where the beautiful things are found: giving up, not giving in
I’m always frustrated by those spacey moments when everything seems so far away.
You know that feeling, right before you enter into restoration? It’s when all hell breaks lose, something triggers your fear, you’re thinking the worst about everything, you’re tired, too tired to even mumble a prayer, and is He even listening anyway?
Fear is crippling. It knocks me out somedays. When the baby doesn’t move as much as it did the day before or as much as I’d like. This is a trigger. I palpate my belly and can tell the baby is breech with the legs almost cross legged. This is a trigger.
Boom. I turn into a mess.
Fear, oh, how I wish I didn’t have to battle fear.
It is awful. Let me just tell you straight: it is hell.
And then I get confused.
I should have done amniocentesis, I think to myself, after a long day, and dishes pile in the sink.
I should have done it. And now it’s too late. This is also a trigger. I’m in the third trimester, an emotional wallop by it’s own merit. This baby is coming in a few months.
But no, I didn’t want to test. We didn’t want to.
My husband, unfazed by my near nervous breakdown, tells it to me straight: Relax, the baby is just chilling out. We didn’t do testing because we really didn’t want to, we didn’t need to, we are walking this out. Old fashioned? With faith? With hope? Without needles. That’s the decision we made.
Oh my God, I kind of want to crawl into a hole and die.
I can’t do this.
And the mantra continues until I’m worked up and begging God to help me see clearly.
I just want to be in control.
I just want control. So I panic, and fear ebbs away at my resolve. The resolve that I carried for so long! It was real, it was so strong. It was and is real.
So where did it go?
I feel so weak and wounded, so unable. I chant scripture like a monk. Nothing.
I realize I don’t want the comfort of God. I want the comfort of a ferocious, kicking baby. I want it so badly.
I happen to have an appointment with my midwife the next day. She tells me baby is in a funny, breech position. Tucked down low, limbs entangled. The movements will be low quality. Don’t worry.
I go home. Relief floods in. She tells me I made a strong decision, and basically I need to own it. Don’t worry. You are strong and capable.
Friends send text messages after I ask for their helping hands of prayer: I’m not worried for you. I know you might be, but I’m not.
I suddenly start to get it. I’m in this little cage alone. I’m in this whirlwind, this storm I’ve created all by myself.
I want out.
I find peace. I begin to read scripture again, and the Word sinks in deep this time, nourishing my marrow. I push back the dark thoughts and they actually flee. I am not consumed.
The next day, baby moves into another position, and I feel those familiar kicks again. Sometimes it even hurts. It moves again, and back and forward and back into the cramped corner of my womb. I’m not worried.
I take deep breaths until every little alveoli expands and fills with riches. An exchange takes place.
I look at my stack of books with delight. I drink my coffee and watch the rain fall onto the overgrown grass. Berries are appearing on the tree. The garden soaks up nutrients from the earth and the sky. I decide I will bake bread today. I keep the lights off and let the blue gray flood the house. I light candles and drop essential oils into my nebulizer. I throw a silky bamboo baby blanket across my bare legs.
This is the now. This smattering of marigolds across my lap, the nearly empty coffee cup, the smell of yeast in the kitchen, the intake and exhale of breath from my sleeping child, the constant rush of her BiPap machine. The knock knock on my womb: I am here, I’m your baby.
I’ll live. I’ll live through this, day by day. This life is so beautiful. It makes me ache, in a good way. It makes me want to weep. I couldn’t imagine a life without meeting my Florence, just the way she is.
She has taught us so much. She has brought us to Jesus. She has brought life and love and beauty to our marriage. Diagnosis day marred us, but Time is healing us.
“Some beautiful things can only be found in the hardest times.
…finding the treasure is the trick sometimes. It can be difficult because so often we invest so much energy in surviving a battle that there’s little left for discovering what wonderful things might have happened inside of us in the process.”
-Bo Stern, Beautiful Battlefields.