Friday, December 9, 2016

Life inside the NICU

It's a land flowing with breast milk and hand sanitizer. It's where people get excited about bowel movements and weight gain.  It's noisy, yet quiet. The only sound you really hear is the constant buzzing of monitor alarms going off.  

I sit there trying to tune out the conversations that happen on the other side of the curtain. As I feed my baby and marvel at her miniaturized toes I hear phrases like, "morphine drip" and "not going home till after Christmas". My heart sinks. I fight back tears and realize the struggle that so many parents are faced with.  I'm grateful that my struggle is not as bad as some. I'm humbled because my struggle is not as bad as some.

This place is a world all in its own.  These tiny humans have good days and bad, just like the rest of us, yet theirs is all about survival. None of us want to ask the question, "when", we just want to see our babies make it past another test of strength.  We know that day will come. And some of us hope that day will come.  Again...tears at the thought of any parent faced with that.

Tubes and wires everywhere.

Tiny takes on a whole new meaning.

Cecelia's moment in the spotlight.

I have not stepped outside in over a week, so I'm claiming this sunset last night for Cecelia and me!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sometimes life does not go as planned.

I've been meaning to write this for a while, but life gets in the way. And now I'm forced into putting all that day to day stuff aside.  So here I am...34 weeks pregnant and on hospital bed rest, awaiting the birth of our FIFTH child.  I wasn't planning for my water t break a few days ago, but it did.

As I was saying, life doesn't always go as "planned". I wasn't planning on being a new mom again, while many of my friends are moving into the grandparents' stage. And, I certainly wasn't planning on being a "high-risk" patient, diagnosed with gestational diabetes and preparing for a baby to be sent straight to the NICU. 

I am a planner.  THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN! My daughter had her first swim meet this weekend, my husband needed to go on a business trip, I don't even know if there's food in the house! I didn't finish my "thank you" cards for all those precious ladies who blessed me with a baby shower. And I haven't even begun to prepare for baby! I didn't wash all the windows or shampoo the carpet, I didn't go room to room cleaning out junk and organizing (I realize this all sounds like the thoughts of a crazy person - but these are my crazy thoughts...) Suddenly, my family is left to fend for themselves, I'm strapped to a bed with tubes and wires, and I have no plan....

That's the vulnerable reality.  I've lost control over the situation.  And boy, do I like to be in control! But, as I am being viciously reminded, that's a downfall. And that's where faith needs to take over. There is a plan...and it's Christ's; to rely on His power, His promises, and His peace...and that's all that really matters. Everything else will come together. In fact, it already is. Amazing friends and family have come to the rescue (He is using them - and at the same time, reminding me that I don't have to do it all).  My little family is coming together as a team and pulling through. Yeah, it's uncomfortable for them, but they're doing it. And me...I'm here to decide if I will let my fears and worries take control, or will I sit back (I'm doing a lot of sitting) and just trust Christ, and appreciate the tender beauty that comes from all of this. 

As I write this, I look out the window to see snow gently falling. Christmas music flows through my headphones. It is a time of peace, not chaos.  It is my Savior's reminder that He is here to take over.  

And so I will let Him do just that. 

Tomorrow I will be induced. We will meet our baby girl. We will rejoice in the beauty of life; this gift of God...this early Christmas gift (who we still need to name!!!).

My one and only "bump" photo.

Forced relaxtion. I couldn't help but think of those photos people take of their feet when they're on vacation, with a pool or beach in the background. Well, here's my little "paradise"...puffy feet and these things on my legs to keep me from getting blood clots.

At least someone's happy to get popsicles!