Wednesday, July 17, 2013
My Fear as a New Mom...by Kristy Mullins
Every month I had many doctor appointments – injections, blood work, ultrasounds, procedure. Every month for 7 months we did this routine. I’d get pumped with hormones to see if I would ovulate, and if I did then everything else would follow. It was a mountain hike straight up every month. Then we’d wait a couple of weeks only to crash down hard. I grieved every month for the baby that was not there. I didn’t get to grieve long because we had to start the process all over again. When we finally called the fertility treatments over and unsuccessful, my body was still teeming with hormones which meant I could cry over toilet paper commercials.
Six to seven months after calling quits to the treatments we had a failed adoption. Trust and honesty is huge to me. I investigate insurance fraud, and I’ve been lied to more than I care to say. So when the birth mom was not completely honest with us, we pulled out of the match. I went into a deep depression in August of 2000, but at the end of September we had found the adoption agency we were going to use. They worked only with infertile couples and specialized in open adoptions. (Just for the record, if you don’t know all the details about open adoptions, please don’t voice your opinion or your fears out loud. If you can’t say something encouraging and wise, it’s best to keep your lips sealed. People would say the weirdest and harshest things.)
We went for the adoption orientation at the end of September, two weeks after that we were talking to birth parents, two weeks after that we were matched, two weeks after that we were meeting our birth parents. The birth mom was due at the end of December, but our daughter was born in January. I was blessed to be in the delivery room when she was born and took her first breath. Two days later, the most gut-wrenching day of my life took place. When the birth mom placed the baby into my husband’s arms and had to walk out without her baby. Sobs. Heartbreak. There’s just not a dry eye.
We took our daughter home to find my daddy had tied pink ribbons all over the tree in the front yard. Pink bouquets filled the house along with pink balloons. This day was a long time coming.
We put her bassinet by my side of the bed, so I could hear her and feed her in the night. I was told to expect to feed her every two hours. It was every four hours. I panicked when I slept past two hours, but she was sound asleep. Every snort or move of the blankets she made, I was awake. When she wasn’t making those sweet little baby noises, I was tense because what if something was wrong. FEAR had gripped me.
She quickly started sleeping six and then eight hours at night, but I didn’t. What if she had SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrom)? What if she choked and I didn’t hear her? What if God took her back? Isn’t that crazy!? My fear prevented me from sleeping well at night. I wasn’t joyful because fear ruled me. My fear was in the dark. No one knew until I confessed it to my mom. Through more tears and sobbing, I confessed that I wasn’t sleeping and that I feared that the God who gave me this baby would take her from me. It had been a three year journey to become a mommy, and I was miserably controlled by fear.
My mom asked me, “If God wants to take her, is there anything you can do to prevent him from doing so?” More sobs. That was a harsh reality. I had not been in control of my own body in order to give birth, and I wasn’t in control ultimately of the welfare of this baby. She was God’s. He was the one who had ordered her days and her footsteps. She was on loan to me. We had her dedicated at our church, and she had been dedicated at our home church in Shreveport because so many had been part of our journey, but that night in my baby’s nursery as I rocked her I dedicated her to God. I told God that I would not be stingy with this baby He had entrusted to me. Much like Hannah in the Bible who was also infertile, I gave my baby to God. I had to trust God that no matter what happened He had me in the palm of his hand and my baby in the palm of his hand. I had to trust that God had the best for me and my baby no matter what.
One of my friends asked to keep Erin overnight when she was about seven months old because she was wanting to dress her up and take her to her church. My promise to God was brought to my mind, and we agreed. Anytime we went somewhere with Erin, she freely went others. They loved on her, and she loved on them. She was happy, happy, happy. At one year old, she started going once a quarter to spend a week with Patrick’s mother in Mississippi. What a special bond G and Erin shared.
Erin wanted to go on a mission trip when she was in the third grade, so she and I went to El Salvador with our church to work with the Resendez family. She then spent a week with G, and then her other grandparents picked her up and took her for another week. So when the opportunity presented itself at the beginning of the school year in 2012 for Erin to take a two week trip to Europe with the People to People Student Ambassador Program, we had to prayerfully consider it. As I look back, I clearly see how God has been preparing Erin for this trip abroad. Was I nervous? There may have been one day that I was a little anxious, but I had learned a long time ago that my God has her. I see His hand on her. After M-Fuge this week, she feels she is being called to work with children in Africa. I guess we will be saving up for a mission trip there sometime in the next few years. God is good.