We went along adjusting to our new home and our new baby girl. The next summer I got the exercise bug again (something that comes and goes on a random basis in my life) and I began to try to get back into shape. As always, I was just getting on a roll when something happened. I had had a hernia around my navel area that had previously only been noticeable at the end of my last couple of pregnancies. Unfortunately this time, the darn thing decided to act up when I wasn't pregnant! Not only that, but after about a week, it became incarcerated and needed to be operated on immediately.
Later that day, as I was being prepared for surgery, I casually mentioned that they should probably do a pregnancy test because there was always a chance that I could be pregnant. Right before surgery, the doctor called to tell me the test was positive. I was both elated and scared. I got the talk about how, because the baby was so "new", there was a good chance that I would miscarry. With an even heavier heart, I went into surgery, praying that this new life would be okay.
Well, we waited and waited, but as I healed, the baby continued to thrive. No miscarriage, no complications; at least not with the baby. My internal incisions, however, were another story. Obviously the surgeon new I was pregnant and that there was a good chance the hernia would "reappear", but he did what he could and used heavy-duty whatever-they-use to sew me up. As the baby grew, however, I noticed that there was this distinct point that was appearing in the area of my incision. Eventually, a hole wore through and out popped the end of the "wire". It was very interesting, and needless to say, quite uncomfortable. I then knew that the hernia was going to need to be repaired again.
About six months into the pregnancy, we were watching a Father Corapi video. He was telling us about how we needed to be heroic soldiers for Christ, how we needed to be willing to suffer for the conversion of our world. AMEN was my enthusiastic response. Bring it on! Okay, another lesson...don't say that unless you are really ready to accept what God is going to give you. Within one hour of that moment I was in tremendous abdominal pain. The baby had been doing a somersault to get into the "head down" position and ripped another hole in my abdominal wall! Hernia number two!
Well, time went on. Pope John Paul II died, I passed up my due date, none of my clothes fit because I was soooooo huge I thought I was having twins, and everyone was worried about how I was going to birth this baby without blowing apart my abdomen.
We had just returned from a prayer service at our church for the passing of the Pope when I went into labor. I was preparing to have a home birth with a wonderful midwife. She came out a little later and she was so calm and confident that it truly was the best birth out of all of them. Bouncing, baby boy #2 was born during the hour of mercy and he was...well, huge! In fact, the midwife had us get a bag of flour from the kitchen so she could test the accuracy of her scale. Our newest baby weighed in at 11 pounds 10 ounces. No wonder my clothes weren't fitting! The most incredible thing happened next. As we lay there, my new son and I, he looked into my eyes for the longest time...I mean REALLY looked into them, like he was looking into my soul. "This boy is destined for something great", I thought.
After eight weeks I went in and had both my hernias repaired with much better success this time. We successfully kept nursing throughout the experience, with only a short break for surgery and recovery.
I learned a lot about trust during this pregnancy! Trust in God that everything would turn out okay, no matter what. And God was faithful, as He always is. The grace was there when we needed it.
So that is our journey. I have learned so much throughout my pregnancies. What a blessing they have been. What an educational experience...one that has produced 7 fabulous gifts. God is good. All the time!