1. This morning I woke up and got ready for my midwife appt. Right as I was headed out the door I recieved a phone call that they'd need to reschedule because Louise was at the hospital with a Mom (actually 2) in labor. I made a new appt for Monday morning and quickly mentioned that she (the baby) hadn't been moving much (or moving at all) the last day and a half and the sooner I could reschedule, the better I'd feel. I recieved a phone call back about 5 min later sending me to the hospital for a non-stress test.
2. The 30 min drive there was filled with me battling off my overactive imagination and all the thoughts of "what if something really IS wrong?" and the plethora of recent images flooding through my head. Like the one of Ava coming into my room every morning lately and peeking into the empty bassinett while awaiting a baby to arrive in there and how I would explain if anything happended... and we lost her... How would I explain to this little child... How I would explain to Shaun... How I would find the ability to embrace this ...if somehow we lost her... all these things rushing through my mind ...and me rubbing my belly and hoping she would just go ahead and kick like she usually did whenever I was worried. I drove silently, but made a handful of phone calls to answering machines, nonchalantly ask for prayers that all be well. I tried to trust and brush my fears aside... and breathe.
3. I arrived and was hooked up to the monitor and tried not to feel foolish or "over-reactive". The nurse, Shelley who tended to me had been one of the ones to take care of me during my long hospital stay with Ava.
She reassured me that it was right that I'd come in. She asked where they usually found her heartbeat and I pointed to the spot. She placed the monitor there and....
...first a dim, then increasing bumpa bumpa bumpa... and then I could really breathe.
I knew the sound of her heartbeat.
Knew before they told me that she was ok.
I was SO relieved.
And then a few minutes later she finally started to move and kick me.
I'd missed that.
4. I rested my head back for the rest of the test and prayed. I almost cried in gratitude. I don't know why I felt the need to "hold my tears in" and "be strong"... some foolish reason I suppose, but inside I was SO thankful she was ok. She was ok.
5. Louise came in and I joked that I was determined to keep my appointment today no matter what and she smiled that saintly smile and told me how happy she was that everything was good and my blood pressure was excellent and that we'd be able to finally have this baby all natural.
I stopped her and looked at her and said again... "Louise, you know I wouldn't be able to have this baby naturally had it not been for everything you did for me during Ava's delivery. Please know how grateful I am for you..." and then I stopped before the tears started flowing.
6. I drove home so grateful for the health of my baby, but concious of how many go for these tests and do not have the same happy news. I lifted up the other mothers who felt the same fears and called my husband to reassure him all was fine.
I thought of the little girl he had already given to me that was playing happily at home with Nana... and again was thankful. It's amazing how quickly we can turn from worry to gratitude isn't it?
7. Tonight Shaun's older and beautiful, Cheyanne finally was able to come visit. Ava was beside herself with joy! She loves her sister so much, it's a beautiful thing to watch. I mean... just LOOK at her snuggling as close as she can to her!
We ate banana splits and watched THIS movie.
All of us let the tears flow freely and I was so grateful for the gift of life ...AND for the gift to be ABLE to be grateful for the gift of life.
I couldn't help but think of THIS POST I had written last year after an unexpected evening brought with it tremendous gratitude.
Extra 8. Today as we remember all those who braved the bitter cold to March in defense of Life in Washington, DC, let us continue to be grateful for all that we have and to keep praying for a country that loves and cherishes life. Someday it will end... someday.