I had a grand mal seizure 4 weeks ago; at 32 weeks pregnant & 6 years seizure free.
It’s funny how the things we worry about least, or don’t even dream of worrying about, are the things that waltz onto our paths. A spinal tumor. A pandemic. A grand mal seizure while 32 weeks pregnant.
It’s slowly (ok…very, very slowly… 😉 ) starting to teach me: Why even worry at all?
Our main worry the last 3 years has been my spinal tumor. My seizures have been controlled by medication for so long, the once worrisome epilepsy was placed on the furthest back burner—simmering away for years and years.
And bam. It boiled over.
Like so many other people, we thought journeying to a baby would be like the movies. Easy & instant. But time and time again, we’ve been knocked on our rears, hushed, and sat down for yet another lesson. Once we finally got our first positive pregnancy test last Summer, we naively happy danced and rejoiced. Soon after, we lost both babies growing in my belly. Shortly after that, this little rainbow baby boy appeared. Still in the thick of a grief we’d never yet faced, we wrestled hugely for weeks in trusting that this baby had any chance at all in staying with us. At 24 weeks, once we hit textbook viability, I felt myself finally sink into the possibility of meeting our son, alive, on Earth. And shortly after that? As we finalized delivery plans with our families and prepped for our baby shower, the pandemic stepped in. As we embraced the unexpected time together in our last couple months just the two of us, peacefully online shopping for finishing touch nursery items, a grand mal seizure stepped into our path. Right as we settled into finding the comfort in the discomfort, the last thing we ever expected to happen happened.
Gonna be honest here: this has really thrown me for a loop. I’ve danced daily with mom guilt and wife guilt; feeling like I’ve failed the two people who mean the most to me. Logically, I know this simply isn’t true, and nothing I’ve done or could’ve done would’ve prevented this. But logic likes to lay low when fear is at the table.
Shaking the fear loose enough to have a seat with logic, I realized: Our burdens are just as carefully and uniquely crafted for us as our blessings.
Tied up in a bow, our names beautifully hand-lettered on the dangling tag, they wait for us to be ready to open them.
Sometimes, they surprise us. Sometimes, we open them and wonder what in the hell is going on here, unable to muster up even the faintest of polite, grateful smiles.
When we receive a burden, it feels the furthest thing from a gift. None of us face a burden and think, “AH! Just what I wanted! HOW DID YOU KNOW!?” Most often, at first, when we receive a burden, we reject it and deny it as abhorrently as a toddler rejects cough syrup. We likely feel similarly too: Everything about this is gross. How could this help me in any way. I already feel sick, NOW you’re giving me THIS to swallow? What. The. Heck. Mom.
Rarely, if ever, do we instantly swallow the cough syrup burden with unbridled joy and gratitude.
Baby boy is miraculously ok. Warrior that he is, the last few weeks of fine tooth comb tests have shown he is beautifully healthy. My near broken ribs serve as proof that his karate kicks are as present as ever. 😝
It’s taken me awhile to choke down this burden. But every burden I’ve been given thus far has always brought me even more blessings. Every single one.
Three years ago, the spinal tumor knocked me on my rear enough to realize that we don’t have forever, and led me to finally pursue my career in writing. Last fall, the double miscarriage led me into the most incredible community of women–and even further lit a fire under me to keep pushing, keep sharing, keep writing. The burden of this seizure kicked my deep desire for a healthy, happy son into higher than ever gear. It brought Luke and I even closer. It brought us even more peace in our team of doctors. And it allowed us a peek of what parenting this little guy might be like. Just like any other blessing: handled with a careful balance of holding on and letting go.
With this burden comes the blessing of parenthood. Both of which carefully and uniquely crafted, tied up in a bow, uniquely crafted just for us.
Burdens and blessings. One cannot exist without the other. Both will knock you on your rear once in awhile. But both, like anything else, are always better when embraced and shared.
Big Hugs & Hopes For More Blessings Than Burdens,