April 23, 2011April 23rd, 2011 at 1:47 pm by Deanna Dewberry under Deanna's Journey
Christmas, 2001, we conceived little Avery despite what every fertility specialist had told us. We’d been told the chance of my getting pregnant was less than 1 percent. We’d begun researching adoption agencies, and then - surprise – the discovery of a little heart beating strong in my uterus. We knew this was our miracle baby, the little life we’d been struggling to conceive for almost four years.
Then in late February I began having unbearable abdominal pain. The specialist told me no worries – the fetus was fine. But I felt the life slipping away. I knew it instinctively, as does every mother connected by more than blood and DNA; it’s a soul connection with that little life growing inside your body that the male of our species could never quite understand. And I felt that soul leave in February. But I so wanted to believe baby Avery was fine, just as I’d been told.
Then, at my 12 week visit, the confirmation of what my soul had felt – that painful sight on sonogram - our little one lying lifeless in my uterus, her soul already nestled on the wings of angels. March 12th I had what so many mothers who have miscarried before me have endured, an operation to remove the dead child from my body. And as I left the hospital I noticed the tulips filling the grounds with a rainbow vibrant color – a reminder of God’s rainbow after the rain.
Every spring I’ve acknowledged the presence of that beautiful life lost with tulips. And so I stood there in Marsh, tulips in hand, remembering that day 9 years ago. And God spoke to me at that moment. He reminded me of the birth He brought to a hospital in Houston three days before I said goodbye to Avery. It was a baby named Ethan – a little boy we’d adopt a year and a half later. As we grieved our little one lost, He’d already breathed life into our son, the child He meant for us to raise. He told me it was time to stop grieving life lost, and celebrate a life given. I put the tulips back, and bought bubblegum for Ethan’s Easter basket instead.
I’m reminded of that as I grapple with the news from my oncologist. The pathologist found Fred’s cancerous core embedded in a mass of dead tissue. It was 9 mm, a tiny pea-sized shadow of the tumor it had been, but it was there nonetheless. The good news is that Fred’s no good kids had not traveled to my lymph nodes. So the liklihood of metastasis is very small. But because Fred survived the chemo onslaught, there’s still a chance that cells we can’t see are lying in wait. So now decisions must be made – more chemo? a post-surgical clinical trial? do nothing? And I ask God why didn’t He give me what I asked for – the complete annihilation of Fred. But I believe He has another plan - a better plan – just as He did when He took Avery to live with Him.
I’ll meet with my oncologist on Tuesday. And we’ll have some decisions to make. Pray for us. And we need prayer about another matter. My adoption counselor called this week. A baby girl is due in weeks. But is this the right time? Is this God’s time? Is this our child? Can I do night feedings and chemo simultaneously?
And so it is. Our God does indeed work in mysterious ways. This is not the way I would have chosen for events to unfold. But this I do know – His way is the right way, and all He asks of us is faith.