My two experiences with pregnancy were not my favorite seasons of life. Both times I had polyhydramnios, which means my body produced way more amniotic fluid than needed. In layman’s terms – my babies were swimming in an Olympic-sized uterine pool. At first this was cause for possible alarm – it could indicate a serious birth defect. Was he peeing but not swallowing? Are his organs and systems developing properly? Most typical pregnancies only had 1 or 2 ultrasounds in those days (not sure how it is now?) but I had one almost every month. This allowed us to take a good look at baby and do
regular measurements of the fluid and my belly. To give you a reference, when I was 30 weeks pregnant my belly measured 42 weeks! And I still had 10 weeks to go! It was uncomfortable to say the least. Uncomfortable with all the stares, with people asking “you haven’t had that baby yet?!” when I was barely halfway through! Uncomfortable with the weight and the strange way my body was changing. Uncomfortable being a spectacle, “Are you having triplets? … Are you sure?!” I was lucky to not have to deal with morning sickness, gestational diabetes, or other issues that lots of moms have to deal with. But the physical changes and attention it brought me made it not my favorite time of life. When the babies came, they were both big fellas. Healthy but big! Colin arrived at 38 weeks weighing 8 lbs and 8 oz. Sam arrived at 39 weeks week at 10 lbs and 2 oz. Thankfully I had c-sections both times. When Sam greeted the world the doctor said, “This baby needs a manssier!” because he looked like a little sumo wrestler. I’m so grateful we were all healthy. But it was a difficult time.
As we follow our state and local Stay At Home orders right now, thanks to COVID-19 and the havoc it is wreaking in our community and country, I remind myself that this is temporary. Surely it will only last a few months (Dear Lord, 3 months or less, please!). I have been home since January when I was laid off, and now the kids are home from school, and Don’s employer has had to cut hours & salaries due to the virus’ economic impact so he is home some, too! I think we are managing (mostly) but this morning I thought, “I don’t know what I’ll do if this goes longer than 3 months!” It’s a scary thought. Not only because of the worry of someone I love getting sick, but also our mental health after being stuck at home for months on end. I bet you can relate.
And then I remembered those 10 months. They were not my favorite. There was lots to dislike during that time. But now that I’m 18 years and 15 years out from them, those 10 months seem like a blink. I somehow managed. We somehow managed. I knew then that one day-at-a-time would get me closer to the end. Closer to the blessing of my baby. Closer to the joys and challenges of parenthood that Don and I signed up for. (More on that in blog posts past and future!) With that in mind, I think we can make it through this season of Stay At Home.
Connecting with family and friends virtually via phone calls, texts and Zoom has been so helpful. Seeing their faces, mostly smiling, sharing our angst and some laughter and some concerns helps me feel connected. Seeing live musical performances online via facebook or elsewhere has been a life saver for me. Tuning in to live-streamed worship services, online quick homilies, or thoughts of day have been comforting. The down time has been nice – time for podcasts, puzzles, dog walks, fires in the fire pit. I hope you and yours are able to take some deep breaths and try to embrace this new life. New for now, anyway. Remember, all we have to do is take it one-day-at-a-time. We can do this.
In the comments I’ll share some links to things that have brought me comfort and joy over these few weeks. Please add what you have found, too! So glad we are in this together.