Just because it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, doesn’t negate the fact the past several months have been really tough in several different ways.
There’s been a lot of struggles, hurts, stresses, and disappointments. The biggest challenge for me were the events surrounding Lioness’ birth.
We had looked forward to having a natural birth with a mid-wife.
We didn’t have that option with Monkey in Idaho. But we did have a great natural birth experience at our little local hospital. I wanted to replicate that, but this would be even better, because now I know what I’m doing.
When Duane & I were first married, we felt like we had a “word of the Lord” that our children wouldn’t have TCS. Getting that diagnoses half way through pregnancy was a big shock. I was mad at God for a little while. “What the heck? Did You change Your mind? Do we suck at hearing Your voice?”
On top of that, being told to I had to have a hospital birth. At the Children’s Hospital in the city 4 hours away. Health insurance wouldn’t cover my prenatal check-ups with mid-wife, since we were “high risk,” but all our doctors were now 4 hours away. So for a month, I felt abandoned by our whole medical system.
When I had the pre-term labor scare at 35 weeks, we went to the ER and they said, “Who is your dr? Where are your medical records? Why didn’t we know you exist?” I don’t know? And they sent me off to the City. Because they didn’t want to have to life-flight me while in real labor (that was a good plan).
Eight Months Pregnant and a Homeless in a New City
After abandoning our toddler (who we’ve only left overnight once). We were home-less in the city. Hotel-hopping because there was no room in the inn. At least I knew I wouldn’t have to give birth in a barn. Because if I was in labor, I could have a room at the hospital.
But we were trying to keep the baby in until closer to her due-date. Meanwhile the doctors were asking “is there any point at which you would want to be induced?” NO! The whole situation was ridiculous. Can’t we just go home already?
Then we were blessed to be able to stay in a friend’s vacation home for a few days until a room opened up at the Ronald McDonald House. A friend brought Monkey to us. After 5 days apart, we really missed her! We ended up having lots of quality family time, making fun memories of our City “Vacation.”
Except I was mentally updating my emergency plan, almost daily.
Thinking though, “if I go into labor right now, are we going to take Monkey to the hospital with us? We could call a friend to drive 3 hours to come watch her? Or Duane drive across the city to drop Monkey off with our friends, who she doesn’t really know?” Fortunately the baby stayed in until after Duane’s mom got there to help with Monkey.
There was always that lingering thought in the back of our heads, “any day now we’re going to have a baby, and we have no idea how bad the TCS might be.” We were ready to go home before we even knew how long we’d be “sentenced” to stay in the NICU. The daily stress of suspense is exhausting!
She Finally Decided: It’s Time To Be Born.
We had 4 months to mentally prepare for a worse-case scenario. But as long as the baby stayed in, she was safe, happy, alive and well. We had no idea what might happen when she was born.
Fortunately there comes a point in pregnancy where you say, “I am so done being pregnant, can we please just do this whole birth thing already?!” It was scary pushing and listening to see if she was crying. It was quite the joyous shock to have a screaming (breathing) baby placed on my chest.
Sharing Our “Traumatic” Birth Story
I told someone a simple version of our birth story, “We had the baby born in the city because we didn’t know if she’d be able to breath and might need surgery right away. She came out screaming, and the only issues is cleft palate. God does miracles!”
The lady responded “how traumatic!” I disagreed. “Traumatic” would be expecting a normal birth story and ending up having your baby life-flighted to the city, while you’re left wondering “what’s wrong?” and “will my baby live?”
But maybe that lady was right, our whole story is kind of traumatic, just a different kind of trauma. I guess no two traumatic stories are exactly the same level of traumatic-ness.
Overall, I’d say Duane and I do a great job just taking whatever life throws at us and adjusting accordingly. All the while acting like it’s no big deal. My collage professor would call it “GMT = good missionary training.” Only this time, it was our crazy experiences in missions which taught us to find the positive things to be thankful for, and keep calm and trust God.