It was just a regular day and I had my 39 week pre-natal appointment with my midwife. These appointments usually take 10 minutes at the most. I’ve always been a very healthy person, so I always expect doctors to say that everything’s normal like they always do. So imagine my surprise as I heard the words no one likes to hear… “I think something’s wrong”.
After verifying a few things I was told “It looks like you have pre-eclampsia. It’s a very serious condition that can cause seizures, strokes or even death. Luckily, we caught it early but you need to stop at home, get your stuff, then go to the hospital right away. You’re probably having your baby today.”
Wait, WHAT? Like right now? But I have plans tonight!
So, I stopped at Gap really quick (it was around the corner and 60% off the sale prices), got my stuff at home and went straight to the hospital. Immediately they were hooking me up to machines and taking blood tests. I had a blood pressure cuff going off every 15 minutes and I could see doctors with their backs to me whispering to each other in front of the ultrasound machine, which didn’t feel hopeful to say the least. I was admitted and labor was induced. While in labor my blood pressure spiked at 176/110 (that’s extremely high people). Nurses were running in to give me medication to keep me from having seizures and just like that my case went from mild to serious. I had an IV on the back of my hand with a magnesium drip that felt like it was burning my veins, a blood pressure cuff going off every few minutes, one of those finger clamp things that does something I guess, an IV in my back, a catheter (TMI?) and two giant pressure cuffs on my legs alternating to keep my blood flowing.
After Wylde was born I had to continue with these treatments for a full 24 hours; at one point trying to sleep under a florescent light that no one knew how to turn off with a sleep mask that a nurse made me out of a dinner napkin (yes, that happened).
To really top things off I was at the hospital for 4 1/2 days, 24 hours longer than I was originally told… meaning I didn’t get released until 10pm on New Years Eve.
My “birth plan” involved a (quick) un-medicated labor in the birthing center with relaxing music playing, preferably heading home after about 12 hours with my perfect baby. Exactly the opposite of what happened, except for the perfect baby.
As I ate sushi at 11:30pm on my couch and watched the ball drop on TV, (not) at the party we were supposed to go to. I officially accepted that I can’t control anything.
Happy New Year.
What an end to the year that took me around more curves than I could count. The year that taught me that we can plan all we want but there’s a reason that we need to trust God in everything. Trust is only needed when we don’t understand why things are the way they are and we were planning for something completely different.
All of us have or will have seasons and events that test our understand of God, people and ourselves. The types of things that make us wonder whether we hear God at all or if he’s really (really) good, aware of what’s going on and working for a good outcome.
Here’s some things I’ve learned from managing some serious curves:
1. There’s a way to walk through the valley of the shadow of death without pitching a tent.
2. We can keep our peace, even in the mystery.
3. God is just as faithful in the winter seasons as He is in the summer ones.
4. Sometimes the only thing we can control is not falling off the bike as we are forced to take the hairpin turn in front of us.
5. Don’t judge a season until it’s over. Sometimes we misunderstand what God may be doing while we’re still in the moment.
6. Breathe and don’t make any big decisions, even if they are making sense in the moment… wait a few months and ask a few people before changing anything major about your life.
7. Focus on the things that are still the same. The stability and consistency of the things that haven’t changed will anchor you as you deal with the instability of what has.
8. God works things together for good. Stay hopeful, if it’s not good, it’s not the end.
9. Winter means spring is coming. Every season ends. After pain, joy comes around again. Don’t get stuck in the pain.