Yesterday I spent a solid 6 hours in a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors measuring unrelenting contractions. I'm only 30 weeks pregnant so contractions at this point are no good, and better yet, unnecessary. Totally inappropriate, if you ask me. :) 6 hours of tv, some texting, shifting around in a terribly uncomfortable bed, starving, and desperate for answers. I wanted to go home. I was all by myself. No one to talk to, nothing of importance to do. I occasionally glanced out my big window to look on the view of the parking lot of people coming and going. I had moments of wondering who the people were, and what their purpose at the hospital was, and then I was back to shifting around in my bed, trying not to disturb the monitors stuck to my basketball belly. Overall I was miserable.
But then I had a moment where my despair and pity were usurped briefly by the wonder of life. It happened when I looked back at the monitors to read their numbers and happened to notice the baby bed sitting nearby, ready to receive new life. (I was in a labor and delivery room -- not a monitoring room -- those were full. So, my room was all set and staged for the ushering in of a new, sweet life.) I admit it, I only looked at it for about 10 seconds or so, but in those quick seconds my mind shifted from, "this stinks," to awe and wonder, and the thought of what my little boy will look like when we meet face to face. Love rushed in, and moved on my heart. I was overtaken by the mystery of new life, and the destiny that begins to breathe on it's own, for the very first time, in rooms like these. It was magical. It was precious. The sure steady sound of my baby's audible heartbeat on the monitor in the background only amplified the perfect nostalgia of the moment.
Despondency became joy.
And then I was back to watching the Food Network, salivating at the sight of food, and regretting the 4 graham crackers I had earlier that morning. (I would've had a box full had I known I'd soon go hungry. I know. 6 hours isn't that long, but I'm pregnant, and used to eating whenever I like.)
The funny thing about the onset of these contractions is that I had been telling myself this whole pregnancy, "I just need to make it to 30 weeks." (Why, you ask? I have no idea.) 30 weeks arrive, and, BAM, full-on contractions, and not Braxton-Hicks contractions. Contractions like I remember having the day I went in to have Noelle. (**Warning: Careful what you think and say.**)
So, a trip to the hospital, and a negative preterm labor test later, and I'm back at home with orders to take it easy. The contractions have set things in motion for the arrival of our baby, however, not so much so that I can't manage holding off on his big debut for now. But, the way to do that is to do nothing. I'll give it a try. I mean, within reason. I have a family to take care of, but as my doctor put it yesterday, "You are the only one who can take care of this baby right now. You need to do whatever it takes to do that." Her words made an impression on me. I had an "ah-ha" moment. I realized again the privilege I have of protecting this baby in my belly until God thinks he's ready to come see us in person. That's pretty special.
So, maybe I'll blog more, craft more, or invent new ways to be productive while sitting still. Or maybe I'll finally take the advice of a friend who is near and dear to my heart, and very much like Jesus, and do nothing. She just told me (a few days prior to the onset of these contractions) that it's time to rest, to reassess boundaries, and stop doing so much. She's right. I'm going to give it a try. Besides, I'm starting to finally understand that rest really does bring life's sweetest moments. Rest and time for reflection pull you out of the confusion of the moment, and right into the heart of God. Rest brings sweet revelation, and appreciation for the little things in life...just like the feeling I felt when I looked over at that baby bed. Rest is good. Necessary. Rest makes you breathe better.
One more quick thing before I go. This past week I have been to the hospital twice, (once for me, and once for Noelle), and to the pediatrician's office once for Claire. All 3 times the visits have ended in what I'll call, false alarms. No significant injuries, illnesses, or nightmare diagnosis's. All 3 times have resulted in praising God for His omniscient presence in our lives, and for His strong hand that refuses to let go of us. For His unswerving gaze that keeps us safe and protected. For His love. The night before Noelle's visit to the ER found me sleeping in her room, on the floor, on a very thin futon mattress, (pregnant), and while the sleep I got was insignificant at best, it was one of the sweetest nights I've had in my life, ever. I've never been so aware of angels and Heaven and Jesus as I was that night. Her room felt stuffy and intoxicating, but in a good way, make that, great way. It felt like all of Heaven lived in her room. I'm pretty sure it does. The next day a friend said, "Ahh, a room of no worries. Perfect peace." That's what it was. It was a room where a child of God lay sleeping in perfect peace, being completely certain of the promise of a new day, and even if that day didn't come, it wouldn't matter anyway. There was perfect peace, steady breathing, and beautiful rest.
Babies live in the now, and trust in their caretakers to provide for them, believing, without a doubt, that they will. And if they don't, it doesn't matter, because their Creator, whom they still know very well is with them. I'd like to get back to that. I'd like to be the child that the Bible encourages me to be. My kids are helping me learn. Divine circumstances are helping me see. I pray I'm becoming a good student. I pray I can put into practice what I'm beginning to understand. God, help me! :)
Until next time....