Thursday, January 17, 2008

Five Years and 364 Days

Five years and 364 days ago I was just waiting. Hooked up to four different IV’s, blown up from prednisone, pre-eclamptic, diabetic, anemic and distraught following the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis at 13 weeks, I could not wait for the very complicated pregnancy chapter of my life to end and the glorious arrival of our little bean to happen. We had no idea who was coming; boy or girl, big or small, hair or no hair – you know how it goes. We had suffered through a long and mostly not fun 36 weeks and the day was finally here. With all that had gone on, my spirit soared with the idea that, within hours, our little one would arrive.

During the long wait, my mom said something I’ll never forget. It may not have been the best thing for me to hear at that very moment, but she was filled with emotion and now, as a parent, I completely understand why it came out just then. She said, “I always loved pregnancy because you have the little person all to yourself to protect and love. But, from the moment they’re born, you're letting them go, little by little. In a way, I almost hated for it to end.” At first it made me sad, but then it made me strong. I had done everything I could to ensure a safe haven for my baby on the inside and it would be an entirely different challenge now – slowly getting him or her ready to take on the world, in their own way.

True to form, my pregnancy was not going to cooperate with our plans for having our baby on January 17th. The doctor, who had informed us that we’d most likely have our new arrival by dinnertime, slowly developed a different tune and the look on his face became less optimistic about a vaginal delivery. This was bad news for me, momentarily; my body and mind were so exhausted by the trials of my pregnancy that the thought of adding surgery to the list was almost too much to bear. But, as was the case all the way through, it was out of my hands.

Our entire (I mean ENTIRE) family was in the hospital waiting room nearly the whole time I was in labor. We were about to experience grandchild numero uno on all sides and it was a big deal. Plus they had all been there for us through the struggles of my pregnancy and needed the jolt of happiness at the end almost as much as we did. I felt terrible that they were still there as the clock struck twelve and my OB informed me he’d check back in at 3 am. I was making no progress at all and of course, couldn’t sleep a wink. As I begged for ice chips and watched Mike try to dose off in the makeshift bed along side me, I thought, “I guess our baby’s birthday won’t be today after all.” And once again, I secretly confirmed my thoughts that it was a boy on the way.

Tomorrow… her unimaginably joyous arrival.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Can I stop getting chills? No chance. With each word I recounted the memory of your labor and the thousands of prayers that were said in between each moment of that day and into the night (for you, Mike and your baby) . I don't know if the anticipation, after all the months of anything but "a run of the mill pregnancy", made the moment of this birth-day, any sweeter or if that moment was pre destined to be one of the sweetest any of us had ever known. Remembering is the same for me as if it were yesterday. We were about to meet your miracle. None of us had any idea as to how truly wonderful that moment would be and none of us would have thought to leave and chance missing it. How perfect is your last sentence: Tomorrow… her unimaginably joyous arrival. That is exactly what it was.