On 10/7, it was assumed you couldn’t be here, but God had other plans.

October 7, 2021 is a day I will never forget. I had just had my 8th kidney stone surgery in a single decade (80+ stones removed and counting), and it was the day we finally had some answers from the doctors.

Some people will remember the days and months leading up to this day. Some will remember how difficult 2021 was for our family, and how the joke was that 2020 covid had nothing on us compared to the following year. My parents, siblings, my husband’s youngest sister, and our close friends were right by our side that year with all the things that seemed to hit. Two more surgeries seemed to be icing on the cake after all that had (and would continue) to go on that year. I will never ask to repeat a year like that, but I will always be so grateful to those who were there for us and prayed.

Waking up from that surgery, I saw the doctor, and my first remark was, “You get all the rocks this time?” Each time I have a surgery, we joke that it is another rock party, because why not make every situation a little more fun? “Yes, got them all for now, Christine. All 40 of them,” he replied. I will not document my supposed unfiltered response back to him (my post-op state of mind is quite absurd each time) or the nurse who was with him, but in my dazed, non-fully coherent state, I was upset.

Fast forward a bit, and my doctor went on to tell me that this was the disease they suspected. He said that my diet, all the natural things I had tried, the kidney stone remedies, and even surgeries wouldn’t knock these stones out. Over time my kidney function would continue to decrease. This wasn’t hereditary, and may have just been something that I was born with.

His next remarks are ones that at times, still haunt me a bit. Pregnancy and delivery make these stones worse. The more times it happens, the more damage it does. “Getting pregnant again may not be possible, and if it does, could be damaging to a baby and harmful to you.” My mind instantly jumped back to years prior when another doctor had told me that I would likely not be able to have children because of another diagnosis. The piercing fear, shock, and depression seemed right at the brink of my heart again. “Glad I have two boys at home,” I remember saying through burning tears that were trying to release. It wasn’t what he told me that was so difficult, but the flashback to that appointment with my OBGYN years prior. 

At my follow up that next week, things had healed well, thankfully from the surgery. I had been in a daze all week, and I remember the drive home. Mom and Dad, my close friends, and other family members knew the time of my appointment, and I remember seeing multiple texts and calls come through. I remember responding to texts and phone calls, holding back tears, when telling them the news. Emotionally and mentally I’d like to think I can handle quite a bit, however this day hit harder than I was ready for. So if you were one of those who called, texted, or stopped by that day, thank you. I’ll never forget it.

Here we are, October 7, 2022. Here I am, watching my tiny boy on the baby monitor as he takes a nap. Here I am, typing this blog quickly because as much as I want to put what’s on my heart into words (true therapy, people, you seriously have to try it!), I do want to eat lunch before the boys wake up. Here I am, still in shock that we have a third baby. The pregnancy that the doctor said likely wouldn’t be possible. The one that supposedly could harm a baby or me. The little boy who’s growth and development was the healthiest of the three boys. The pregnancy that was the smoothest and most pain free. The pregnancy that I passed the fewest number of stones with. This little life, another miracle, as my reminder that our circumstances don’t determine our hope or God’s faithfulness. Here I am, remembering calling the urologist on January 7th saying I had taken a positive pregnancy test, exactly three months after that day in October, and his response of, “You have got to be kidding. That’s a miracle!!”

I have my next appointment next Thursday, and to be honest, I am nervous. They’ll do a scan and determine whether or not I will have my 9th and 10th kidney stone removals in a few weeks. The likelihood is great, but maybe things will be ok. I’d like to think my pain tolerance is high. Maybe it is, but stones hurt. Recovering hurts. Nursing a newborn while recovering is excruciating after these. I could go on, but my anxiety would increase. My trust in myself and in circumstances would overpower my faith in God, and that would not be good.

Today I’m praying for wisdom in a week at this next scan and appointment. No matter the outcome, God is good. No matter the diagnosis, miracles still happen, and thankfully, our bodies do not compare to eternal life.

October 7th —my reminder that we can let our circumstances control our lives, or we can trust and know that no matter the outcome, God is in control. October 7th—my reminder that humans can have thoughts, plans, and diagnoses, but God has hope, faithfulness, and sometimes miracles in His plans.