This began in the comment box of Enlightened Single Mom–Single Mother of the Week–and morphed into something too much for the box, and into a story I believed belonged here to be shared with everyone.

I can understand what you mean about “In a way I feel as if it was fate that I would get knocked up at the age of 17. At least my son was held by the greatest man I ever knew.” I got pregnant in the middle of being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, a hyperthyroidism condition, which was supposed to have rendered me infertile, but my son was apparently meant to be, hence his name meaning “gift from God.” During the pregnancy, along with the thyroid problem and the constant changing of dosages trying to find the right one, I developed gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. After giving birth, I didn’t have the last two issues, but developed what was later diagnosed as fibromyalgia, and also had a bout with postpartum depression that required a week and a half in the hospital (trying to cope with a baby when one’s body cannot keep up strains the mind as well).

During the times that I was too sick to take care of my baby during the first few years of his life, weeks when I just couldn’t physically or emotionally keep up with the care I knew he needed and deserved, he stayed with his grandparents who lived then an hour away. (We now live five minutes away–enabling me to return to college.) Grandma is the leading force of that house and general caretaker of children, but she was still working at the time (since happily retired) so Grandpa had to learn to do things that he didn’t with his children, like feeding and diaper changing.

I cry when I think of those early years before my health improved and my son started school and he was at home more, but I realize that maybe there was a greater spirit in control of the situation, for around the time my son turned five, Grandpa was diagnosed with brain cancer and died soon after. He had had a lot of health problems before, and we think that having his first grandchild to care for in his home so often was what kept him hanging on as long as he did. While it is sad that I do not know all of the things people ask me about his early years, like developmental milestones and what not, I am grateful that my father-in-law had all that time with his precious first grandchild, and that I was the one who was able to give the baby to him.

It is terrible that I was sick enough during those years I felt it necessary to relinquish care to my in-laws so often as I went through surgeries, tests and procedures, physical therapy and adjusting to medications to get to the better level of health (but still painful) that I am at today.  But, perhaps it was an act of God that I suffered like that–one, because I am writing about it now and perhaps other women or those who love them who suffered like me can find succor and enlightenment in my words.  And most of all, my son got that time with his grandpa, and he was loved so dearly by that wonderful man.