After having a child then a miscarriage, then a child then another miscarriage, and then having twins and losing one after eleven days, I realize having a child isn’t as easy as I thought it would be when I was first married.- When I think of the miracle of having a child, I think how it is similar to winning a million dollars. It is against all odds if you are lucky enough to win.
When you first decide you are going to try to win a million dollars, you think that it will be easy. You have seen so many others play and win. You start telling others when you hope to win your million and even your plans for your million dollars. It isn’t even just a million. You are confident that you can win millions. You know exactly when it is going to happen.
Then things change. You start to feel it might not be as easy as you thought. You start to panic thinking you might not get that million when you want. Worse yet, you start to feel horrified to think that maybe you will never win a million dollars.
I remember when I first found out that I was going to win two million dollars. Two million dollars at one time! I had two million at home already. However, I didn’t receive two million at one time before. I was so nervous thinking that I didn’t know what to do with two million. What if I can’t handle having two million dollars given to me at one time?
My attention quickly changed when at times while waiting to get my two million dollars, it looked like I wouldn’t be getting that money after all. I became so worried. All I wanted to do was make sure I did everything I could to keep my millions. At the same time, I became very excited about having two million dollars. It was going to be wonderful. I was fairly confident that I was going to beat the odds and have two million.
One unexpected day, I went to the bank. I was hoping to wait much longer to get my two million. Yet, I had two million dollars! It was overwhelming, but wonderful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I lost a million after eleven days. The tellers and the bank managers worked so hard. I will forever be grateful.
The bankers and tellers are the experts with money, but at times, I worry that maybe I did something wrong. After all, I was the one who was supposed to be responsible for the two million. Should I have been more informed? Could I have realized something that someone at the bank didn’t think about? Did I make any decisions that would have saved my other million? Those thoughts continue to haunt me. I think how foolish I was to have worried so much about having two million dollars given to me at one time.
I wish I had been able to ask the tellers or the bank managers if there was something that could have been done differently to save my other million. I was too scared when I was at the bank. I was worried that they would say that the same thing was going to happen to my other million. I feared that they would say that there was something I should have done differently.
I think of that million that I lost after just eleven days. I wish it had been longer then eleven days. Not only did my husband and I have so many dreams for the future, but so everyone around us. When I see the millions I already have, I know how wonderful a million dollars really can be. The pain and longing for what could have been can be too much to bear at times. I don’t talk about it to others, except my husband.
Most of the time, I remember that the way life works out isn’t up to me or because of something I did or didn’t do. It isn’t my fault. God has a plan. I also try to remember that worrying really didn’t help. I saw a sign in the hospital that said, “Worrying doesn’t stop bad things from happening, it just takes away from the beauty of today.” I give thanks every night for all six of my children, including the two miscarriages. I feel that I was lucky to have had them in my life even if it was only for a few months. Furthermore, I am lucky to have had eleven days with my son. I was so fortunate to have spent those last final hours holding his hand. He kept opening and closing his hand. It reminded me of when I had the flu or hurt as a child. I would always hold my hand out to have my mom hold my hand and ask her to sit by me.
Not everyone is lucky enough to become a mother. While my sons were in the hospital, I became aware of many complications babies and children can have. I try to stay away from the thoughts wishing I had all “six million dollars.” Instead, I try to remind myself that it is a miracle that I am able to keep “3 million dollars.”
I once read a poem called, “Trip to Holland,” by Emily Perl Kingsley. The poem is copied below because it helped to inspire me and influence this piece.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.