|My first pregnant belly, April 2011|
Another uneventful day today, which means it was a good day. Elsie continues to remain stable after yesterday's surgery. Her blood pressure is back to normal, but she is still receiving pain medication. Her chest tube, which allowed drainage of any air that might have bubbled up during the surgery, will probably be removed tomorrow. And they will probably begin feeding her breast milk tomorrow or Sunday, and hope that she will be able to digest it better this time.
I've been thinking over the past week or so about different pregnancy things that I didn't get to/have to experience this time around. Every once in a while, I'll feel a bubble or something digestive-related moving around in my tummy, and for a brief moment of forgetfulness, my hand will reach down to feel the baby that used to be safe inside me. And then, I remember. She's not safe inside me anymore. Clayton only felt her moving a few times. I never saw her moving within me; you know, like when you're taking a bubble bath and all of a sudden, an elbow or a foot is jabbing you and you can see it moving, like there's some kind of alien inside you struggling to get out. I didn't have to drink that nasty sugar drink to test for gestational diabetes, lucky me. I bought a pretty maternity dress that I was saving until I was too huge for my other maternity clothes, and I never got to wear it. I was never so huge that it was uncomfortable; although for the first week or so after Elsie was born, I found myself doing the pregnancy-squat when I needed to pick something up off the floor. And then I remembered, "Oh yeah, I can just bend over now like normal people." One tender mercy that I have noticed is that, even before I was pregnant and especially during the last week or two of this pregnancy, I would have a hard time sleeping due to back pain. After I got up in the morning, it would usually go away, but now ever since Elsie was born, the back pain while sleeping has completely gone away. I never had the baby kicking or pressing on my bladder so that it felt like I had to pee every ten minutes. I never had that uncomfortable feeling of not being able to draw a full breath because there wasn't enough room to fully expand my lungs. I didn't get to have a maternity photo shoot like I did when I was largely pregnant with Evje, nor did we do a newborn photo shoot when Elsie was born. I'm sure we'll get some family pictures taken when Elsie goes home or maybe when she's not hooked up to so many machines, but it's different. I didn't have anybody make those comments that they think are so funny, like "Are you trying to steal a basketball under your shirt there?" or "You haven't had that baby yet? You look like you're going to pop it out any second now!" In fact, I've had a few people confess to me that they didn't even know that I had been pregnant. These people were probably a little unobservant, or maybe they just thought I was eating too many doughnuts.
I never had the excitement you feel when you are going into labor at the correct time, and the sweet anticipation of bringing a new baby into the world with the one that you love. I felt dread and terror when I went into labor. That's not how it should be. But I've learned over the last two weeks that life does not always go how YOU think it should be. My pregnancy and labor & delivery of Elsie did not go according to plan. But wait. It didn't go according to MY plan. But it did go just as it should go, according to HIS plan. God is in charge, not me, no matter how carefully I plan my life. And as scary as it is to not be in control, we are learning to put our trust in Him. He is in control and He knows what He's doing.
Sweet baby Elsie, as much as I wish that I could have gone through the full 40 weeks with you safely growing inside me, that's not what happened. And I'm trying to understand, and to be strong, and have faith and courage that everything will work out. Because it will work out according to His plan, no matter what happens. Happy two-week birthday, Elsie!