...and this time, 9 months later we were the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl. She also turned out to be a very agreeable, totally flexible, baby girl, which was a good thing.
At this point, I still didn't know God, I still didn't understand suffering and I was still on the "life just isn't fair" tour. While I had been pregnant, both of my grandmothers died. It just didn't seem fair that they had waited so long to see my baby and neither of them made it.
I also discovered during the pregnancy that I had a thyroid tumor. The doctors did what tests they could at the time and couldn't come up with anything conclusive, so once our daughter was born I had to undergo more tests. The result of all that was that when she was 8 weeks old I was scheduled for surgery to have it removed.
I desperately wanted to nurse her so I worked very hard with a lactation consultant to pump and store my milk so that she could still receive my milk through the surgery. The hospital was great; they put me on the maternity floor so I could have her with me and worked with me to get her nursing again.
The week before my surgery, I also started having gall bladder attacks. Fortunately I was already scheduled for surgery, so the doctors decided to do a 2 for 1 deal on me. If the gall bladder went well, which it did, they would move on to the thyroid, which they did. What a deal!
My daughter took to nursing again only to be cut off once more for good, because two months later I had to go back to the hospital for radiation since my thyroid tumor was cancerous. Oh the frustrations of having a 3 month old and not being able to hold her close to me at all for the first week, and then only for short periods of time for a few weeks after that.
The lessons I learned during this time only came to me after I had my conversion. I can look back now and see how God's hand was in everything. I am thankful for the grace that I can see was present then, even though I didn't realize it at the time. I am thankful that God made my daughter as laid-back as she was. I didn't see any of this then. It just all seemed unfair. If I have one regret about all of this, it is that I wish I could have made use of all of that suffering. It seems like such a waste to have not done anything with it. However, since God does not work within our time constraints, maybe He still made use of it.
I'm happy to say that things got better after those first three months. It's funny, though, how after trying for so long to get pregnant, I still only wanted to have two kids and I was in no hurry to have another one. However, our plans are not always God's plans, especially when we aren't working that closely with Him...