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Friday, July 06, 2007

humming to the beat of a different fiddler


What better day to jump back into the world of chronicling thoughts than today? What better method than to act as though weeks hadn’t passed with nary a whisper of fingers to key? That time has fleeted by, and it is long past the hour when I should be asleep, but thoughts tickle at my mind. I want to sleep (though not tired), and I know I should sleep, but soon is soon enough for such things.

There is this little thing called a Hump Day Hmm perpetuated by Julie at The Raven Picture Maven. Now, I realize that today is not Wednesday, and therefore not the day of humpliness. I also have just enough rationality left to admit that my particular hmm stems not from this week’s hump, but from that mid-week hill that we passed way back on the 20th of June.

There is something about the phrase “accident of birth” that just speaks to me. I found myself looking up the word accident on Dictionary.com. I have trouble with the word “accident” in some uses, because it has such negative connotations. But I found two definitions which spoke to me in this regard.

3. any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.


5. a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.

Ah, such a wondrous stroke of good fortune that the phrase “accident of birth” is actually associated with the definition I find most appealing for this topic.

Years ago, my mother and I almost died through a little thing called childbirth. Placenta previa was far less frequently diagnosed in the era before routine ultrasound. Blizzards in rural areas and hemorrhaging pregnant women (some thirty miles from the nearest hospital) would not easily add up to a living child and mother – the same mother who, years earlier, almost wasn’t born.

Years and years ago, a woman with an almost total hysterectomy gave birth. All that remained of her reproductive tract was one ovary and a small bit of uterine wall (in the doctor’s eyes, just enough to keep early menopause from triggering). That baby would grow up to become my mother-in-law.

Accidents? Coincidences? Miracles?

My first year of marriage was not a happy one – at all. However, we did find ourselves expecting a baby after about five months. Was this an accident? We weren’t “not trying.” I am not a proponent of having a child to fix marital issues. Generally, that is a very bad idea. For us, though - for me specifically, the first look from those newborn eyes left me drastically changed. My soul center shifted, erasing hurts and guilt – re-erecting the core of my faith as the core of my life.

My second child came. Purpose deepened; love grew. The third child brought, at first, a relaxed familiarity along with the joy. Soon, however, I found myself overwhelmed with three small children who got into every conceivable mischief in the amount of time it took to blink.

Depression loomed. Marital bliss suffered in its wake. Accident came again (not oopsie daisy accident, but “without deliberate plan”). There was fear involved in the joy of two pink lines (or blue, or purple. I’ve lost track over the years) - fear stemming from deep within - terror on some levels (am I adequate?), anxiety on others (will this make the tensions more or less acute?).

My fourth child was born, but born without cries or breath or open eyes. And, in the permanent weld of white-hot torment shared, the birth of a child into Jesus’ arms made petty irritations lose all value.

Unfairness? Accident? Miracle?

A fifth child came along - very much planned, yet so much an accident. Had his brother survived, the timing would have been different. The same combinations of momma and daddy might never have come to be. The family might have been deemed complete. The fifth child brought the fourth set of living cries to my external senses – a gift both powerful and frightening.

Child six, my fifth to keep, followed several early miscarriages. Is his genetic make-up accidental as well? He brought with him hope that life could come again from this body.

Child seven! Child seven? I never planned on having a large family. Is that accident as well? Is it accident that led that sperm to that egg and created a female baby? It certainly packed shock value!

A fortuitous circumstance led to such happy accident (serendipity, I love thee well)!

But today, today (well, yesterday in physical fact, even if I haven’t been to bed yet), TODAY! My best friend had a living, breathing, beautiful baby girl. Today, while her mummy tried to fitfully sleep in the post C-section haze, I got to hold in my arms such joyous evidence that there is most certainly a Great Designer. I got to look into newborn eyes and feel the unadulterated peace of lulling fussy whimpers into innocent sleep.

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5 Comments:

  • First:

    You're back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Next:

    I guess you are uniquely qualified to talk about this subject. That is an incredible story, well all the stories, of your birth, your mom's and you MIL.

    I feel the same way about babies. It is hard to not believe when you look at those little wonders.

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 11:33 AM  

  • Oh wow! For such an amazing story I say better late than never. How incredible and awesome. Don't some things just make you feel huge and tiny all at once, within something bigger? This is how I feel my faith in me sometimes.

    So glad to see you back. :)

    By Blogger Julie Pippert, at 12:17 PM  

  • Congrats aunty atypical :)

    Glad to see you back. I was wondering if you hopped on a plane and took a trip across the pond.

    By Anonymous heath111, at 11:41 PM  

  • Congratulations, ma'am.

    And welcome to the world, wee-one.

    By Blogger Mel, at 7:53 AM  

  • Mary, I so wish I had more time to spend on this machine! Of course, it would be better if I could dictate my thoughts directly to the blog, but hey.....

    Yup, babies are just wonderful things!

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    Julie, yes, huge and tiny. And to be honest, those are my favorite things.

    I've missed being able to comment over at your place (and actually managing a hmmm from time to time). I choose to have this false hope that my life is going to settle down sometime soon. ;)

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    h - Thanks, woman! And no trips across the pond for me. You know how I feel about having my picture taken. ;)

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    mel, thanks! I hope you are enjoying your visitors (oh wee ones of the past).

    -t

    By Blogger atypical, at 2:20 AM  

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