It’s 10:30 PM on a Saturday night. I’m sitting in my chair at the hospital-bored, lonely, exhausted. All of the things. But content too. I don’t mind being alone in general. Despite popular belief, I’m an introvert. But I miss my people. I miss my day-to-day. And I miss my independence.
I also miss sunshine. I know-from watching the news honestly-that the past few days have been cold and dreary so maybe when the sun does peek out I’ll catch a few rays, but my room faces the parking garage……..so the days here are dark.
My room is nice. It ‘s a suite. I have a mini fridge. I have a good size TV and sconce lighting around my mirrors. The shower is fantastic, the water is nice and hot, and I get to wear my clothes from home so I am comfortable.
My doctors are treasures and my nurses are kind. In all reality, even though I can’t leave my room, the situation (if you have to be in the hospital) isn’t too bad.
However, the last few days have been very tough as well.
I entered into the hospital on January 6th. I felt good that morning and everything seemed to be going well when I arrived. I was typed and screened, had my vitals taken, took my glucose test, had an ultrasound-the whole 9 yards and was settled in comfortably when Jon left for the day. (I can only have two visitors the whole time I am here-and they have to be the same visitor. Also they can only come and leave once a day, so we have to be a little strategic.)
As I was settling in, my stomach began to cramp and eventually contract forcing me to be put on the monitors through most of the night and thus began several attempts to get the irritability in my uterus under control. I didn’t sleep well. I woke up the next morning cramping and contracting consistently and was put on stronger medication around the clock to get the contractions under control. Thankfully, things settled down and I was eventually able to get up, take a shower, and have a much more relaxing night. Mom came to see me Friday and today, again, I spent a majority of the day battling contractions. I’m exhausted, but making it one day at a time.
Other than the contractions the last several days have brought more overwhelming news: I failed my glucose tolerance test and I am now considered OB Diabetic. I have to have AccuChecks 2 hours after I eat a meal and have been taking insulin as well. Thankfully my levels have come down thanks to a DRASTIC change in diet and I was taken off the insulin this evening. Dr. Samples said the diabetes won’t last after delivery; it’s simply caused from the placenta hormone production. My diet has consisted of whole grains, peanut butter, and sugar free everything. I’m not going to lie-it’s miserable. But, I’m following the rules for Banks’ sake. Apparently, he can have trouble regulating blood sugar levels, body temperature, etc. once he is born due to the diabetes and I don’t want to put him through any more than he has to endure. However, mark my words, as soon as I leave this hospital, I’m going to McDonald’s.
Also, thanks to the diabetes, along with a particular complication Banks has, I have retained an unbelievable amount of amniotic fluid. So, my uterus is tight and full and totally at its capacity. At 28 weeks, Banks weighs 3.7 pounds and is growing every day. He’s a BIG baby and I am a tiny person with a lot of fluid and pretty serious complication. My body is wearing out. And though my goal is 32 weeks…..I don’t see how I am going to make it 3 more days.
According to the NICU doctor, Banks’ is safe to come at any time. He’s reached viability and though his first few days outside the womb will be difficult, he will have plenty of support. I have already had steroid shots to help his lungs develop and will have more if I make it farther along. He will be on a ventilator for the first day or so to prevent his body from working so hard and after that switched to a CPAP type machine until his lungs mature. Before operating, NICU mentioned getting him to 4 pounds…and we’re almost there already so I feel good about him coming whenever. Dr. Graham will be his doctor and was also Jack and Wade’s doctor two years ago. He’s the kindest, sweetest man and I do not fear with him taking care of sweet Banks.
I’ve already met with NICU, Oncology/Surgery, Anesthesia, Maternal Fetal, and have been checked on by doctors from each department every day. Anesthesia was really helpful in explaining exactly what’s going to happen….but none of it was news I wanted to hear. I will be awake for the central line, art line and foley and will not have the typical “amnesia” medication that I normally would in a regular general surgery. I will be given pain medication to knock the edge off and put to sleep right before delivery begins as to not expose Banks to any more that we have to. The main OR is set up for me with all of my charting and surgical tools labeled and ready to go. My night shift nurse has already prepared a “go” kit with a gown, etc ready if we have to move quickly during the night. Everyone is prepared….we’re just waiting and stalling at this point.
I’ll be very honest, I am exhausted. My body is exhausted. Mentally, I am drained. The goal of 32 weeks-contracting every day so far-desperately overwhelms me and each time a nurse says “Oh there are lots of other things we can do to stall” I get more discouraged. I want the best for my baby-obviously-but also, I want delivery behind me. It’s a big surgery-and I am very uncomfortable-and though I don’t want to go through it, I’m also wearing out quickly. It’s a very delicate dance of what is best for baby….and how much more my body can handle.
I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to post an update, as I am a little overwhelmed with so many random people telling me what I should/shouldn’t do in this time based on what they read or hear about my situation. But I wanted to let you know that despite how hard everything is right now, I’m okay. The update from a medical perspective is to let those genuinely concerned aware of what I am facing. There are lots of people earnestly praying on my behalf. It’s also so one day, I can look back and remember what I experienced and felt during this time. I don’t know what God will do with it, if anything, but I feel like it’s important to document it nonetheless.
But I also want to share the significance of this time, and in a non “super spiritual” way convey that God is near and caring, and not due to anything I am doing on my end. I am not studying or reading my Bible constantly. I’m not comparing myself to an apostle, trying to mimic some expectation of holy. I’m not trying to “share Jesus” from my bedside. I’m simply existing, the best I can right now, and God has been so loving regardless.
I started counseling several months before I even knew I had a percreta. It was for personal reasons and I didn’t ever expect it to prepare me for this time in my life, but it did. It was in those sweet sessions I learned that my view of God and his heart was warped-performance based, and largely empty. I knew He loved me, but honestly, salvation aside, I didn’t really believe He was good. Even after having twin rainbow babies. Even after all He’s brought me through. I just simply thought He was always only concerned with His glory…and not me. Not really. And if He was only concerned with His glory…how could He genuinely care about me or my life?
But as I sit here in my chair in the hospital room, alone, I want you to know, that I have had a peace that I am loved regardless if I read my Bible before bed, or if I watch Miss Congeniality (again). I am covered in grace whether I have scripture on my walls or polish on my nails. I am loved without doing one single “holy checklist” item. I am loved for who I am to God-simple as that. And I have never felt more in step with him or closer to him in my whole life.
I can assure you Philippians 4:13 was not coming out of my mouth as I gripped the side of the bed Tuesday morning in full on back labor-but I never felt alone. I never felt like God was disappointed in me or had abandoned me or would let me suffer to “increase his Glory” like the selfish authoritative figure I once believed him to be. I felt seen. I felt advocated for. I felt like the doctors and the nurses and everyone else in the room-with all of their knowledge and expertise-did not have any say so in the birth of this baby at the end of the day. And I felt that my Father would not let me suffer for long-He was near. And anything I was experiencing, as much as I wanted it to go away, was for a reason.
I don’t say this frivolously or to sound whatever-I say this genuinely. I say this because some sweet girl following this blog or going through a similar situation is tired of the fake stuff. Like I was. Was tired of the double standards and the rules and the rigidness and the raised hands just for show. I say this because I don’t need another “Girl God’s got this”. I need genuine concern, and genuine belief. In times like these, you can’t simply “think” or “mantra” yourself through. You’re going to cry. You’re going to cuss. You’re going to fail and circumstances are going to get worse before they get better. And the fake stuff doesn’t last.
So maybe at the end of the day, that’s why I am here. Not just to give birth. Not just to “display God’s glory” in a showmanship type of way. It’s also to realize-intimately and personally-the overwhelmingly sweet heart of God myself, and to take it home to my sweet boys. To my husband. To my family. And hopefully in this way, to others too.