Thursday, August 21, 2014

Brokenness, Beauty and Pain

Hello again blog readers. I know I haven't written in some time. But I need to start again, else I'll go crazy. So Traci and I are now the parents of four beautiful sons. Three of whom are affected by Hartsfield Syndrome. We have made genetic history again. Though it's a lot simpler when you realize your odds are 50/50.

Collin was born August 13. So we kept our August birthday streak alive, but his is ten days after the other two. When we got pregnant last year, I remember Traci taking a pregnancy test as a lark, when I kept telling her she had to be pregnant. She came out of the bathroom, holding the test and looked at me and said, "Now what do we do, I took the test so I could tell you to leave me alone about being pregnant."

A flurry of anxiety hit both of us, but then I said, "Well don't worry, this baby will surely be a typical child, and be a spark of fun and humor like Matt." Then it came time for ultrasounds. Traci and I were excited because at one of his first ones it clearly looked like he had five budding fingers on a hand and was waving at us. But course, the more ultrasounds we saw, the more brokenness we saw. But yet we held out hope. Maybe he would be so mildly affected we wouldn't even have to deal with any issues.

 As I said Collin took his first breaths at around 5 o clock, on the 13th. We soon discovered he would be no easy case. Though he does have a full complement of fingers. His cleft is more severe, he has an as yet undiagnosed lump on his nose, either it is a proboscis, or an encephalocele. So he either has a lump of spare nose parts or brain matter clinging to his face. Awesome.

It's been a struggle trying to find time to be at the hospital with him, trying to find time for the other three, trying to find a moment to breathe and process and thank God for the new life he has given us charge over.

Admittedly I haven't done a whole lot of that last one. Being a parent is supposed to be the greatest gift we have We participate in the Fatherhood of God Almighty. Why is my participation such a struggle. Why are we the ones force to find beauty in the broken.

I've written before about understanding Simon the Cyrenian's place. Being forced to do something you don't want to do, that will have a great impact beyond yourself. But lately it just feels so much more like just pain, there is no beauty in the sandbox, it's full of glass, full of broken pottery, discarded like yesterday's breakfast.

Last year when we found out about Jake I leaned heavily on the song "Nothing is Wasted," by Jason Gray. The song essentially says that no pain, no moment in your life is wasted, That Christ will put the pieces all together and make you whole one day. The song spoke so clearly to me, the circumstances of my first hearing of the song, all seemed like He had written the song specifically for me.

Interesting side note about young Collin he is essentially named after Collin Raye, the country singer. One day I was listening to a CD of his, all religious songs, and I thought the name Collin Michael. I came home and told Traci, I had a great name for the new one. Over time she fell in love with the name as I had. It seems kind of fitting it wasn't long after our meeting Mr. Raye, that she found out she was pregnant.

But Lord this one hurts. I even entertained the idea of a vasectomy, I was in so much pain after hearing another Hartsfield diagnosis. Traci had a down moment herself the other day, as we sat in Collin's room, she was so very sad and asking why his soul couldn't have gone to a family that made "normal children."

I told her that his soul had been a part of our family since before time began. That, I do believe. Collin's theme song has been "I Get What I Need," from our good friend Collin Raye. It's a song about how sometimes we pray for things, anticipating getting one thing, but then God gives us something else, which in turn produces the desired result, but not from the way we wanted it.

I guess this is just me whining and complaining about everyone else's garden looks so easy to tend and yet ours is so, so difficult. My sons are beautiful, all four of them and I wouldn't want to not have any of them, yet the pain, the sleepless nights, the sadness all take their toll.

You really shouldn't have to worry about outliving your children, and yet I do. To the point the idea has kept me up way too late too many times.

One bright side perhaps is that Matt seems much less terrified of Collin than he was of Jake. It took quite a while last year for Matt to go near Jake, but this year, before the summer cold of doom, gripped us the times he did see his new baby brother, he pronounced him as "Cuute." 

That kid has become my sanity, it's a hell of a lot to put on a four year old. Too much. So I don't tell him that, I just frequently take him with me when I do even the most mundane of errands.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Prayers for your whole family. We can never understand why we receive the crosses we do. We can only ask Him for the strength to bear them.