“You have a growth on your left ovary the size of a tennis ball, and there is a smaller growth on your right ovary.” I looked at my Doctor and tried to comprehend what this would mean. Dr. Donnelly looked at me and said, “I know that this is a lot to take in and it is a shock to you. You have to have surgery, I do not think that it is ovarian cancer but at this point we do not know what it is…. You need to make some very important decisions in a short amount of time. We will have a pathologist in the operating room with us and they will be able to determine right away if this growth is cancerous or not. If it is cancer what do you want me to do? I know that you would like to have another child… I’m so sorry to be asking you all of these questions right now.”
I took a deep breath and asked God to give me strength. As the tears flowed down my face, I knew what the answer needed to be and what Troy would want me to say as well. “I need to think about Jacob first, not about some child I may or may not have. If it is cancer please remove everything and do what ever else you need to do, Dr. Donelly, I trust you.”
The surgery was only a week away and as I drove home I felt numb. I found Troy and I sobbed as I told him of the decisions that I had made. Troy supported every single one of them.
I struggled with the thought of what if it was cancer and what if I died. I’m not afraid of death because I know that I will be with the Lord. But my thoughts kept turning to Troy and to Jacob, I was selfish in my thinking, I didn’t want anyone to take my place. What if they would love that person more than me…? I couldn’t bear to think those thoughts. I wrestled with my mind and my emotions…. Until finally I was too exhausted to even think about it anymore. It was during that time that I clung to God’s Word and the message that I kept hearing over and over again in my heart. Michelle, I love Troy and Jacob more than you do and it will be all right. Let me carry your burdens for you, do not worry. After that I felt at peace… I still cried but I knew that God would take care of everything.
When I went into surgery the staff asked me why I was so quiet and I simply told them that I was praying. They let me be and I did not even have to count backwards I fell asleep praying and resting in my Savior’s arms.
When I awoke from surgery they told me right away that I did not have cancer but that they were not able to save my left ovary. We would have another chance at possibly having another baby of our very own.
Dr. Donnelly told us that we did not have much time to waste and that we needed to “get busy” trying to get pregnant again.
During surgery they discovered that I had endometriosis and that it would only be a matter of time before I might have to have surgery again.
It had been 11 months since my surgery and we were beginning to think that maybe it was time to start talking about adoption. In our hearts we grieved but we were excited about the possibility of adopting a little girl from Korea. It was close to Easter and we decided that we would look into what we needed to find out after the Holiday. On Good Friday I began to suspect that I might possibly be pregnant. I did not want to entertain the thought for to long because I had thought this before only to be disappointed. On Easter Sunday after we came home from church, I could no longer contain my curiosity. I took the test and my heart leapt for joy when it showed that I was pregnant. I was crying as I came down the steps and told Troy that by Christmas we would have a special present that would not be found under the Christmas tree. We knew that I needed to have a blood test taken to make sure and so they next day we anxiously awaited a phone call from the lab confirming what I knew in my heart to be true!!!! We had to make sure that everything was okay because I had a higher risk for a tubal pregnancy.
Joy began to blossom in my heart and I knew that this precious little one was a miracle from God. This was confirmed even more when I saw the Doctor for the first time… he told me that my chances of becoming pregnant had been very small. My Doctor is a Christian and we marveled at what God was able to accomplish as a precious gift.
On August 1, 2004 we had a level two ultra sound done because of my age. We had decided that we wanted to know the sex of our baby. I was hoping for a little girl and so as we were there and the Doctor helped us to discover what our baby was going to be…. There on the screen we saw clearly that we were going to have a little boy. I fell in love with his image and it did not matter to me that this was not a little girl. As we walked out of the room Troy and I both looked at each other and we knew that we wanted to name our little boy “Matthew Robert”. We had talked about names and after seeing our baby we knew that was the name he would be given.
On December 18, we drove to the hospital to start labor. It was a long tiring day and I had terrible back labor. I clung to God’s promises and repeated them over and over again as the waves of pain rolled across my back… and at times I could barely catch my breath as the pain just continued on an on. I could only stand to lie on my side but the nurses were concerned because every time that I did that Matthew’s heart rate would drop. Finally I consented to have an epidural because that was the only way that I could lay on my back to ensure that Matthew’s heart rate would not go down.
Everything moved fairly quickly after I received the epidural and Matthew came out into the world looking blue because the cord was wrapped around his arm. We held him for one moment and than they rushed him off to be under oxygen because his cry did not sound right. His pediatrician assured me over and over again that she felt that everything was going to be ok…. But my Mother’s heart was filled with concern over my precious little one.
Troy’s parents brought Jacob to see “Maffew Rabbit” for the first time. Jacob announced to anyone that would listen that was his baby in there. He was quite indignant that his baby was not wearing socks. We finally convinced him that it would be okay and that “his baby” was warm enough.
The nurses assured me that I could call and ask them how Matthew was doing during the night and depending on how busy they were I could come and in and see him. I awoke at 1:00 a.m. and called to ask if I could come and see him, they told me that I could help hold him as he was about to receive his first bath.
Holding him for the first time in my arms the tears fell unashamedly down my cheeks, our little miracle baby was finally here.
We discovered a couple days later at the University of Iowa Hospital that Matthew made the strider sound because his vocal chord was turned a little bit. During that time God kept reminding me that he love Matthew more than I could imagine and that we were all in God’s hands. I clung to God’s promises and felt the peace that can only come from Him.
God promises that He will never forget us. 15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. Isaiah 49:15-16 (NKJV)