Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beauty's Approaching Arrival

I am now officially in the stage of pregnancy where I have two doctor's appointments a week.  I have a sonogram every Friday, and an OB appointment every Monday.  This past Friday I had my first sonogram in four weeks, and we got encouraging news.  My amniotic fluid level was back in the normal range -- and well within normal at that.  I had not expected my levels to go down and am relieved that, at least for now, everything is normal.  When I asked why my fluid levels are down, they said there isn't really a good answer for that question; sometimes it happens, and fluid levels do fluctuate.  So, it's entirely possible (even likely?) that they will go back up.  They estimate Beauty weighs 3 pounds, 15 ounces at this point.  The other good news is that Beauty is head down for the first time.  She had been transverse -- basically lying sideways across my abdomen.  And yesterday at my OB appointment, my belly was measuring much more on track than before.  I am measuring only two and a half weeks ahead instead of five.  With Samuel, at each appointment I measured farther and farther ahead, so I am encouraged by this turn of events.  It makes me hopeful that perhaps Beauty will not make her appearance too early. 

I have been kind of plagued by delivery fears this time around.  It seems so silly to be worried about delivery after having already done it three times, but for a myriad of reasons, I am much more concerned this time than I ever have been before.  With Caleb, my first, I was peaceful because to some degree I was oblivious and ignorant.  I figured I could do it because women throughout all of time have done it -- and most of them without any medical assistance.  If they could do it, I could.  And that's true.  But once I had done it, and without medication, my appreciation for the difficulty of it and the very real pain of it was quite a bit greater.  I was more nervous with Joel, my second, simply because I knew it would really, truly hurt.  But I wasn't scared. 

But after having Samuel, my fears are heightened.  I am sure there are more factors to my fear than I am even aware of, but part of it is my concern that we will have another unhealthy baby, and the rapture of having just delivered a baby will be squelched by the reality of a sick baby.  I am worried I will head into labor rather panicky, and that seems like a recipe for disaster -- especially if I go unmedicated for the fourth time.  Another major component of my fear is how rapid my labors have become.  With each child, time has shaved off the overall length of my labors, and with Samuel, it was three hours from start to finish.  When I arrived at the hospital, two hours into labor, I was 3-4 centimeters dilated.  Fifteen minutes later, I was 7 cm, and less than a half an hour after that, Samuel was out.  It was unbelievably quick, and I remember feeling pretty out of control because of how rapidly everything progressed and how there was no time for me to get into a rhythm.  Plus, Samuel's heartrate was seriously spiking during labor.  It would jump between the 140's and the 240's, and I was certainly worried about his well-being.  But labor was too fast to really do anything about it.  I was at the hospital less than an hour before Samuel was born.

If labor with Beauty is even an hour shorter, I have almost no time to determine I am in fact in labor, get Bryan home from work, get someone here to watch the boys, drive the bare minimum of 25 minutes to the hospital (up to an hour if it's traffic time!), and actually get into a hospital room before she will be out.  The thought of not making it to the hospital in time sends my stomach into turmoil.  And honestly, it's a real possibility.  Bryan, who gets seriously queasy around blood, is planning to come to an OB appointment with me to get an emergency crash course in delivering in the car -- just in case.  Obviously that's a worst case scenario, but it's better to be prepared.

I spoke with my OB yesterday about my concerns, and he said we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  So I am trying to be prepared for a rushed, frantic labor where we won't have time to get everything in order and leisurely make our way to the hospital.  But I am hoping I go into labor when Bryan is already home and my mom is in town or my friend Libby is home, a mere five minutes away.  I am hoping we have some warning signs ahead of time, so we can be ready, and I am really, really hoping that I am not in transition (when you progress from 7cm-10cm and experience the most intense pain) while in the car or the hospital lobby.

Most of all, I am praying that Beauty is fully healthy, and I am working to trust all my concerns into God's hands.  I know He is trustworthy, so I have been a little baffled by my seeming inability to trust Him with this labor.  A few weeks ago, I was so nervous I actually got sick to my stomach every time I thought or talked about delivery.  Now I am calmer and more peaceful (surely due to prayer on the part of some dear friends and family), and I am feeling more able to handle whatever it is that comes my way.  I know I have done this three times before, and I know with God's help, I can do it again.  In many ways my births with Caleb and Joel were beautiful and wonderful, and I looked forward to doing it again someday.  Samuel's birth was different because I wasn't holding my precious son after all the work of delivery, but I have another God-given chance to birth a child, and I don't want to waste it or dismiss it or wish it away.  I know it's the way God designed life to begin, and I want to walk that with courage, faith, trust, and dependence on Him.  So I am continually working to "cast all my anxieties on him because he cares for me" (I Peter 5:7) and to fix my thoughts on Him, so that He will keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).  I know Beauty is His, not mine, and I can, in fact, entrust her to His care!


  1. Sooo thankful for the news about your fluid levels. Praise God. Continuing to pray for peace for you and for the safe and healthy arrival of Beauty. Love you.

  2. I totally understand your fears about making it to the hospital, and will pray for peace. Thanks for the update - Nate & I continue to pray for your family even though we live far away now.

    -Trish Hendon

  3. I've been praying for you and was THRILLED to read that your fluid went DOWN! It's truly an answer to prayer, and one that I never considered myself. God is so good!!!

    I love your honest posting. I've been (and will continue) praying for a completely healthy baby. I'll now add praying for your delivery concerns. You know that Satan is trying to get a foothold into your mind. Fear is a great way to do that! I'll pray, like you, for the fear to leave (God is bigger than the fear) and for you to have a wonderful delivery with the immense joy of a healthy baby at the end.

    I hope you keep up this blog. I've really enjoyed getting to "know you". You are an absolutely TERRIFIC mom and your family is so precious. How fun that the 3 boys will have a sister! I wonder if Samuel alreayd knows?

  4. what wonderful news! brian & i have been & will continue to pray for you, beauty & the impending L&D. we look forward to rejoicing with you over her birth!