It has been a rough few days. Last Wednesday, at my doctor’s appointment, I was told that I am having some minor contractions and possible signs of early labor (at 32 weeks!). My doctor put me on what I’m calling “partial bed rest,” meaning very limited activity, only doing what is necessary. This means no exercise, no house work, no laundry, and not doing anything that I don’t absolutely have to do. So since then, I’ve been sitting around on the couch and doing as little as possible, and drinking TONS of water and liquids to stay hydrated, which is another way to slow any signs of early labor. At least I’ve gotten quite a bit of other work done…
This last week brought another challenge as I started to feel a lot of pressure in my pelvic area, and I was told that the baby has started to drop a lot sooner than he should be. So…that meant 2 rounds of steroid injections to help his lungs develop in the case that he decided to make an early appearance into the world. We had to go all the way back to our hospital (2 days in a row!), which is an hour away to receive this 2nd injection.
In the midst of all of this, Corey and I had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans, which included traveling to KY to see his family, who had planned a get together and baby shower for us so that we could stay close by and keep me resting. We know they understood, but this was a difficult decision to have to make.
And if you know me, you know that I am self-sufficient, independent, and like to stay active and be in the mode of getting things done. I hate just sitting around not doing anything. This has been a whole new challenge for me. And it happens to fall during a very busy time of year. I know that what I’m doing is very important for my baby and for me, but I am finding myself so frustrated and with a feeling of uselessness. I’ve had to give up singing in the community choir, holiday plans with friends, and various other activities that I have had planned and that bring me a lot of joy. I also love me some Black Friday shopping…which I had to do from the couch this year! Not nearly as much fun!!
I also feel like I’m letting my congregation down, even though I am still committed to preaching on Sundays and corresponding with people through phone and email. We are also so grateful for their support during this time. We had several invitations to Thanksgiving dinner, which was much appreciated! We were able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, who now only live an hour away.
Not to mention, the guilt I feel that I cannot prepare the nursery right now in the way that I had hoped or planned on doing. Our basic pieces are in place, but there is still so much to be done before the baby gets here. We tend to think that we have time to get things done, but life happens and things change very quickly. This kid isn’t even born yet and he’s teaching me the important lessons of patience and flexibility…
Corey has been a lifesaver. I can’t say it’s been easy for either of us. But he has done laundry, cooked meals, walked the dog, taken me to appointments, and has been by my side this whole time. I can’t say thank you to him enough.
I keep telling myself it’s about perspective. The baby’s health comes first, and it’s not about me at this point really. Secondly, when we were in labor and delivery the other night where I was to receive my 2nd injection, the nurses hooked me up to a monitor for awhile to see how the baby was sounding, if I was having contractions, etc. We watched and listened for awhile and everything looked and sounded good. Corey said that he had drawn us some great “heart art” on the monitor 🙂 My mind felt a sense of peace for the first time in a few days. By that point, the severe pressure I’d been feeling had let up as well. At one point, another young woman was brought into the room, and we could overhear that she believed her water had broken. Her due date was not until February. I realized at that point how fortunate we were to know that at least if our baby was born that night, we would be okay. The news I heard from the other side of the curtain was uncertain and scary. My heart still goes out to that young woman and her baby, wherever they are.
So as I head into the Advent season, which starts this Sunday, I go into it with hesitation, not knowing what the next few weeks will bring. I am preaching on Mary’s Song (the Magnificat) on Sunday morning, and I’ve found it to be a very appropriate text for all that I am feeling and going through. And it gives me hope.
In the meantime, baby and I are just praying for at least 5-6 more weeks of “baking time” before he decides to make his appearance. I’d love to make it through Christmas Eve, but again, life happens. If he’s already learned anything from his mom, it’s a lack of patience! Hopefully he will change his mind and decide that right now, he’s in the right place, right where he should be, and to take his time. Perhaps that’s a good lesson for me as well.
Peace to you on the Advent journey of waiting and anticipation.