It's a bit of a paradox actually. I like to be safe, but I also thrive on being pushed. I grow when I am pushed; I learn when I am pushed; and I love to grow and to learn, as much as any other curious human being.
So, here's my story: I told myself there was no way I could bear another miscarriage.When I found myself pregnant, much to my surprise and joy after several years of hoping for such a blessing, I convinced myself that, should this child die, I would not be able to handle it. I just wanted to keep this baby this time.
I spent nearly 2 months after discovering my pregnancy worrying that it would not last, fearing it was all a false hope. Weeks after the first positive test, I took another to allay my fears. Thankfully it was still positive. My belly started to swell. I went through the requisite weeks of nausea and fatigue. Everything smelled weird. And I was overjoyed.
Then in my 12th week I felt an uneasiness and asked my midwife for an ultrasound, just to check everything was ok.
It was not.
We discovered the baby had stopped growing at 7 weeks and was simply gone. I spent the next day in bed crying. No words could describe my bitterness. Then, a few days later, the process of my body physically letting go of the pregnancy began. I underwent a strenuous labour. It felt so unfair to go through it all and get nothing in the end. The ordeal took a toll on me and I had to visit the ER a couple of times. It also caused my fibromyalgia to flare up badly, so that I was eventually bedridden, immobilized.
Finally today, with the right combination of medication, I was able to get up and go back to work...for the first time in a week. I had to take my cane for the 1 km walk from my car to my building, as I am about as steady on my feet as the tin man. This evening, after my day was done and I was shuffling back to my car (and that 1 km was feeling like 10), I reflected upon myself. No longer the jubilant, pregnant lady, no longer the one expecting a new baby this year, I was slightly hunched and walking with difficulty. I felt old, and barren and a bit repulsive.
Nope, this is not what I would have picked. I liked the other story better.
But this is what happened. And I didn't chose it; I would not have chosen it. I was pushed. And you might say it was God who pushed me, as much as you would say that it was God who caught me when I fell. As we often pray, in the words of Metropolitan Philaret:
I thank God for pushing me. Now I see that nothing is too hard to bear with God's love. Now I know what that kind of pain feels like. Now I know more than ever what kind of love and concern my friends and family have for me. I tasted desperation, but hope did not fail me. God's light did not leave me. This world is full of sadness. It is, as my priest tells me, a veil of tears. And it also teaches us and makes us grow spiritually.
And I've decided that I would prefer to learn and to grow, even if it means being pushed every now and again.