What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, April 26, 2010

second chances

Friday morning I had a special place to go. My Aunt Jan was bringing Opa down for a visit to my mothers' and I intended to go for a visit. But as soon as I started on my way, I started to feel... weird. It didn't take long for me to realize that what was "weird" was that I was actually having CONTRACTIONS. The whole trip, there they were, these subtle, but uncomfortable tightenings. They were about 5-7 minutes apart, but not painful. Atleast, not physically painful.

Emotional pains were quite another story.

The whole car ride I listened to Corynn singing in the backseat and noticed how utterly silent I was. 22 weeks...eyelids and eyebrows are already there. Hairlines are already forming. Fingernails are being sucked on and mouths are already yawning. But even with all these little feats, my baby could not survive outside his/her wombhome. My mind kept wandering to all my friends' and acquantances who have lost babies during this pregnancy (so many) and how I was to be one of them. I prayed. And prayed. and cried. and put eyedrops in my eyes so that I wouldn't look like I had.

When I got to my Mom's I tried to act normal, the last thing I wanted was dramatics..my insides and brain were already being dramatic enough. I sat as much as I could and I plastered on a smile.

The way home was even worse. Almost all day, by now, these little, bothersome contractions were coming...always the same distance apart, always without pain. But always there, threatening my 22 week old Smooch. Little, fervent heartfelt prayers were offered up so often that they became one long, drawn-out heartsong.

I got home. Told Matt. Laid on the couch for the rest of the night. I was so cold. Matt covered me in afghan after afghan. He made the children their suppers. I concentrated on Smooch, pleading for movement. I wondered if I ought to go to the hospital.

I called the midwife.

She asked what I had eaten that day.

"Ummm. Cottage cheese for breakfast."

"AND?" said she.

"That was all for breakfast."

"Carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatos. Cantalope. A sloppy Joe for lunch."

"Thank goodness for the sloppy joe!" said she. "What about supper?"

"I haven't had any. I have been sick with worry! I haven't had an appetite!"

"And LAST nights' supper?"

"ummm. I didn't have any. BUT that is because I had a later lunch and wasn't HUNGRY!"

"You need to FEED this baby! I have seen plenty of babies who abort because they weren't getting enough food from their mother! You are starving the poor thing. Eat. Eat something small every hour until your blood sugar gets back to where it needs to be and is regulated. The lower your bloodsugar, the less appetite, the lower the bloodsugar and so on. Force yourself. For your baby."

She told me to eat and drink lots of water and if nothing changed I should go to the hospital.

I got off the phone and burst into tears. This baby is going to die because of ME.

What struck ME though, is that I *THOUGHT* I WAS eating for my baby. I never usually EAT breakfast, but I eat cottage cheese now, or yogurt, or a banana. I head for the vegetables and fruit, knowing how many vitamins they contain. And the non-eating thing? Well, when you are full you are full, or so I thought. After all, don't want to be gaining 65 pounds during pregnancy when 20 is average!

I became distressed and sad and burdened and scared anew and then I realized, as I snarfed a plate Matt had made for me and three glasses of water, that this baby HASN'T come yet and maybe this is my second chance.

A chance to make things right again.

Not so very long after, I felt Smooch move and with that movement, a wave of relief hit me.

The rest of the weekend was filled with me drowning in water and Matt shoving yogurt, toast, bananas and anything else he could get his hands on down my throat and me~always waiting for that blessed assurance that Smooch was moving, alive and well.

For two days, s/he hardly moved. But each moment s/he DID, it kept me going. Today, no contractions and Smooch is moving along, happy as a lark. What a beautiful, blessed feeling.

I have a paper on the fridge where I chart my food and drink intake.

I am so thankful for new mercies each day. And second chances...


Bonnie said...

My heart leapt to my throat when I read the title, and then a huge wave of relief once I got about half way through.
Yep, you eat missy, and don't worry about weight right now. A balance (says the girl who could a brick a cream cheese at a time, right now) is best, eat when you're hungry, and if you're craving something (and getting it is actually in the realm of possibility, eat it! (with in reason says cream cheese booty girl)
Relieved your doing better, and don't scare me like that again!

Bonnie said...

I hope that didn't come across too harsh- I get a bit short when I've had a fright sometimes.
I'm sorry if it did!

Anonymous said...

Protein,PROTEIN, PROTEIN! AND AGAIN I SAY PROTEIN...Almonds, cashews, protein drinks and lot of eggs!!!! Eggs, I know you have plenty! With my last pregnancy I had to eat 120 grams of protein a day and that was the equivalent of six chicken breast a day. Just to keep my little bugger alive....and now he is walking around as a cute little 18 mos. old toddler full of muscle resembling the hulk!!

Leah Spencer said...

I had to smile at the cottage cheese for breakfast - that's one of my staple pregnancy breakfasts, including this morning. Sliced strawberries helps it go down nicer. ;)

I don't know if it'll help or not, but the midwife guidelines I follow are:
-3-4 quarts of water every day
-dark leafy greens every day
-protein at every meal (aiming for 80-100 grams a day)
-liquid chlorophyll (supposed to help with the blood loss at birth)

Am I perfect and get all that accomplished? No!! :P I just keep trying, trying and trying again. But I'm glad you shared your experience, it helps me stay on track.

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

I'm glad that everything is okay. That was quite the scare you had. Don't worry about the weight gain - just eat healthy, nutrient rich foods. (((hugs)))

Tracy said...

Rebecca, I am praising God that Smooch is safely tucked away where she/he ought to be right now. I'm so thankful that your midwife advised you as she did.

JenniferM said...

Oh dear, Rebecca! What a weekend you've had!

I'll echo the "protein" posts. My midwife told me 80-100 grams per day. More is fine, less is not. She had me following the Bradley diet. It's LOTS of food, but all good for you. Excessive weight gain isn't really a problem because if you eat everything the diet tells you, you have absolutely no room for junk -- sweets, refined flours, etc.

I'd be happy to email you a protein list if interested. It's an Excel sheet with all sorts of different foods and what their protein values are. Email me if you'd like it -- jennifer at heitx dot com.

Leah Spencer said...

I also want to add that I've only gained 7 pounds (at 35 weeks) from my prepregnancy weight. Admittedly, I dropped 18 pounds in the first trimester from food aversions. But the weight gain has been slow and steady, at the most a pound a week. And yes, I'm overweight. I'm hoping to find magically properties in breastfeeding though! ;)

Rosemary said...

Thank goodness Smooch is well, Rebecca. My heart went pitter-patter. Eat healthy and drink lots of water. You are a great mom, and I know you do the best for all your children.

Unknown said...


Praising God!!!

Unknown said...

i had several early labor scares with Aiden. nearly went into labor during Pa's (husbands grandfather) funeral, b/c it was such a busy week and I wasn't getting proper rest or nutrition.
Stay hydrated and PROTEIN. and when you have contractions, rest as much as you can. Call people to help with the other kids. Take care of smooch.
I'll pray for you!

Unknown said...

oh, at one point i bought some muscle buolder protein powder and it worked well.

Riahli said...

Glad you called your midwife, she sounds like a wise woman. Keep doing what your doing, even on the crazy busy days. :) So happy that you and the baby are okay. Praise God!

Morgan said...

Praise God!

Terri said...

Praising the Lord that all is okay. I agree with the others - eat that protein! :-)

Miranda Hupp said...

So glad everything is ok now!

Taylor was born at 31 weeks. After that I was so scared with my other children.

Its crazy how being pregnant can generate so many different feelings. The joy and the fear. All at the same time!!

Marlene Bibby said...

So thankful that all is well. I did get braxton hicks contractions at abot 6 months with Joe though, so watch out for those too. And know you are loved by a Soveregn God who won't give you more than you can bear.

Leah said...

Dear Rebecca,
I read your blog every day, and it's funny when you read people's blogs, I won't say you know them, but you begin to feel a connection, like through what they choose to tell, you see a little glimpse of who they are.
ANd when I started this post I was saying , "Oh no, Lord, please no."
Then I thought "Okay this can't have too tragic of an ending or she would not be blogging right now." Then I went on, comforted. But it's amazing in these situations how real the frailty of our lives suddenly becomes, how our every breath is completely in God's hand. We are helpless to control life. We have what Shakespeare calls - "The thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to".
We've had a few cliffhanger moments with life in our house this last week ourselves, but by God's grace we are all well and healthy again.
It just shows we live in what Martin Luther calls "naked trust" in God. Anyway,Ii am glad to hear your little babe is well. I enjoy your page. It is one of the few that I read regularly. I just started my own about a month ago and I love it.
Your sister in Christ,
Leah O'Connor

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca,
You eat girl - baby Smooch will thank you for it.

Did you realise that what you ate when you were growing up also affects how well your baby grows and this in turn affects their children. It's a never-ending cycle. :)

God's mercies are new every morning - great is His faithfulness!

Have a wonderful week,
Blessings, Jillian ♥

Breezy said...

Praise the Lord all is well with the baby! Now, you keep on eatin' and don't stop! ♥

Full of Grace said...

Thankful all is well..

Jena said...

I'm so relieved. You really had me scared for you and your Smooch. I'll be thinking of you, take care of yourself! :)

Cochran Clan News said...

Rebecca, I am so sorry you were so frightened. I pray the rest of the pregnancy is peaceful and eventful in only happy ways. Love to you and your family.

Kathy said...

Praise God that you and Smooch are alright! And I echo the protein sentiments :) when I was carrying my youngest (now 22) I craved 2 poached eggs on buttered wheat toast every morning. I worried about the cholesterol (I was the 80s!) and my doctor scoffed that away, saying complete eggs are one of the healthiest things to eat when pregnant.

Your midwife sounds like s wise woman - and with her and Matt (and, most importantly, HIM) in your corner, I'm sure Smooch will be just fine :)

Peggy said...

OH my you gave me a scare! I will continue praying for you and Smooch! Yes, protein is a must during pregnancy and eatting small portions continually. Now I am going to tell you something that is amazing... A very good friend of our middle son was born at 22 weeks. She was in the neo-natal ICU for a long time but at 15 you would never know it!! She is so smart (frighteningly smart!!), a wonderful Christian young lady, and musically talented as well! (percussion keyboard, classical piano, and voic to name a few...)

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and am praying!! Sounds like your midwife is a keeper and Matt too for that matter (but we knew that already, right? :)