HerStories Voices: It’s Really Going to be Okay

HerStories Voices: It’s Really Going to be Okay

Anyone who reads Christine Carter’s blog, the Mom Café, knows that she’s a woman of faith. She’s extremely optimistic, and her writing is empowering and full of positivity. I know when I read one off her essays I’m going to feel good about the world. So when I read her submission, I was a little surprised by how harrowing it was. I had no idea that her daughter had had such a rough start in life. I was heartbroken as I read, but then the story ended with her little angel’s message of hope and faith. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree! I hope you enjoy this essay. 

—Allie

HerStories Voices

“It’s Really Going To Be Okay . . .”

I vividly remember being surrounded by doctors who were covering me with an oxygen mask and flipping me over from side to side, as your heart rate plummeted once again. Just hours before, the doctor had sent me straight to the hospital, his haunting last words lingering: “I can’t promise you that your baby is okay. What I can say is you may have saved her life by coming in today.” They forced your delivery to save your life; they had no idea how long you’d been in distress. You came into this world through uncertain hopes, and as they placed you in my trembling arms, I never wanted to let go.

During your first year of life, I watched you endure countless therapies. You screamed and cried so hard they didn’t know what to do. I witnessed your relentless fight and held back my own screams and cries. Your inconsolable tears tore at my heart and all I wanted to do was protect you from your pain.

I dropped you off at your special needs program of treatments and therapies during your second year of life and held my breath as I paced in the parking lot each day. I felt tattered and twisted every minute you were without me, all alone in this strange new world. All I wanted to do was go back inside, pick you up into my arms, carry you away, and never let go.

When they wheeled you in for surgery at nearly three years old, we faced our ultimate decision to risk your life for the use of anesthesia. Going against doctor’s orders, we decided the danger was worth it if we could prevent more torture to your fragile body. We were prepared for the worst and prayed for mercy on your behalf. You had been through enough. The bald patches on your head from pulling out your frayed baby blond hair were evidence of the pain you couldn’t withstand. We couldn’t fathom any additional trauma to your already difficult existence. I prayed for your lungs to stay open, while gasping for my own air. I wanted to lift you into God’s healing arms and tell Him to not let go until you were well.

Five weeks after your brother was born, we spent hours in the emergency room attempting to open your airways. When I begged and pleaded with the doctors at the hospital to take you home, I surrendered to their haunting ultimatum as they transferred you to the respiratory isolation unit. I was faced with the nightmare of leaving you at the hospital and abandoning my place by your side for the sake of nursing my infant son.

There you were, hooked up to several tubes and lying in the crib, gasping for air. I will never forget that moment. Forced to leave you overnight for the first time, I was trembling and terrified as I turned toward the door and walked away. We drove home at 2:00 a.m. and I sobbed all the way in chorus with my son’s exhausted wail. I’d never been so distraught in all my life. I longed to hold your precious body. That night away from you, something broke inside me.

Little did I know there would be many more treatments, hospital runs, admissions, procedures, and surgeries to come . . .

Little did I know that you would endure debilitating medical issues that would leave me terrified and torn, begging to hold on . . .

But forced to let go.

You were so weak. So weary. So worn. So wounded.

And so was I.

But somehow you overcame each tumultuous turn.

And so did I.

I look back on those horrific years filled with days, hours, and minutes of faltering fear, dreaded decisions, debilitating diagnoses, and I realize something remarkably true:

You are not wounded and weak, nor are you weary and worn.

You are a warrior.

And each year since, I continue to face the undeniable feat of letting you go.

Begging to hold on.

But with every struggle to surrender . . .

You survive.

Your strength has risen in the suffering.

You have taught me that through every trial and test, I must learn to trust.

I never will forget your prophetic words in the car on the way to the hospital one fearful night. You were only three-and-a-half years old, limp with a 105.9 temperature and barely able to breathe. You heard me crying, and with a seemingly seasoned angelic voice you softly sang these words to me:

“It’s okay, Mommy. It’s going to be okay. ”

I hear your fateful words now . . .

Reminding me that what you knew then is what I know now.

It’s okay.

It’s really going to be okay.

 

Profile Pic (2)Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at TheMomCafe.com for over five years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith.

 

 

 

 

Are you interested submitting work to our bi-monthly HerStories Voices column? Email our assistant editor Allie at herstoriesvoices @ gmail.com. Check out submission guidelines here.

**Our next online class, The Balanced Writer: Creating a Passionate, Productive Writing Life, begins next Monday! We have a fantastic lineup of inspiring guest instructors. If you are a writer with goals for the new year, this class is a great place to start! Find out more information and register here.

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30 comments

  1. Well this beautifully written piece certainly jolted my perspective. Thank you. I had a few scary car rides into the hospital with my ailing husband and you brought it all back, Chris. I mean that in a good way. Never fails to amaze me how often I need the wake up calls.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Show Me How To MoveMy Profile

  2. Kathy says:

    You plucked my heart strings again big time! Oh my gosh,Chris, what a beautiful post, and harrowing time you, your family and your dearest warrior daughter have endured..what a brave, amazing girl..what a brave amazing mother. And what grace carries you through the years. I’m deeply touched by your story. What your utter strength and what a beautiful mama!

  3. It’s amazing how wise our children truly are and as you stated so beautifully, what little warrior angels they are. I’m so happy she came through it all. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing our babies suffer and unable to take their pain away. Thanks for sharing this, it’s full of hope and encouragement for others struggling with medical issues with their kids.

  4. Liv says:

    Oh Chris – this is heartbreaking and invigorating and just amazing all at the same time. I can hear your heart beating and want to wipe the tears from your eyes. After I’ve finished wiping them from mine.
    Liv recently posted…The King’s DaughtersMy Profile

  5. Crystal Cook says:

    Oh Christine . . . This was heart-wrenching with beauty and faith and hope and love. Through the trial, through the fear – strength from innocence. Beautiful.

  6. Katia says:

    Speechless. What a wise little warrior you’ve got there, Chris, and what an inspiring and uplifting description of such a challenging experience. You’re both truly remarkable.

    • Chris Carter says:

      I could write pages and pages… there’s so much. So many details that I could unwrap from the many years and many issues we faced. But it is our history now, so I rarely go back diving too deep into those difficult memories. She is SO strong. And consequently, so am I. <3
      Chris Carter recently posted…It’s Going To Be Okay, MommyMy Profile

  7. Bev says:

    Oh, Chris, this both so incredibly heartbreaking and beautiful. I can’t even fathom what you have had to go through as a mother, and your daughter as such as small child. She sounds so amazingly strong and brave and insightful. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Bev recently posted…Living creatively: A year in reviewMy Profile

  8. Always love your words, Chris, and I really miss reading you. I’m working on finding more time for that this year.
    I can remember some really scary and challenging moments with Kidzilla (not that we’re finished with them…) and this really is a great reminder that things do work out as they should. Sometimes it takes our wise little ones to make us remember that.
    xo
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted…Calm and In ControlMy Profile

    • Chris Carter says:

      I miss connecting with you SO much, Lisa! Thank you for reading this one… I truly believe things do work out as they should. I lost faith at times during these years, but I can look back and see the path slowly leading to where we are now. It will always be a story of triumph more than trials. I’m so grateful for that.
      Chris Carter recently posted…It’s Going To Be Okay, MommyMy Profile

  9. Emily says:

    Oh Chris, I knew some of this, but not to this extent…thank you for sharing this story. As you know, this story of hope and STRENGTH and RESILIENCE means so very much to me, as I’ve seen it with my own son as well, who is also a warrior. It’s also amazing how kids can read us so well and can teach us so much through their pure innocence, love, and trust.
    Emily recently posted…One Word for the New YearMy Profile

    • Chris Carter says:

      Oh Emily, how this message must resonate with you! You of all people know that angst and fear when watching your child suffer. You of all people understand how hope somehow fights through the battle. I’m so grateful you read this. And more importantly, I’m so grateful you and your son were and are still warriors for having lived through that hard road and survived it.
      Chris Carter recently posted…It’s Going To Be Okay, MommyMy Profile

  10. Oh, my heart. I didn’t know you have carried this. Your sweet baby! I can’t imagine having to leave her side. See? Your writing brings right us through the valleys and over the peaks with you. It’s always those who have had to surrender at some point, like you have, and your daughter has, who then become the greatest blessings to others. Thank you SO much for sharing this with us!
    Julie Jo Severson recently posted…HmmmmmmMy Profile

  11. Chris Carter says:

    Oh Julie- those years were so so hard. I’m incredibly grateful to have survived them and I truly celebrate my girl’s health every single day, having this history embedded in my memory. You are such a constant encouragement to me- it means more than you’ll ever know, my friend. THANK YOU!
    Chris Carter recently posted…It’s Going To Be Okay, MommyMy Profile

  12. Dana says:

    Your girl has been through so much! Like many others who commented, I knew some of her medical battles but I didn’t realize it was so critical for so long. But as I was reading, I was picturing the strong, amazing girl she has grown to be, and the strong, amazing woman she will become.
    Dana recently posted…And the word of 2016 is…My Profile

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