I started to worry right then.
The neonatologist then came to see me to talk to me about what could happen if I deliver right then. The baby would no doubt have to go to NICU. How long the baby stays there will depend on how strong the baby is. He has seen babies discharged after only a few days. Then there were also babies that needed several weeks at the NICU. I did NOT want my baby to go to the NICU. The doctor said that I would have to pump my milk and then will have that fed to the baby. I wanted my baby with me. I wanted those first moments with my baby, breastfeeding and bonding. I cherished those times with my other children. I did not want to not have that chance with this baby.
As soon as the doctor left the room, I turned to DH and started to cry. Heck, I'm tearing up right now. I want the best for my babies. I want what's ideal for them. I breastfeed them for as long as I can to give them the best possible start in life. I home-cook their meals to lessen their exposure to preservatives and other chemicals. I've started to use more green cleaning supplies to minimize their exposure to harmful chemicals and vapors. I homeschool them so I can give them the best atmosphere as they are growing up, conducive for their minds and heart. Most importantly, I pray for them, knowing that I do not hold their lives in my hand. Only God knows what is best for each of them.
So, that's what DH and I did at that moment. We prayed together. We prayed hard to protect this baby. We prayed hard that my body will cooperate. We called and texted friends to pray with us. I got my rosary and asked for our Mother's intercession as I lay on my hospital bed throughout the night.
And God answered our prayers. My contractions began to be less intense. Then they started to come more sparingly. I was even able to doze off for a few minutes here and there.
By 10 am the next morning, my contractions had become so irregular, coming between 30-45 minutes apart. The doctor felt that the danger of going into labor had passed and discharged me, ordering me on bed rest. Did I have anyone who could help me with our other kids, she asked. I smiled and immediately told her that my parents were coming in that very day. Coincidence? I say God's providence.
Throughout this experience, one phrase echoed in my mind and heart, an assurance of God's loving presence...
"My grace is sufficient for you..."
Indeed, His grace is sufficient.
The waiting and praying is not over yet. I am praying that we will last at least 2 more weeks before I deliver. Better yet if I go full-term.
"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
This is the weakest and most helpless I have felt in a long time. I am confined to my bed, only getting up to go to the bathroom and to shower. I cannot even sit up for long periods of time because then I start to feel the contractions coming again. I feel so useless. I feel sorry for my husband who has to work hard outside the home and then take care of the kids when he gets home. While he's out of the house, I know he worries about me because he checks on me several times by phoning me. I feel bad for my parents who have to deal with my kids and their own jet lag. And they're older too so I know this must not be easy for them. I feel bad for my kids that they are suddenly confined to staying inside the house.
Yet, the Lord reassures me...
"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness"
Yes, Lord, Your grace is all I need. I have been made weak. May my weakness glorify You. Use my helplessness to manifest Your awesomeness.
Your grace is sufficient.