Why haven't you washed the bottles for Emilee, why are they still in the box sitting on the counter?
I know the answer. I knew it the first time I asked myself it. I knew it today when Mark asked me why they haven't been washed yet, seeing as how delivery is a maximum of 5 days away. It's a question answered with a question. The same question my kids often ask me.
What if she doesn't make it?
They're not cheap. We could return them.... you know, in case something happens.
It's the same reason everything we've been given still has a tag on it.
And lest you think I'm odd, I'm willing to bet I'm not alone in this place. I'm (unwillingly) part of a group of women who've lost their babies, who've watched their friend's bury their babies, and whose kids are all too acquainted with death.
It's a reality. We've lost 2 babies. My kids know this. My best friend lost her 34 day old son, Jackson. Our good friends lost their son, Wade, 4 days before his scheduled delivery. It's life. It's real. And it's part of who I am. I see life through this filter, although I wish I didn't.
And it lingers. The thought. The fear. The panic.
What if something happens?
5 days. 5 days. Actually like 4 1/2 at this point, but who's counting?
When we were told 7 weeks ago that she was measuring 4 weeks ahead, I was relieved.
Good, maybe that means she'll come early! Oh please oh please oh please!
Less time for me to worry and fret over her well being.
And a week went by, then another, and another, and now here we are just 5 days away from her scheduled delivery.
Her size is large, no doubt. They estimated her to be 5 lbs. 11 oz seven (yes 7) weeks ago. She's so large that I'm considered high risk now and monitored very closely, having non-stress tests every single week I go in. Her movement has decreased because she's, no doubt, crowded. And so now I have to keep up with her movements, making sure she moves every 3-4 hrs and if she doesn't then I have to drink something sweet and count movements for the following 2 hrs. It's tiresome, not because it's hard, but because it's emotionally draining.
Draining, like waking up at 3:30 in the morning realizing I hadn't felt her move in 4 hrs. Draining, like drinking orange juice and laying back down to count movements. Draining, like waking Mark up and beginning to panic because she wouldn't move. Draining, taking 45 minutes to get her to move just once. Then 10 more minutes to get her to move another time.
And then Satan creeps in like he always does, echoing lies that God can't be trusted. Reminding me of the times we lost #3 and #4. The times I petitioned God, begged on their behalf, only to be answered with "no." There are reminders everywhere - living within my memories, sitting as a memory candle on my dresser, in the questions of my kids. And in those dark moments of despair, fearing the worst, it would be easy to listen to the lies. But I refuse.
I refuse to believe that God isn't good and that He hasn't been faithful.
Because He has.
I can't tell you the number of times I just wanted to feel her move and would begin praying that God would let her kick or roll and before the words could ever leave my mouth, she would begin moving. Scripture has come to life in those moments with these words echoing ever true.
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
I have no doubt in my mind that there's a reason why she's not here yet. A reason why she's hanging tight and measuring ahead. It's a reason God has often spoken to me.
Just trust Me, Phoebe.
I don't know what the next five (4 1/2) days hold. I don't know how big she's going to be. I don't know if she'll be healthy or if there will be delivery complications. I don't know any of these things.
But He does.
And that's all that matters.
And as I sit here with Emz's song ringing in my head (listen below), these words are truer than ever.
"He's always been faithful to me."
And because of that, it's now bottle washing time.
Good night, friends.