Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look on the bright side...

I am surrounded by people having babies. Again. And, while I'm happy for these people, I can't help but still think about how it should have been for me. When will this feeling go away? Maybe never.

I would never wish anything horrible, especially as horrible as I've experienced, on any of my friends. Yet I still wonder why for them everything will go as planned, or at least they'll end up with a happy healthy (non-screamy) baby in the end. Whenever I read that so-and-so had a beautiful baby boy/girl and baby and mama are both healthy, it makes me sick to my stomach all over again.

Maybe it's because recently I've been retelling our story in efforts to reach my fundraising goal for Phoenix Children's Hospital. Remembering what it felt like to have the doctors tell me my child would be "curled up" and nothing more than a vegetable is almost as hurtful as it was the first time I heard it. It actually might hurt more, I think when it happened I was in shock and didn't comprehend exactly what that meant.

It's hard to go out in public. I see children everywhere. Happy, healthy children. I see children whose parents have no idea what it's like to sit in a hospital with your brand new baby all day and then come home to sleep in a house without her. And I shouldn't know what that feels like either.

So, why me? Maybe I'll never know.

I feel this way of thinking eating at me, so what's the other side of it? On KLOVE recently the afternoon DJs have been asking people to share what horrible situations in your life has God turned around as blessings. And as I listened to a couple of these today, I found myself wishing I could be like them instead. These were people who saw the tragedy for what it was (a horrible car accident, getting kicked out of your house as a teenager, etc), but then chose to look at it the way God saw it, as an opportunity to praise Him. Why can't I be more like that?

This blog is called Beck Family Blessings, right? So, here are some of the ways our family has been blessed through this tragedy:

* I have learned SO MUCH about the world of special needs. I know how our brains work (and don't), I understand visual impairments that I never even knew existed, I know what a G-tube is, what an NG-tube is, and that I NEVER want my baby to have either. And I've met a number of really special people that I never would have come in contact with had we not had this happen to us.

* I have learned what I am made of, what my marriage is made of, and what my family is made of. We've all really had to step it up from day 1. My dad still talks of how hard it was for him to go out and meet the ambulance the night Sadie was born. My mom, who didn't have a return ticket home, stayed the ENTIRE time Sadie was in the hospital and cooked and cleaned for us. She couldn't drive at the time because her foot was in a cast, yet she completely on her own figured out how to get to and from the hospital when she wasn't able to ride with us. I went MONTHS without sleeping more than 3 hours at a time (if that), and that was with a baby attached to me. I've suffered days of screaming, and car rides of pure terror. Brian has had to live in a filthy house and do most of the chores himself as well as on his weekends get less sleep because he's helping me out and letting me get out of the house for an hour or two. It hasn't been easy, and I'm sure the hard part isn't over, but I am really sure now of how strong I can be.

* I have been able to see how much other people care about our family. When Sadie was born there were people WORLDWIDE praying for us, for her. Many of these people are still checking in (thank you Facebook) and keeping updated. And they are still praying. But the best part is that many of these people have never met our family. They know someone who knows someone or heard about it at church, and probably many of them never will meet us. That's what makes them so special.

* I am able to see how lucky we really are. Sure, our story is tragic, and there are always going to be different levels of tragedy, but there are so many that are worse than ours. I just read a lady's story very similar to ours, but when they took the breathing tube out of their baby, she died. Or even worse, Sadie could be a vegetable. She could have never learned to breastfeed and have a feeding tube surgically implanted in her belly. She could be blind and/or deaf. But she's doing really well, and by no means is she normal, but she's healthy, and she eats, and she can hear...oh boy can she hear! And she sleeps now (sorta)


  1. You, my friend, are an amazing mama. You help me look at my children in a totally different light. Especially on the days that I think are so hard. Your sweet Sadie is a living breathing testimony to God's faithfulness and mercy and my family loves keeping up with your family's daily lives, struggles, and joys. Someday I hope I can meet Sadie and give her lots and lots of kisses and tell her how much she is loved by the Wolsten family. Love you friend!

  2. It is hard sometimes to think of the good that comes out of such a tragic situation when your child is sick, or has special needs. We all have days where we feel caught in a rut of "poor me, poor child". I think it is okay to have those days because without them we wouldn't realize how blessed we are and how much worse it could be. Could it be better? Yes. But it is our life to live and we must convey the attitude we want our children to grow up with.

    Sorry if it sounds all "preacher"-ish. :) All in all, I agree with you. (and it was beautifully written).

  3. Mama,

    You will have good days and bad days. You will have days you find yourself thankful that you have a special needs baby and days that you wonder why me. How do I know? My daughter Rachel has CP too. Some days/weeks I even forget that she has it. Then someone in the real world reminds me.

    Rachel is 5 and we have had our hurdles with the insurance companies, doctors, and school department. If I can be of any help please let me know. We have found out about things like botox therapy to help her muscles and how she can wear real mary jane's with her AFOs so at least she can experience something that the "normies" (that is what we call normal kids :) ) have; and there are many things in between.

    Reach out if you would like.
    - Jenn