Thanks so much to so many of you for your prayers for us this week. My appointment with the specialist went well Monday. There are still no problems with the cord, however my amniotic fluid continues to increase and the baby continues to do her acrobatic routine which makes us all a bit nervous.
My doctor at the specialist's office was much kinder at this appointment. Not a mention of words like "defect" or "problem." That was a good move on his part because I didn't have time to print out Psalm 139 and this hormonally challenged mama knows all 24 verses, was armed with a Sharpie, and spent an hour staring at a bare wall needing embellishment. (Yes, these days I'm one insensitive comment away from destruction of private property.)
I got to take Daniel and Brady with me Monday morning because the younger grades at our school had a teacher work day. They loved seeing their baby sister on the big screen. They kept saying "that's so cool" as red and blue lights illuminated the flow of blood to the baby and "oh, she's so cute" when we'd get a glimpse of her face. (I never realized my insides could provide such entertainment.) It was really a sweet time with them and was a comfort to me to hear them talk about her with such love and excitement.
I had another ultrasound today at my regular doctor. There was a bit of concern because the cord is again around her neck, but this time it's loose and not wrapped multiple times. There were no signs today of distress and my doctors felt it safe to go home.
The definition of the word "safe" has changed for me considerably over the years. It was a word I never gave much thought to until I became a mom--then suddenly I was obsessed with keeping my children safe. Safety seats, safety locks, safety seals, safety helmets, safety precautions. I realized about 15 minutes after becoming a mother--as I watched Olivia sleep out of fear that she might stop breathing--that keeping your child safe can become a full-time job if you let it.
So when we lost a baby at 36 weeks, my first thought was that I hadn't kept him safe. That somehow I should have known he was in trouble. That I had failed him as his mother. But then I remembered something that happened just hours before he died. Some day I will try to share it, but all you really need to know is that it taught me that there are no accidents. God knew the number of our son's days. He knew that January 9, 2004, his earthly heart would stop beating and this wasn't something that was supposed to have been prevented. And He also knew this mother's heart would be broken. He knew this because thousands of years before, Christ carried my sorrow to the cross. Knowing that this was His plan released me from guilt and freed me from fear.
But here I am again, wanting to keep this baby safe. And often I fall back into my old thinking. I'll wake up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat and lay there till I feel a reassuring kick. And I'll think, "She's safer outside of my body, than within it."
That's when conviction pours over me and I remember God's faithfulness. That's when I surrender that the absolute safest place this baby could be is out of my reach and completely in His hands.
I know once she is born, my tendency to want to bubble wrap her through life will continue. I will have to fight it on a daily basis.
I had proof of this last Sunday as I put my 14 year old Olivia on a bus headed to Washington D.C. for their 8th grade trip. I wished I had been able to go as one of the chaperones, not just so I could enjoy this experience with her but also so I could keep her safe.
As the bus pulled away, I'm ashamed to admit that I said a prayer for her safety out of fear of the "what-ifs"--not out of surrender to God's sovereignty. In about 30 seconds I was able to come up with a hundred reasons why I shouldn't let her go. It wasn't until I actually thought about running after the bus, 8 months pregnant, and demanding that they let her off did I realize my foolishness. And once again, I realized that the absolute safest place she could be is completely in His hands.
I will go to bed tonight with complete peace that I don't need to count kicks or go back to the hospital to be monitored. It's simply because I know God loves this baby even more than I do and has a perfect plan for her life.