>25 Days of Gratitude Posts; Day Two

>Quick Note: I wrote this on Friday, but since I wanted to put up a recent picture of Zoe, I just got busy and wasn’t able to finish the post until today. Of course, I realize I need to write another three blog posts today so I better get cracking!

I’d say the next thing I’m grateful for are my children, but because they are individuals, they deserve their own posts. And because it’s convenient I’ll just start with Zoe, the oldest. One thing you’re going to see is that these posts are going to be personal.. I just hope you don’t mind.

In March of 2002, my Aunt Grace took me to see a GYN mostly because I had been experiencing painful cycles; I happened to be at her house when I had started my most recent -at the time of course- period and was concerned due to the pain I was experiencing. So, during that visit which involved a fire alarm getting tripped midway through my exam and having to hurry and get dressed so we could evacuate the building with my dignity intact, I found out I had a condition called Endometriosis. Typically, the doctors would recommend a procedure called a laproscopy to confirm the diagnosis, but due to the location of my lesion and the size, that was not necessary. At that point I got news that no female who wants children should ever hear.. I was infertile. Infertility could mean a lot of things. It can mean that you can get pregnant, but your body cannot stay pregnant, or in my case, my chances of pregnant were pretty non-existent. He advised for me to get on birth control because it can help control the symptoms, but he said in his experience, I would most likely never be able to get pregnant, even if there was medical intervention.

Even at 16, with future plans of getting married and having five kids (yeah that’s not gonna happen, I’ve discovered three is enough for me) were gone –well, the having kids part. I was pretty ambivalent towards the idea of adoption, and while adoption is a wonderful thing, I wanted the experience of having children of my own.

So fast forward to 2005. It’s no secret that Zoe was born only 4 months and a week after we got married, but was concieved some five or so months after we got engaged. I’m not going to go into details about that; but I can say we started doing that under the assumption that I wasn’t going to get pregnant.. and as the saying goes “‘Assume’ makes an ass out of ‘u’ and me”. (did I get that right?)

Here’s the thing though. I don’t think Zoe was my first pregnancy. About a month after we got engaged, I had an experience that I just chalked up to being another painful period -a side effect of having Endometriosis- but it wasn’t until after Ruthie was born that I realized I most likely experienced a miscarriage. I don’t mourn that possible pregnancy loss though, mostly because I’m not even sure if that’s what it was.

All of that aside I didn’t find out that I was pregnant until the first trimester was almost over. Another symptom of Endometrosis is irregular periods so I thought that’s what it was until it dawned on me to take a pregnancy test. And so I did, and the pregnancy was confirmed 2 weeks later.

I consider Zoe a miracle. She was the (first) child that I was never supposed to have according to medical science. When she was born (you can read my birth story here if you want to) I bawled. I probably cried more than she did when she was born. From infancy though she’s always been precocious. Her personality pretty much started from birth, from when the first picture of her was taken at the hospital on the scale and she’s glaring in the general direction of the camera. She quit crying at that point and was just staring and trying to take everything in.

Zoe was born at 12:19 pm on 11/24/05.

She took breastfeeding quite quickly and as you can tell here; she enjoyed eating with a side of problem solving…

“If Mama doesn’t feed me fast enough, I’m gonna feed myself!”

One of my favorite memories of her when she was about 9 or so months old, I left her in the front room on a blanket with toys while I went to the bathroom, and I came out to her breastfeeding her doll. I know that’s what she was doing because the baby’s head was about chest level and she was rubbing it’s back while holding it there.

I’m not going to lie and say parenting Zoe is easy and that she’s the perfect child; quite the opposite. She’s extremely intelligent, and at times it’s difficult to figure out what’ll work with her and what won’t. Things that will work for other children don’t work for her. For example, we tried potty training her from around 2.5 and it wasn’t until she was 3 years, 4 months old that she was finally potty trained. Bribing her with toys or candy did not work; she was completely indifferent. What DID work? We bought our house and told her that we couldn’t afford to buy diapers; so pick out a package of panties. And guess what she was potty trained the NEXT DAY when we finally put her in them full time. We felt outwitted by our 3 year old at that point. Even now it’s a challenge, but the only thing I can really do at this point is try and figure out different and better ways of approaching things.

On the flip side of things it’s keeping things interesting and yes, even when she’s driving me batty, I’m still okay with it. Granted she needs to learn better ways of expressing her emotions, but I’m grateful that I’m blessed with a child that can express themselves. I’m grateful that she has enough self confidence to say “I don’t want to.” or “I don’t like it.” because that means she has enough self worth to think that whatever she has to say is important enough to share. She’s by no means timid, which I’m grateful for. Her ability and willingness to communicate now will be beneficial later.

Zoe with frisbees
Zoe being her typical goofy self. I took this picture in exchange for her help taking a picture of me in my new dress.

For me, Zoe represents a miracle that defied medicine; and she’s literally been stubborn from conception; since it shouldn’t have ever happened if you consider my infertility. But that’s her best quality; even if it drives me crazy at times.

She’s my miracle, and I love her dearly.

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