As far as weeks go, I hit 40 today and that always feels kinda strange. Nothing unusual happening. I tend to go late (8 days with Caleb and 3 with Joshua) so I'm not expecting any fireworks. Contractions have even backed off a bit and probably wouldn't pick up again until the weekend if I was going for a vaginal birth. So, I'm sitting pretty...well, large and definitely not pretty in that sense, but you know what I mean. Ha ha!
I'm just trying to tie up a few loose ends, get into the lab for one last blood test and get everyone ready to head in different directions for five days without us. Most everything is done. I think it'll all be all right. Left on today's agenda is making cookies with the boys and having a fun night with them. Tonight is our last night all together as a family of five. Tomorrow we'll take them to see Toy Story 3 and then tomorrow night they'll be at Grandma's.
It all seems too strange...too structured almost. But that's the way it is this time and I need to be thankful. I had my 40 week check-up yesterday and all looked fine. Yet, I still walked out of there in tears. I actually think I've left each 40 week appointment in tears for some reason or another from having made no "progress" regardless of contractions or just being plain tired. Hormones are in high gear and the anticipation of the birth is weighing heavily on my mind creating the perfect recipe for tears.
But yesterday it was for different reasons. I have known the whole time that I will have a c-section this time. I've never known that with any of the boys. But there was a part of me that thought maybe it wouldn't happen. Maybe I'd somehow be able to avoid it. Maybe I'd go into labor and labor quickly like with Caleb and the baby would be born safely without any problems. I tried not to think about it but it's always been there. But going in yesterday and talking with the doctor about all of the pre-op stuff, the absolute necessity of me heading in to the hospital if I have any signs of labor and how labor for me isn't safe, confirmed that the c-section will indeed be happening this Friday morning and that I can't change it.
I made it to the car without crying but was able to let it all out one last time. To give a final surrender, a final good-bye to my hopes for a normal birth this time. Again, I've always known and I'm very thankful. But I just needed to let go one last time. I am a woman and it's natural for me to want things to go normally. Yet that's just not what God has for me this time. A quick phone call to my husband helped a ton too. He just knows me better than anyone and knows how to comfort me while still pointing my feelings in the right direction. I thank God for that.
So for today, in honor of having two days left, I bring you the two ironies of this pregnancy and the two truths that I hold onto in spite of those ironies. Sorry...not as light as some of the past posts, but it's just what God is teaching me in these last days.
Two Ironies and Two Truths
Irony 1: This baby has not gone breech. Having breech babies is what got me my first c-section. I didn't know it at the time (it wasn't discovered until this pregnancy) but I actually have a birth defect that has given me a misshapen uterus. Basically the area of my uterus is a bit smaller than everyone else's so at the end, my babies flip around to try and find the best way to grow and get bigger. All three boys did it at one time or another. Isaac was just discovered breech too late and I had no idea what was going on because it was my first baby. The other two boys turned around 34 weeks and exercises got them to turn back. That's how I was able to try for vaginal births with them.
But I've never had a baby stay head down and it has been a huge source of stress and frustration for me in the last weeks of my pregnancies. Yet, this sweet little girl has been head down since 28 weeks and hasn't budged. I know how to tell now what position the baby is in and she has seriously been head-down the whole time. This is so ironic to me because she really is the only one that I've had NO chance of a vaginal birth with. With the other three, that option was always on the table. I don't know why she hasn't turned. It could be that my uterus is a bit more stretched out since it's my fourth and she could also be a bit smaller than her brothers. I don't know. But for whatever reason, she's been in the perfect position the whole time.
This is ironic to me. I'm thankful because her being head-down has allowed me to carry her all the way to term like I wanted to. But it's ironic...very ironic. Yet, this truth echoes in my head about that irony.
Truth #1: God knew me before I was even born and knew how He was fashioning me. There are no mistakes and God does as He pleases. He has also knit this little girl inside of me and has caused her to be in the position that she's in.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
So, I can rejoice in that knowledge and be thankful that He knows more than me. If I try and make sense of it, I'm reminded of what God said to Job.
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-- surely you know!" Job 38:2-5
Basically, God is saying to Job that he doesn't know what He's talking about. In essence, where were you when I made the world huh?! You think you know so much but you don't! Your human wisdom is nothing to my understanding.
Irony 2: I've always wanted a girl but not a planned c-section. Without beating a dead horse too much, I think it's been clear that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed having c-sections. I've tried to present my feelings about these matters in a real way but also one in a respectful/godly way as really, having a c-section is not the worst thing in the world at all. And last time, having a c-section saved both mine and Joshua's life. However, my woman's heart has never really wanted one. But I've always longed to have a daughter. So the irony is that God chose to give me a girl when He knew I'd have to go in for a scheduled section. As ironic as it is, truly it is God's kindness to me.
Truth #2: Contentment with our lot. For a long time I placed my happiness on the mode of birth I'd get. If only I could have things happen this way then I'd be happy. These feelings, although real, are not honoring to God and do not portray any thankfulness for God even giving me children in the first place. It's okay to have desires but, these things will not satisfy.
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live. Isaiah 55:1-3
God has given me many blessings and it's not because I've earned them. He just blesses in His kindness. He didn't ever have to open my womb again. And He didn't have to give me a daughter ever but He chose to this time. But God gives and God takes. He does as He pleases. That's why our circumstances cannot dictate our happiness or our trust in God. For only God can truly fill us.
So I thank Him for His kindness to me and look forward with great anticipation to Friday.
Only two days left.