Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Sense of Knowing

We have been on an emotional roller coaster ride over the past two weeks.  After a routine blood test, my obsetrician told me that there is a complication with the pregnancy.  I have RH negative blood and the baby is O positive.  No problem there - I had the same combination with both of my boys.  I was given a Rhogam shot and the pregnancies proceeded without issue.  But this time, antibodies are already present and the Rhogam shot would be completely useless.

I had a million questions to try and figure out if this was a minor or major issue.  The amount of "we're not sure" and "we'll just have to run a few tests to see" was enough to make me crazy.  Apparently my immune system is attacking her good red blood cells and everything depends on how well her little body can replace the ones that my body is destroying.  It is good that it's presenting itself late in the pregnancy but our daughter will definitely be anemic when she is born and may even need a blood transfusion.  We know she will need to be born a bit early but we have no idea when.  

While my husband and I worked to digest this information, my oldest began to act out.  He questioned everything I said, challenged my authority and was uncharacteristically mean to his brother.  I had no patience left.  I just needed my home to be calm while I did everything I could to trust God and give her safety over to Him.  But that was not to be.

I unloaded my fears and my annoyance about my oldest son's behavior to my Dad while we waited for church to begin.  There's something about that place that makes my guard go down instantly - It feels very safe.  My dad made an observation.  "Maybe Luke knows there's something wrong.  Or maybe he just senses it.  Why don't you just tell him and see what happens?" he asked.  I had been so wrapped up in my own emotions that I hadn't considered the fact that my little intuitive four year old may be picking up on my signals.  I decided to try it.

As he helped me clear that table, he set down a pile of dishes and grabbed ahold of my leg in a big bear hug.  I reached down to rub his back and said, "I really needed that, love.  I've been worried about Rosie but I know that God will watch out for her.  I know he will keep her safe even if she has to be born a little early," I said.  He looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, "I knew there was something wrong with Rosie and I've been really scared, too."  I honestly thought our hushed conversations had kept most of this from his ears but it hadn't.  He was worried just like the rest of us. We sat down and I explained (on a four year old level) what was happening and did my best to reassure him.  He hugged me then went over to my belly.  "It's okay, Rosie.  We'll take care of you," he said.  Little did he know how much he had just taken care of me.

I so often forget the intuitiveness of my children.  Whether we are stressed, angry, sad, impatient, relaxed, happy or enthusiastic, they know.  I learned that I have to give them the credit they deserve by validating what they are sensing.  Isn't knowing so much better than worrying and guessing?  I don't think children are any different.  I will do my best from this point forward to talk to them openly when something  crazy is going on.  Maybe it will be a shortened or simplified version, but it will be the truth.  I owe them that.

Do you tell your kids when you are stressed out?  How do they respond when you do and when you don't?

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