The Fear is back. I went about a month without worrying about this baby, about whether he would be here healthy and whole and in his full time. Last night and Friday night and now this morning, I have pain under my rib cage, and I am familiar with this kind of pain. It is the pain that the nurses tell you is heartburn if you call them after hours, but that heartburn medication doesn’t help. Last time I believed them and told myself to toughen up – pregnant women get heartburn. Now I know better. Now I know that it could be heartburn and nothing else, or it could be another sign of my best pregnancy friend, pre-eclampsia. It is power and it is a curse. Since I know better, I will not just take the nurses’ word as gospel. I will ask for tests; I will see the doctor. Since I know better, I will not be able to go through the day like everything is fine until I know for sure that everything is fine. I will spend hours fearing what is probably, in all honesty, heartburn, imagining that it could be the first sign that my precious son is not OK.
Speaking of my precious son, his name is Isaac Bernhard. Isaac means laughter, and Bernhard is his daddy’s name. We weren’t 100% sold on the name, but once Natalie adopted it and began telling everyone that her brother’s name is Isaac, we felt committed.
I read on another blog of a pre-e survivor where she wrote all the reasons she was thankful to have gone through this disease. I guess this is something that Oprah says to do – to change the way you look at major events in your life. I’m not sure I can really do that 100% until I am through this pregnancy, but I think it is the right idea. Our sermon at church this weekend dealt with the issue of how sometimes the things that happen to you don’t make sense in the 70 or so years of life on earth, but that the truth is that they are always for your ultimate good in the eternal picture. I believe that is true. The verse is Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” This is very similar to Romans 8:28, but Solomon was more poetic than Paul, and I like his version better. It’s part of the “To every season” passage that most people are familiar with from the song- really beautiful stuff.
So here’s my first stab at it: I am thankful that I had preeclampsia because it has made me treasure my unborn child in a way that I missed out on the first time. With Natalie, I was just pregnant. I didn’t think much about the baby inside or what she would be like. I was young and naïve, and I was excited about having a baby but it just wasn’t real to me. With Isaac, I think about him like a person and I want to get to know him now and take care of him because I don’t take for granted that everything will be perfect when he comes.
And I am thankful of course for my Natalie – for the memories that I have from 2 years ago of her first autumn, getting ready for the holidays while seeing them through the eyes of a child for the first time.
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