July 14, 2011 by greenhouse04
It hit me today that I lost my favorite pillow nearly 4 years ago.
I think about that pillow occassionally. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had trouble finding a perfect head-rest, but I found such a one at the very first estate sale we went to after returning from China in 2006. We got a lot of amazing things at that estate sale – we basically furnished our apartment from it. And that pillow was icing. It was long and the perfect plumpness. It’s perfection was improved upon by putting it in a pillowcase given to us for our wedding, hand-embroidered with flowers and leaves of my favorite colors, pink and green.
But, I lost it. We left it at the hospital when I was discharged a week after major surgery in November, 2007. I remember realizing that we’d left it, Mr. Green calling the hospital, and then he and I driving there to look in the lost-and-found. It was never found. I guess some enterprising cleaning-lady got herself a wonderful pillow and hand-embroidered pillowcase.
The surgery was to drain a large infection, and then clean out my abdomen where the infection had been. In the process they removed what little was left of my appendix and a cyst on my ovary. I was in the hospital a total of 10 days, and took weeks to fully recover. It truly was amazing that I survived a burst appendix for over a week.
The memory of that pillow, and the circumstance in which it was lost, came flooding back today.
I had another surgery just last week. This surgery was minor, an out-patient, laposcopic proceedure, but was in a lot of ways much more difficult than the one in 2007. Not only was I fully aware of the very unpleasant sensations of being put under and brought out of anesthesia (I wasn’t before, due to lots of other drugs involved), but we discovered that my pillow and appendix weren’t the only things we lost 4 years ago. We also lost much of a chance of ever conceiving.
We finally went to a fertility specialist last month, and he suggested a laposcopic surgery to discover what kind of scar tissue and “adhesions” are in my abdomen from the large infection. During the surgery he discovered lots of scar tissue! My ovaries and intestines are basically fused together by it. He was able to take some of it out, but not all. He said our chances of conceiving have risen from 0% to 6-7%. The ovary would essentially have to drop an egg on just the right spot above the fallopian tube.
I know that God can work despite our human limitations. I know several women who have been told they would never conceive, who went on to have biological children (my mother-in-law is one of them). But this knowledge doesn’t take away the grief, the sense of loss I feel at this news. And I have lost something – I’ve lost the possession of a normal reproductive anatomy. In a way I feel disabled because my body can no longer function as it was meant to.
I’ve also lost a treasured dream. A dream of being pregnant, giving birth, and raising a child that is the genetic offspring of Mr. and me. This dream may not be lost forever – God may let it be found again someday, but for now it is.
The reality of what I lost 4 years ago was symbolized for me today as I remembered the favorite pillow I also lost. The reason I remembered the pillow suddenly was because I was digging through my linen closet, looking for the second pillowcase from the hand-embroidered set given to us for our wedding. It had occurred to me that pink and green flowers would go perfectly with the curtains I’m going to make for Emma’s room.
If we get to adopt her, she could use that pillowcase on her bed in the future.
And that makes me smile. I may have lost a pillow and a dream, but God always has a purpose. “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” I didn’t lose my life. I didn’t lose the dream I also had as a child of taking in an orphan. And I still have one hand-embroidered pillowcase that a beloved child can use someday.