I lay in bed and realized this is my last full day to be pregnant (sort of), perhaps ever. I don’t want to forget to take a belly picture.
I’m terribly nervous about tomorrow. I’m going to write a birth plan that includes all of the things we want and DON’T want. We’ll go over our requirement that the baby stays with us at all times. If someone really wants to see if she weighs one ounce or two (how much would she weigh, anyway?) then I’m ok with Father walking her down to wherever they keep the scale, but I think that’s highly unlikely. If they do not accede to that requirement, then we will leave. That’s a hard decision to make, but I don’t make it lightly. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for the lab to “need” to check the baby in “for a few hours” or even five minutes.
So many things to do today. Liturgy this morning, of course. I’m not going into this ordeal tomorrow without having communed. I’ll have Father anoint me tonight as well. My biggest priority today is making sure that everything is ready to go, lists made, bag packed, etc. We did find a basket that would work at Michael’s yesterday but I have to line it and “pretty it up”. I decided to take a small CD player and some Orthodox music to the hospital with us. I want to both avoid the silent room effect (I hate the TV) while hearing heart monitors and babies in the background and also want to not forget to focus where I need to be focusing.
One thing that will be travelling with us is an icon of St. Andrew. It’s currently on the altar. Since this baby died on the feast of St. Andrew the name will either be Andrew or Andrea (ahnDRAYuh – I’m picky). Father asked them to rush the icon because it was for the burial of a child and they (the folks at Uncut Mountain) were most obliging. Not only that, but when it came, they put in an extra icon of St. Benedict as a Christmas present. I wrote them back to thank them and told them that what Father hadn’t mentioned was that the child in question was our own, and we thanked them very much for their kindness.
The house is always quiet this early, but this morning it’s preternaturally quiet. No quiet breathing in the other rooms and no Pickles climbing in bed with me. Friends offered to take the children from yesterday until Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how things go, and we dropped them off yesterday. Last night I was naturally enough worrying about them, hoping they’re happy, etc. I told myself that of course the children are fine. I’d trust these friends with my life and I’ve just given them five huge chunks of it. Worrying about them is something that I most definitely have no need of doing. Then I had a thought: I’m trusting friends who do love my children with them and telling myself not to worry. How on earth could I worry about my two children who are in Heaven and much better off than any of us? Sigh. It just comes down to missing them, not worrying I guess.
Sigh again. I mentally can’t get away from tomorrow. Many of you over the years have praised my “pro-life witness” and boy, if this isn’t pro-life witness – insisting that my baby of 13 weeks stay with me, then go home dressed in a tiny gown, in the face of people who would call her medical waste (not an exaggeration – true) – then I don’t know what is.* I would appreciate your prayers that things go smoothly tomorrow.
That brings me to one more thing: gratitude. I can’t believe the number of you who have done your detective work to find out my address and sent letters and cards, many handmade. You will never know how many times those cards (something has arrived every day) have lifted me out of a dark place. And only two of you have I ever met “in real life”. I’m especially grateful for those of you who have taken the time to tell me, whether by card or email, how something I’ve written about this baby or Innocent has helped them or a friend or family member.* Knowing that good things have come from my children’s deaths is bittersweet, but that’s much better than bitter. I certainly don’t deserve any of this, but I’m very grateful. We may have to get a bigger memory box or two for this baby if too many more cards come! (:
Given how much of a talker (writer) I am, I’m sure I’ll post again before tomorrow morning. But I will definitely post when we get back from the hospital. I’m hoping to have a “bloggable” picture to post as well. Thank you all again for all of your love and prayers.
*After some reflection I realized this all sounded rather self-aggrandizing. What I should say more clearly, is that I’ve been able to see how God has used bad situations for good. I’m honestly not trying to toot my own horn.