October 12, 2017
After our appointment today for Ethan, I lay here in bed on a beautiful sunny day and feel dark and weak and shattered. I am not sure what I expected to find from our visit, but I think the tragedy that lies ahead is still battling some leftover hope in my heart. I hope that Ethan can get to 37 weeks. I hope that he could be breach so that his head has less trauma. I hope that my labor could start naturally. I hope that at worst, this could be a normal pregnancy with the most dreaded of endings. I hope for more time. I hope to feel him move and kick for weeks to come. But even these hopes seem to be slipping through the cracks of real life.
I know that no news that can be good enough to change Ethan’s diagnosis, but I didn’t expect the physical ramifications on my body to be leading the charge of the bad news.
Today Ethan has grown for 32 weeks inside me but my belly is measuring 39 weeks. I feel every inch. The pain is sometimes so debilitating, I started to wonder today if I should even be driving due to how distracting the pain of the pressure is. The fluid levels for a normal pregnancy can vary from 5-25cm. I am measuring at 40. The heaviness and unnatural weight is stabbing and relentless. It is effecting my breathing, my back, my blood pressure and my sleep. Our little Ethan still isn’t swallowing and the normal circulation is just not happening. I can’t believe how fast my levels elevated and it’s hitting me like a truck what that means for us.
Physically, I don’t know how much longer my body will allow me to go on like this. Labor was already going to be difficult due to Ethan most likely not having the glands to signal my body to start labor at the right time, therefore requiring induction. It just seems like it’s all happening too fast and I am discouraged that it doesn’t seem like even one aspect of this is going in the right direction. I have so much fear and I wish I didn’t. When it comes to labor in the past, I trusted my body to do the right thing and it has always been worth it to brave the pain of natural labor because I knew that my body would perform as designed. This time it’s uncharted territory and I feel like I have no control. I’m scared to rely on induction and contractions caused by drugs. I’m scared for him to come before term. I’m scared for what that will mean for his chances of being born alive. I’m scared of how long it will take my body to respond and how unnaturally painful it will be. I’m scared that this is forcing the last chapter of Ethan’s life to be written so soon. I need more time. I don’t want to face this part yet.
I know that it’s nothing less than fear and sadness that drives my thoughts as I write this now. I am crying out to God and my community and feeling a lot like the Psalmist of the Bible in his darkest hours. I know that God will be with me and I know I should give this heart wrenching pain over to Him but I am so tired and broken and I feel only like collapsing at His feet. I have to think of my other boys here that need me to function for them. I have to think of my husband and what continuing to carry Ethan means for our day to day life in my weakened state. The hardest part of course, is thinking of Ethan. I wish I could carry him forever until he can somehow be born with a better chance of meeting us. The primal, maternal need I have to protect him and allow him to grow safely inside me is just overwhelming.
I need prayers. I need truth and peace resounding in my head instead of this fear and this sadness. I need wisdom for the hardest decision of my life- a choice of when it’s right to bring Ethan into this world and ultimately say goodbye to him. I need strength for this physical pain. I wanted Ethan’s day to happen on its own and it’s just unbearable to have my body forcing my to rush to choose one instead.
I need His strength. I cannot do this on my own.
Pray for us to know how to navigate this, dear reader, dear friends. Soon our boy will be here. Send a shout out for Ethan’s little life and God’s hand to guide what’s next. ❤️
I remember now a verse that was shared with me by a close friend and I have to cling to it.
2 Corinthians 2:9-10 “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my sufferings, that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
Barnes Commentary on this verse: “My strength is made perfect in weakness – That is, the strength which God imparts to His people is more commonly and more completely manifested when His people feel that they are weak. It is not imparted to those who feel that they are strong and who do not realize their need of divine aid. It is not so completely manifested to those who are vigorous and strong as to the feeble. It is when we are conscious that we are feeble, and when we feel our need of aid, that the Redeemer manifests his power to uphold, and imparts his purest consolations.”