I heard a reading the other day which encouraged the Christian to contemplate whether they could truly desire God’s will over their own blessings. It’s such an interesting encouragement to make for a couple of reasons. The first is, of course, the general assumption that a blessing is to be lucky or to have good fortune. This mindset is reinforced by facebook blurbs such as, “I’m not lucky, I’m blessed #childofgod.” I actually saw this post and of course my brain exploded when I read it. It’s such an American Christian way of talking about God’s work in our lives. I wonder if you could get those words out in front of a tortured Chinese Christian, I wouldn’t recommend trying. Blessings can only truly be understood in light of the greater purpose of this life, otherwise we will have a terrible misunderstanding and attribute only our good fortune to God and have quite a confused soul when tragedy inevitably comes our way.
The second is the difficulty of such a task. I think about the way I pray for Colette and wondered momentarily if I was capable of praying for some greater purpose to be accomplished, even if that meant suffering for my unborn daughter. The answer is I’m not, all I can truly desire is her healing. I suppose Jesus prayed for the task of crucifixion to be taken from him. If he could have had it another way he begs for that to be so. Maybe that means we're allowed, or even made, to pray that we are spared life's pain.
Yesterday we went to St. Joseph’s hospital, where we will be delivering, to have a tour of the unit and have a medical conference. It was all quite overwhelming, even looking at the operating room Trever and I were both a little faint…so that should make D-day pretty interesting. Like who catches who? After the tour we sat in a waiting room allowing the blood to make its way back into our brains and discussed the horrible lighting that is itself 90% of why people want to faint in hospitals, the other 10% is the smells and the beeping.
We were then called into a conference room not knowing what to expect and found ourselves at the head of an enormous table surrounded by 15 or so hospital staff. There sat the chief of general surgery, cardiac surgeon, Labor and Delivery charge nurse, NICU director, and a lot of other people I can’t remember. We were not expecting this! They went around discussing their part of the birthing, NICU, transfer, testing, surgery process with kindness and reference to Colette by name. It was simultaneously comforting and terrifying. Comforting that they take this so serious and that we are in very good hands. Terrifying because her condition actually deserves all of this.
They didn’t give us a ton of new information for what to expect after she’s here because basically they don’t know enough until they see her to make any educated guesses. But one of the doctors came up to me and said, “I’m going to be your realist. Expect a slow long process and then if it’s shorter you’ll be relieved. This is far better to clinging to expectations of a speedy and easy process and finding yourself disappointed for every day that it drags on.”
So I got home and climbed in bed with a new reality check and slept for two hours. I knew that moment was coming, I had become far too positive over the course of the last couple of months and knew something needed to bring me back down to reality. This was it.
I was asked the other day about my range of emotions as we get closer to delivery – I said 85% excitement and 15% fear, anxiety, stress and general light-headedness (per the florescent lighting in my future). Also nobody asked me this, but I would like the world to know my back hurts and I weigh more than my husband, who by the way has returned from Italy and with tornadic (derivative of tornado which spell check tells me is not a word) energy has put our house together and made it home. People come over and assume I have good taste because I have clearly decorated my house so well and I nod my head until they ask me, “who painted that?” I usually respond with my name for the piece, “oh the blueberry donut? Not sure.” It breaks Trever’s heart, his little color obsessed heart.
Opposites attract as they say, but I digress. At this point we’re one month out from meeting Colette. I want it to come quickly and I want time to slow down too. I want her to be healed quickly and preparing my heart for the long journey that awaits. I want to make almond milk in my new kitchen and I also want to take a nap. I am very even keel these days.
Finally, I wanted to thank you for all your kind responses to my maternity photos. It meant a lot to have so many people celebrating with me. Thank you!