Saturday, April 14, 2012

Motherhood Reflections

It is late and I wish my son would go to sleep.  I look over at his round, peach fuzz covered head tossing and turning while he fights sleep, and I marvel that he could have ever fit inside my womb.  I remember when the doctor placed Spencer into my arms for the first time, and for as joyful as I was to finally meet him, I also distinctly felt the worry of whether I could be a good enough mother to raise him to be the man that he was meant to be.   I never could have imagined then, the exquisite joy and the heart-wrenching aches that motherhood would one day bring into my life.

Each child that has come to our family since then has brought with them their own unique personality and set of challenges. God blesses us with these little people in our lives and they are everything to us.  We love them, nurture them, pray for them, teach them the best we can,  and then we hold our breaths and hope that our love and prayers are enough to get them to where they need to be.   To be the person that God intended them to be. 

I look at my oldest son now.  His hair is gone and his body gaunt, but I still see glimpses of the same Spencer we've always known.  He pores over college catalogs and wonders whether his grades are good enough to get in. He starts to tell me about a recruiting letter he just received from a lacrosse coach at an Ivy League school, but then his IV pump starts beeping and we are interrupted while we wait for the nurse to come in to change his antibiotic.   While the nurse works, my mind wanders and I find myself wondering once again if my mothering skills are up to par for this kind of challenge.  Parenting my younger kids from afar, while we spend our days at the hospital and help Spencer face the battle of his life.  It certainly isn't quite the motherhood journey I envisioned all those years ago. 

But then I look over at my son.  He has had his independence ripped out from underneath him in the very moment when his friends are spreading their wings, yet he only rarely has ever displayed any amount of self-pity. He is scared for the future, but does not allow that fear to overwhelm him. Suddenly I am comforted when I realize that through this journey,  that not only have I seen a truer glimpse of the man that he is becoming, but that I am also becoming the mother I was always meant to be. 

  • Spence has been fever-free for 2 nights in a row.  This is good news!
  • All tests (MRI, CT scans, bone scans, echocardiogram, angiogram, etc) have come back normal, however they have mentioned that they will likely repeat all the testing next week when his counts have rebounded.   Apparently when you have an infection when you have no immune system, your body doesn't fight and respond to the infection like it's supposed to (swelling, warmth, redness, etc).  When the body can't fight it,  locating where an infection is can be very difficult.  We're praying that the lack of fever means that whatever infection is brewing is  resolving itself with the antibiotics he's already on!  
  • His chest pain has continued, but the nurse is going to attempt to wean him down to slightly less potent painkillers tonight to see if they'll do the trick.
  • ANC is still 0, but monocytes and other blood markers are starting to rise, which means the neutrophils should start returning again soon.
  • Cami had a cupcake making factory at our house this weekend.  She was hired by a friend to make 6 dozen cupcakes for a party and I think she had as much fun making them as the party goers had eating them! 
  • I had the privilege of going to a Women's Conference this morning.  I loved the inspirational classes, good food, spiritual upliftment, and social time with friends.  Thanks to all who organized it!
  • Thank you for making Spencer feel loved today by visiting him.  He loved it! 
  • Spencer's 17th birthday is coming up on April 30th and we are hoping to shower him with cards and notes from across the country (and world?). Please help make his hospital-bound birthday special by sending him a quick note/encouraging word. Please email me for our address.
    (PS feel free to spread the word to other nice friends / famous people you know/ people who live in foreign countries who may want to support him in this way as well.)


"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels."
                                                                              The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


Steve-Rosanna said...

Sometimes I stand in complete awe of your strength and power of love and compassion. You and Glen are two amazing souls. We love you and your family.

April said...

Beautiful post Lara, thank you. We're thinking of you, always.

Cathy Sujishi said...

I clicked over to read about your son after reading Susan Krol's post on Facebook. Your sentence about "becoming the mother you were always meant to be" brought tears to my eyes. You and Spencer will be in my prayers.

Dionne Reinhart said...

I check in frequently to see how Spencer and you are doing. You are so gifted at writing your thoughts and feelings. I often want to post a comment and have no idea what to say that might be supportive or helpful to you all. This post is so beautiful and shows what an amazing and powerful mom and woman you are. Your family is as fortunate to have you as you are to have them. I cannot imagine the heartache and pride you hold in your heart every day. I think of and pray for Spencer and your family often.

Diane said...

Thank you, Lara. Just reading your insights about motherhood, love, faith, God and life inspire me to be a better mother, a better person.

My best to you and your family.


Jill said...

You don't know me. I'm a friend of Monika's. (I am in the Chantilly Ward.) Just want you to know that your family is in my prayers. We went through this, at Fairfax Hospital, with my niece about a decade ago. She has been well since her childhood treatment. It's a roller coaster ride, and not a fun one, but I know you are in good hands. It all sounds familiar, pains, infections, IV's, no immunity.... Hold on. Tell Spencer we're all pulling for him, and I bet he'll write a book about it someday! (Meanwhile, note to mom: try to see a little sky and get a breath of fresh air every day, and don't forget to eat and drink, even when you don't feel like it.) Sending love. So sorry things are hard.

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