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July 23, 2013

Four Centimeters & Counting

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 little one.

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.


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