Ellie (the woman who taught our pregnancy class - even though we only made it to 2 classes before all this happened) said something during one of her visits with me that has definitely stuck. She talked about how people are in such a rush to get out of the valley when that is time where you learn the most from God and find a better relationship with Him. It is the place to take the time and turn over stones. Well, I have turned over a ton of rocks!!! Here is what I have learned through all this:
1. No matter how hard I fight it, I am supposed to be a nurse. I have been so scared to fail again because I dropped out of nursing school when I was 21. Other things like boyfriends and drinking were more important, or so I thought. So, now 270 credits later with only an AA in general studies, I am going to apply for nursing school again. That is exactly why I have so many darn credits. I tried to settle for something else, but always lost interest. Goodbye vet tech program, nursing school here I come!
2. Fear is not a spirit from God. I can't be scared of everything. I was so scared every time I went to the restroom that I would start gushing blood again. I finally put my trust in God, knowing that he would take care of me and baby. Of course, that is not my only fear. I have a fear of not having enough money, losing my hubby or loved ones, people not liking me, losing my job, losing the baby, even a fear of having a bad day! I will no longer live in fear.
3. Our family, friends and church family have been so supportive, loving and gone out of their way to help us out, come visit us and call us. I have had visitors that I would never have expected to come see me in the hospital. Same goes with phone calls, the flowers I have gotten, even FB well wishers. We are so grateful. I have learned that the most important thing is to be there for others, especially when they are struggling. I would find it almost a hassle to visit grandma when she was in rehab, or when people at church needed help, etc. Now, I have a totally different outlook. I want to help everyone! Today, Sean went by our house to find our fridge stocked with prepared meals that a couple from our church dropped off (we have never even spoken to this couple before!). Amazing!
4. I refuse to pack my days full of busyness, stress and anxiety. I am going to treat my time as exactly what it is - precious, valuable and something I can't get back. More relaxation is needed and if I don't get my to-do list done everyday, then oh well. It is not a sin to have a sink full of dirty dishes.
5. Sean and I have complained for the last 2 years that we don't have any friends. How ridiculous! See #3. No other explanation needed!
6. Being pregnant, having a baby, being a mother is one of the greatest gifts God could have ever given me and it is sacred and something I will never take for granted. I can't even express the love I feel for our little baby and we haven't even meet him/her yet (we don't even know the sex!).
7. No longer will I be so judgmental. I can be judgmental towards anyone, but in particular I was very harsh when it came to natural births, C- sections, breastfeeding, caring for babies, etc, etc. I have no room to judge, especially when I have not even been through the situation yet. How wrong of me. Becca - I am so sorry. I know we totally got past that, but gosh I am sorry! I should have been excited for you in your every moment, from the beginning to the end, but I was not always and I again am sorry.
8. I cannot, I will repeat, I CANNOT plan childbirth. Yah, it was fun to write out a birth plan with Sean on our road trip to St.Mary's, but its only use has been that it passed time while we were traveling. There is no way to plan this, huh??!! I certainly did not include in my birth plan that I would start bleeding and contracting at 30 weeks, feel as if I could very possibly lose our baby, spend 3 weeks and counting in a hospital, be on strict bed rest and have a C-section. But I am totally happy with where God has me. I wouldn't change it for anything.
9. Having a good attitude in any situation is key. I could definitely be upset over all that has happened and I could be totally stressed over money concerns and hospital bills, not having the nursery completed, and on and on, but why? I am so thankful that baby is still in my belly, we have made it 3 weeks since this happened, baby is healthy and strong, I am feeling good, and I have a wonderful husband and family and friends. I can't even list all the things Sean has done for me, how he helps me wash my hair and give me a bird bath every night, not to mention all the frightening things he has had to see like blood, vaginal exams, days without a shower or makeup, hospital gowns, hospital underwear.......... you get the picture, probably vividly so!
10. The things I will not take for granted anymore and that I will find joy in doing - going to the grocery store, showers, normal clothes, home cooked food, the sunshine and being outside, exercising, going to work, church, being able to run errands and clean around the house, spending time with Allie and taking her for walks, our bed, our date nights. I now know how Sean feels. He had to go without everything we take for granted while he was in Iraq and he appreciates all this stuff so much more, even 3 years later. He does not forget what it was like to go without and neither will I (and I don't even compare to what Sean went through).
I am one stubborn girl and it took God confining me to a hospital bed to get some of these things through my thick skull. Thank you Lord for these lessons and I eagerly await more!! Thank you, too, for keeping our baby safe. We can't wait to be parents and to love and hold our baby (at 37 weeks please!?) and teach baby all about your most gracious love. Oh, and by the way, I will let you take the driver's seat and steer my life, I will scootchie (sp?) on over to the passenger seat, but I will continue to be strong and faithful.