On June 15, our lives changed forever and we began the scariest journey of our lives. I will never forget that day and the bleak outlook we were given. I never imagined we’d make it this far, but here we are and I must say things look quite different. Today marks two months of bedrest, two months since I’ve worked, driven a car, wore real clothes and makeup, cooked a meal, walked my dogs, etc., etc., etc.
The quiet time we’ve spent with our little girl during this time is indescribable. At 18 weeks, we loved her. But here at nearly 27 weeks, we are feeling that one-of-a-kind love you can only have for a child. We call her by her name, talk about her future, and choose to remain impossibly positive — all for her. Soon, I will start singing her lullabyes and record songs and books so she can listen to our voices while she grows big and strong in the NICU. I will write more about this in another post, but we are already having a very unique experience with our daughter. For that, despite the fear, lonliness and trepidation, I am forever grateful.
Mom and Dad came for a visit yesterday. Although I tried my hardest to talk them out of it, because of the long four-hour drive, they were insistent. I’m glad they came. We ordered Chinese takeout for lunch, Mom painted my toe nails and we sat outside with ice cream cones. I hadn’t been outside all week … heck, I hadn’t even been out of my room, so it was a great day for me. They came bearing gifts, too: snacks, lotion, nail polish and a few baby outfits that my 4-year-old niece Jenna picked out for her cousin. Speaking of cousins, do any of you have someone special in your life that you call family even though you aren’t? My “cousin” Amanda sent a care package filled with wonderful things for me and baby. I can’t wait to see our girl in those adorable TINY pink and purple outfits. She’s going to be the best-looking baby in the NICU! Thank you, John, Amanda and girls. You really touched our hearts today.
Later in the evening, Tyler’s brother, wife and our nieces, Annie and Emily, came for a visit. They’re in town for a Twins game and school shopping, so they stopped up for a bit and we ordered pizza. Ok, ok, it wasn’t the healthiest day of eating, but it was GOOD! T’s brother Sam and his girlfriend Kelly also came. Emily turns 8 next week, so Tyler picked up cupcakes and we had a little mini birthday party.
After such great company, I was exhausted last night. I fell asleep before T, which doesn’t happen that often. I had a very restless night of sleep. I’m incredibly sore. I imagine it’s the result of extended bedrest, but I need to figure something out. My back and hips ache most of the day, but especially at night. I don’t have a full-length mirror in my room — which is probably a good thing — but I can tell my belly is getting bigger. I looked down at my legs last night and wanted to cry. Any hint of muscle I had before, is gone.
(I’ll get back to whining about my disappearing figure in a bit, but holy cow! One of the peris just came in, one whom I’ve never met before. Before he left, he said, “You’ll get a baby out of this. Everything’s going to work out!” Although I truly believe that in my own heart, it’s so nice to hear it from a medical professional, too!)
Anyway, I’m afraid the recovery from bedrest and a likely c-section is going to be another difficult leg of the journey. I’ll worry about it when I get there, but I often wonder how I’m going to find time to build back my physical health, while pumping every three hours, coming to see the baby at the hospital and going back to work at some point.
Finally, I know my writing can be sappy and emotional at times, and this day is no exception. If you’re easily moved and don’t feel like sobbing at your computer, take note and skip watching the video below. This is a heartwarming video with a happy ending. It illustrates what I’m going through, but sometimes cannot verbalize. I connect with so many parts of her story: as a couple, realizing it’s not our decision to make and choosing to leave our baby’s fate in the hands of God instead of termination; as strong as people think I am, I’ve never felt so powerless, vulnerable, scared and weak; the thankfulness I feel inside for having my husband beside me; and questioning how we’d feel having a child with mental or physical disabilities. Mia’s miracle and so many others, including the mamas and babies who’ve gone before me on my pPROM support site, give me hope and strength to lay in this hospital bed as long as my baby needs me to.
In case the video doesn’t show up, here’s the link: The Miracle of Mia