the one about everything


I have tried to write this post so many times, but with each try, I fail to find the words.

For the first time ever, I think I am speechless. 

I'm going to try this one more time.

At my 25 week appointment, when we learned that my cervix was dangerously short and could be threatening a pre-term delivery, we were told then that our chances of carrying Shiloh to 36 weeks were very slim.

So we started the procardia and the progesterone injections and the bed rest along with weekly/biweekly ultrasounds and non stress tests. A few weeks later, I began managing my gestational diabetes. I wrecked my van by colliding with public transit, and the rest was history. 

The one thing keeping me going was knowing that I will eventually see her face. Someday, this will all be over, and I will hold my baby. The daily challenges and obstacles that plague me will be a distant memory. That day will come. 

Luke has told me multiple times throughout our relationship in a variety of circumstances, "It won't be like this forever."

I wanted to make it to 37 weeks. I told myself I would. And at 37 weeks, 2 days, Shiloh was born.

Just like the pregnancy, her birth was different than my other two. But I suppose now that I think about it, her labor and delivery serve as a fitting metaphor for the pregnancy as a whole.

Though I knew in my gut that this it was true labor, the process was slow. I didn't progress as quickly as I did with Charlotte, leaving me to labor for about 12 hours through the night. Like my pregnancy, it felt like an eternity. Like the end was nowhere in sight. Like the anticipation and anxiety alone would cause my heart to just give out and stop beating. 

Luke was there, of course, but as he drifted in and out of sleep throughout the night, I was left to my own thoughts and management of my pain and feelings…as I often was while alone and on bed rest. I hated nearly every minute of having my activities restricted, but I can't tell you the strength and self-control I gained as those weeks passed by. And there I was, utilizing that same strength and self-control in my hospital bed, preparing for her arrival. 

By the time it was actually "time," the pain was a 14 on a sale of 1-10. I've never felt anything like that before. And all of a sudden, even though I begged, there was no time for an epidural. Again. What seemed like a slow and sluggish labor quickly became fast and intense. In a similar way, my pregnancy seemed to drag on forever, but all of a sudden it would be over before I knew it.

They called for the anesthesiologist anyway, and I saw his feet beneath the curtain at the entrance to my room. But it was too late. It was time to just get through it. I had experienced each and every physical and emotional pain throughout this pregnancy, and now I had one last obstacle to hurdle.

It wasn't pretty. It wasn't graceful. It wasn't made for a TV movie. I didn't feel in control of my pain or my body or my words whatsoever. 

I yelled that my head was going to explode.

FYI...It didn't. 

And within minutes, the tiniest, most beautiful, dark haired beauty was placed upon my chest. Healthy as could be. Calm and peaceful. Perfect in every way.

I don't remember crying. I'm sure I did a little, but I don't remember it. I just remember feeling victorious. I remember feeling insanely proud and relieved. 

Shiloh Frances, 6 pounds, 5 ounces, of pure joy.

After learning that we made it to 37 weeks, a well-intentioned person told me with a chuckle, "All of that for nothing, huh?"

almost bought into that line of thought, too… but then I look at her and think... for nothing?

11 shots of progesterone in my butt (and another 2 shots of steroids)

150+ procardia pills to swallow

200+ finger pricks to test my blood sugar

80+ doses of metformin

Roughly 4 combined hours of NST monitoring

10+ cervical and abdominal ultrasounds

1-3 appointments weekly for 10+ weeks

Plus bed rest, food restrictions, and missing countless social events

It was not for nothing. It was for everything.

And I would do it all over again.

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