An anniversary passed early this year, quietly, unnoticed. Â Perhaps not one I was ready to think about at the time.
In early 2005 I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis. Â 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. Â The reassurance to me that this was not a death sentence. Â The alarm I felt at hearing the word “death” at all, since I knew literally nothing about lupus nephritis. Â It was only later as I perused Google that I realized why he had said that. Â Thirty years earlier, probably around the time my doctor had begun his practice, lupus nephritis would have been a death sentence. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â Beyond thankful for my miracle baby. Â 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. Â I would be dead, close to it, or at the very least, really, really sick. Â 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? Â I’m alive. Â This is a miracle. Â I have a son. Â This is even more of a miracle. Â 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. Â 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. Â It isn’t rationale. Â But then, is a mother’s love everÂ rational? Â 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. Â And here I am. Â Alive.
Life’s not always fair, but God is always good.
So I’m trying my best to really leave this in His hands. Â To pray. Â 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. Â He has carried me when I was too weak to walk on my own. Â And I think maybe I’m there again, in a place where I need to let Him lead me. Â 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.