Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Where Are The Bananas?"

Childbirth is often seen as one of the most painful experiences anyone could endure. Well, after this past weekend, I would have to say the second is running a marathon. Now if that sounds wimpy to you that just proves to me you have not run one.

I guess when I signed up to undergo such an adventure I was focused more on the sentimental side of the decision. I figured if we were adopting and being pregnant was not in the immediate plan, I might as well do something heroic. I guess God thought he would bless me with an experience as close to pregnancy as possible.

Here is how, in my opinion, the two are a like: training, is much like the milestones in pregnancy that one overcomes, both emotionally and physically. Every Saturday morning, my partner and I, would meet up, to increase the mileage we achieved the week prior. Some long runs were better than others. Many people tried to convince me that I was “trained” and “well prepared”. Nothing can totally prepare you! We never trained the last six miles, what a surprise, the hardest ones to overcome. It is like in childbirth when all is said and done and you look around at hundreds of women who have labored through the birthing process, and you wondered why there was still 99% of the experience you were not aware of.    

Labor, a.k.a. race day, is one that you never thought would come, but all of a sudden you are sitting at the breakfast table panicking that there is no way you are ready. The race begins and through the torrential down pouring of rain, wind, and cold temperatures, it felt like very few moments of relief through the stressful running conditions. It was contraction #16, I mean mile marker 16, and through all my training, nothing prepared me for this, severe leg cramps in both legs. The discomfort and pain that I felt was like no other, and mentally knowing the worst was yet to come as 10 miles remained.

It was time to push. By mile 18, all I could think about was “where are the bananas?!” Did you know one banana has approximately 800 mg of potassium; this is 23 percent of your daily requirement and 60 mg of magnesium, which is 15 percent of your daily requirements? Well I didn’t either, but my body did, and I couldn’t have craved them more. Mile 20 could not have been better, my ice chips arrived, I mean bananas. The relief was almost immediate. It kind of served as my epidural at this point. I was still uncomfortable, still felt the pressure, in my legs, but definitely relieved me enough to get through the worse part, the delivery.

The last six miles, I can hardly remember, as I just had to push, breath, and take one step at a time. Finally, mile marker twenty-five appeared. The head, I mean end, was in sight. With half a mile left to go, my partner and I picked up our pace and began passing people, as if we just started the race. Our heads held high, exhausted, but ready for the last push to the end. We joined hands, lifted our arms up for the final hurrah, and crossed the finish line. It was an amazing accomplishment. I could not have done it without my partner Allie. She held my hand through it all and talked me through my pain, regardless of my grumpy moments. The last resemblance of a marathon and childbirth is, before I know it, I will forget the pain I endured, and sign up to do another one. But until I can feel my legs again, I do not think so!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

So here it is folks, my attempt at writing a blog and putting our life out on public display!

Ever since I first met Jeff and began my relationship with this wonderful man, friends have often told us that we should write a book. Now this could either be something recognized as, “wow we are so cool, that our friends think everyone should hear about us,” or (more or less), “we are so unusual that everyone should see who we are!” I believe the latter to be more of the drive behind the comment and encouragement. But all that to say, I kind of get it.

Although, one would argue in defense, to their encouragement to us being authors, the truth is, we are quite unique and we know that. Why do we know that? Well let’s just start with some of the ridiculous comments we have heard from the general public in reaction to meeting a man in a wheelchair. Everything from the severely emphysemic women who was trying to sell us a miracle vitamin that she swore would heal Jeff of quadriplegia, as if it was a disease. To the women who’s assigned seat, on a flight to Michigan, was next to us at the window. In mid-straddle over Jeff, she realized she did not want this arrangement of having to climb over Jeff every time needing to use the restroom. In response, she begins yelling out to her son in the back of the plane and pointing at Jeff, in her attempt to switch seats, “He can’t walk, he can’t walk.” No, no, not embarrassing at all! With my humor I just lifted my arm and began to wave to the rest of the passengers, yes, yes, it’s us he can’t walk, as if we were the winners of a random raffle drawing.

We get it, we stand out, and to tell you the truth, being an only child, I don’t mind it a bit! From the beginning we knew we were going to experience life differently then those around us and have experiences (like the ones stated above) that do not compare to our friends. But we also see the flip side, that each of these moments, are not typical, and through them God teaches us to rely on him and each other more and more. The strength of our relationship not only to each other, but to God does not always compare to the average Joe. I feel blessed that some of the trials we are placed in are not typical and we are brought closer to Jesus through them. That makes being different, totally worth it.

Well speaking of being different, our journey in life continues down the road of uniqueness. We have been married now for almost nine years. We have been so blessed with friends all over the country who we love so dearly. We have been so fortunate to have support in the areas of our life that are not always easy, breezy. God is always there! Right when we are denying ourselves of our uniqueness in our attempt to “fit-in” and be normal, God taps us on the shoulder and gently reminds us, that is not the calling he has for us.

We are excited to share with you, if you have not already heard, the last gentle tap God placed on our shoulder, was the pressing on our hearts to adopt. We have been trying for the past couple years to conceive naturally, but again, that may just be to “normal” for the Dykemas. God has a plan for everyone, and his plan for us, is to keep us unique for now. We could not be more thrilled by this, and understand fully this is a blessing from God to have such a desire to adopt. In all honesty, the enemy tries his hardest to get us down, by rubbing in our faces we are not “typical” and at times this can be hard. We would love that you pray for us during this time. We are waiting for our Home Study date to be set. Please pray, that through this process, that can be quite long, we continue trusting in God and find joy through the wait, not lacking in patience. Thanks for reading. The next update will be much shorter I promise!