My chest feels tight. Although checking items off of my to-do list is always helpful, it can be painful in the process. I just booked a room near the hospital for family. We figure the kids will stay there with my parents for at least a couple nights so they can come back and forth from the hospital without having to drive to/from Olympia. And then the kids will have a fun little getaway with a pool. I'm hoping to give them some positive memories during this uncertain time.
I'm sure that doesn't seem like a big task. But I needed to talk to the hotel manager to make sure the reservation was flexible, so we could cancel without fees, or extend without problems. It just makes my chest tighten to speak the words "my daughter only has a 50% chance of being born alive" out loud. The reality sneaks up on me.
And not knowing how long we'll be in the hospital is strange. But really, that isn't special to our circumstances. Lots of people end up with unexpectedly longer stays in the hospital when they have a baby. Maybe it would have been better for me to not know it was a possibility (a hopeful possibility??)
I go for a bit being able to just feel normal and even relaxed. Then a task comes to my mind and suddenly it obsesses me. I need to know how much time each set of grandparents are willing/wanting to spend with the kids. I need to have a schedule to pass the kids around so I know it's taken care of, so I know where they are. So I know the kids as well as the grandparents are being taken care of, getting an equal chance to spend time with little Abby.
I can't believe we only have 6 weeks until we enter the next chapter of this story. I've never wanted time to go more slowly. I've never felt so anxious about an impending birth.
I'm not always anxious. So often I'm actually feeling excited. I feel her wiggle and kick and I know that in only 6 weeks I will hold her little body in my arms. I will be able to kiss her and touch her. I can't wait for that moment, whether or not she is alive. To see her feet, to hold her little clenched hands, to see her lips. To touch her soft skin. This little girl that holds such a special place in my heart.
I'm so hopeful for her siblings to meet her. Not that Andrew will care too much... but Nathan and Natalie will love on her. I can already see Nathan wanting to hold her. Natalie carefully staring at her with amazement, I'm not sure if she will be eager to hold her or not. But I'm sure she will snuggle up to her little sister with such pride. She is SO ready for this little girl to make an appearance.
I'm so sorry for Natalie that she won't have the sister she yearns for. Quite honestly I think she envisions a baby coming out, and then having a 3 year old to play with in just a few weeks. But she knows that Abby will be going to Heaven before the rest of us. I'm sure she'll treasure her days with her little sister, and I'm sure she'll ask us when she is leaving.