Why is it that I have talked about people having babies and I have held babies and I have heard people talk about being in labor but I have had no idea about the process? Rod and I began our birthing class last night and I now feel a bit more in control as the "unknown" has revealed itself. As we sat in a room full of first time parents, some further along than us, most a bit behind, the miracle happening inside me became more real. And the feared reality of getting her out became something that I need to embrace, and begin now telling myself "you can do it, you can do it"!
As those of you who read my blog or have talked to me know, I have been really ok with all that we will be facing with Viv. Last night, as I began to be able to imagine what labor will look like , our reality became more real to me. I can feel my usually strong demeanor facing some crackling. Everything I have ever imagined for the birth of my child, of holding her, of people visiting our new family in the hospital being able to pass her around, breastfeeding--these things are all a non-reality. Thinking about this, a saddness wells from the depths of my being. A saddness I think I have pushed out since we first found out about Vivi in March. Although I soaked in so much at the class, I was a little distracted by my feelings. I felt a few times like I was going to cry (not that a pregnant Maria crying is abnormal).
Monday, we visited Children's for the last time before Viv is born, which was a relief! Because the fluid in her stomach and around her heart has not changed, the doctors feel confident that she is good to go for the next 7 weeks. I asked if we could take an impromptu tour of where we would be once she is born after surgery. We had a wonderful child-life specialist lead us through the maze we would be walking for weeks following her birth and recovery. These moments were my hardest moments as a mother-to-be since we found out about Vivi's heart. I couldn't wait for the tour to be over--the whole time I was choking back tears. Getting closer to facing the reality is scary and quite frankly it sucks. This isn't how I ever thought I would become a mom, or how my little treasure would meet me in this world--behind plastic walls and through tubes and IVs. Luckily, Rod and I drove together and once I was in the car, the tears started falling faster and faster on the outside while on the inside the "why God, whys?" played like a broken record.
Of course, in typical Rod fashion, he allowed me to cry on his shoulder. Once I calmed down a little, he just looked into my swollen eyes saying, "Babe, we have to focus on what we can do--bring her into this world, and then trust the right people will be there to do what they know to do to help Viv." Not only did those words comfort my breaking heart, but I realized two amazing things about my husband, our little family and how much God truly loves us and has His hand on us. Rod is so patient, so gentle and so loving. Always. God made Him strong when I was weak--what a wonderful testimony to the sacrament we are living. I saw in Rod's response to my break-down his incredible, unshakable, REAL faith. I am honored, yet again, to be the wife of such an amazing man, but also to be the mother of the child whose father has this response to how she will be entering the world. God is here, in the bittersweet joy of this child.
And how am I today....well, my Baby Girl is active and so alive. I sometimes feel like I already know her. I can't imagine the feeling or reaction when I get to greet her into this world. Our reality is one that only few know. It is not taught in a class, or used to describe a daydream of being a mom. Although I am on a roller coaster, I would stand in line again and again and again to ride it because it is mine.