This week I am 36 weeks pregnant and on Monday we scheduled my induction.
It’s so exciting to finally have a date to look forward to! I am scheduled to be induced on the morning of Monday, July 20th when I am 38 weeks exactly. Of course, if there are no beds available and they are too full, my induction will be postponed so I’m trying not to put all of my hopes on that specific day. There is a small chance that Nora will decide to come sooner than that, but I highly doubt it. At my 36 week appointment I found out I’m dilated to 3 cm already and my contractions continue throughout each day. There have also been a few other signs of preterm labor but for now we are just waiting it out at the Ronald McDonald House. It is a bit stressful because my parents plan to come a couple days before the induction to watch the boys for us, but we don’t really know what to do if I go into labor before then. It’s about an eleven hour drive so chances are I would have the baby before they even got here if I actually did go into labor (Liam’s labor and delivery was 12 hours start to finish and Asher’s was 6.) My parents are packed and ready in case they need to come with little notice, but I would hate for them to drive all the way here if I never really went into labor. We do have a friend of my mom’s on standby to help with the boys in case of an emergency, which is very kind of her.
Yesterday I started taking a drug called phenobarbital three times a day. Dr. Moise wants me to take it for ten days prior to delivery. It’s commonly used as an anti-seizure medication but when taken during pregnancy it helps develop the baby’s liver. Nora’s liver will play a big part in how well she deals with the anemia and jaundice after she is born. Technically, she will have HDN or “Hemolytic disease of the newborn” which is why she will be in the NICU, even if she is full term with no preemie issues. If I am able to get in ten full days of phenobarbital before she arrives, her NICU stay will be shorter. Emotionally, I am all over the place. I’m torn between desperately wanting Nora OUT of my dangerous womb and wanting her to stay in to get the phenobarbital that she needs. To make matters worse, I have an excess amount of fluid (mild polyhydramnios) which makes it harder for me to feel Nora’s movements. She has been sluggish and lethargic lately and it scares me. I think of all the babies (in “normal” pregnancies) who have been stillborn during the last weeks and days of pregnancy. I know her heart could stop at any moment. The boys kiss my belly CONSTANTLY and tell me how much they love “their baby.” It is the sweetest and most terrifying thing. I can’t imagine how heartbroken they would be if we lost her. All of these fears seem to be culminating right at the end of my pregnancy, which is, ironically, the safest part of my pregnancy probably. Dr. Moise told me today not to worry and that I WILL be driving home to Alabama with Nora ALIVE. I read this simple verse the other day and it was just what I needed.
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Somehow, after all these years, it is still not my first reaction (usually) to trust God when I am afraid. I don’t know why that is…maybe my sin nature or my stubbornness or pride. I am making a conscious effort today and over the next couple of weeks to put my trust in God when I am afraid. I don’t need to put my trust in my ability to count her kicks or in the doctor’s ability to get her here safely (although both of those things are very important.) Ultimately, her life is in God’s hands and I will choose to trust Him. That is what brings me peace and quiets my heart.
I know I have shared this letter before, but I want to share it again. On this day, three years ago I wrote a letter to my daughter. I had such a strong sense that she was coming and I would have a daughter next. We had our two boys and were just beginning to talk about maybe having a third baby. I felt compelled to write this letter to my girl. I’ll share it again because it brings me comfort and I feel like it applies to Lucy as well as Nora.
To My Daughter,
I feel your creation on the horizon. Like the smell of a rainstorm coming- a beautiful rainstorm that’s been prayed for. I see your Maker readying Himself to make you. I can’t wait to meet you. I know you’re coming. I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do. You are wanted so very much. You are coming and I am hopefully waiting with open arms; my sweet, beautiful daughter to be.
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
I love knowing that all of Nora’s days have already been written down in God’s book and the number of them is completely out of my control. I can’t wait to meet her.
We still need your prayers and are so thankful that you have stuck with us throughout this long pregnancy. Please pray that Nora continues to flourish in my womb and arrives ALIVE and healthy. Please pray that we have childcare whenever my labor starts so that Josh can be there for his daughter’s birth. Our next appointment is on Monday, July 13th. I will keep everybody updated!