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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Endurance (03/22/04)

TITLE: Endurance: It's Not What You Think
By Rosanne Bowman


I never understood the meaning of endurance until I became pregnant with my second child.

Iíll be honest, the first pregnancy wasnít exactly a walk in the park, but at least then, I still had the princess status. Have you ever notice when you are pregnant with a first child, people, including your husband, tend to treat you as if you are spun of fine sugar. With child number one, your husband kindly offers to rub your feet or insists that you relax while he does the dishes. He calls at intervals during the day to make sure you are still okay since the last time he called. Ten minutes ago.

However, by child number two, he is calmly asking you to fix his egg sandwich as soon as you are finished yakking in the bathroom. Oh, and be sure to fry that egg. Yes, everything changes with additional children. Not only is your princess status gone, but you usually have a toddler who just doesnít understand why in the world you canít chase him around the room, make him his favorite peanut butter and mayo sandwich or why anyone would need a nap, including him.

With child number one, I had some mild morning sickness. With child number two, I was sick from the moment of conception until the ride to the hospital to have him. The nine months I carried my second son were so bad, at times it almost seemed funny. First, there was unrelenting morning sickness. Then, my son got the chicken pox; my dad had open heart surgery; our carbon monoxide detector went off and we all got sick; we had to sell our apartment and find a new home; I had to be on partial bed rest due to early contraction; and finally, I had some strange affliction that caused my throat to swell up, making sleep a wistful dream. During this time, I worked 20-30 hours a week. I did not enjoy my pregnancy, and I vowed to never do it again.

I remember one night, sobbing to my husband about why God was doing this to me. The only thing He could possibly be teaching me was preparation for a torture camp. Why else was I being deprived of sleep like this? I hated every day of those nine months. But they gave me a real appreciation for those who were chronically ill. At least I had a due date ahead of me when I knew all these physical symptoms would go away.

About four months after giving birth to my second son, I called a woman from church who had been on my mind for a while. She had been ill for many years with all kinds of problems that sent her to the hospital ER on a regular basis. I was thinking of going over to see her, maybe bring her a few flowers or a card to say I was praying for her. When I called, she broke down in tears. It turned out she had an awful case of shingles and was in a lot of pain. But the doctor wouldnít prescribe any pain pills over the phone, the appointment that was a beacon of hope for her all weekend as she suffered excruciating pain, wasnít going to be until that night. The realization that she had to endure yet another day was more than she could take. I asked her what pain medicine she needed. She mentioned the same one that my doctor had given me after my c-section. I still had most of the bottle. Excited, I offered to give her the rest.

She met me at the door with tears of relief and pain mingled on her face. Despite it all, her first thought was how the Lord had blessed her. I wasnít so sure about that. I was the one who felt blessed. And she was the one who taught me what endurance is really all about.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Cox03/30/04
Well, when you compare shingles to 9 months of misery, I'm not so sure she had any lessons to teach you! Of course I've never had shingles, so maybe it is worse.
Dori Knight03/30/04
roseanne, this is a very well written piece.

wonderful flow that takes the reader right along to the very end, mild humor that lighten the piece without making light of the pain. thanks for sharing this well written story.
Corinne Smelker 03/31/04
I loved the comparison of 1st and 2nd pregnancies! But, what I liked the most was the way you were able to share with someone else, because you truly understood what it means to endure
Anthony David04/02/04
Thinking of others gives us all a better perspective of our own situations. An excellent article.
Mary C Legg04/02/04
it's terribly hard to understand the pain of other people until we suffer--but suffering loves company...and so often it can be productive. Too often we try to hide and ignore the things we really need to share... and suffering is one of them.
Dave Wagner04/03/04
This is outstanding. What a great read, both in content and in presentation. This one will definitely vie for my vote this week.

I liked these bits:

>> ...treat you as if you are spun of fine sugar.<<

>>...peanut butter and mayo sandwich...<<

>> The only thing He could possibly be teaching me was preparation for a torture camp.<<