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4/26 Fears Relieved

April 26, 2018 | 26 weeks

After this week's scare, I started thinking (worrying) some more about my pregnancy, delivery and the possible complications. I had my second appointment with my new OB today and went over some of these medical fears with her. 

The Delivery
I'm very afraid of the delivery, especially if I make it full-term. I have only ever had normal deliveries, and there is nothing normal about this one. Baby is in breech position, so I'm already afraid of baby getting stuck. Because of the enlarged kidneys, baby's abdomen is disproportionately large, which makes me even more afraid of baby getting stuck in the birth canal and me needing an emergency c-section or something. I even read one mom express fears of baby getting stuck and not coming out in one piece, so now I'm horrified at that possibility, too. The doctor, first of all, assured me that the possibility of baby not coming out in one piece is extremely low. And then she basically reminded me that I'm not full-term right now, and told me that I'm still early enough and baby is still small enough, that I don't need to be afraid of complications with the delivery at this point, especially since my body has gone through 6 deliveries before.

Extra Physical Pain
I'm afraid that since I have no amniotic fluid, I've been warned that my contractions will be stronger and much more painful. If baby dies in the womb, labor will have to be induced, and I'm afraid that I will have to have an epidural. I've never had an epidural, and I know many women have and have come out just fine, but then I hear those stories of women who have nerve damage from their epidurals, and I'm afraid that I will become one of those stories. The doctor assured me that I would not need an epidural if baby passes in the womb. I could receive pain relief medication of needed, because there's no need to be cautious about drugs passing the placenta blood barrier.

I'm afraid that since I have no amniotic fluid, that my placenta will not detach fully & I will end up hemorrhaging. I can only pray about this one. I'm going to be in a great hospital, and I need to trust that the Lord will take care of me and that the hospital staff will take care of me.

I'm afraid of scarring from a possible c-section (if I make it full-term) or from extra stretch marks. I'm reminded of the story of how Jacob wrestled with God all night and had a limp afterward for the rest of his life (Genesis 32). This forever physical handicap would be a permanent reminder to him of that wrestling. I realize that I, too, have been wrestling with God in this pregnancy. Wondering why the Lord has brought this disease upon our baby. Struggling with feelings of shame and guilt. And I realize that I, too, will be permanently affected by this. The death of a child is something I will never ever get over or forget, no matter how much time passes. It will remain with me for the rest of my life. And if I end up with a permanent mark on my body, then I will accept it as the Lord's way of reminding me what He has lovingly, mercifully, faithfully brought me through.

Gaining Weight
I am gaining my regular pregnancy weight. Baby is growing bigger. I'm growing bigger. I didn't lose all of my baby weight after those 2 back-to-back miscarriages, so I already started off this pregnancy heavier than my first 6. And I can't help but think that this is all for nothing. It's frustrating. In a normal pregnancy, I would be gaining weight for baby's benefit. I would be storing up fat for breastfeeding my newborn child. If what the doctors say is true, then I will have no baby to nurse, and I am gaining this weight and storing up this fat in vain. I know that ultimately, it's not in vain, because through this experience the Lord is sanctifying me, building my character, and preparing me for an eternal reward that far outweighs the best thing this world has to offer. But since every pound I see is stealing my joy, I decided not to weigh myself anymore. I want to enjoy this pregnancy. I want to love my baby fully. I'll deal with the dieting & exercise & weight loss afterwards. Maybe all the extra fat on my belly is serving as a loving cushion for this little life that doesn't have the comfort of amniotic fluid.

Not Bonding With Baby
I want so desperately to bond with this baby and love this baby the same as I love each of my other kids. I'm afraid that I will be scared of holding a dead baby. I'm afraid that baby might have a disturbing physical feature which will make me hesitant to fall in love with this child. My prayer is that I will love the face that I see. That this baby will look just like all of his/her older siblings. That I will recognize this baby as a Davies, as one of us, as a genuine part of our family.

I feel the depression and bitterness trying to take root in my heart. This is already an extremely sad and hard time. I'm afraid I will experience post-partum depression, because my hormones will be the usual crazy, post-birth, but then on top of that, I'm afraid I will have this unbelievable sadness as I see my empty womb and empty arms and empty crib and empty car seat and empty everything. I hope and pray that even though my womb bears no fruit this time, and all my labor will yield no baby, and even though my arms and crib will be empty, that, like Habbakuk says in these verses, I may still be able to rejoice in the Lord, the God of my salvation:

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
-Habbakuk 3:17-18

I realize, I don't need to worry about what will happen if I make it to 38 weeks with a breech baby who has a swollen abdomen and zero amniotic fluid. I don't need to worry about what my post-partum recovery will be like. Right now, at 26-27 weeks, those things are not a concern, so I will not get lost in worry over them. I will choose to take it one appointment at a time (my appointments are now every 2 weeks apart). I can't handle the weight of worry if I think about all the things that could/would possibly go wrong, but I can handle the immediate days ahead until my next appointment. 

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

I turned my fears into prayers. I turned to God's word to find truth & comfort for all my doubts and fears. I shared my fears with others so that they could be praying for me, too. And I am thankful that the Lord has provided me an OB who is so incredibly supportive and comforting. My fears have been relieved. Thank you, Lord.


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