It was three days before I went into labor. I was lying in my hospital bed before the sun was up, hubby was snoring on the lumpy cot in the corner; we were both exhausted from all the unanswered questions and tests, and I was praying hard! The kind of prayers that only a desperate, heavy-hearted mother pray. Lord, please let me go into natural labor. Please let our baby be okay, show me what to do in labor, give me grace. I feel like this is all my fault. Change this, make it better, I can’t go through this. Lord…. please.
As I poured over scriptures and tried to gain some insight, the still small voice of comfort came – be thankful and know that I am with you till the end. Thankful? How could I be thankful? Stuck on bed rest. My baby is going to the NICU. I can’t sleep in this hospital. And then there was the big one – despite being extremely healthy during my pregnancy… I was still there!! All those spinach smoothies, all those walks, yoga sessions, the hours of studying on how to have a healthy pregnancy! Lord, how can I be thankful? What is there to be thankful for? I pondered this question the whole day, switching from anger to sadness, to believing that God just didn’t understand.
The next morning, a similar conversation occurred. Find thankfulness today. So, I began making a list:
1. Hubby’s wisdom and patience
2. My amazing nurse Vanessa (she stayed up with me all night that first night, told me stories of her kids, and watched Parenthood re-runs with me!)
3. This precious life growing inside of me…
5. Baby’s movement was excellent
6. Hearing a strong, beautiful heartbeat from our baby girl
7. My family’s arrival at the hospital, despite living 7 hours away
This continued throughout my labor. I was thankful for the awareness, the pain, the sense of life coursing through me, our baby, my husband’s coaching. Then came the NICU. Could I be thankful in the NICU? I just didn’t know if I had it in me. And then there was God’s grace… I met our modern day heroes!