February 28, 2014

Be Still...



It is 5:23am.  I woke up at 1:47am and have been sleepless since.  I guess I might as well write. 

As I lay in bed with my body aching from tiredness, I couldn't decide why I felt so restless, other than the fact my Mom passed away what seems like both forever and just a day ago, all at the same time.  I also auditioned for "Listen to Your Mother" on her birthday, last Saturday, and surprisingly was chosen as a participant in the show.  How can I handle this vulnerability in front of an audience?  Especially an audience that may not understand the complexities of being an individual who was adopted. 

My husband also let me know last night that he has to go to a short business meeting today, out of town.  We worked it out so that we can drive together and talk, which we get precious little time to do, since our son has some special needs and we rarely leave him, except during school hours. 

Yet I'm triggered. 
Fear has been my biggest enemy.  My most deplorable battle. 

Laying in bed, I'm wondering why in the world can't I just sleep, when it hits me.  Today is February 28th.  The 34th anniversary of my First Mother's death.  I block it out half the time.  But the other half...

I don't know why I searched, except that I was driven to.  The day my 21 year old ears heard the words, "Norma passed away...", it felt as if the 21 minute old infant inside my heart screamed in terror and wilted in despair, all over again. 

It has taken all of my life to slowly understand the significance of why this would affect me so, when I never "knew" her.  Oh, but I did.  That is the misunderstanding of so many, including myself, for too long.  Babies know.  Babies are their mothers, for several months after birth...at least in their own experience.  If a child is not given permission to grieve the tremendous loss of her mother, and is expected to bond like an animal imprints...they will experience "disenfranchised" grief, possibly their entire life.  Being vulnerable enough to love deeply triggers such fear of loss it is almost unbearable.  If not awakened, and given the courage to grieve and heal, we hold it in our bodies; our subconscious memories.  Incongruence is no way to live. 

February 28th holds yet another significance now.

In 2005, my tiny son lay in an incubator, less than two months old and not yet weighing two pounds.  IV's pumped continuous high-dose antibiotics into his veins due to a hospital-induced staph infection he acquired on Valentine's day, his one month birthday.  This mother was beside herself.  He was the first baby in this hospital to receive Zyvox, a brand new drug, with possible side-effects a mile long.  The neonatologist had warned us that if his blood culture continued to come back positive for infection, they would have to start this regimen. 

It had been two weeks exactly, since his blood culture first showed infection, and Riphampin had not seemed to work, even though they never could pin-point exactly where the infection was, and the initial symptoms had resolved.  They infused the first dose of Zyvox on February 28th and did a routine blood culture that evening.  It came back negative.  He was infection free. 

We had been praying for two weeks and on the anniversary of my First Mother's passing he was well. 

I begged the doctor to stop the drug.  The known side-effects were enough to scare any mother.  What were the unknown?  He said it was necessary to finish the protocol once it was started. 

I devoured the internet for information and found Zyvox had only been tested on a handful of neonates.  Each night, for two long weeks, when the nurses would walk away, I stared intently as this bitter-sweet poison dripped slowly into his vein.  With everything in me I held back the intense desire to push the stop button. 

Instead, I wept, and shouted inside. Was my son being used as a guinea pig, because he was the first baby to fit the criteria to "need" this new drug, even though for less than a day?  Then, the same concerns surfaced again a few weeks later, when the doctors wanted to vaccinate my son while he was still so small and fragile.  I didn't have the fortitude or wisdom at the time to know I could refuse.  It wasn't until after his four month vaccinations, and I nursed him through high fevers yet again, that I had the presence of mind to research and know my rights.  The doctors had saved my one pound son.  They operated when he was three days old to repair a heart valve that would not close and was threatening his life.  I had to trust them.  Over the course of the next few weeks, he turned jaundice, the color of glowing ember...even his eyes glowed yellow.  It was horrible.  I thought I would go mad.  He endured hernia surgery through this as well, the first of three. 

Even after he came home he still glowed yellow.  The pediatrician mentioned that some babies never bounced back and needed a new liver, but he felt confident that my son would.  It was mostly drug-induced jaundice, he thought.  For weeks we stood on the scripture, "He will brighten our eyes"

God healed my son.  Yet again.

No wonder I am sleepless.  I feel better just pounding this out through my fingers, no matter how they hurt through the process.  I will enjoy my day today with my husband and choose peace.  I'm looking forward to attending a Women's Conference at my church tonight as well. 

I so treasured the last week I spent with my Mom in the hospital.  We would enjoy perusing the gift shop every day.  She seemed to gravitate towards a beautiful plague that we purchased to take back to her room.  It now hangs in my living room and as I look at it now, the words are such a tender reminder. 

"Be still, and Know that I Am God" Psalm 46:10    

As I write this and morning has broken, I can now hear my son's sweet voice as he plays before school, acting out an "adventure" and singing "Everything is Awesome" he learned from The Lego Movie the other day.  It reminds me of an evening several years ago.  Long before Andrew was born, a lady was praying for me and she felt that God was encouraging me to..."Feed my Lambs"...she mentioned the word "lighthouse" and then the word "adventure".  All of these words hold great significance to me now.  It comforts my heart. 

Dear Father, thank you for loving us.  Thank you for life.  For being faithful.  Help us learn to trust you.  Give us strength and hope.  We resist fear and receive your promises today and every day. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future".  Jeremiah 29:11 
 
"The thief came not but for to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to bring life, and life more abundant".  John 10:10
 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Pam Ecrement said...

Thanks for this powerful story.

Beth Herring said...

Beautiful. . resonates with my spirit as I lost my daddy way too young but God has truly been my comfort!

Meghan Weyerbacher said...

I am glad you awoke and wrote. Different people get healing in different ways, I have found this to be true for myself too - that writing is a process of healing in my life. I was touched by your story, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing it with the world. God bless you and I pray God's presence covers you in the year ahead.