“There are no accidents, no mistakes, and everything is still on schedule.” - -C. H. Spurgeon
In two days, on Wednesday the 11th, we will drive up to Chapel Hill for what should be our final prenatal doctor visit. My original due date was the 24th, but last Thursday they told us to pack our things and plan on staying this time.
After experiencing the care and talking with lactation consultants and others at Carteret General in Morehead City, Pitt Memorial in Greenville (now Vidant Medical Center), and the UNC Women’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, we decided to continue care and deliver at UNC due to the baby’s birth defect. Although I prayed and thought A LOT about it, I still wasn’t sure if I was overdoing it and UNC was unnecessary. Now, I’m absolutely sure we are at the right place. When the risks go up for my baby, there’s nothing more reassuring than being where the education, the technology, the equipment, the specialists and the caring doctors are.
Originally they began checking my fluids (amniotic fluid) to see if they thought the baby did have a cleft palate or not. If there was too much fluid it was likely he did, as he wouldn’t be able to take it in as well. That wasn’t an issue. (Yay!)
However, three weeks ago they let me know that my fluids were looking low. Could just be dehydration, they said, and I assumed the same after helping with a couple of camps during those weeks. No big deal. Nothing to worry about.
Last Thursday we returned and my fluids were checked again. They had dropped from 7.3 to 5.6, 5 being the low point and time to be concerned. Awesome. Both doctors I saw that day said that at this point it wasn’t a case of dehydration, but perhaps my placenta giving out…or who knows, really. I don’t. In any case, I asked what “low fluids” meant in terms of me and the baby. Higher risk of a stillbirth.
Some would say they shouldn’t have told me that. But I asked. And I would rather know the risks, take seriously what needs to be taken seriously, and do all I can to ensure that does NOT happen. Otherwise, I usually am going to assume that doctors are just telling me to come in for unnecessary appointments when everything is really fine. And it could totally be fine. But I am praying more than ever….just in case. And drinking my 2 1/2 Liters of water everyday. And counting baby kicks for two hours. And planning to take my penicillin during labor because, apparently, I also tested positive for Group B strep this pregnancy (which is no big deal, I have been assured by other moms and doctors).
My pregnancies with Carver and Emma were perfect. Not one tiny thing went wrong with them from start to finish that was cause for worry. And I never considered the possibility that anything could go wrong. Does anyone remember that feeling of being young and invincible? Somewhere along the way my outlook has drastically changed. I see things that do go wrong for people, or at least, not the way we would want them to go. What makes me immune to that? Nothing. Nothing at all.
So what’s a girl to do? For starters, be thankful. I feel more thankful than ever before in my life. Thankful for all that I have been given that I don’t feel I always deserve. For my beautiful and loving kids, who love no matter what. Who I can wake up to every single day and snuggle with and play with and learn with. For their joy and innocence. For the simple fact that I can have children, even with the difficulties, because so many desire to and can’t. For a husband who doesn’t give up on me, even when I would give up on myself. Who doesn’t leave me, and most likely never will. Who puts up with all that I hand him. For Baby #3. He can come out with two healthy heads at this point and I would be grateful. For family and friends who truly care and take the time and put in the work to understand and be there. How special and rare that is. Life is simply far too short to NOT be thankful for all of those things.
And second, I pray. For whatever good or bad happens now or in the future, that I will handle it with wisdom, love, peace, maturity and dignity for the sake of my family. I fail a lot, and that’s why I pray. Oprah calls it “mulling things over” when she prays. The Secret (remember that book?) would probably call it sending positive thoughts into the atmosphere. Whatever you call it, I believe in it. If for no other reason than for reassurance, peace of mind, and gaining perspective.
Thank you all again for the kind words. Hopefully after Wednesday we will be sharing the good news of our new arrival with each of you! And hoping that each of you will focus on the amazing in your life in the midst of bad. It’s there somewhere.