I’m a recovering control freak. Surrender is the greatest lesson of all the lessons Eva taught me.
The Buddhists really have the market for how to handle suffering—surrendering is at the heart of it. I gleaned a lot from Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron in the early days after Eva’s diagnosis.
I planned for this baby for years, with huge cleanses to make sure my body was in tip-top shape. I took prenatals so folate would be in my system before conception, like we’re told. I read lots of books: fertility, hormones, nutrition, conceiving after 35, prenatal meditation, and on and on.
But it wasn’t happening as fast as Max. I know, I’ll take a 6-month yoga teacher training, that will help me to relax.
Six months later, maybe we should resort to a fertility specialist. Did that man just carry my cup of pee into the waiting room? Phew, don’t have to go back, we got pregnant without him!
Nope, wait, six weeks in and that baby wasn’t meant to be. This is when I start to understand the meaning of surrender.
Where do we go from here? Keep trying of course. I’ll quit teaching yoga, spend more time focusing on the boys. Now I’m meditating trying to conceive. I make a connection, but can it be real? It is real, it’s a girl just like she showed me. Life can’t feel more perfect for a control freak. We did it!! All that knowledge finally paid off.
Then 20 weeks in I have extra fluid and she has a club foot. No big deal. I’ll just pray and think good thoughts.
24 weeks and they are finding numerous abnormalities now, most concerning is Intrauterine Growth Restriction as the baby is measuring in the third percentile. So what did I do? I bought high quality organic protein powder of course, to help her tiny body grow.
28 weeks and they tell me it’s in her genetic makeup, extreme developmental delays, no eating, talking, sitting, standing, walking, or living past two. It is ALL outside of my control. There is nothing else to do but surrender.
Then came the unknowns: Will she survive birth, come home, live a few years? How will this affect Max? Can I still work? What does our future look like? All I know is our baby is going to die.
I’ve never had so many unknowns. So much out of my control. There was nothing left to do but surrender and trust that it would all work out as it was intended to. All we could do was go with the flow and let Eva lead the way.
Losing control ended up providing liberation. I now understand how little control I have over this life, all I can do is do my best and trust the journey. Another gift Eva taught me.