Saturday, June 4, 2011

Are you there God? It's me...



I will chalk today up as one of the worst days of 2011. Although, as I replay the day in my mind nothing that happened should have me feeling this way.

Today started with breakfast with my Daddy and Ryan at our favorite place- the Waffle House! It was such a pleasure to have two of my favorite men to myself for a short period of time. I soaked in everything!  We then were blessed by the arrival of customers we did not know but we had heard of their struggle. Immediately after breakfast Ryan and I were headed to Scottish Rite so seeing this particular family today was a reminder that as hard as life gets with Ryan's cleft lip and palate and the numerous surgeries, I have never feared I would lose my son because of this birth defect, ever. This family, though, has fought death and won.

At our yearly Craniofacial Team evaluation today, I knew ahead of time we were looking at surgery. We had 2010 off and our orthodontist had brought up some points of concern that indicated surgery. As I heard Dr. Grainger (our orthodontist) say a month ago that the bone graph (in 2009) didn't really work that we would be doing it again. And I was right. Dr. Williams said today, "In 20% of patients I have to do the morphogenetic bone graph again." We debated waiting until next summer or Christmas break and our orthodonist said "It really can't wait." Dr. Grainger (who I love) sat down with me and he explained why it didn't work (Ryan's cleft was extreme) and where we go from here and what the next 9 years look like.

As I rubbed my pregnant belly, I thought to myself this journey was why I was so scared to have another baby. I assume Dr. Grainger gathered I was thinking something about the baby and he said "Do you know if this baby has this as well?" And I choked down my answer, "She does not have a cleft lip. We don't know about the palate. I have to trust God that he has answered my prayers for a healthy baby."

I've never been angry with God for allowing Ryan to be born with this cleft lip and palate. But man I do not understand why Ryan of all precious kiddos has to have this or why I was chosen to be the Mom. I keep thinking, "I'm not strong enough for this." God must see something in me that I don't. (Which is pretty cool.)All afternoon Ryan keep burying his head in my lap, which isn't a common thing to do, and I wanted to scream "W-H-Y?"  There are no easy answers.

After meeting with our plastic surgeon and orthodontist, we headed for a hearing evaluation. Results: mild hearing loss in his right ear because of a hole in that ear drum (which we were told would close on it's own YEARS ago.). Recommended course of treatment- appt with an ENT so it can be repaired. Translation: surgery.

I want to bear this burden for Ryan. I have held him a lot today. I have prayed with him, over him, for him. It's difficult but I have to think there is a reason for this journey. I hope people can see Jesus in me through this.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Here we are again. I feel guilty for doubting your trust in me as the perfect choice for Ryan's mom. This is a journey I've never wanted yet I would not trade because again and again through it all, I learn so much about myself and my walk is strengthed. I pray as we head into surgery that you will walk with all of the doctors, nurses, and everyone we will come in to contact with. Let every movement Dr. Williams makes be of you. You are the Great Physician. You know better than anyone how to perform this surgery. Hold Dr. Williams' hands as he operates on our boy. I pray that as great as the recovery was in '09 that the recovery this time will be even easier. I pray for Ryan's protection. I pray he continues to stay strong. I pray asking you to keep me strong, keep my eyes focused on the cross, and keep me healthly so I can provide everything Ryan needs. As I bounce around in my thought process that you will forgive me for lack of trust and frustration. Life is so difficult sometimes. Thank you for answering my prayers.

In Your name.



In a few short weeks, I will hand my precious 9 year old baby to a nurse for his 12th surgery.

*April 10, 2014 - In 19 days, Ryan will have his 13th surgery, a maxillary distraction. I wrote about that surgery here: Journey Ordained: Ryan's Story. You can donate to Ryan's surgery here: Ryan's YouCaring page.