An anniversary passed early this year, quietly, unnoticed. Perhaps not one I was ready to think about at the time.
In early 2005 I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis. For me the moment of my diagnosis is one of those that is seared into my mind, just as clear as the first moment I laid eyes on my son.
I remember the compassion in my doctor’s voice. The reassurance to me that this was not a death sentence. The alarm I felt at hearing the word “death” at all, since I knew literally nothing about lupus nephritis. It was only later as I perused Google that I realized why he had said that. Thirty years earlier, probably around the time my doctor had begun his practice, lupus nephritis would have been a death sentence. The ten year mortality rate in the 1970’s and 1980’s was abysmal, below 50%.
Lucky for me, by the time of my diagnosis modern medicine had progressed to the point that here I am ten years later. Not only alive, but married to a wonderful, supportive man, and with a beautiful young son I had the privilege of carrying inside my womb. I have a thriving career, a lovely home in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and so many plans for my future.
I am incredibly grateful for each and every day. Beyond thankful for my miracle baby. And oh so aware, that had I been born just a few decades earlier I would most likely not have had any of these things. I would be dead, close to it, or at the very least, really, really sick. The fact that I am none of these things, is a gift.
Hold on, is this really the life I’m living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take, You’ve given
So right here, right now, while the sun is shining down
I want to live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give You
A life well lived, to say “thank you”
– Good to be Alive by Jason Gray
How can it be that I still want more? I’m alive. This is a miracle. I have a son. This is even more of a miracle. But somehow something inside me still aches when I see the young mother holding her toddler’s hand as she rubs her large pregnant belly. When I see siblings laughing and playing together.
How can it be that T is more than enough, more than I even had a right to hope for, but yet still I long for another baby. It isn’t rationale. But then, is a mother’s love ever rational? The love a mother feels for her child is probably best described as primale, instinctive, all-encompassing and completely irrational at times.
So this is why I’ve come to the point where I’m torn between amazement and gratitude I feel at the privilege of being alive, of being a mother at all, and the impulse to gamble my health, possibly my life, for the chance to give my son a sibling.
It doesn’t feel fair.
But then I remember, it’s been ten years. And here I am. Alive.
Life’s not always fair, but God is always good.
So I’m trying my best to really leave this in His hands. To pray. But to also not let this consume me the way I know it could.
I feel strongly that God has led me through every step of my life. He has carried me when I was too weak to walk on my own. And I think maybe I’m there again, in a place where I need to let Him lead me. Maybe I won’t like the answer, but I hope he can bring me to a place where I can accept the answer whatever it is.
And I hope that I can always remember, no matter the circumstances, to live a life well lived.