Yesterday turned out to be a bit of a roller coaster. I was scheduled to go in for my final ultrasound and doctors appointment in the afternoon, and the timing was perfect because I started my day off with some fairly consistent contractions. I felt good knowing that I would be able to go in and have them check everything out and tell me what we needed to do. I went ahead and did some hospital packing, preparing for the small chance that that I wouldn't return home from the appointment, and then I headed out to my car to leave for my appointment. I turned the key, turned it again, and again, and nothing. My car wouldn't start. After going through a few attempts at a quick fix, including pouring a bottle of Pepsi over the battery and trying my hand at jumper cables, I took my mom's car and headed off with just enough time to make it to the first appointment. Stress levels were higher than normal walking in, and then the news that met us what not what I was hoping to hear. There was nothing surprising about Poppy's measurements, as they were virtually the same as last time, but what did alarm me was the fact that her heart rate had dropped almost 20 beats from our last appointment. For some reason, I've had it ingrained in my head that if her heart rate started declining, it was time to get her out. By the time I walked into the doctor's office, I was ready to ask him to go ahead and deliver her immediately and not take any chances on her heart continuing to slow down. However, while in the appointment they took her heart rate three more times, and all three times showed a faster rate. My doctor explained that the variation was not only normal, it was actually a good sign! I admit that it took some time for this to sink in and for me to feel truly convinced. My hope is to make it to the 6th, but far more important than that is having the chance to hold her while she is still with us. Yesterday, I felt blinded to everything else but that one thought.
Yet, before I went in to talk to my doctor I stopped and prayed that God would give Dr. Sullivant wisdom to know exactly what to do. I was in such an emotional state that nothing but sending me to the hospital felt like the right thing, but the doctor told me with no equivocation that she was fine and that she needed to stay this one extra week if at all possible to give her little body the extra days to prepare for life outside of me. I asked about the contractions, and he told me that if I go into labor, I should go to the hospital. That was a little too logical for someone in my supercharged emotional condition, but now having slept a night on it, I am feeling good about his decision and grateful to God for using him as a tool to keep Poppy inside until it is His perfect timing for her to be born.
But, the contractions, while not increasing in intensity, are continuing to come at fairly frequent intervals. It certainly gives a new meaning to walking this journey one day at a time. It is shocking to realize that each day from here on out could be the day we meet Poppy. Somehow I became so consumed with our little timeline and the countdown to December 6th, that this new reality threw me for a loop. Nathan reminded me yesterday that nothing about this pregnancy has been according to our plan or what we expected, so who knows why I am surprised that the end should be the same. What has been clear is that even though this road has held many unexpected twists and turns for us, none of it has been a surprise to God. The same continues to be true.
I am asking God to provide me with a new peace. One that will allow me accept the timing of her delivery no matter when it is. I am also asking Him to send his angels to surround us and protect us from physical and spiritual attacks. Psalm 34:7 says "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them." I claim that promise! The other night someone also shared a blessing from Psalm 61 that I am clinging to. It says "Hear my cry O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Right now I feel as if the waters could come crashing over our heads at any second. I just don't have what it takes to swim and make it on my own. I need Him to place me on that rock that is higher than the waters. He will be the one to keep us from being dragged under by the current because He offers the only safe place to stand.