Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Confessions of An HG Husband: The Darkness Does Pass

I believe in Angels.

No, not the kind with wings that have super powers and fight demons with super powers.  I believe in those awesome beings who do God's work, spread joy, peace, love, comfort and support upon the face of this earth. 

In the hour of need.

I've shared before how when my wife was pregnant with our daughter and had hyperemesis gavidarum the first time around I had H1N1 (swine flu, remember that?), my son had it and Carrie had HG.  While on the way to the hospital, wondering how I was going to take care of everything an angel came to our rescue.  Right then a woman from our church called my cell and asked if we needed anything.  She took my son and cared for him so I could spend hours and hours in the hospital with Carrie.

That was just one of the tiny miracles I experienced during the pregnancy of our first daughter.  During the pregnancy with our second daughter there have been many more miracles.

Meals have poured in.  Frozen meals I can thaw and cook when I need something.  Hot meals, chicken noodle soup, enchiladas, prime rib, chicken and rice casserole and more.  We have had a neighbor clear the sidewalk with a shovel, we have had another clear the driveway with a snow blower. 

There have been moments when I needed to try and get some sleep between Carrie's IV's, working graves and caring for kids.  Angels without complaint or question gladly took my little Lydia so I could rest.

During the bitterly horrible pregnancy there were so many angels to lift us up.  My Mom would take Lydia for the day and get Tyler out the door to school.  Often she was in obvious pain but did it anyway.  We later learned she had a condition that can be extremely painful when it flares up.

My Mother-in-law shouldered so much.  She practically became the kids' mother during the worst of the hyperemesis.  I look back now and I don't think I would have been able to mentally handle it all without the help of my two moms.  For some people "I don't think I would have been able to handle it" is an expressive saying.  For me, it was a harsh and cruel reality.  Angels saved me.

What is an angel if not a messenger from the Divine?  What better messenger than the one that lifts, strengthens those who are too weak to go it alone or comforts someone even though they can't fix the problem.

The Brightest Star

During Christmas time the women's organization at my church asked if I would narrate a story for their Christmas party.  Of course I would.  I practiced and sob that I am, couldn't make it through the story without crying.  It was so silly.  It was just a little book.  In the story an old man without a family travels to Bethlehem, he encounters Joseph and the pregnant Mary.  He also can't find a room in an inn, he can't find food, he is cold and alone.  Yet bit by bit, through the kindness and sacrifice of strangers, he is fed, comforted and eventually finds shelter in an already occupied manger.  There he becomes one of the first to hold the Christ Child.  I guess I wept because in some way I felt like that man.  I knew where I was headed.  I knew the journey would end but I couldn't do it on my own.  I hated that I couldn't do it on my own.  I felt like I should have been able to.  I shouldn't have been so weak.  I should have been able to handle it all just fine.  But reality is harsh and it is wise to see our own limitations and reading that little story gave me hope.  For me that silly little book and the story it told were a miracle.  A message God needed me to hear and understand.

Somehow during that actual program I managed to read the story for the first time without crying.

The Miracle of Prayer

Through the months that Carrie lay in bed suffering we felt lifted up by the love of others.  I know that at one time there were people praying for us on at lest four continents.  There is such a unifying power in such a prayer.  I cannot prove anything tangible but I tell you I felt it and those prayers lifted me up.  In those moments when Carrie would utter a whisper-plea to me, to anyone and to Heaven, "please, please, please" I found strength in knowing her pleas were not alone.

The Miracle That Has Blessed Our Life

I don't get much sleep these days because our little princess thinks she should be up until 4AM.  It's not hard to hold her close and count the blessings instead of sheep.  She is beautiful.  She is healthy.  She is ours.

I've been thinking about this battle with HG.  It could have killed my beautiful Carrie.  But it didn't.

I love my Carrie for having the courage to survive HG again, for knowing what she faced and being willing to get pregnant again when we felt like there was one more princess waiting for us in heaven.

Someone asked me on my blog how my wife could put me through this.  The question shocked me, but only because this is something we decided together, this is something we wanted together, this is something we survived together and this is something that has brought us closer.  Closer to each other and closer to the incredible people around us.

We don't shy away from hard things just because they might be difficult.  We do them because we knew our lives will be changed for the better, forever.  Our baby Kate is living proof of that.