Monday, April 30, 2012
Happy Birthday Rebekah!
Today my beautiful Rebeka turns five years old. She is the blondie with the lovely brunettes in the picture. She is our answer to prayer and our miracle child. All of our children are miracles, but getting Beka is a true answer to prayer.
When Elizabeth turned one year old, Chris and I decided it was time to start trying for another baby. Sarah lived at home with her mom then and we worried she wouldn't allow Sarah to be involved in Lizzie's life if something happened to us. So we began trying. It hadn't been tough to get pregant with Lizzie, we hadn't been trying. We never guessed that choice would lead us down a four year road prayer, heartbreak and tears as we struggled with secondary infertility.
Part of our issue was my weight. I knew why I overate, but I didn't know how to stop bad habits that had been with me for almost 15 years. I still fight that fight and will for the rest of my life. But at the time it was heartbreaking. The one thing we wanted more than Sarah coming to live with us, was another child and it just never seemed to happen. Finally April 15, 2006 I went into a surgical room and went through open gastric bypass. I chose Liv-Lite Weightloss Program in Junction City, Kansas. They had been around for almost 20 years at the time and the doctors there had been performing gastric bypass for that long or longer.
Going into the program I had the option to choose. To tie my tubes or not to tie my tubes, that was the question. At first, I was going to have them take care of tying my tubes, but as I got closer to surgery I realized, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the hope for another child. Even though at the time I was going into surgery I wasn't sure if we would have anymore. It hadn't happened for us, so maybe it just wasn't God's will for us to have more than two children. But I decided to trust God and let him tell us if He was finished expanding our family at the time. When I woke up from surgery, I was not prepared for the pain I felt. You know logically it is going to be painful after having open surgery where they reroute your small intestine to a new stomach, but nothing emotionally of physically can prepare you for the pain you feel or for the fact that they get up and walking an hour after you wake up! I remember at one point thinking, What was I thinking? I could be eating a Big Mac right now and instead I am sick and never want to think about food again. But I did think about food, and eventually and slowly I got to eat food again. I will never be able to eat the same amounts I ate before, and honestly I don't miss that. And after four months I began feeling pretty good again.
Yes, four months to feel like a human being again. Four months of becoming the incredibly shrinking woman, but it was awesome. Then in July 2006 I found myself standing in front of pregancy tests. I hadn't looked at a pregnancy test in two years, suddenly I felt that I needed to be looking at them? It didn't happen in July, but on August 28, 2006 I stood in my girlfriends kitchen and we agreed, if you have to hold it to the light it's not a real positive. So she stood at one side of the kitchen and I stood near the table where I had put the test down. We chatted for a few moments when I looked down and suddenly saw TWO BOLD LINES!!! I exclaimed, "Do you see that? Two bold lines?" She looked at them and looked at me and said, "And their getting darker." I was over the moon!
I had heard stories of people who are so overcome with joy they begin to weep. Until that moment I had never experienced that, but I began to weep. Of course, first I had to call Chris. I had told him the night before to not get excited, but I was late and I felt like I had felt when I was pregnant with Lizzie. He smiled at me, but I told him, don't count your chickens before they hatch, we've thought I was pregnant before and it was devastating. So this time I gladly woke him up and shared the news, then I called our parents and told them. Then it occurred to me, I needed to call my surgeon and change the appointment I had with the OB/Gyn to a different type of appointment, I wasn't struggling with infertility, I was four months post op and pregnant?! I worried.
The worrying didn't stop until I heard the heartbeat and saw Beka on the sonogram when I was six weeks pregnant. I'd had some bleeding and I was scared I was miscarrying. Scratch that I was terrified. My friend had suffered a miscarriage from an ectopic pregnancy a few months prior and I was terrified it would happen to us. I made Beka a deal, "I won't give up if you don't give up."
April 30, 2007 I was sent quickly to the hospital from the doctor's office "for observation". I was full term, I'd been contracting regularly since week 30 of my pregnancy due to the scar tissue irritating my uterus. This time my blood pressure was 150/120 stroke level. I called my best friend, Jaymi who had given birth earlier that month to her handsome guy Nate and she told me, they would probably induce me. I hated the idea of pitosin, but I was ready to meet Beka. I would put up with anything if it meant I got to have Beka safe and sound. They started inducing me at five p.m. and Rebekah Beryl Koeppel came into our family at 8:40 p.m. My labor was quick and hadn't taken much to deliver her, she was gorgeous and while I had to work to bond with Elizabeth I knew immediately with Beka I would fight for her with every fiber of my being as I did for the other two girls. That was five years ago today and she's been such a bright happy baby from the get-go.
Happy Birthday Rebekah Beryl. We love you more than words can express!