a nurse, one who earlier had noted that I was “Only 18?!” ask, “Were you guys, like, even trying?” One look from the doctor silenced her immediately. I remember saying saying something to her along the lines of “Does it matter?” Yes, we had been trying, for months we had wanted and wished for and prayed for this baby. We had friends and family praying with us for this child. I wanted to be mad at that woman for assuming this little life, or any life for that matter, meant less because of some reason or another. The doctor handed me some tissues, then, this stranger who just delivered the worst news imaginable, held me. She let me cry into her shoulder. She didn’t rush a single thing. She waited till I somewhat caught my breath and grabbed onto Blake. The next few days were a blur. I couldn’t handle the pain of it at times, the pain of child labor which I had been feeling all along. They offered to let me go home and work through the process in private, as long as we kept an eye on my health. We went home and we mourned together. I couldn’t believe it at times, that my first baby, my perfect baby, was gone. It was all over. All the plans we had, all the hopes for the pregnancy, birth, nursery, it was all for nothing. I had just started writing in a journal for this baby, something I thought would be so fun to read with them on their birthdays, and I now looked at it as nothing. Useless. She won’t ever get to read these words that were meant for her. Then I realized I said her. Who is she? Who was she? If this all just “ended”, was this little one anyone’s? She was mine. I loved her fiercely, wether she was here in my arms, or laying still and silent in my tummy. I realized I didn’t have to love her any differently because she was gone. I loved her just the same. This was the same day she was born. July 30th, 2012. We named our baby Eve. The hardest part about loosing a child is not knowing who “has them” now. I remember frantically panicking about any pain or suffering she felt, or was feeling, then I realized what a beautiful hope I had. I knew God was already holding her tightly for us, comforting any pain or fears or loneliness she may have. As a daughter of Christ, there was no one I would trust more to take care of my little babies than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I felt God “hugging” me through the entire process and I was not afraid. I was wrought with sadness and longing for my little one, but I was mourning. Nothing more, nothing less. A woman hugged me one day after she heard what had happened and told me, “It’s ok! It’s ok to be so mad at God. I don’t understand why he does such horrible things, I don’t know why he would put you guys through this, it’s ok to be really mad at him!” What? Why on earth would I be mad at God? I don’t know why my baby had to go so soon, but blaming God for such horribleness? No, it wasn’t happening, naturally or forced. My sweet one came and went just as she was supposed to. My Lord was in control of it all, of course, but If I stopped and tried to understand the intricate and complex workings of God, where would I get? His works are not for me to always understand, this is where fait comes into my relationship with God. Even to this day, I don’t know the reason why He swept my little Eve away so soon, but I don’t blame him for a horrific act against me. If I were to understand and know all the things and ways in which God knows and works, what then would make him so special? What would make him worthy to be praised, worthy to be glorified and loved? He is who He is, and it isn’t always for me to understand. I just know he loves me as fiercely as I love my child, if not more. Some people don’t get this way of thinking and that is OK. I have come to these thoughts on my own, through my own walk with Him, and I am grateful for the steadfastness he shows through thick and thin.

 

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My baby was gone with Jesus, my heart was broken, my family lived hundreds of miles away.

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Blake surprised me by flying my twin sister out for our birthday and I will never forget the healing that took place during that trip. Life does go on, but that doesn’t mean it went on without our child in our lives.

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She is still in our hearts and on our minds often, and we are so thankful that she was there to meet our second child after they went to heaven too soon as well. I had already given birth to two beautiful sons, within 14 months of each other when we found out I was pregnant for a fourth time in three and a half years. I was shocked but we were so excited. 12162919_10208293567082553_1869334273_oI had horrible morning sickness which is supposedly a great sign (I had HG with both of my boys, the worst form of morning sickness, hooked up to IV fluids for a lot of the first trimester. I was never sick a single day with Eve, not even a little.) I had my blood work done to make sure my hormone levels were rising well and baby was growing happy and healthy. We got the call from my midwife that “Your hormone levels are awesome, super high! You’re in the clear!” We announced to our family and friends that our next little bun was cooking and went in for an early ultrasound at around 9 weeks. The second we saw the baby, I knew again. No one needed to say that our little love was gone, we could see. Another still, sweet body. For some reason this one resonated differently with me. I felt like I had failed my child. I felt like my body was at fault. We decided to go home and let things happen naturally again. They didn’t. I got sicker and sicker, and my hormone levels kept rising. Not a good sign. Once I developed a fever we had to intervene. They gave me medicine to induce labor. The pain of labor is hard enough, but the pain of laboring for a child you don’t get to keep is pain of a different kind entirely. I knew what was happening this time, I knew the familiar contractions and I knew my time with my baby was ending. I was still angry at myself at this point, angry that I somehow let my little one down. One particularly sick and miserable day during the miscarriage, I stopped and realized I was making this situation as horrible as I could. That all the stress and turmoil I was wallowing in was how I was choosing to let my little one go. I stopped right then and there and lay down in my bed, cradled my tummy, and sang the goodnight song my mother sang to me each night she put me to bed. I sang over and over through tears and sadness and poured all my love for that little one into my sobby song. I fell asleep to soft falling snow and woke up that evening-turmoil free.

That was the day our second child went to heaven.

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This process was still different than the first, as my body didn’t recognize that there was no longer a baby present anymore. It kept dumping HcG into my bloodstream like there was no tomorrow.My Doctor speculated that the placenta did not detach all the way, and an ultrasound proved her suspicions. I had to go through another round of those horribly painful meds. I still suffered from fruitless morning (ALL DAY-ALL NIGHT) sickness. After another week or two of these symptoms attacking me at full force, I developed a high fever and was in the hospital. I had to have surgery to remove whatever was confusing my body. The doctor let us know after the procedure that it went smoothly and that we could finally start healing from this process. The follow up ultrasound was clear and I was sent home to rest and recover. Only a week or so later did I realize I wasn’t getting better, and my fever was back. Another ultrasound showed more (new) tissue. My doctor let me know at this point this could be something more, something cancerous. I could have cancer. My HcG was still really high, even now,  weeks from any actual pregnancy. I had to endure a third round of this medication which, thank the Lord, worked. My HcG slowly dropped in the following weeks and I finally was past the worst. The entire process from start to finish lasted four whole months. I was not diagnosed with any sort of cancer, but cautioned that this put me at a higher risk of developing it down the road. I felt like I could finally focus on loving my baby instead of losing my baby. I wonder all the time what four blond curly heads would look like instead of two. 13920097_10210710586826536_3116019813022654937_oMaybe someday I will get to experience it, but for now, I am so grateful that my children are loved. All of them are so, so loved. I can’t wait till the day that I get to hold them all in my arms, and tell them to their faces how darn stinkin’ loved they are. Until then, I will remember the beautiful time we spent together on this world, and I look back on it with such a sweetness. It is not an ugly thing, to create life, it is a hard thing to lose it, and it’s a sacred thing to remember it. Everyone deals with loss differently. Some people mourn in silence, and I thought at first that was the “proper” thing to do. I felt very alone with all the deep hard feelings of my miscarriages, until I realized they were mine, no one else’s. They were mine to experience, and mine to deal with in my own way. In the way God created me to mourn. I respect and encourage anyone who has dealt with this loss to deal with it exactly the way you feel you need to. If that means keeping it completely to yourself, mourning with only friends and family, or reaching out to others for support, it is YOUR choice and YOURS alone. Never let someone take that right away from you. It is your child. Your experience. I cannot stress this enough. To anyone who has dealt with the loss of a child, my heart is with you. My love is with your little one, and my prayers are for your healing. May you feel loved, and may you love the time you had with your child. To anyone watching or helping a loved one through this, let their journey unfold the way it was meant to, not the way society has forced upon us. Love, support, encourage, give space when space is needed, hold tight when comfort is wanted, and have patience and understanding for the journey they are going through. Do not be ashamed for the life you created and the love that was born.

The Puzzle Junkies AKA: Neurologists

I’m pretty sure this is why Doctors decide to go into the field of Neurology or Neurosurgery, they are legit Puzzle-Junkies. Why else would you dedicate your life’s work to a field filled with so many unknowns? Thank God they did or else I’d really be in a pickle. Changing the dosage of the meds I was already on had no effect on my headaches or vision. In fact, both were becoming worse over the last several days.  I had an episode where it felt like someone was stabbing me in the right front part of my head followed by my arms feeling like they were on fire, then going completely numb. This shook me pretty badly, and with all things considered, my doctor had me come straight back up to Denver. I tried to work out a phone-appointment but it wouldn’t work, as he had to run certain tests, check out how my eyes were working, and with the brain, you really never know what you are going to find-he didn’t want to miss a thing. Well since it was incredibly last minute and the busiest week of the summer, I headed up on my own (I know, I know). The drive was great and uneventful for the first half. My vision is blurry, and crazy, but I’d like to put everyone’s worries to rest. As of now, I’ve passed their drivers tests and am cleared to drive. That might change pretty soon but for right now, it’s ok. I avoid driving when I can, and living downtown has been so helpful as I can walk almost everywhere, but I only ever drive when I know it’s safe and I feel completely comfortable, so don’t worry! Right after I passed through FairPlay and into the last mountain pass before the city, my fancy smarter-than-me car let me know my tire was loosing pressure and I needed to fill it up soon. I sighed and thought Of course. IMG_7158I made it to a little mechanic shop in Bailey and by then my tire pressure had dropped to 10psi out of 38 (AHH). The gentleman there patched the tire for me but let me know I needed new ones immediately as the tread was separating from he actual tire (I don’t know what that means). So off to Denver I went, hoping to just make it to my appointment at this point. Right when I got into the city, my car let me know that tire was slowly leaking again… as well as the other front tire. I had about 15 minutes to get to the south side of Denver so I prayed the whole way that I would just make it to the appointment, and I could deal with these tires after.

I made it! The appointment was a hard one. My Doctor could tell this has started to get to me, and I can tell this is equally as frustrating for them. He also could tell things were getting worse with my eyes and with the pressure around my brain. He consulted with my Neurosurgeon who was thankfully in the office that day and they came up with two options. A) Admit me immediately, start me on steroids to stop the swelling in my brain, and I would stay in the hospital under observation until we have figured this out-which could be a while-OR, B) Stop the medication I am on immediately, as it could be aggravating things and causing my brain to swell even more, and start me on a course of steroids to reduce swelling in my brain, followed by a new medication to control ICP. He looked at me and asked, “Do you want to be admitted?” Obvious answer, NO. But as that was about to leave my mouth I realized I really need help. I’m desperate at this point, and I’m wearing down. I looked at him and said, “I want to get better. If you think I need to be admitted to do so, than admit me. If you think its safe to try one or two more things at home, let me try them.” He thought it over and decided on letting me try the at-home route (yay!!) But no more solo trips to Denver (agreed). It was also a hard appointment because I hate the part of me that is feeling completely defeated by this illness. He asked me how life is at home. I almost cried when I said, “It’s gorgeous and I want to live it. My kids need a mom who doesn’t just survive, but who lives.” It’s exasperating to try and act as well as you’re supposed to or as well as you look when everything in your body is going hay-wire. It’s like someone stuck me in one of those crazy mirror mazes, turned all the lights off, then told someone else to guide me through it. Someone who is sitting on the sidelines, can’t see where I’m at, can’t feel what I’m feeling, but is supposed to figure it out… somehow. (Sorry, my metaphors sometimes go down a rabbit hole only I actually understand.) He’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure.  I’m aware that sometimes this illness has no cure, sometimes people suffer partial or complete blindness, constant headaches and migraines, personality changes, memory loss, forgetfulness, vertigo, and the list goes on. It’s terrifying to think about, but I know we still have time to try and fix this. Going over these feelings with the Doc helped me a bit, helped me understand I’m not the only person who goes through these feelings when dealing with “crazy brain syndrome” (My name not his).

So here we go, diving into a five day course of steroids which will most likely make me a sobbing rage monster (sorry fam) then onto a new medication which could take up to a month or two to take effect. The appointment lasted almost two hours instead of 30 minutes, and I knew I needed tires before I drove home. I found a place pretty close to the hospital and made it there about 6 minutes before they were going to close. Thanks to my new friend Randy at Discount Tires, they stayed late and replaced all my tires! By then it was about 7pm and all I had eaten was coffee (doesn’t count, I know) So I made the call to hop up to Fort Collins and get some sleep before heading home in the morning. I don’t even know how many times I’ve bummed a bed from my friends up there, but they have never, not once, let me down and I am incredibly grateful for it. They always make us feel welcome and wanted and that goes further than you might ever know when you find yourself in these kinds of positions over and over again. (Thank you guys, love you to the moon and back).

Right on cue, headaches woke me up bright and early so I got ready and headed back home. Somewhere on the far side of FairPlay I was in a line of cars cruising at about 75mph making great time when we popped over a hill and traffic was at a complete stop. I slammed on my brakes as did everyone in front of me, and out of habit, looked in my rear-view mirror to see who was following me, and if they would do the same. My stomach sank in 0.4 second as I saw the huge semi barreling over the hill, slam on his breaks, swerve, and shoot off the road, missing me by a few feet. We all pulled off and made sure he was ok, which he was. We saw what stopped traffic: A semi who didn’t pull all the way off the road to do who knows what, even though a pull out was 5 feet in front of him. The truck driver of the semi behind me pulled his truck back on the road, up to the other truck who was taking a hint that this was not the greatest spot to take a break and pulling off, and had a few choice words for him. I left at that point, glad everyone was ok, and glad the driver was learning road etiquette (even if it was the hard way).  I looked back to where the Semi went off the road. It was one of the only flat, grassy spots along HWY 285. Almost anywhere else on this entire drive would have proved disastrous for the driver. I’m thankful he was ok, thought fast, and avoided squishing me like a bug. And I’m really thankful I don’t ever have to drive a Semi… I made it back to Pagosa in time to catch the tail end of my parents grand opening of the Beehive Home, grabbed my new meds, (way too many prescriptions to be walking around with honestly) and met Blake for coffee. And now life has resumed it’s “normal” course here in this gorgeous mountain town. I’m heading back up in two weeks to see the Neuro Ophthalmologist and my Neurologist. Hopefully I’ll have good news to report and my brain will finally be through with this endless tantrum it’s throwing!

My Non-Tumor Tumors

The last couple of weeks have been possibly as confusing as it gets. It all started when I met with my Doctors in May. I noted that I was experiencing some blurry vision on and off, and some new headaches since my good spell after the surgery. Dr. P., the Neuro ophthalmologist told me my vision had gone from 20-25/30 to about 20-45 since the last time he saw me, so I should call him when things calmed down to get glasses. Well, I called about three weeks ago after my vision began to become a pretty annoying issue. It would go blurry without warning or an obvious reason. Since I thought it was probably just my normal vision issues, I left a message with his secretary and didn’t expect an immediate reply. Well, a week and a half went by before I heard anything. Then I received a very worried call from a nurse at their office. She asked me a whole slew of questions, several of which didn’t even have to do with my vision. Then she asked me to come into the office immediately. “Um, it’s 3 PM and I live 6 hours away.” I replied. “Wait, then how far are you from the nearest hospital?” She asked in a frantic voice. I explained I wasn’t too far from our little hospital here and she instructed me not to travel more than 10 or 15 minutes from that hospital, and that she needed to speak to the Doctor but would call me right back. So yeah, by this point I was freaked out. I honestly just thought I probably needed glasses. The fact that my blurry vision would come and go was a little strange, but what hasn’t been strange for me lately? I called my mom pretty shook up at this point just to have her help me calm down. All I could think of at this point was that somehow they knew something worse was going on behind the scenes, and just as tumor growth started to creep into my mind, the office called me back.  This time it was the nurse and my Doctor. They explained that since it was a weekend now, they would like me to come down on Monday and Dr P. would head in to meet me since he was actually off the whole next week. He explained he really believed this could not wait and that this was probably serious but he needed to see me in person to find out if his suspicions were right or not. I had no clue what those suspicions were, but he did barely mention increased intracranial pressure possibly due to tumor growth or some unknown cause, maybe a delayed infection of some kind, or delayed post-surgical swelling. Like I have said on previous posts though, this Doctor is very careful about not saying things when he isn’t 100% sure. So up I went on Monday morning with a great friend, Jeanne Marie, who offered to tag along (THANK YOU). We met him at his closed office which he took a few minutes opening up before we got started. He asked me a slew of questions, ran his tests, and thought, All owls think a lot (Gold star if you get this).  He then explained that I would need an MRI and a Spinal tap/Lumbar Puncture in order for him to confirm his suspicions, but he was pretty sure I had something called IIH. Idiopathic (Meaning they don’t know why it happens) Intracranial Hypertension. Your skull is one solid fixed “bubble” containing important structures all supplied with nutrients by your Cerebro Spinal Fluid, or CSF. Sometimes your body can get confused and create too much of this fluid, therefore causing pressure to be forced on the soft or vulnerable parts of your brain. Brain tissue and Blood volume in your CNS also play a part in regulating your intracranial pressure (ICP) So something along the way, maybe my brain tumor, maybe something that remains a mystery, has caused my ICP to rise above normal, giving me the symptoms of all sorts of different tumors. This is the reason my vision goes in and out, and is getting worse by the day. This is also the reason for my stroke-like headaches and migraines, the constant pulsating ringing in my ears (Tinnitus), my balance issues, and most likely the cause of my worsening left sided weakness. The most common and severe consequence of this ailment is swelling of the optic discs resulting in complete vision loss. We discussed when and where I should get these tests done and he mentioned going to an ER that night but said he really didn’t see the point in me waiting for 8 hours in an emergency room when we really did have some time to figure this out. That time was just spent with me in horrible pain from the headaches. So we decided on letting me go home that night, spend the 4th of July with my family, then head right back up to Denver to receive the tests at the same hospital my Neurologist worked at so there would be no confusion with him receiving the results. I am very thankful that Jeanne-Marie came with me that day because I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself home, simply because he had to dilate my eyes for one of the tests. That little thing would’ve kept me up there by myself for the fourth, away from my kids and husband. But instead we were able to head straight home and I had a lovely day with my babies! Wednesday, Dr P. texted me and let me know it should be all set up to schedule the tests and get them done in the next day or so, all I had to do was call my Neurologist’s office. Well, three days and countless hours on the phone later, we had reached the weekend and I was no closer to scheduling the tests than before. Something about having the right person ask the hospital to ask our insurance to authorize the tests was the problem. Finally I made a friend who fought on my side, and Monday at noon I was finally able to get in… at 6:30am the next morning. So I called up Jeanne-Marie who had offered to go with me again, and she was ready, quick as a hiccup! We drove in that evening to Fort Collins to stay with friends and family, got a few hours rest, then headed to the hospital.

My pre-op nurses name was Sydney so I knew it would turn out alright 😉 The procedure went smooth, other than the fact that the right side of my spine/back didn’t go numb, so I felt the needle puncture my spine, and yes, it hurt like the dickens. One of the techs assisting the Dr. had a led apron on that was covered in little cartoon veggies all with big happy faces, so whenever it hurt particularly bad, I focused on the cute little friendly foods and made it through. When it didn’t hurt however, I was able to watch the procedure via X-ray on a screen right next to me. That got my geeky blood pumping! All in all, it wasn’t that bad. I was wheeled straight from there to MRI where I peacefully fell sound asleep (That’s a first!) and woke up to the tech telling me the scans all turned out crystal clear! Phew! Back to recovery I went to lay flat and avoid the dreaded Spinal headache. I got a little one off and on through the day but woke up that night with the worst stabbing head pain I’ve ever felt. I downed probably one too many aspirin, drank an entire bottle of water, and prayed for it to go away. I woke up a couple more times to find the headache slowly subsiding. I spent the rest of that first day laying flat in bed like they said, and golly it felt good. Sometimes you don’t realize how doggone tired you are until someone makes you rest. We had to wait two days for the results from my tests and to see my Neurologist. Thursday morning I headed into my appointment feeling crazy nervous. I had no clue what to expect at this point. And to be honest, I was afraid they would tell me they had no clue what was causing these issues. That would mean they had no clue how to fix me. Thankfully, they were able to make the diagnosis of IIH or as my Neurologist called it, Pseudo Tumor. I am literally getting the symptoms of a slew of different brain tumors, one surrounding my optic nerves, one compressing my cerebellum, one inhibiting hearing, just without the tumor. They don’t know if my actual tumor set off this imbalance or if I have had this all along, it is just now reaching a chronic stage, but they know it’s getting bad quick.

We will start by trying to treat it with the same kind of medication I am already on, just a much higher dosage. If this doesn’t treat it, there are a few more options we can try before surgery to place a shunt. It is a rare disorder, and one that almost always goes un-diagnosed until it is too late. I am, again, grateful for the kindness and compassion these Doctors have shown me through their amazing attention to detail and the fact that they always have listened no matter how many weird things my brain has thrown at them. This whole situation now, from start to finish is finally making sense. They are now starting to connect dots that seemed impossible to relate, and I see the relief in their faces as well. During the routine neuro exam he does at each appointment, he came to find my left side, mostly my arm and hand, are doing even worse than last time, and I need to get back to Physical Therapy immediately. But he also had a hope that with the combination of PT and managing my IIH, we might actually be able to regain full function of my left side. That’s the first time I’ve been able to truly see this as a possibility!

I left with a massive weight off my shoulders. All the nerves from the days before were long gone. I was, as always, in good and capable hands, placed there by a savior who has heard my prayer to deliver me. I’ve prayed this prayer often over the last few weeks of uncertainty. I thought this was probably just it. I didn’t escape brain surgery or a brain tumor unscathed. I was declining the way so many expect to see after a trauma like those. I was afraid and wondering what the point of fighting so hard was, when I remembered my God is a deliverer and he can deliver even me out of this darkness I was slipping into. It’s a hard thing for me to tell you all this, I was not proud of how weak I was beginning to feel in all areas of my life, especially emotionally. But once I remembered the pure strength of the God I serve, I was not afraid. I was still nervous because I truly believe God brings healing and deliverance in so many different forms. Wether that was me rapidly declining to the point of permanent deficits or worse, and leading a life shaped and blessed by those circumstances, or wether that was bringing complete and total healing. My God’s will and plan for this life he chose for me is greater than anything I could wish for, and I will thank him and praise him in all things. I got home last night and held my babies close, thanking God for giving me so much more than I ever deserve. Yes, things may still not go how I would like, I’m likely in for a heck of a lot more pain before we figure this out, but I know something now I feel I learn over and over again. He is with me. He will never leave me or forsake me.