At 35.5 weeks, I started having contractions - pretty intense, somewhat painful contractions. I was monitored in office one day and then found myself heading to the hospital early the next morning. When I say "early", I mean middle-of-the-night. We thought the baby was coming! As our dear friend headed over to the house to stay with Caleb, I was up in my closet trying to find something to wear (The bathing suit coverup I initially put on had to be immediately removed - what was I thinking?!) and worrying about all of the things on my "Pre-Baby List" that were not yet finished.
We were excited to meet our new little man, but definitely had some concerns
since I was not exactly full-term just yet. While I typically applaud nurses
and feel that - in labor and delivery - they do most of the real work, I found
myself dreading conversations with those that were on staff that morning. As we
chatted throughout the morning, they began throwing things out there such as: "He may have to go to the NICU." "Our NICU is full, so he will
probably have to be transferred to the city." "Breastfeeding issues
are common for babies born this early." On and on their comments came, and
I just wanted them to get out of the room so I could lay in the bed and bawl my
eyes out. While I realize they were probably trying to prepare me for any and
all scenarios, can I say that it was just not the best approach or the best
timing for these comments? As my contractions intensified and got to be about 2
minutes apart, David and I were getting more and more excited about the arrival
of our little one, but I could hear the nurses' comments ringing in the back of my
mind; and I have to admit that we were a little scared about what to expect.
This birth was supposed to be smoother than the last. This delivery and
recovery was supposed to be easier. Right?
When the nurses finally left the room, I had a good-old fashioned sob fest.
I was tired; I was concerned; and it felt good to let the tears flow. It also
felt good to think of all the wonderfully, healthy babies I know that were born
at this stage (and earlier) - 35.5 week babies who didn't have to go to the NICU - 35.5 week
babies who didn't have breastfeeding issues. As I thought about these little
ones, I could feel God telling me to trust Him. I could feel His protective
hand over me (and my little one), and I could sense Him urging me to let go of
the control I thought I had on the situation and just.trust.
It wasn't long before my contractions started to slow down and become less
painful. Needless to say - two weeks later - I am home and still carrying this
He did not arrive that day. This was partially disappointing as we were
excited to hold him, but we are thankful that he has had more time to grow and
develop inside of me.
To the moms who have and who will deliver premature babies - especially precious ones much, much younger than my Isaac was a couple of weeks ago, I have prayed
for you. I experienced a very tiny glimpse in to your fear and unknown, and
that is not anything I wish on anyone.
So, here we are, 37.5 weeks...4 cm...and trying our hardest to be patient! I
have spent the past couple of weeks doing the many things that were not quite
finished when I entered the hospital last time...the things I was absolutely
panicked about~ Get ready for a free glimpse in to my personality: the nursery
wall hangings have been hung; the hospital bag has been reorganized; the
freezer meals have been prepared; the files on my computer have been sorted and resorted; my toenails have been repainted; and I'll
just stop there before I embarrass myself. If only you knew the silly things I
have rushed around here doing since I was discharged.
Soon and very soon we hope to be holding our little one! I had hoped that he
would be a "royal baby". I had hoped that my sitting outside under
last night's full moon would bring forth our little one. No news yet...but I
will continue walking laps around our neighborhood...and eating Mexican
food...and trusting that God's timing is always better than my own.