There are defining moments in every marriage.
For some couples, those defining moments are not as big or catastrophic at first. For some, it takes years for an event to occur to really test one's marriage. For others, it happens within the first few years.
That's what happened with Thomas and I.
It seems like things have never been exactly easy for us. We've had money issues, problems finding full-time work, infertility...
Then there was that time where Thomas almost died.
And then this past October.
I went into the labor and delivery room with the expectation that everything would go exactly as I planned.
A natural birth. No drugs. Emma in ideal health. Me in ideal health. No issues. Certainly no c-section.
But then life happened.
Life kicked us in the butt actually.
And our marriage was tested again. And again. And again.
I wish I could say that I was a good, calm and understanding patient throughout everything but that wouldn't be honest.
And I wish I could say Thomas was calm and understanding while watching his wife and daughter go through what we did but he wasn't.
We were tested.
Our faith was tested. Our marriage was tested. Our ability to adapt as new parents was tested.
And time and time again, I asked myself, "WHY?! Why us?"
I developed an infection in my uterus during labor. After being induced, I was in labor for 46 hours. I had been in laten labor for days before so my doctor said we needed to induce because my blood pressure was borderline high and she didn't want to take any risks.
After 23 hours of being in labor and only dilated 1/2 cm, they decided to break my water.
22 hours later, my fever spiked to 103 F and they said a c-section would be necessary for mine and the baby's health.
I was terrified.
The c-section went fine, other than throwing up on the table while they were sewing me back up.
Unfortunately, Emma had to be taken the the NICU because there was a chance she could develop an infection, since she was in my uterus while it was infected.
Having a baby in the NICU is awful. I would never wish something like that upon any parent.
What made it worse was that I had just come out of surgery and had to be on antiobiotics.
My plans of immediate skin to skin contact: gone.
My plans to immediately breastfeed: gone.
My plans to never let Emma out of my sight: gone.
Nothing went as planned.
And we were tested.
We were tested when I went down to the NICU to hold my baby and they informed me I wouldn't be allowed to because she had an IV in her umbilical cord and if I held her, it could come loose and she could bleed out.
We were tested. And tested. And tested.
3 days went by. I was feeling much better. Able to walk. I wasn't in a lot of pain and had even showered.
And then my pain got unbearable. Out of nowhere.
And we were tested.
Because they didn't listen to me when I told them something was wrong.
They released me from the hospital. I was in horrible pain but was told it was normal.
1 week after Emma was born, she was released from the NICU.
And that night, I was taken back to the emergency room.
My incision was seriously infected and they reopened it.
We were tested when they began opening it without giving me any pain meds.
We were tested when they announced Thomas would have to "pack the incision" twice a day until it healed.
But it didn't stop there.
Over the course of the next 2 weeks, I was in and out of the hospital two more times.
I developed a very high fever but they couldn't figure out why.
Finally, after many many tests, it was announced that I had a blood clot in my right leg as well as Septic Pelvic Vein Thrombophlebitis.
It didn't end there.
My uterus was still infected.
And I developed C-diff because of all the antibiotics they had me on.
And we were tested.
Defining moments in marriage. Will you make it through?
We have and we're stronger than ever.
We have a beautiful, healthy daughter.
I have the most wonderful husband in the world who packs my incision twice a day and doesn't complain even a little.
We're all alive and God is good.
But we were tested.
And we're tested every day.
Is it because we're Christians? Is it because the devil attacks us? Is it because God has a bigger plan and we're just along for the ride?
I don't know.
What I do know is that once you make it to the other side, you're stronger. You've learned things and you'll never go back.
Life is full of surprises.
It's scary but wonderful.
Full of adventure but danger is lurking.
I'm happily riding along on this adventure called life.
God is there for me. Always has been.
And we're tested.
But isn't that what life is all about?