I kept baby journals for all three of my children, pretty much from the day I found out I was pregnant with each of them. I have one more page until Ryley’s is full, and I’m saving it for his sixth birthday this Saturday. I’m not always great about writing in them anymore (blogging has kind of taken over), but I have most of those early milestones (pretty much all of them for Ryley) and big events from their lives – funny moments, and how I’ve felt about what was going on in their little lives, their likes and dislikes, their habits and new adventures. Much of Ryley’s book is from his time in the NICU.
His birthday is fast approaching. Honestly, I can’t wait for it to get here. These few weeks leading up to his birthday are always so hard to get through. This year is no exception…..this is the first year that all the dates are falling on exactly the same days as they did when I was in the hospital on bedrest and when he was born. Somehow, that is making it harder for me. But we’re getting through, and Saturday will bring the celebration of his birth, and his life.
Anyways, I thought I would share my journal entry for this date, six years ago. I was on hospital bedrest. I had been there for almost two weeks. We were hoping to get to at least 32 weeks, and everyday brought us one step closer. Little did I know on the 19th of September, 2000, that my life would change so completely in just four short days………
“Well, this is definitely not the way I’d planned on spending the last trimester of this pregnancy, but here we are. I started bleeding at 6pm on September 6th. I was terrified. I thought you were gone from us, or would be. Here we are 13 days later. You’re still where you’re supposed to be and seem to be suffering no ill effects from our ordeal. You still move and your heart still beats as if everything else is normal.
I found out today that I’ll probably be here for another six and a half weeks, until we get to at least 32 weeks. I wasn’t really happy. I’d rather be at home, getting things ready for you and living a normal life, but I guess God had other plans for you and me. I suppose you just had to let me know early on who’s boss in this relationship of ours. You win at this point.”
I think back on that day and I wonder how I could have been so naive about what was happening, what could happen, and what did happen. I thought we would tough out six more weeks in the hospital, then go home to wait for our full-term baby to arrive, or have Ryley just a few weeks early, rather than the 14 week early arrival we ended up with. I KNOW it was easier to lay in that hospital bed with Ryley still inside of me than it was to first go five days without even seeing him and then spend everyday visiting my son in a NICU. I would give anything to have had those other six and a half weeks, if not more, of bedrest. I would love to go back and slap myself for not really understanding what was happening, not taking more precautions, not demanding more explanations. One day after the above entry in Ryley’s baby journal, I wrote about being so happy to get out of bed for 10 minutes to take a shower. I wrote about how “when this is over, we’ll have been here for nearly two months” and that at least we were there together. How could I not know what was going to happen? How could I have been so unprepared and so in denial? Of all the things I’ve ever thought I might want to change in my life, this is definitely one of them. If I only knew then what I know now…..
Thank you so much for being here with me during this time. I’m really, really looking forward to Saturday when I can let go of this again for at least another year, and just focus on the joy of my son, and celebrate his six years of blessed life.