It’s almost here.
Less than two weeks from now will mark the one-year anniversary of my baby’s wild entry into the world.
One year since my water broke at four in the morning six weeks before my due date, I got up to clean the kitchen and move laundry, all before waking Jeff and telling him that he wouldn’t be going to work that day.
In case you’re wondering, 34 weeks gestation is way too early to birth a baby. I don’t recommend doing it.
I drove myself to the hospital that morning, whilst Jeff got the oldest boys off to school and arranged for someone to watch Charlie. It was surreal waddling into Labor and Delivery by myself. They asked me if I was married. I should have snorted and said something snarky, but I didn’t.
We spent a day in Labor and Delivery, just waiting. They don’t let you leave once your fluids rupture because a) risk of infection and b) the baby’s delivery is inevitable. I find it curious that all of our tremendous medical advances still can’t use a little duct tape to patch the leak in one’s uterus, so to speak. Water breaking = baby coming. Even if it’s too early.
Truman arrived 24 hours later. In the first few hours of life, he struggled to breathe and underwent a stressful hour of invasive prepping in order to take an ambulance ride to a larger hospital with a bigger NICU, which contained the specialized ventilator his tiny lungs required.
I stayed behind at the little hospital, sans baby. I also do not recommend doing this.
Certain memories glisten as they surface from the murky depths of my mommy-brain when I think about the twenty-five days which followed.
Eating pork enchiladas in my hospital bed with my bosom friend Chris, who let me tell her all the disgusting details, and who made me feel sort-of normal again.
Crying via iphone to my dear friend Terra in Hawaii, who checked on me regularly and cheered me up just because she always “gets” it.
Listening, en route to visit Truman for the first time, to my pal Bea tell me about the already-arranged weeks of dinners my neighbors had volunteered to bring us.
My sis Kate mopping my floor.
My SIL Mia (post-partum herself) bringing me a casserole and some teeny tiny baby socks.
My next-door neighbor holding my tiny preemie.
My other next-door neighbor driving my 4th-grader to school all winter long.
My sisters bringing baby gifts to the NICU, and making it feel more like a party and less like a black hole that sucks you in and doesn’t let you leave.
My support group sending bagels, freezer dinners, diapers, and baby gifts–all packaged and delivered by self-designated spokeswoman Traci (because moms of special children have nothing else to worry about, right?).
While far from being exhaustive, this list reveals something.
It was something which crystallized and clearly illuminated my befuddled brain in a time of sleep-deprivation and stressed out other children.
It was this: while Truman grew and slept in his isolette, God held me in the palm of his hand.