Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beginnings, Endings and Peace

Tonight, I held my friends' newborn son for the first time. I looked down upon his peaceful, sleeping face. There's nothing closer to perfection in this world than touching the velvety soft skin of a baby's head. Welcome to the world, little baby Elias Jack, I thought. My thoughts were immediately interrupted by sadness: When I started getting sick in 2009, I first thought I was pregnant. I was convinced and I was overjoyed.

Dizziness, nausea, painful breasts, exhaustion, check! But things went downhill quickly, and it was unmistakeable that, despite the initial similarity in symptoms, I was very much not pregnant. Bizarre symptoms popped up and the dream of a baby was shattered like a miscarriage.

In place of happy baby news, the test results were not good: I had late-stage Lyme disease. Then came the worst part: Because I had gone mis/undiagnosed for so many years, the Lyme disease had crossed the placenta during my two pregnancies (in 2003 and 2007), and I had unknowingly exposed my precious babies to the most controversial disease of our time. Both children are positive, not only for Lyme disease, but for multiple other tick-borne diseases.
I had a deep internal struggle tonight about whether or not to hold baby Elias. I knew that it would tug at my heartstrings and if you take one look at the picture below, you will see the look in my eyes. We wanted one more child. Our family wasn't finished. Lyme disease took that from us.

I am blessed beyond words to already have my two wonderful sons. Had I had a name for the ridiculously long collection of symptoms that I had been dragging around with me for years--Lyme disease--my children would not have been born. I would not have taken the risk of passing on Lyme disease and multiple other tick-borne infections to any child. 

While there's nothing closer to perfection than feeling the velvety soft skin of your own sweet baby's head, sometimes it's enough to hold onto someone else's dream for just a moment, touching the velvety soft skin of their baby and breathing in all of their hopes and dreams for that little baby. Sometimes it's exactly enough to remind you just how perfect and beautiful life truly is. That little baby put a band-aid on my heart. 

 You are amazing, little Elias J.! Now, go conquer the world!

"Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies."  ~Erich Fromm



  1. Wow, your post is exactly what has been on my mind for a looooong time. I had my three girls before I knew I was sick. Now, even though I haven't gotten them tested, I know deep down in my heart they are positive. Luckily they are in remission, but they all have had symptoms at one point or another.
    As a mother/parent, we try so hard to keep them safe and healthy. Then lyme disease pulls the rug out and steals our children's health. It's so devastating. I would gladly take it away, I would give my life for them. It will literally kill me when they all test positive and are sick. My heart will shatter.
    And we were not done either, adding to our family. I wanted a son. And although my beautiful daughters are the world to me, I will always mourn not being able to have another baby.
    So, my heart is sad for you and for me. But I put my faith in God that he will be with me every step of the way.
    Thank you for opening up. It helps me feel less alone in my pain.

  2. Beautiful post, Alyson. So heartfelt and honest and educational too. I have been so thankful that my children were born before I got Lyme...I am not so sure I did not pass it on to Joel though. I think there is something to the sexually transmitted part too...but no research on that really. I love sweet and smell so good...Sending you hugs for what you have lost and sending you hugs for what you have :)

  3. Such a great post! It is so hard when you think of all of the things Lyme takes from us. I am so sorry that this has to be one of them. I've always thought I would adopt, but right now, I can't even imagine that. I can barely take care of the 2 we have! Thinking of you and hoping you feel better this week!

  4. Still, you have two wonderful sons. You should rejoice. My fiance and I won't have biological children, due to my illness- I may be infertile regardless, and we can't afford adoption. I want to be a mother so badly but that dream is dead.