The sign on our door for the last few days.
Packing our “NICU bag” –
I didn’t have a “hospital bag” packed and ready like most pregnant ladies. But we did get to put together a NICU bag today, with all his little preemie clothes.
Tonight is the last night of this part of our journey. Calvin’s birthday is tomorrow. He is scheduled to arrive via c-section sometime around 10 am.
Everyone keeps asking if I’m feeling “so excited”. I have a LOT of emotions right now. Excitement is a very small part of them. I’m actually NOT very excited – we’ve made it so far, and we’ve been so blessed – but he’s still 6 weeks early! He’s still too little to be ready! And I’m not ready either…
I’m feeling terrified.
I’m feeling anxious.
I’m feeling sadness and regret.
I’m feeling nervous and worried.
I’m feeling fear.
Terrified that things will go horribly wrong.
Anxiety over time moving too fast.
Sadness that tomorrow I won’t feel him moving inside of me anymore.
Sadness that I won’t be able to hold him right away, like a mother should.
Sadness because I won’t be able to see him for several hours after he’s born.
Regret about all the things I’ve already done wrong.
Worry because tomorrow we will learn more about the severity of his condition.
Nervous about having another surgery.
Fear of losing my hope.
So far I have been able to hold on to the hope that the surgery was successful; hope that he will kick his little legs and wiggle his little toes; hope that his bowels and bladder will work as they should; hope that his brain will be healed, hope that he won’t need a shunt; hope that his scar won’t be so bad; hope still, for a perfectly healthy little baby boy.
Tomorrow we will start to have answers to the questions we’ve been asking since that first ultrasound.
I don’t know if I want those answers anymore.
Tomorrow my hope will change. I know this. It has already changed multiple times since finding out about little Calvin.
First we had hopes and dreams for his future.
Nate hoped for t-ball games and wrestling matches.
I hoped he would be a little gentleman and open doors for his mommy.
We hoped for a cute, chubby little baby that kicked his legs like crazy when he got excited, a rambunctious toddler that couldn’t sit still, a little kid who loved to run and play outside…
Then we hoped beyond hope that the Dr.s were wrong. We hoped it wasn’t as bad as they said, and it wouldn’t be severe enough to need the surgery. But we hoped if he did it need the surgery, that we would qualify. Then we hoped it would be a success.
Then we hoped he would stay inside.
We hoped it so bad that we didn’t have room for any other hope.
Then our hopes and dreams for his future changed a little. We hope that he is kind. We hope that he is happy. We hope that he is strong.
And we do still hope he will be able to walk, and function normally. Though it doesn’t seem AS important as it once was.
All along, I’ve been trying to have hope in God’s plan for him, and for us.
It’s hard to forget your own hopes, and try to just hope for faith.
I feel like tonight is my last night with MY hope. I want to hold on to it a little longer.
I want him to stay inside longer. I would give anything for a few more weeks.
For his sake, and for selfish reasons.
I’ve had to do without many “normal pregnancy” things, but I think one the hardest things is not being excited about his birthday. He’s squirming around right now, and it’s killing me. I know he’s warm and snug growing still, like he’s supposed to. And tomorrow he will have to come to the world 6 weeks too early.
And I know 6 weeks isn’t as bad as 15 weeks – which was a real possibility at one point. I guess I’ve just gotten greedy.
It sounds funny, but we are so, so proud of our little boy. He has dealt with so much already.
He’s already had major brain surgery. He was taken out of his little home and then put back inside – I’m sure it hurt him, because I know it hurt me! He’s had little to no fluid for weeks and weeks. He was poked with a needle during my amniocentesis, which was traumatizing. He has been prodded by hundreds of ultrasounds and fetal dopplers. He’s had 2 MRIs which are loud and scary for little babies. He’s been squeezed by an irritable uterus for 9 weeks now – and sometimes squeezed HARD. He’s lived inside a very stressed and emotionally unstable mother for 3 months, who cries a lot, doesn’t laugh as much anymore, and doesn’t rock him to sleep by walking around.
And he has beaten the odds – he has stayed inside. And his heart stayed strong. And he still kicks and squirms, and pushes back when we push against him. And tomorrow, he will probably be confused, and cold, and I won’t get to hold him – but he will keep being strong. He is already an amazing little boy.
I’m grateful we made it this far, and for the unique experiences we’ve had together.
I just wish we weren’t out of time…not quite yet.