Dave. Valerie. Sylvia. Veda. Guinevere. And the animals.
06 January 2011
And They Lived . . .
It can sometimes be very cold and lonely up here. Frequently the girls and I are the only humans residing in the area. It can be kind of creepy in a weird Shining sort of way.
Perhaps it is the week itself that is leaving me with this hollow feeling. One year ago I was in the hospital, having gone into preterm labor a couple of days prior. After two days of a steady IV of my *most favorite* medication, labor ceased. Or, at least, "productive contractions" had ceased. Sylvia and I moved in with my parents, I began to take medication every four hours around the clock, and Dave returned home-- an hour away from us. I was on total bed rest. I could not care for my child. And I only saw my husband on the weekends. And on top of all of that, I was worried about my Lovebug.
It was one of the longest months of my life. And it was a solid month from the time I left my home after waking up with blood everywhere to when I walked back through my front door, post surgery, with my two beautiful and amazing daughters.
During one especially hard night at my parents', I uttered a desperate prayer. I envisioned this enormous looming wave of depression just waiting to come rushing at me. It was a battle of forces and I no longer had the strength or energy to continue warding off this surge. I needed my child to be born and for my family to be together. I told God I had only one week of fight left in me after which time the wave would engulf me.
I expressed all of this to my doctor at my next appointment. She listened to every word. And she heard me. She said she knew if I was expressing this kind of distress, then something needed to be done. She explained she took my words seriously because I never talked unless it was significant. She arranged the best plan she could: Another amniocentesis a couple days prior to 37 weeks gestation to check for lung development and then surgery at 37 weeks.
I did feel better afterward because a definite end was in sight, but I had told God earlier in the week that I only had one week left in me. It was now Friday. And my new surgery date was still two weeks away.
After one more hospitalization, things reached a rare kind of calm. I felt pretty good early the next week and by Tuesday evening I was in labor. Exactly one week had passed since the time I had pleaded with God.
My labor was good. It was manageable all the way until I was in the operating room, at which point I just really wanted them to put in that spinal block! Dave just barely made it in time for surgery, but he was there. My daughter was born and she looked good enough that the doctor held her over the sheet and said, "Happy Birthday!" Dave even got to carry her to the NICU. (He likes to remind her that she peed on him during this trip.)
I recovered in my room, during which the nurse was explaining various things to me. I remember nothing she said except the following, " . . . when baby gets to come home, and baby will not be coming home with you . . ." Strangely, I felt an internal smirk and the distinct thought, "Oh, yes she will!" Her comment seemed absurd to me. My preterm baby and I were leaving together. Three days later we did.
While the ending of this tale is a "happily every after," I think January will always have an emptiness to it for me. It is cold and brutal and it isvery lonely up here. And there is this pervasive feeling of waiting. Just waiting. And waiting. And waiting for a birth.
We live in the country and have a little zoo: Three indoor cats (Audrey, Edgar, and Orange), too many outdoor cats, and our little parrot lovebird named Duncan. Our daughter, Sylvia, was born in October 2008; our second daughter, Veda, was born in January 2010; and our third daughter, Guinevere "Evvie," was born November 2011.