Monday, September 21, 2009

Falling Apart

Three weeks ago from right now, I was overwhelmed, in pain, scared, and alone.

I was overwhelmed with all of the emotions that come with being told that my baby is going to be born two months early. I wasn't ready for her. I was a thousand miles away from home. It was barely two hours since my water had broken. Everything was happening so fast that I couldn't think clearly.

I was scared because none of the precautions we had taken with our son's birth were in place. The doctors didn't know my history. We didn't have a general surgeon ready to take care of any internal problems I may have had from previous surgeries. The anesthesiologist didn't have x-rays of my back: scoliosis twisted my spine in the exact place that the spinal tap needed to go.

I was scared because it was too early for me to have a baby. I was afraid her lungs wouldn't be mature enough to breathe. Since my water had broken, I wasn't given any steroids to boost her lung development. That scared me.

I was in pain with every contraction that was coming on stronger every two or three minutes. How long would it take for the spinal tap to be put in? I didn't know, but it couldn't come soon enough. It was very difficult to bend the way the anesthesiologist wanted when I was in the midst of a contraction.

I was alone because my husband was not allowed in the surgery room yet. I didn't know any of the doctors or nurses in the room. No one had introduced themselves to me, and no one was talking to me except to give me instructions.

All I had was a Lifehouse song running through my head. "I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing . . . but I'm holding on . . . I'm barely holding on to You . . . I'm hanging on to the words You say, You said that I would be okay."

The nurse kept telling me to breathe, and since that was all I could do, I did, as I choked down my sobs. Finally, when the spinal tap was done and my arms were strapped down, my husband came into the room. I lost it at that point. I couldn't hold on any longer, and neither could he.

We were both praying, aloud and silently. I couldn't really see James because of the tears streaming from my eyes, but I could feel him holding my hand and his presence near my head. And, although I knew that God was present, I had a hard time realizing it. Which is why the song kept going through my head, "I'm holding on, I'm barely breathing . . . You said that I would be okay."

Sometimes in the moment, it is hard to believe that everything is in God's hands. I was so relieved when I heard the baby crying, weak as it was. Her lungs seemed to be fine. It was a sign to me that we all would be okay, just as God said.

I still don't know why she was born early, and in California. Maybe I'll never know. I am thankful that she is fine. I am thankful that we weren't in a place where we didn't know anyone. I am thankful for my family who has chipped in so much in helping with my son. I am thankful for my friends who have helped so much with our household in Oregon. I am thankful for friends, some of whom I've never met, who have helped out by letting us borrow baby items while we are in California. I am especially thankful for all the prayers; I've needed and felt them. Thank you.

Now, my daughter is being held in her grandpa's arms in my parents' living room. My son is VERY excited to have his little sister around and he can barely wait to hold her. I am blessed; very blessed indeed.