Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Selfless Like Hannah

If it hasn't been obvious by now, this pregnancy has not been what I hoped for or expected. My hope for a healthy child has been trashed. I have a fifty-fifty chance of not taking my daughter home, ever. The last hope I was clinging to was being able to have a normal, vaginal delivery, and now that has been taken away from me for this and future pregnancies.

Definitely not what I hoped for.

I still think about the post I made months ago, about Penny going right to God, not seeing the pain of this life, and having God raise her in a perfect way. I still feel that way sometimes. It would be best for her. But my husband and I still pray for some time with her. A hello and a goodbye, at least.

My mind goes back to 1 Samuel chapter 1 in the Bible. Hannah could not have children for the longest time. Although her husband loved her, she was tortured by the missing addition to her family. Then, when God sent her a miracle in the form of baby Samuel, she gave him over to the church only after weaning him.

What faith! What trust! What selfless love! I always wondered how a mother could give away her child, barely a toddler, after waiting so long for him. Now I can see it. She wasn't giving him away. She was giving him back.

Any time we get with Penny is a gift and a blessing from God. I pray that I can remember that as my heart hurts for her and longs for her. God is good all the time. Even in the tragedies. I don't know his plan, but I hope I can have Hannah's trust.

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Month

At our last OB appointment, we were told that it would be in Penny's best interest to deliver by C-section on December 11, if not earlier. I'll be going in weekly to the maternal-fetal care doctor to check the blood flow levels in the umbilical cord, which were low at the last visit. If the blood flow levels get low enough, Penny will be delivered earlier.

One month or less.

So much is still uncertain, unprepared for. I love to plan, and God has taken away nearly everything I can plan for in this situation. Some of that is good: I don't have to worry about getting diapers, clothes, and all of the furniture for her room ready right away. If she makes it through birth, she'll be in the NICU for an indefinite period of time, and all she needs will be provided for by the nurses and specialists.

The bad seems obvious to me: We don't know for sure what the next weeks, months, or even years may look like for us. Will Penny be in them? How healthy can we expect her to be? Should we plan a homecoming shower or a funeral? How much can I really be there with her in the first few days if I'm recovering from surgery? What if?  When? How? Why?

One thing we can do is paint her room. It'll be "Natural Straw Yellow"and "Sea Glass Green" when it's done. I've had the colors picked out for a long time, but now the looming date of December 11 has put us to action. Whether Penny will come home to this room or not I don't know, but one day we will bring an infant to live in there. Maybe there's some metaphor for hope in painting that room. I don't know.
My mom helping us paint. She's already in love with her first grandchild.

One way or the other, within a month our lives will change.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Real Girl

If you haven't seen the movie Lars and the Real Girl, you should. We just watched it tonight for the first time, after it was recommended by a good friend. It's a story about a loner who gets a sex doll and treats it like a real woman. It's a story about a town loving this man where he is, how he needs to be loved. It's about growth.

I don't think we were expecting this movie to talk to us where we are in the way that it did.

One scene keeps playing in my head. Lars is sitting in his living room with a group of older women that are keeping him company in his pain.

"We came over to sit," says one woman.

"That's what people do when tragedy strikes."

"They come over and sit."

People may not always have the right words, but that doesn't mean they can't love you well.

Also, I think there's another poignant reason that this movie struck a cord with me. There's a big part of me that doesn't see Penny as a real girl yet. Part of that is normal first pregnancy feelings, I'm sure (Is there really a baby growing in there?). Part of it is that I'm purposefully distancing myself from it all.

A lot of moms talk to their stomachs. I can't, because it's like acknowledging that she's real. I've avoided finishing some projects, put off decorating her room, or registering for baby things because if she doesn't come home the reminders will be real, physical, painful. Even though I feel myself loving her more and more, I can't say the words out loud because it makes the thought of losing our real, precious daughter so much more unbearable.

We don't know what to expect. But when tragedy does strike, I know we'll need people to come over and sit with us.