Our plan has changed significantly since the last time I have posted. Here are some updates:
Instead of going down Monday, June 18th at 32 weeks gestation, we are going to try to make it to 36 weeks gestation. I spoke with Dr. Johnson, the fetal specialist, and he said he is completely fine with allowing me to stay home until 36 weeks. I don’t have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, and so far I am not dilated or effaced at all. I will see my OB-GYN every week starting today. She will do checks to be sure I am not dilating or effacing. If everything stays the same, I will be able to stay until mid-July. If I start dilating or effacing, I will have to go to Houston immediately in case I start leaking amniotic fluid.
The question of what to do with my two small children during all of this upheaval has haunted me. Not only am I terrified for little Daniel, but I am also incredibly scared about David and Hannah. I haven’t been away from them for more than a couple of days for their entire lives. I rock them to sleep each night, and we co-sleep. Hannah’s security blanket is my hair, which she plays with endlessly, especially in unfamiliar situations. David acts all big and tough, like a total big boy during the day, but at night, he wants me to rock him to sleep, and he likes to fall asleep while holding my hand. All of a sudden, I am going to go from being their primary caregiver to being almost completely absent. It is REALLY hard taking care of a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old. Everyday I see new stories of small children drowning, getting killed in an accident, getting abducted, etc. My chiefest fear right now is that something will happen to David and Hannah while I am unable to be with them. I totally trust my faithful babysitters, but I can’t help worrying.
Here is a tentative plan: David and Hannah are at VBS this week. They are LOVING it. This upcoming Monday they are going to start daycare at First Baptist Belton for two days per week. I think starting right after VBS when they are used to waking up and getting dressed and going to Bible School will make the transition easier. After Daniel is born, they will be at FBC Belton 3 days per week, and with my parents the other two days. Then Brian will bring them to Houston on the weekends to see me. FBC Belton is a great place, and it is totally secure. Hopefully being there will give the kids some stability and routine during a very traumatic time for our family. It will also give my faithful, capable babysitters a break from raising two toddlers on long, 14-hour days when Brian is working.
This all sounds great, right? Everyone I tell breathes a sigh of relief and says, “Wow! That sounds like a good plan!” But then I think of what it will be like for little Hannah when I drop her off Monday. She has breath-holding seizures, and I am so scared something will happen. She is not going to be okay with this plan, and she is going to fight me every step of the way. I know this is the right thing to do for her, but it devastates me that I can’t be home with her and David.
There is so much fear inside me; I can’t even begin to express it all. Unless you have been a mother pregnant with a CHD baby with other small children at home, you can’t fathom it. When I stop worrying about one thing, another quickly takes its place. I wish I could take all of this on myself. It KILLS me that I am going to have to watch my precious newborn go through hell; it KILLS me that my other two children are going to to have to be without their mommy for at least a month, if all goes well; it KILLS me that I have no idea when I am actually going to be in Houston, or how the whole thing will unfold. All of this is such a waiting game. I have nothing packed. The baby’s room isn’t ready. It seems I am waiting for Doom’s Day. And it KILLS me that I am thinking of Daniel’s birthday as Doom’s Day.
Please pray for me. It has been rough recently. As all of this gets closer, the fear is more palpable.
Here is my prayer today. I don’t really have the words right now to express how I am feeling, so I am taking these words from the Psalms.
Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice. (Ps 5:3-1) Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long (Ps. 25:4-5). How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light (Ps. 36:7-9). I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart…My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it has also gone from me. For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Do not forsake me, O Lord! O, my God, be not far from me (Ps. 38:8,10,17-18,21)! I trust in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul (Ps. 31:6-8). Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted…The Lord is king forever and ever. O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that the man who is of the earth may strike terror no more (Ps. 10:12, 16-18)!