Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seven Stages

When we were first discovering Baby Bee's allergies, I started in denial.  From there I think I traveled through the "seven stages of grief" more than once.  I denied the presence of the allergies and I denied their severity.
If she only eats a little something that only has a tiny bit of wheat...............
This will go away soon, by a year she'll be eating normal foods............

Then I progressed to guilt.  I analyzed the entire pregnancy and delivery and every moment afterward.  I thought back on every sickness I or Bee had experienced.
I ate didn't eat well enough during the pregnancy.........
If only I hadn't had the flu while pregnant......
If I had nursed longer or waited to introduce solids until later........

Next, anger.
Why my child? 
Why doe she have to suffer?
Why can't she be normal?
Why can't we just have our lives back?

Utter hopelessness and depression followed.  I had slowly begun to accept the reality of Bee's situation and I quickly learned that no one else understood.  When I tried to explain to friends or when I panicked each time someone fed their child a Cheerio within 50 feet of Bee, well, let's just say I began to feel alone quickly.
Why could no one understand and why did no one believe me?
There was no one to talk with, and I was surprised by the lack of compassion shown by doctors and others I encountered.  I was "over reacting" and she would just "grow out of it, right?"  I knew the truth that I didn't want to accept, but others..........

Then I finally began to drag myself upward and I realized that we could handle this.  I had no choice; Bee was depending on me.  Suddenly everything seemed a little easier.  I was the only one who could help Bee, and I would do just that.

I launched into my reconstruction efforts and slowly made daily changes.
No more peanuts in house............check
No more eggs............check
New cookbooks..........check
New snack foods..........check
I made lists and searched websites and began to feel informed.  I found friends who had been down this road; I found support and encouragement.

At last, I finally feel like I have hope.  Bee may never outgrow many of these allergies; some may be for a lifetime.  And I've learned that's ok.  Our life will never be the same and our normal looks so very different.  I cling to each small improvement, each milestone, and every kind and compassionate word.  I especially cling to the compliments of how beautiful Baby Bee is, because for a time she looked less than human.

But more than anything, I cling to the hope I have in the Lord and each smile from little Bee.

She depends on me and puts her unfailing trust in me, and I know on whom I can depend.  What peace!

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is an everlasting Rock."  Isaiah 26: 3-4

I have made the journey, and now I can revel in hope.

"And now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in you."  Psalm 39:7

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