If I know myself, by this time tomorrow I'll have cleaned everything from top to bottom. I'll have run out of things to do and I will either collapse from exhaustion or completely fall apart emotionally. Actually, I imagine both of those things will happen; it's all a question of timing.
You see, Friday morning we are going to deliver our baby girl by c-section. She can't be born the normal way. My body is not "normal". I won't have the birth that I had imagined. There is a small part of me that feels a bit cheated because I will probably never know what it's like to give birth naturally. I wanted a vaginal, intervention-free, medicine-free birth. I wanted to work hard and long for that baby to come out. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. I wanted to know that I could do it.
If I have learned anything in the last 40 weeks and 2 days [or 36 weeks since that's probably when I found out], it's that I am not in control. I wasn't in control of my uterus releasing the egg that was fertilized, and I'm certainly not in control of how this little girl enters the world. We are blessed to have a healthy baby with no real worries up until now. I am so thankful for a doctor who was observant enough to notice a potential problem several weeks ago. I'm thankful he kept that in mind as the pregnancy progressed to full-term and finally, to my due date. Having a c-section is at the very least eliminating a stressful delivery for the baby but perhaps, it is saving her life.
It's been kind of strange to have known since earlier this week the exact timing of her birth. We've known her birthday would be Oct. 28 since Monday. But God knew her birthday even before we were born. It's so exciting to finally get to meet her, kiss her little feet and put bows in all that hair we've seen on the ultrasounds. I have to say though, that I am terrified of being cut open. My emotions keep swinging from really excited and happy to scared and sad. Everyone says that c-sections are so "easy". I can conceptualize that in some aspects but mostly, I'm having trouble with having to lie there and give up complete control of my body. It isn't as if I have any control anyway, but it is the illusion of it that gives me comfort.
My mind keeps going to dark places, full of fear for all of the "what ifs?" of surgery. What if something goes wrong? An infection, a blood clot...worse? YIKES! I used to worry a lot about something being wrong with the baby, but I seem to have a peace there. I am afraid of something happening to me. I'm sure that's normal. I haven't really had a lot of medical issues in my life, thank goodness, and only one other surgery when I was 15 [I freaked out for that one as well]. I just want to get through to the other side without allowing my fears to rob me of too much of the good part of this experience. The fact is, having a c-section is so contrary from all of the things I've read and researched. The system that is in place for this type of delivery is necessary, but I worry that it might prevent the baby from having the best start in life. What if I can't breastfeed her right away? I can't do skin-to-skin as soon as she's born because I'll be incapacitated. It makes me sad to think of her laying in her little bed in the nursery without me there.
Today we listened to a sermon from our former pastor. The focus was not worrying about money, but I really needed to hear the encouragement not to worry. If you can't tell, I struggle immensley with this. My life's motto is: "Worrying works! 99% of what I worry about never happens." But God hasn't called me to that. If we say we follow Christ with our lives but don't trust Him, then we're really walking around as atheists because our lives don't reflect what we're saying with our mouths. Of course no one wants to be cut open; naturally there are risks to any surgery. But living life is a risk! Because I say that He is Lord, I don't get to make the rules. I don't get to trust God with our finances, our callings, our everyday needs but not with my very life. It's all or nothing.
I have no doubt that we will all get through this. It's one scary hour to get to another step in our life [a very cute and cuddly step!]. If you would like to pray for us, I have some specific requests:
*That I will have the peace that passes all understanding about having this surgery
*A healthy, pink baby that screams at the top of her lungs when she meets air
*There would be no infection, reaction to anesthesia or other complications
*A quick recovery for both of us so we can begin breastfeeding and bonding within just a few minutes of the surgery ending
*Safe travel for all of our family and friends coming to be with us
Thanks a lot and we'll keep you posted. Can't wait to post some pictures of our little girl!