I had the weirdest day yesterday. Trever was in Palm Springs all week for work and so I had decided to join him for one night so I could sit by the pool in the sunshine all day while he worked to pay our bills. I did an amniocentesis last Monday because there is a high correlation to genetic abnormalities with babies who have omphalacele. That was really our biggest fear because if there were genetic abnormalities the likelihood of survival is much lower.
I knew results would be coming back soon and every time I thought about it I would develop a pit in my stomach. But I have been doing a lot of forcing myself to relax, doing yoga, binge watching TV to keep my mind somewhere else, and reading books by the pool. So that’s what I did all day at the Parker in Palm Springs. There were three huge photo shoots happening on the property and so it was super fun to have models come lay in the lounge chairs next to me during their off hours, especially with the almost-pregnant belly but more like a burrito belly look I have going on. But that’s beside the point.
I was on my way home and I saw an unknown number coming in, I answered it and was told that everything came back normal so we were in the clear for genetic abnormalities. I don’t know how to explain the relief, except to say it was so strong it felt physical. Just like that a level of deep fear dissipated. So now it’s a lot of surgery and hospital time during the baby’s first year, but if all goes well she’ll have a really normal life beyond that. It’s funny what you realize you’re capable of handling once you're faced with the worst that could happen, surgery seems like a cake-walk now.
Two minutes after hanging up, literally, she kicked for the first time. I had expected to feel flutters for a couple weeks before feeling kicks and I was told those flutters wouldn’t come until around 21 weeks. But no flutter just bam, it happened, out of nowhere, she kept kicking and wiggling around and I sobbed. At home that night her kicks were so strong Trever could feel them and everything became a little more real a quite a bit brighter than before.
So today is a new day. This feels in a way like a new pregnancy. We started talking about names again. We went to dinner to celebrate and I’m so grateful for her tiny little life.
I don’t know what to say about God, if you’re wondering. I won’t make you keep joining me in my whiplash. I will say though, that the people that are the wisest I know, are the ones who have had to deal with making peace with God in the midst of suffering. They have developed a robust faith that is honest and capable of wrestling with God and yet never withers in the storm.
My farmer friend Barbara tells me that when you water plants you have to knock them around a bit so they get stronger. This is not meant to be an analogy of God as the great good gardener, or of life's tragic winds, but that when our branches spring back up from being knocked over they’re harder to knock down the next time. So I’m hoping that after this crazy bit of life as we slowly make our way back to standing upright, I’ll be less likely to wither in the next storm. Although probably not, maybe there is grace for the moments when our feeble little branches have been blown over, even if we keep staying forever feeble, I hope so.
Oh her name…Colette Iva Hoehne
Colette means victorious, Iva means God's great gift.
Also, Hoehne is German and means 'giant bear cub' or 'to get angry'…seriously I just looked it up, it’s so intense. Plus I’m part Polish Jew, so trev and I have some real ancestral angst.