This has been a very bizarre last month. One week after arriving home from the USA, I was admitted into a hospital for signs of pre-term labor. I stayed in that same hospital for more than four weeks, being monitored every 4 to 6 hours for signs of labor. I was visited by dear friends, hung pictures on the wall of my family, and passed the hours on bedrest. I watched a series on Netflix about a woman held captive and it hit too close to home; I wrote and read and learned to crochet. I took my first wheelchair ride outside two weeks after I arrived and up until that trip, I had only left my room to go to an ultrasound. My family visited me four or five times every week, which included a minimum half hour uber ride for them each way. I was cared for by the most conscientious, kind midwives, nurses, and doctor, and kept well-fed and rested. I never showed signs of labor beyond dilation and a couple of days of a belly ache that could have been contractions.
What do you do with more than four weeks to yourself? I tried to stay busy and tried to stay positive about growing our girl. Each week that passed made her life outside of the womb more sure, more safe. I spoke to my professional team and my friends and family, bouncing back and forth between the languages and the cultures all from within my hospital room. I prayed a lot and tried to stay cognizant of how blessed I was to have both my health and the chance for a healthy baby. I tried not to think about why this had happened, and tried not to get depressed by the global news I now had time to absorb.
Every day, I waited for news about my mom’s latest adventure in her cultural immersion, whether that was the comedy of making friends with the vegetable seller on our street or the confusion of trying to understand the pre-school teacher’s approach to potty training. She and Jeff became a team and took such good care of Rayna that I think my kid sort of got used to me being gone. Jeff remained harried, but was able to get some bike rides in and stayed focused on how valuable each day apart was for our smaller daughter.
And then this week, we decided I could go home. At 32 weeks, our baby is still very tiny but she has passed some important growth milestones. I’ve held off this long, and if labor started, my doctor didn’t see much chance that they’d be able to stop it. We are all hoping for a few more weeks in this bizarre limbo, and the first test was making it through the ride home without going into labor (success!). I remain on bedrest, which means I’m basically just more work for Oma and Jeff, but they seem OK with it. While this has been one of the hardest things we have been through as a family, we were always OK, no one was dying or fleeing from war or being terrorized. Perspective comes in handy when you’re looking at life from here to there.
We’ve grown accustomed to waiting with great uncertainty about what lies ahead and I’d even say we’re OK with it. God has got this, and the people he has brought around us have helped keep us going when we would have crumbled on our own. For these good things, and with hope for our healthy baby, we are so grateful. Love!