Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Am Wonderfully and Fearfully Made

Everyone has a cross that is perfectly fitted to her back. Mine is multiple c-sections. I've got Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which means that common worries such as breaking down on D.C's Outer-Loop or over-drawing my checking account can sometimes cause me to experience panic attacks. But nothing, nothing causes the blood to freeze in my veins like surgery.

So what does our great God do, He hands me a body that can only eject my pretty, happy babies through C-sections. Multiple, multiple c-sections.

Oh, and for good measure, He throws me into an intense anti-life time in America where most secular MDs are completely freaked out by multiple child-birth, much less multiple c-sections, and casually throw out helpful comments like "don't you know the maternal death statistics for women with your c-section history?" without bothering to review my medical chart.

Those type of random, shot from the hip, comments from visiting obs who have no formal connection to my life are just guaranteed to set off all the panic buttons in my mind. And I always seem to run into these "helpful" second guessing doctors at the weakest times of my psyche.

This time (at number 5!) I was determined to be strong. Thanks to Baby Tessy's dramatic experience in the NICU, I found out how surgeons really talk when "death is one the line." The talk about my newborn's risk of death during her necessary, life-saving surgery was calm, and smooth, and intense, and sweet. Nothing like the "Girl, you are so STUPID for using your uterus again" rant that I got from the "I've got fake concern for your health" obs that I sometimes run into on the multiple c-section question.

All the same, when my OB referred me to a specialist to take an extra hard look my unborn Baby Clare's placenta, I found myself getting some butterflies. The referral talk had some scary parts to it. I got a little scared. I prayed. I asked my husband to come to the appointment with me. I tried to steel myself to experience the worse.

Instead, this amazing doctor walked into our sonogram appointment.

"I'm sorry for wasting your time today," he said right away as he shook my husband's hand and then my own. Wasting our time?

Together the three of us marveled over these beautiful images. We could see Baby Clare's big head and a dark expanse of empty space above her. The was no sign of the worrisome placenta. Instead, the doctor flipped to another image. At the very top of my uterus, as far as possible away from my c-section scar, was the placenta. It looked clean and well-divided, as firm as a line in the sand. There was no sign that it was dangerously creeping past the uterine wall into trouble inside my body.

Then this amazingly kind, competent doctor showed me my c-section scar. It didn't looked hacked up or mutilated. It didn't look like there had been four previous surgeries on that same site. It was a tiny, single line--as thin as a small crack in a robin's egg.

It was as if God knew when he kick-started my little girl's life that her placenta needed to be planted as far as possible from my c-section scar. And when He created my uterus, back when I was as small as a pin in my own Mama's womb, He'd given that organ an extra measure of His healing grace.

I'm used to cooing over God's wonderful creative powers as reflected in each of my newborn's amazing bodies. This was the first time, however, I could see firsthand His healing grace reflected in my own.