When I went to my first OB appointment with my third child I was a nervous wreck. I remember the nurse telling me, "Oh, it's normal. We see mama's with multiple children and with each addition they are way more nervous than the last time." This was me. The whole pregnancy I was fearful and fretful. I hate that because I want faith to define me and not fear.
But this pregnancy has been a whole different story. In the beginning I sensed God telling me to rest in Him and that was my only option. So I did until about 24 weeks when the IUGR diagnosis was dropped into our laps. I wish I could explain it in a way that would make sense to people. Our baby is not "just small." She is being deprived of nutrients and blood that help her develop. She may be a fine and healthy little girl, or she could have cerebral palsy, poor growth until puberty, heart problems, the list goes on.
Right now though, with each passing day, I am reminded the greatest risk to her in the womb is death. Stillbirth. What I have witnessed time and time again in the last few years with my sweet friends. Baby after baby we have seen die before birth and have spent time with the parents trying to have words for that. There are none. Saying "God's plan" isn't right. We know he is sovereign but it does not make accepting his plan any easier sometimes. He doesn't want babies to die but he doesn't prevent it always either. He could, he chooses not to.
Every day that we get closer to delivery I become more anxious. This is normal for IUGR moms and dads, so I am not guilting myself for it. I am just trying to fight for joy and hope and trust. It is a fight. We think Christians should be always fearless and joyful and not have natural feelings that are human. We struggle just like everyone. It is human. Even Jesus wrestled in the garden with what would come at the cross. He begged that it be taken away from him. So I will not feel guilty for normal mama feelings, I will just wrestle.
My friend, Paige, told me she will not lie to me and smooth things over saying all will be fine. This baby girl of ours has a serious diagnosis. She knows because she walked this path and has felt the struggle. It reminds me of a word my friend used in elementary school, "smothercating." I feel I am smothering and suffocating at the same time when I really think of what could happen to our baby.
But I still fight for hope and joy. She has been a joy to us every day that we have had her. And she will for every day that we get her. I take comfort in knowing that while I cannot control outcomes or how many days she has, God knows and has each day before his eyes.
Last night I was reminded that he is the "lover of my soul" and the "lover of Lydia's soul." He wants good for all of us and is a good Father. This brings me comfort. He is already there in the OR where she will try to take her first breath. He is already there watching and going before as the doctors operate through layers of old scar tissue in my belly. He is right beside Josh and I when we see her face and begin to hear what doctors think she may struggle with. He knows when we will bring her home. He is preparing the path that feels so hard to walk on. We have really only just stepped onto the beginning of this road. It will be bumpy but I have faith that He will finish this good thing he has started and that Lydia will be such a blessing to our family. She is now.
I don't know why I am documenting these last few weeks except to let people know that my understanding of hard things in parenting is increasing majorly. And that my feelings toward moms and dads whose heart's break over their children are becoming much more tender. I can relate and I have empathy. When the curse was given to Eve for "pain in childbearing" it was so so much more than physical pain. The only wise thing we can do when these times come is to be driven to the Father who knows our pain and carries it with us. I could not imagine doing this without him.
9 more days until we meet our sweet girl! Pray I don't "smothercate" before then!