Thursday, August 23, 2012

valleys and mountains and all kinds of cliches.

so, a lot of people have told me how well i'm doing, how surprised they are that i am keeping (or trying to keep) a cheerful attitude about this whole broken pregnant thing.

my reaction? what else am i supposed to do?

am i supposed to whine, rage, complain, be bitter? am i supposed to let myself sink into the kind of darkness that is not anywhere close to being helpful in moving me THROUGH this? sinking seems to indicate being stuck, and i'm physically stuck enough. i don't need any extra emotional or mental or spiritual stuckness.

so i've been trying to soldier on, and it helps so much to see progress.  yesterday, i got down the stairs on my own and actually got up off the stairs without any help. it just sort of happened, and it was kind of awesome.

but with any of this stuff, there are always setbacks, and yesterday was a big one.

baby girl is breech, so i have to have a c-section.

i would like to say that i didn't see this coming, that i didn't know i was going to be asked to do this, that i didn't know that additional challenges were coming our way, but that's not really true at all. i think i knew, all along, that this was what was going to happen.  that's how God works in my life--He prepares me as much as He can along the way. 

but i was definitely hopeful, and i thought that she had turned.  they told me in the ER with my leg that she was breech. i thought maybe she had turned in the fall and would turn around again.  i thought i had convinced myself that she had.  no such luck, unfortunately. 

so here we are, a day and a half away from baby day and yesterday i was entirely shell shocked.  i don't know how else to describe it.  i wasn't surprised, but i was petrified. fear from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes and everything inbetween. i think i had imagined that it would be so much worse than it really will be--that my present condition will be almost impossible for mobility, that i will tear open the incision, that i will not be able to function in that much pain.  that taking care of my most basic needs will be impossible. that i will never, ever get to the 2nd floor of my house again. 

these are all fears, and like all fears, they are probably rooted in some degree of truth but have blossomed into something entirely overwhelming (much like the renegade bush outside my kitchen window--that thing is a demon).  the overwhelming is usually what paralyzes, and it's also usually what isn't actually so.  strangely, i find that to be true. the things that scare me the most are usually the things that never really happen.

in the meantime, though, the paralytic nature of such fear makes it almost impossible to move forward, in faith or hope or any kind of positive emotion.  instead, you just sit there, wrapped up in the fear, and wait for the worst to happen.

in this case, it means that i was dreading the birth of our baby.

isn't that awful? i hope you take that in the spirit in which it is intended--i don't dread meeting tessa. i just was so wrapped up in the logistics and scary nature of it all that i was missing the point.

we are having a BABY.

she's a miracle. her lungs are mature. she's healthy. she's about the size of maggie when maggie was born (i apparently grow them all the same size, though we'll see...).  she's active and kicking and apparently really likes being nestled up near my heart.  she's her own person, she does things her own way, and she refuses to listen to anyone else's ideas for her.  she reminds me of me, in that way.

i worry, still, that there's something wrong with her.  not a thing has been detected on her 3 ultrasounds.  i feel certain something would have, were there something to detect.  but i still worry a bit, especially with all that has come in our path the last few months.  i just worry that somehow, somewhere, there's another shoe that's about to drop.

but regardless, i have been praying to move forward with faith and hope. hope is so much what i need: hope that i will have the strength to do all that i need to do, hope that the path for us will be made clear, hope that we will have sufficient for our needs, hope that our family will be whole and healthy and strong and normal again soon, hope that our burdens will be lifted in some small measure. 

i need hope. i cling to hope, especially for myself.  i cling to it because, in the face of something i have never experienced, hope allows me the capacity to believe that i can face just one thing at a time and conquer it. hope allows me the space to know that, hey, i don't have to know it all right now. i just have to take it one step at a time.  that's all i need.

and if that's all i need to do, i think i can do it.

it's trying to see farther than that, trying to move more than that, that makes me a little bit more than just a little bit afraid.

so in the meantime, i pray for hope and i pray for joy, so that i can go into this with full confidence that the ONLY thing that really matters is a healthy, happy, strong new baby. 

everything else, i can weather.  i'm strong enough for that, i think, in my strength and in my weakness. 

i'd like to say i know why all of this is happening. i don't. all i know is that every single day, i have more of a testimony of the goodness of people, of the capacity of the human heart, of the strength of the individual, and of the absolute and total dependence i have on my Heavenly Father.  i'm still not great at praying like i should, and i should read more scriptures. but i have no doubt, not even a little bit, that He knows me, He loves me, and He is holding me and my family in the hollow of His hand. 

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