1978-2023 (and counting!)
Our 45th wedding anniversary.
Over the course of a long love story, what was once a single ‘our song’ becomes a whole playlist of songs. Marking myriad events in the ups, downs; ebbs, flows; crushing sorrows, magnificent joys; everyday living out of our love & life in this world hand-in-hand and in His Hands.
Here then, is one such song released in August, 1983 and added at that same time to our playlist during a particularly defining event that occurred early on in our life path together.
The year was 1983.
We were renting the bottom unit in a quadplex in the heart of the Silicon Valley – San Jose, CA. Hubby pursuing the dream of working for the hottest tech company of the time, Hewlett Packard.
Me? Living life in the Bay area as a new stay-at-home-college-educated Mom of a one-year-old and precariously on track with our fourth pregnancy.
A seemingly viable one after a rocky reproductive history of 2 previous miscarriages: one around 15 weeks (twins) and later, an early ectopic pregnancy that spontaneously resolved itself. Nestled between those, our much wanted beloved daughter, Hava was born!
Over the course of this latest pregnancy at 5 months gestation, the increasingly troublesome eye blind-spot symptoms I was experiencing could no longer be ignored. At the end of my eye exam, the optometrist explained that he ‘could not be responsible for me’ and felt he couldn’t tell me his suspicions on the cause of my blind spots. (Yes, he was an odd duck) Instead, he promptly picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment for me with a neurologist colleague ASAP.
Thus began the whirlwind of expedient & lengthy testing.
Of course, the neurologist explained further concerns at the next day’s appointment. It appears my symptoms suggested two possible diagnoses:
Apparently, Pituitary Gland Brain Tumors grow exponentially & rapidly if the patient is pregnant – hence the haste with which these medical professionals carried out their testing and treatment plans.
I underwent numerous tests that lasted hours over a two day period prior to an impending operation date within 10-14 days. It was assumed I had the tumor and several tests substantiated those assumptions.
Between sessions, I talked with my OB-GYN to make sure that the scheduled CAT scans (MRIs weren’t readily available at that time) wouldn’t hurt the new life growing inside me.
Further, the doctor spent time patiently answering my flood of ‘what if’ and ‘what about’ questions – mostly focused on how to protect my unborn child from harm during possible brain surgery.
And you know what? My OB-GYN made a point of letting me know that prenatal care is as much for the care of the mother (me) as for the baby! He was there for me, too. Every step of the way.
A few days before the looming ‘possible’ brain surgery was to be performed, the latest CAT scans baffled the medical staff. The original tumor dot cluster seemingly disappeared!
Even the neurologist said it was unexplainable (often their way of acknowledging a miracle of sorts).
So they cancelled the immediate mandate to operate post haste.
That left us with diagnosis #2 … which at the time was only confirmed via a spinal tap. I asked if we could postpone that until after the baby was born and/or indefinitely and was told, “Yes”.
Relief. We’d deal with it later, if at all.
Now we could celebrate and enjoy getting ready for our new arrival.
Aside from periodic monitoring with a world renown Neuro-ophthalmologist* at Stanford, I ultimately ended up with a clean slate.
Sadly, I miscarried again**, this time at 6 months gestation.
But the Lord has been my (our) stronghold,Psalm 94:22 NASB
And my (our) God the rock of my (our) refuge.
*there’s an hilarious story that goes with our visit with this doctor, but isn’t quite in line with the focus of this post – perhaps another time it will be told!
**for completion’s sake, we went through 4 more pregnancies, resulting in 2 more live births (middle daughter and youngest son) but losing 2 more babies at 12 weeks gestation each. In total, 9 babies, with 3 live births. All wanted. All beloved.