Sunday, July 19, 2009

Maybe Baby

Hello, friends. I write to you this morning at the blisteringly early time of 3:00 a.m.

I am, not surprisingly, wide awake. Whether it is from the pregnancy hormones, or from the extremely large quantity of chocolate I consumed at Mom’s last night – we’ll never know. In any case, both Sam and I are awake and kicking.

We’ve had quite the roller coaster week. Okay, to be fair, if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know it’s been a roller coaster kind of year.

First, some big news. Do you remember the two bedroom apartment we applied for in Roscoe? The one with the spacious layout, the glorious location (next to the library, bike path, and Dairy Queen), and the reasonable monthly rent?

Well, we GOT it! Hallelujah!

In spite of our horrible credit and past financial history (and because of the mighty prayers being offered up on our behalf), we sign the papers and hand over the security deposit this week for our bright, shiny new apartment.

Originally, we had hoped to move into the unit that was available August 1. However, another couple beat us to the punch. BUT, the property manager told us a unit would be available September 1, and we had been approved for that one if we were still interested.

Still interested?! We were practically salivating over the opportunity. The first of September should put us at 40 days (of the 90-100 days) that we still have in the house. Also, Lord willing, we will have the month of August with Sam. Hopefully, a month of getting used to new parenthood will help us be less nervous about moving with a newborn in tow.

Again, we were thinking August, but obviously God’s timing is September. It’s hard to doubt His wisdom, seeing He provided a place for us to live (as always in the nick of time)!

I was prepared to hear “no,” prepared to accept it, so when the “YES” came back, resoundingly clear, I was left with the impression of being a doubting Thomas, having to witness something by sight I should have taken by faith.

A mustard seed is so small. How come my faith never comes anywhere near its mass?

Our other big event? In case I forgot to mention it, we ALMOST had a baby Thursday night.

During my standard non-stress test, the OB nurse and my APN were worried Sam’s heartbeat had slowed to unacceptable levels. Now, up until this time, Sam’s non-stress test numbers have been great, nigh phenomenal, for a high-risk pregnancy.

Right off the bat, they explained there were several non-worrisome reasons for a substandard non-stress test. First, Sam might have just been in a long sleep cycle. Second, the time of day combined with my last meal may have made him sluggish.

They could easily confirm Sam’s health with a biophysical which can be done via ultrasound right in the OB’s office. Unfortunately, my OB is on vacation and since my appointment was late afternoon, there was no one able to operate the machine.

So, we were sent packing to the Labor and Delivery Ward at Swedes. Thanks to our prenatal class, at least we knew where it was and what procedure to follow (Thank you, Dr. Cuddy).

God sent comfort in the form of a friendly face. Amanda from church was working the L&D registration desk, and just seeing someone familiar eased the hundred clenched muscles in my stomach. Her sweet smile sent floods of joy through my heart, as I knew God places His people where they are supposed to be – and we were both supposed to be right there, at the right time, together.

Soon, we were settled in an L&D suite and what had seemed like a normal, routine test back at the OB’s office was starting to freak me out. I was so apprehensive I couldn’t even get into my hospital gown. I must have held it up at least twenty times in the bathroom. No matter what way I flipped it, there was only ONE arm hole.

Now, I am a reasonably intelligent person who had managed to dress herself for the better part of my 30 years. Yet here I was, reduced to tears, by an impossible, one-armed, stupid hospital gown.

Practically dry-heaving, I cajoled Brett into the bathroom. In face of my frantic, saucer-eyed appearance, he calmly buttoned up the other side of the gown (using snaps I SWEAR were not there before) and held out a two-armed garment which I meekly stepped into.

Settled back into bed, feeling foolish, I tried to talk myself down. I gave myself rational reassurances in spite of my hysterical brain screaming, “NOT TONIGHT! NOT TONIGHT!”

We had heard that a Dr. C was on call for the ward that night. Now, I should tell you that my OB, Dr. S, is a wonderful OB – his personality is calming and quite serious. Being a studious person myself, I have always appreciated his level of professionalism.

However, Dr. C was, well, to put it succinctly, a hoot.

From the moment he set foot in my room, he was joking and laughing and had Brett and I (and the nurse) in stitches within seconds. He even managed to joke me though that horrible, horrible exam where they have to root around and figure out how far you’re dilated.

Not that I didn’t feel it. But it was much less uncomfortable than it could have been were I not distracted.

After reviewing the second non-stress test, which we also failed, Dr. C presented us with our choices. He said they would do the biophysical via ultrasound. They would be looking for four things. Each thing was worth two points. A perfect score was eight points.

“You get eight points; you get to go home tonight. You get six points; you stay overnight, and we do the test again in the morning. You get four points or less; we deliver tonight.”

We sat shell-shocked. We had never considered immediate delivery as a possibility.

The starkness of what he said jabbed my stomach. I did not want to give birth right there, in a room where everything suddenly seemed dingy and scary. I know it was just common fear crowding my brain cells, as I nodded my understanding and tried valiantly to act cavalier about the whole thing.

We called Mom and Brett’s dad and gave them the scoop, telling them not to come just yet, since we didn’t have the test results. It all seemed so surreal, like an out-of-body experience.

A few minutes later, the ultrasound tech rolled a giant cart in my room and set about doing the exam. As she started to mark things down, I held a silent mind-meld conversation with my son.

“Sweetheart, Mommy doesn’t want to bully you, especially before you’ve seen the light of day or taken your first breath. I promise I won’t be one of those parents who pressure you to be competitive or scold you for not getting straight A’s. But, Momma would really appreciate it if you could just wake up long enough to score eight perfect points, so I can take you home tonight. We can come back when you’re ready.”

According to the tech, Sam scored a six almost immediately, which meant at the very least, a 12 hour reprieve. However, she kept me hooked up to the machine for another 20 minutes, and just as she was about to close – Sam’s wafer-thin diaphragm lifted four times in a perfect symphony of practice breathing motions.

“Eight points!” The tech exhaled with the breathlessness usually reserved for home team touchdowns. I joined her with an excited squeal (Brett’s sigh of relief was heard in several surrounding counties). My little boy had scored when it really mattered.

And, even though I know it was just a physical, I was strangely and staunchly proud of my little guy.

We called Mom and Brett’s dad and gave them the news. Unlike us, they were disappointed at having to wait a little longer to meet their grandson. But they took it in stride.

I don’t know what it was, but it was a certainty in my brain that I not supposed to have Sam on Thursday night. I don’t know when his time will be, but I think (after this experience) that I will know it.

So, as you can see it’s been a busy – emotional – couple of days.

This may be the last week before (or of) Sam’s arrival. It’s hard to believe 39 weeks have gone by. It seems like I was just announcing my pregnancy, and now I’m like a beached, sun-bathing walrus (who just couldn’t be happier…or more slow-moving).

It feels weird not knowing if this will be my last blog post before Sam. I keep thinking that way. This might be my last movie, my last book, my last load of laundry, my last everything – before my life changes forever.

I know it will never be the same. There is an element of apprehension, of suspended breathing, of watching everyone treat me like a ticking time bomb.

And yet.

I can’t help but think, “I prayed for this, and it’s actually happening.”

It’s like a 39 week miracle, and I’m getting to watch it in slow motion as it builds to the crescendo.

I don’t know if this will be my last pre-Sam blog post or not. But in any case, I want to thank you all for the prayers during infertility, the many, many encouraging comments after the BIG announcement, the advice, and your collective shoulders on which I frequently lean.

Technically, I know it just took Brett and me to make this baby. But in many ways, I can honestly say, I couldn’t have done it without you, my friends, my family, and my cohorts.

Could you please pray for the successful end of a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery for Sam, and the comfort, strength, and blessing Brett and I are going to need?

We will appreciate it. And so will our perfect-eight-scoring son!


Alice said...

Yes, you captured how weird the last few days before the baby arrives feels! I'll be praying for a safe, easy, pain-free (hey, doesn't hurt to ask) delivery for you! And congrats on the apartment!!

Valorie said...

Yay for the apartment! Of course we will be praying for you! So excited for you!!

The Beard Bunch said...

I will be so excited to hear about the safe delivery of Sam. Of course, all of this current news had already been relayed to me via my mother, but it is just so much more interesting when I get your version of it. Praise God for that apartment! Try to sleep as much as possible this week; you will be up at 3:00 am much in the future :)

Heidi said...

Missed seeing you today.

Great news about the apartment. I look forward to seeing it. If you need any help moving, let me know.

Will be praying for You, Brett, and Sam in the days ahead... and don't be afraid of the epidural.

Anouk said...

Praise the Lord on all counts! We'll keep praying!

Missed you today.

Love and prayers,

Laura Brown said...

So glad to hear about your new flat! Good luck for the next few days!

Tiana said...

Praise the LORD! God is so faithful! I am so happy for you...your new apartment, your miracle baby...I will be praying that the last days of your pregnancy are happy, healthy, and restful, and that your little Sam comes safely into the world exactly when he is ready:).

G.I.P. Mama (that's Gestate in Peace),


Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Praying, praying... and so excited for you that Sam can "hang out" a bit longer, until you both are ready.
I love reading your posts... I feel like I'm right there.

Your package is going out in the morning. :-)

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Oh, and the hospital gown thing totally cracked me up. You are hilarious!

Juliet said...

Let me could have been the Chocolate Lover's Brownies (Double Fudge) with the melted marshmallow fluff and Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Milk Chocolate frosting that kept you both awake!! You think? They were soooo delicious.

Praising God for His goodness in all that Brett and you have been through.

Looking forward to holding my grandson, Sam! Love, Mom

a joyful nusiance said...

I cannot WAIT to see little Sam. He will be here before you know it!!

Jennittia said...

Praying, praying.... can't wait to hear the news... God is good!

joydriven said...

AWESOME about the apartment. Can't wait to help you move. (Keep me posted on helping you move?) And definitely AM praying for Sam's arrival to come/go with the same kind of grace that's been bringing him to you all along these years. Exciting times!!! ~joy


Love your beautiful story. Happy to hear about apartment. I can almost hear that squeal with "8 points" announcement. Did your Mom tell you that I asked for the baby's room color scheme? Not quite finished with the project, but will have it when we get there.
I just happened to have all the right colors (I hope.) God grant you according to His will.
We'll all have to share some of our family traditions.
Love, Aunt Carol