There have been about as many "bad days" as There have been "I don't want to"'s in this pregnancy.
I don't want to be pregnant.
I don't want another baby right now.
I don't want to labor and deliver so close to the last one.
I don't want to be pregnant and sick.
I don't want to throw up.
I don't want to throw up again.
I don't want to go to the hospital to have this baby.
I don't want to have to have blood work again.
I don't want another glucose test.
I don't want to hear that.
I don't want to deal with a diagnosis that has a terminal outlook.
I don't want to be induced.
I don't want to go into preterm labor.
I don't want to terminate this pregnancy.
I don't want to go past 40 weeks.
I don't want to have to say goodbye.
I don't want to have my baby die in my arms, or worse before she is placed there.
Today I found myself nearly kicking and screaming about more decisions and more outcomes as this pregnancy progresses.
A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
And I can honestly say, through it all, I just don't want to be afraid.
If you had asked me a few years ago, a few weeks ago, tonight- what my greatest fears were/are, I would tell you Needles, roller-coasters, hospitals, dead things and snakes.
In the last 4 months, I've encountered them all.
And I may have to encounter them all again.
A few months back, as is the norm in SW Florida, an evening rain flooded the roads. Inches of water outside ran like miniature rivers carrying leaves, mulch, and debri to the nearest storm drain.
That night, I drove the kids into the garage to not have us all soaking wet.
I unloaded adalynn in her infant seat, and unbuckled Wesley. They were both safely inside as I went back to help McKenna and teaghan exit safely from the car that was dripping, the garage door closed behind us now.
And as I walked back around the car, between me and the door, a black snake laid.
Immediately backed up and told the girls to exit a different door of the car, and we bolted into the house.
I closed the door to the garage, but the slim space between the flooring and door edge seemed to grow wider as I stared it down.
"Surely, it will only be moments before its trying to come in the house." My brain rationalized.
Within moments, I had entered a full blown panic, and called every trustworthy make within a 100-mile radius of my house to quickly come take care of the intruder.
I rolled up and shoved a towel at the base of the door, as if the killer-attacking snake would care, and backed away again.
Gripped by fear, tears rolled, my breathing became shallow, and the most horrendous thoughts (to most unreasonable or impossible) made perfect and logical sense to me.
Paco was able to leave work for a moment, and help with the uninvited guest.
He swept it out easily with a broom, and we haven't seen the punk snake since.
That was a terrible day.
But reality? It was mine.
I was freaking out, terrified, and rattled to the core, by a snake that was probably more scared of me than I was of it.
I'm not saying we can't have dislikes in this world. There are plenty. And I'm not suggesting that in order to "rid ourselves of fear" we should all bring pet snakes home and embrace co-living. Far from it.
But I remember my brother saying to me, after the ordeal was done and over, "Bri you need to deal with that fear, it's out of control, or it will control you."
I'm sitting here now, in my living room, while Paco and my parents watch a movie. I can't even focus. It's been another horrible and no good day.
Today at what will be nearly my last appointment for Esther Jubilee's pregnancy, I was given the most terrifying news- second to "you'll be birthing a snake"!
They scanned me with an ultra sound machine, briefly, and told me they were certain her head is tucked up near my rib cage.
The good news is, they couldn't see much else. The doctor performing the scan, had no idea she was even diagnosed with Anencephaly- because she was tucked so far into my ribs. He said "wow! Well, I can't confirm the diagnosis like this, but I had no idea!" We couldn't get a clear shot to see if the miracle of forming a new skull had taken place, or not. But the doctor showed incredible signs of hope, when for the last four or so months, all else has been hopeless.
The fact still remains, that at 39 weeks, Esther is breech.
The danger now lies in my ability to deliver her without harm to myself. They won't allow a breech delivery, and really weren't interested in giving her a chance or time to turn. His suggestion was to schedule a C-Section for tomorrow morning.
After explaining and talking with him, he agreed to wait and see if she flips by my next appointment next Tuesday, and in the event that she has not, I'll need a C-Section in order to prevent spontaneous labor with her in the breech position.
In the office, I remained calm and cool. I backed up out of the office like I had seen the snake again. I calmly and slowly made my way to the front desk to schedule my next appointment.
The girl, unknowingly, quoted me the time of the next appointment- for next Tuesday.
I opened my phone to input the appointment reminder on my calendar app- and remembered as I scrolled through the dates, that next Tuesday is my birthday.
I couldn't even thank the girl as I choked back tears.
I exited the office, put my over-sized sunglasses on, and allowed the fear and worry to escape through my eyes and down my cheeks.
"Oh God- did you bring me this far, to have me confront my worst fears on my birthday, and possibly face death all at the same time?"
"Who am I that you think I'm so strong to handle such news?"
"What have I done to prove I'm capable of such extreme measures?"
I can stand on the word, but I found myself thinking of Job, and wondering how God could have allowed such a thing to pass through His sovereignty, and all the while know I could come out on the other side, one way or another, so long as He is with me.
"God" I thought, "what are you doing?"
I still don't know.
I wish I could say the clouds parted and a voice from heaven thundered affirmation or clarity. But it didn't.
I wish I could say the holy spirit descended like a dove, and gently rested itself on my shoulder reminding me of God's favor and comfort. But it didn't.
I rode home in disbelief, in turmoil, in tears.
Did He bring me this far to leave me stranded with my worst fears? Needles, hospitals, major surgery, a roller coaster of emotion, and death? And to have it all come to a grand finalè on my birthday, like a fowl memorial set in stone for years to come. Like a calendar of bad days.
I wish I could tell you that tonight I sit confidently in my faith and confident in His ability to provide a way- but I would be lying. Because doubt and fear and torment take over.
So tonight, I ask for two very specific requests:
1) that regardless of the outcome, I would be in perfect peace. That I am above all, clothes in His grace, and given the comfort and sustenance for each day- one by one- until the end. I am physically and emotionally and spiritually drained. Walking by faith is an uphill battle, in boots too big, with mud inches deep. It's slippery and wet, and it's hard and taxing. And I've been at it for some time. The news today was like a mudslide knocking back down to the near bottom, and requiring me in my most exhausted state, to press on harder and faster to reach the top.
2) that Esther Jubilee would turn to a head-down, anterior position. She moves all the time, and I'm certain she moves from top to bottom often, as my stomach does the strangest of maneuvers and her kicks move from low to high near my ribs as each day passes. I am in the process of doing some exercises to help turn her, and am confident God is able to do it.
But more than any of the above- I want to walk without fear. If a snake slivered across my face, or death stares me back, or surgery with multiple needles is required- I do not want to be gripped by fear. And now is my moment to walk through the fire- and come out not burned, or even smelling of flame.
Tonight, I'm standing on Isaiah 43. It's been an anchor through this storm, for certain:
When you walk through the waters, I will be with you.
When you pass through the rivers strong, I will be there.
For I am the lord your God.
And the flame, you will not be burned.
So as I sit and think of all the possibilities and outcomes, I am reminded that He is greater. He is stronger. And he will not be put to shame.
Not because He needs to prove His power to any man. But because of His loving kindness, and gracious love- He will do it.
Because He loves me He gave me another day. And because I love Him, I will rejoice- because this is a strong He has made.
My birthday this year could mark the worst of the worst of days. But it wouldn't compare to His day, when He hung on a cross.
And even then, His worst day, made my best day possible.
Through His worst fears, and anxieties, His frailty as a human, He endured the cross to give me redemption. And that, is a good day!
Who knows, my birthday could be the wrapping paper to the greatest day for me as a mom. It could be a day of redemption once again, where impossible becomes possible. But I know that He will be with me.
Through the worst and. Eat, He will be there.
And He's here now. And He won't ever leave me. And that makes today, a good day.