May 23. This was the due date of our Eloise, just two years ago. We all know due dates don’t mean a whole lot – she entered the world four LONG days later.
And sitting here, two years later, thinking back on those days, her delivery, and immediately after, I can’t help but smile. Now, don’t get me wrong – my pregnancy with her was horrible. Can you say heartburn!? (I vouch that it’s worse than morning sickness.) My labor was horrible. It wasn’t a thing like I thought I wanted or had planned for. I went in for an induction on a Sunday and she wasn’t born until Tuesday late morning. It was long. And the epidural wore off more than once. My delivery was horrible. She was an emergency cesarean after a failed induction nearly forty hours later. I was drugged up and pumped so full of fluids that I swelled up like an elephant. (Nope, I’m not posting pictures.) And to top all that glorious-ness off, our new baby ended up aspirating meconium and had to be transported an hour away to another hospital that had a NICU. She had a 75% lung infection that required a 4 day NICU stay while I was held up at another hospital. I didn’t get to hold my girl for two days. Needless to say, nothing went as planned. It was all horrible. And after that I vowed I would never have kids again. And then once I resolved to maybe having kids again (it took some time), I vowed that I wouldn’t let what happened last time happen next time.
Here I am, two years later. Nine months pregnant. My pregnancy has been less than easy – severe morning sickness for months. And that blasted heartburn curse. I’ve been on steroids for 12 weeks now which make me hungry (and pack on the pounds), and sleepless, and not so nice at times. (Just ask my sweet husband – he deserves a medal, or piece of chocolate cake, for putting up with me.) I’ve spent numerous hours driving to and sitting at doctor’s offices. I’ve been hospitalized once.
I had planned for a natural birth, nothing like last time. I had planned to have more control over my birth choices and my body. I dreamed of waking my husband in the middle of the night and watching him frantically drive us to the hospital. I had planned to take our new girl home from the hospital with us in an outfit that we had spent time picking out, wrapped in some handmade blanket that matched said outfit.
Those plans were dashed 12 weeks ago.
But I smile.
I smile for a few reasons.
I smile because despite the chaos of two years ago, I have a beautiful and healthy two year old who lights up our world!
I smile because I realize that those were MY plans. This whole season has been a HUGE season of refinement. If you know me personally you know that control and order make me happy. I like plans. And lists. And checking off my lists. And making more plans. I often joke that this is the “thorn in my flesh” – that thing that pushes me closer to the Lord because as much as I try to “pray it away”, it doesn’t leave. I feel like it’s stuck. I’m old enough and have known Jesus long enough to know that my plans are silly. But, leave it to me, to think I had control over something.
Do I still think MY plans would have worked out better? I mean, it would have made my life easier. But I’ve relinquished those plans. Why? Because He is PERFECT in ALL of His ways to me. And I’ll cling to that going into the next few days and weeks (and months and years).
I smile because I can see just how God has prepared us for a time as this. Without our situation with Eloise, I would be terrified walking into (or rolling into) a c-section. Although I’m not looking forward to it, I know what to expect. I know just how FABULOUS the facilities are at the hospital we will deliver and how capable they are of handling our situation. I know even more so how fabulous the NICU is and the nurses that work there – I have zero doubts about the level of care our Edith will receive.
There’s still a lot we don’t know. The details are uncertain. The timeline is unsure. The assurance of my unborn daughter’s health is absent.
But here’s what I do know. My God is bigger than my plans. He is in control of the details. His timetable isn’t mine. And not ones health is guaranteed tomorrow.
I have been entrusted to be Edith’s mom for now. This moment.
And I’m hopeful that in another two years I can look back at today and smile. For these reasons. And more.
God is faithful, y’all.