Yesterday we had an appointment for another fetal echocardiogram. Everything is structurally fine. The pediatric cardiologist said that a rhythm problem could show up at anytime but that VT (ventricular tachycardia) is very, very rare and it is very unlikely that our little hope baby will ever develop this problem. However...however... probability and statistics mean nothing to me now.
I wish so often that things were different in our family. I know that these are wishes and that wishes are just that, wishes. But I just can't stop wishing for my daughter in my arms. We brought some blankets from our neighbour to the NICU at the Stollery yesterday too. The NICU is right across the hall from the PICU. I walked through the hospital with my Samuel. We walked the same halls and staircases that I had walked so many, many times when Eva was admitted. Samuel reminded me to sanitize my hands when we walked in...he remembers how much I tried to protect Eva from anything and how careful I was (still am) about hospital germs. We walked down to the NICU and dropped off the blankets. I looked through the window at all those little babies and their worried mamas. I thought about how hard it is to be there and just watch your baby lying there. Hoping and hoping that she will improve. I didn't want to do that. But as a mama, you do what you have to do.
Then I stopped in at the PICU social worker's office. She gave me a hug and I was happy to see that there was still a photo of Eva on her wall. I gave her the phonecards that we always bring to the Stollery PICU when we're in town. Long distance phone cards that you can buy right across the street at the Mac's but that Mac's could have been in another country, as far as I was concerned, when we were in PICU. I put labels on the cards that they are donated in memory of our Eva, and her dates, and Lord, haste the day. Because I.just.can't.wair for the day when all will be made clear. The day that Jesus comes.
And then last night we were at the hotel and around 8:30 pm I started having contractions. They were about 10-15 minutes apart but got closer together and at about 10:15 pm they started coming every 3 minutes and were intense. So intense that I couldn't walk or talk through them. I'll admit I was scared.
Eva's birth was 4 hours from the first twinge to holding my girl. And right now I'm only 32 weeks. I know the survival rate is good for a pre-term delivery at 32 weeks but I also know so so many people who have lost babies and children. Those mamas and babies were in my mind when I decided to call a taxi and head to ER at the Royal Alex (we had just been there in the morning for the echo).
I got there and the contractions subsided. I felt much better and almost silly for being there but I also knew that I would not have slept with wondering if those contractions had caused some dilation. And had there been something wrong I was much safer in Edmonton at the Royal Alex than at home with our mediocre medical facility.
I was laying there alone in that hospital bed, hooked up to monitors, and listening to the comforting thumpety thump of our little one's heart beat. The contractions subsided and I was comfortable, even sleepy. But I also thought, wow, 8 weeks isn't that long to go when there is stuff to do, kids to school, supper to make, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, foreheads to kiss, bums to wipe, floors to clean, boys to separate, TV's to turn off, dogs to feed, wood to bring in, a husband to love and so many other daily blessings...but lying here would be long, long, long. And then I didn't need to but it all went through my mind anyway...
We're fine now, and home.
And I have all my stuff to do and I feel so blessed to have that stuff to do. I miss my girl so much but am blessed to have this little hope in my belly. This New Life. This Gift from God and from my girl. This Life that wouldn't have been without my little Eva. My little Breath of Life. This hope within me, this hope within my suffering.
I've just finished reading an amazing book, Holding onto Hope, by Nancy Guthrie. I would recommend this book to anyone who is suffering. Nancy lost 2 children to a rare genetic condition but her book resonates with all suffering. It's a small pocketbook, maybe only 120 pages or so but I found it to be so amazing that I was only able to process about 2 chapters a week, at most.
Please read it if you are suffering. Whether from an illness or a broken relationship or the illness of a loved one or as a bereaved mom or dad or as a victim of a crime or as a guilty perpetrator of a crime...it is about all suffering and gives hope. To all. It is one of the best reads I have found as a bereaved mom, and I read alot. I want to buy 10 copies of it just to have it on hand to give to someone who is suffering like me or differently. Because in this life we will have trouble but, take heart, he has overcome the world.
And my grief over Eva knows no bounds but there is hope amidst the suffering. Hope within the suffering.