Look mom, no hands!
... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... not even Lucy (our pet chihuahua).
Wait, that's not entirely true. I'm still stirring!
The list of to-do's is complete.
Gotta clean the dishes and throw some clothes in my suitcase. We depart in the morning at 9:00am.
The nest has been feathered and is ready... enjoy the pics,
The entrance to the nest...
Those shades block out EVERYTHING when drawn...
J-man's Crib and Wall...
... and changing station built in to the closet...
Don't worry, Aliville is still girlieville...
Side by side...
And in this corner... BELLA!
Three little piggies...
Swing and bouncy seat... check!
Play gyms... CHECK!
, but I'm not.
I look at the last picture of Bella I posted, and I resist in my heart. I feel so guilty for not being filled with excitement. There are those who would give anything to have the privilege of delivering a baby boy tomorrow. The grief still swallows so much of my heart. Thank you for all your supportive comments as I continue to bare all on this blog about this journey. They have been really comforting. I sit here tonight physically ready (I even weaned myself completely off my best friend coffee this summer to prepare for the sleep deprivation... now when I have a cup on Tuesday morning after the probably-coming-all-nighter, it'll actually pick me up!), but I would be full of it if I said I was emotionally ready.
We are returning to the scene where life took its fateful "left turn" a little over 2 years ago. Same hospital, same doctor, same floor, the operating rooms are all identical... being a visual / kinesthetic learner and experiencer, this all creates some powerful flashbacks for me. I'll be brave, and have my sh*t together, but just picturing where we are going tomorrow, all I see are images and the corresponding feelings of terror and disbelief that have been imprinted on those visual scenes. I can see Ang's OB walking down the hall in her scrubs toward me... me lost trying to find my way back from the NICU to Ang's room for the first time... I can see me in the break room trying to get my bearings after almost fainting in the O.R. after seeing Bella with all her skin peeled off and never grown in, on her leg, hearing and seeing Dr. Vijay Dhar say in a thick accent, "It is most likely Epidermolysis Bullosa, a genetic birth defect." Birth defect. Two words a new parent quietly prays to God he or she will never hear.
But, who are we to expect God will accommodate our needs?
The key word in that sentence was 'expect.' So much of Bella's life and death was a painful lesson for me to learn about prayer and expectation. I used to think I had prayer figured out. I though I knew the 'right way' to pray in that if I prayed 'that way,' God would HAVE to answer my prayers!
Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
For me, prayer has transformed into a conversation. It used to be a wish list or request list. Then, it morphed into a gratitude list of things yet to come (that I hoped would come to pass). Then, it morphed into a gratitude list for things that had come to pass. That was probably the high water mark for the many stages prayer has moved through. Since then, it has slid into a distant and cynical conversation. In other words, I confess it's still not back to where it was the day Bella died. I also know that this is okay, that God is okay with me healing in my own time, and waiting for the day when I'm ready to connect again, but I'm still not there.
So, for tomorrow, I am afraid to even ask for a smooth day. I feel... burned. Afraid to ask again. Afraid to be vulnerable. Afraid to risk. I feel like tomorrow is going to go how it's going to go no matter what I pray or say. The best I can do is be prepared for anything and, to the best of my current ability, generate peace, politeness, courtesy, gratitude, strength, and humility.
Ang and I had a great talk tonight about all the mixed feelings swirling through us both. I will tell you I am so grateful to be walking through my life with such and amazing partner. She is just the most wonderful woman on the earth.
Sorry for the dark tone of the post, given the eve of what I'm sure will be a joyous day. It's just a little more complicated. God has a plan. We aren't able to see or comprehend his plan, but I still trust he has one. Even if he doesn't, me just telling myself he does helps me. After all, who really knows? Only God.
P.S. I'm also sad because this post represents the last photo I have of Bella before it all went South for her. I liked your suggestions, and I will start over, but just as tomorrow is a new beginning, tonight is another end...