The Gift

I awoke this morning to a gentle kiss on my cheek, and a whispered “I love you” from my hubby. Since I am quite well-known for being a grumpy-bear first thing in the morning before coffee, he quickly follows that up with: “You don’t have to get up yet, I just thought you might be hungry soon, should I start breakfast and wake you at 10:00?” A wave of love floods my grumpy-bear heart, and I hug him. This man really loves me, and (after our ups & downs over the last decade) is really starting to get me. How wonderful to be spending life alongside a partner as wonderful as him!! (Ok, ok, I know, enough with the mushy stuff! Moving on…) He got breakfast ready, and even brought it to me in bed. I felt like a Queen!

Being Canada Day, there was a parade in our town at 11 a.m., so he took the boys and headed over to join the crowd & partake in the festivities with Grams and Papa. When he returned home, I didn’t really want to push my luck too far, but I was craving a workout so I asked for a bit more time to myself to do so before it was time for me to get Miss Lydia down for her afternoon nap…and, as always, he said “go for it, baby”.  With a spring in my step, I headed downstairs and chose a workout I hadn’t done in YEARS: “Les Mills Pump & Burn”. It’s short & effective at only 34 mins, not to mention it’s super fun with it’s music pumping while you burn it out (hence the title, I suppose!). I put the DVD in, got the bar & weights ready as all of the usual precursory workout precautions lit up the screen (you know, “consult your Dr prior to starting this or any program…” etc. etc.), slipped on my silver knit Nike flex’s, and pressed “play”.

I was pumped to pump!! (pardon the pun, I just had to do it.)

I was pumped…until something else crept in to my system. This very odd mixture of the endorphins immediately released by the act of exercising, and something else….dread? A sense of doom? I could feel the blood rushing in my ears… What the hell is going on… I really didn’t understand. It was this heavy feeling on my chest too….and no, I wasn’t doing chest presses or attempting to bench above my physical limitations. A feeling almost as if there was a wrench, or pliers, twisting my insides just above my solar-plexus. It was odd, and definitely unsettling, but not overly alarming, so I pushed through and finished. Physically, I felt great!! But as I headed up the stairs, and heard Scott ask “how was it?” when I entered the kitchen…heavy drops of blue tears began pouring from my eyes.

Sadness. I felt such immense sadness. And a sense of shame, or guilt.

“What’s wrong love?”, he asked, just as gobsmacked as I was by this odd reaction to a simple “how was your workout” type of question. I had no conscious idea of why I was crying, or what I was feeling…but from somewhere deeper in my subconscious came the answer. It was like an out-of-body experience, as if someone else were speaking the words that came spilling out of me in that instant….

I haven’t done that workout since I was pregnant with Evy…and it brought back all of the good feelings I had being pregnant with him….” Scott nodded…and urged me onward with a gentle “uh-huh…”, clearly just as in the dark about where I was going with this as I was!! I sobbed on: “And….was it my fault? I thought that I was doing the right thing by being fit during my pregnancy with him, so that we had a chance at a healthy delivery….but, what if it was my fault?”

Scott looked at me with such gentle understanding and said: “It’s not sweetie, it’s not possible. All of the Dr’s have told you that…it isn’t anything you did”…”What if they’re all just SAYING that?!!” I cried even harder (GEEZ! Where was this eruption of irrational thought and deep emotion coming from?!!) and continued on with: “What if it’s my fault that my water broke early? I was working out that day, and…well…what if it’s my fault and something happened to him because of ME?!!

There it was. I had thought I put this to bed months ago, the deep-rooted fear I had that somehow, Evy’s brain abnormalities are my fault. That his condition is my doing. Consciously, I had attempted to treat that fear with reason and fact: I asked every one of his Dr’s, including our geneticist and our pediatric neurologist if I could have caused this by being fit while pregnant…and the answer was always a resounding “No”. It just isn’t possible. In fact, even way back in October, before we even knew WHAT was going on for Evy, I even asked our SLP if there was a way that I caused this by being fit.  I had thought I let it go after all of the definite “no”‘s I had recieved in response to that question; thought I had stopped blaming myself for whatever I did, or didn’t do, and just accepted that our Bug’s brain is unique.

Well, I guess I DID accept it consciously, but obviously SUBCONSCIOUSLY I hadn’t let those feelings go yet. And playing that workout DVD today, the one that was my favorite while I carried that sweet angel in my belly, triggered my brain, and brought it allllll out.

Just as quickly as the hurricane had shocked us with it’s arrival, it made it’s exit just as quietly. With a kleenex for my tears, a hug, and the most wonderful words from Scott, it was gone. Scott will be the first to admit that normally, words, are not his forté, but today he nailed it: “We have a gift in him, hunnie….so it is not your fault. But it’s our job to enjoy him, and love him more every day.”


That word penetrated my heart with the stealth of an arrow, and spoke straight to my subconscious (emotional part of the brain). Evy is our GIFT.

Although I doubt that my subconscious will ever bring forth those worries again (they felt like they were sufficiently acknowledged today), whatever else my rational or irrational mind throws at me on Evy’s journey, I will carry Scott’s words with me, and bring myself back down to earth.

Our Evy-Bug.




~Thank you for reading, and for supporting our darling Bug on his journey.  It would mean the world if you would help show support for our darling Evy, and help raise awareness for rare diseases, by following & sharing. If you have a helpful, positive, or supportive comment in mind, please leave one for us! We deeply appreciate you taking the time to be here.




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