If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever. Winnie the Pooh

Monday, February 18, 2013

Goodbye, Fear

And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Wait for now

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
Use my head alongside my heart

Decisions driven by fear.  Worrying about the future, the what-ifs.  I thought I had gotten that all under control.  It's a lesson God has been patiently trying to teach me for many years.  But these last few weeks of pregnancy have told me I'm not a very good student. 

My hope was to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section).  My OB agreed to it but under many conditions: no induction, no big baby, no pitocin, no going over due date...and on and on.  So once I found out at 36 weeks Baby 4.0 was measuring a pretty big: 7 lbs 8 oz., I started panicking and hoped Baby would come, soon.  Because my OB started throwing out the c-section word.  Now, I don't think having a vaginal delivery will make me more of a mom, a better mom, a warrior mom...no, in fact it's not a mama-war I even care to discuss.  My reasons for wanting a VBAC are entirely selfish---I'm a wimp! Comparing Claire's delivery to the twins' c-section is night and day for me!  I was up and walking easily within an hour of delivering Claire and with Madeline & Max I was still hobbling around, doubled over in pain for a good 10 days after.  Months after I would still feel pain and just 'not right'.  I want to avoid that.  Especially since I'll be taking care of 4 children.  So I agonized.  Worried.  Prayed:  Come on out soon, Baby!

Then at 37 weeks I developed a condition I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy: PUPPS.   My stomach looked like it had been scalded by hot water, every inch of it.  The itchiness was so consuming, it's all I could think about.  I called my mom in tears every single day, asking her to pray to help me to get through the day, even if just one minute at a time.  Because when I saw the on-call OB, she gently suggested: c-section.  You know, most women at this point would just go ahead and opt for the c-section as that is really the only 'cure'.  I'll wait, I said.  Really? You want to put yourself through another day? Another week? Another 3 weeks of this?  You don't have to! I broke down and cried right there in the exam room.  She ordered lab work to check my liver.  I broke down again.  Knowing relief was just a c-section away was so tempting.  The nights were the worst: I ccouldn't sleep.  Not a minute. Tossing and turning, placing cool rags and ice packs on my stomach all night.  If my OB had been in my room during the middle of the night, I would have agreed to the c-section then and there. I worried, I prayed, I begged: please, come out, Baby!

But I'd get up in the morning and it would be a little, just the smallest bit better.  And I would again, focus on one minute at a time.  One day, I dropped the twins off at preschool and I had the urge to go to a Catholic church and pray. The desire was so strong, it was all I could think about.  I wanted to pray. In peace.  Without distraction from kids.  I wanted to get on my knees and be surrounded by a church that reminded me of my childhood and my Grandpa, who I felt was calling out to me.  So the next day, I found one. 

I prayed the prayers I learned as a child.  Over and over as I was on my knees, the tears just needed to be released as I begged God for peace and comfort. I wanted to talk to my Grandpa so I did. And I felt his presence.  On my knees, while I prayed, I knew he was with me.  And then the inexplicable: I felt cool hands covering my stomach.  And for a moment, I had complete relief from the condition that had been plaguing me for over a week.  A condition no cream, no medicine could touch.  I left the church that day knowing that whatever happened, I would have the strength to get through it. Miracles cannot be explained.  That is why we have Faith.  And the next day what happened was a true miracle. I woke up and I was no longer as itchy as I had been.  My stomach which had been a bright, blistering, angry red was faded to a pink, a mild looking sunburn.  And as the days went on, it has faded even more. And then one day: No more itchiness.

Then I had a great appointment with my OB who suddenly seemed to have a change of heart: she was willing to induce if I got close to my due date, no automatic c-section! Hooray!  I felt like I could get through these last few weeks of my pregnancy worry-free.  Until she called the next day saying she wanted to induce me at my next appointment.  I panicked: what if the baby just needs more time? What if she induces me and my body isn't ready and I have to have a c-section?  What if, what if, what if?  So I asked for another week, to schedule the induction for when I'm full term.  And then the self-doubt and worry began:  but then we wouldn't have help from my parents because they would be leaving 2 days later, what if the extra week allows the baby to get too big and I end up with a c-section anyway?....but, but, but....worry, worry, worry.
I hate being in that dark place of fear, darkness, worry.  Things that I can't control.  Things that should be let go to prayer.  But sometimes the mind tries to overpower the heart.  Self-doubt was laying on me like a heavy blanket making it hard to breathe.  Did I make the right decision?

I went to the gym and the first song that came on was I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons.   Ahhhh, it sounded so right.  Wait is what my heart was whispering....wait for Baby to come.  But, But, But, my mind kept protesting....maybe...worry, worry, worryMaybe I should choose the earlier date.  I finished my workout and got into my car.  Turned it on only to hear on the radio the same song:

And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you.

I laughed and cried at the same time.  OK, God. I hear you.  I'll waitBaby, I'll wait for you.  And I'll say goodbye to fear.

                            Mama, Sweet Claire and Baby at 39 weeks and a few days.  And waiting for Baby.


1 comment:

  1. This was one experience that has built your character up so you could even think about running 100 miles in less than 28 hours to raise money for Alzheimer's research. You sought the Lord for strength and he responded, and this dialogue between you too has grown over the years. It's beautiful to watch!