Monday, September 29, 2014

Pregnant and Bedridden: The Power of Moonlight, Baby Names, and Getting Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

            What do you think of when you see the moon and moonlight?
            Romance? Power? Peace?

            Adventure and possibilities on an exciting, distant frontier?
            In my nearly three months of confinement, I hadn’t seen much of the moon. 

            Actually, I hadn’t seen it at all.
            So I was startled, several days after my defiant, terror-driven walk from bed into the kitchen and the candlelight revelation (which I told about in my last post), when I was awakened in the middle of night by a radiant light streaming into my room through the tiny slats in the door blinds. Hesitantly, I shifted my frame to discover the source.
            It was the moon, earth’s natural satellite. And I saw it in a way I’d never seen it before.
            I don’t think I’d ever seen it shine so brightly as it appeared to be shining that night, so blinding and intimidating in its brilliance. Although it hurt my squinting eyes to look upon it, I was unable to avert my gaze. It was spellbinding, almost shouting power and promise in its intensity. It seemed to be drawing me in, calling to me. Humbling me. In one moment I wanted to both hide from it and be enveloped by it. The light seemed to be simultaneously fearsome and protective, flooding my room with reflective beams of hope. A message sent directly from heaven just for me. A triumphant light in the darkness to remind me of God’s perfect order and attention to His creative detail.
            A strong punctuation mark on my candle light experience just days earlier.
            I was certainly beginning to appreciate the majesty and power of light and its symbolism. I happily returned to contended, uninterrupted sleep, bathed in its healing, sentinel light.
            Thoughts of victory punctuated my dreams.



            Since I hadn’t climbed into a shower on Valentine’s Day, Chris thought my birthday—February 25—might be a great day for the postponed gratification. That was just three days after the moonlight bathing. I could wait until then. It would be close to the thirty-four week mark, possibly safe enough to venture into a standing position for a short time. Until then, I busied myself with opening storage boxes of baby clothes, washing them, and narrowing the list of baby names. (Actually, I didn’t wash them. To be exact, I gave orders to Chris to retrieve the clothing box, set it on my bed, sift through the contents as I carefully scrutinized, and then follow my instructions for washing said selected clothing. I kept him pretty busy in the laundry room for an afternoon.)
            And it got my nesting instinct revved into high gear.
            As far as baby names went, we settled on “Cory” for a boy and “Madison” for a girl.
            I’d selected Cory for a boy during my pregnancy with Victoria, and I still liked the name. One day, however, while mulling over names, I felt a strong leading to name a baby boy “Joshua.”
            But why would Joshua be so strong in my mind? I wondered. Joshua was never on my name list. I must be talking to myself. Then a fleeting thought sifted through my mind that God might be giving me that name.
            No way, I retorted mentally. No way would the Holy Spirit be speaking to me personally about something like my baby’s name. How egotistical to think that God would be speaking to me about something as simple as that. Doesn’t He concern himself with weightier matters?
            I quickly set the name Joshua aside. Cory it was.
            If only I’d just looked up the name “Joshua” and learned what it meant. At the least, it would have spoken volumes to my heart about the future. It would have made me ooze hope and promise.
            What does “Joshua” mean?
            “Jehovah saves.”
            Maybe God had been trying to give me a peek into the future. And, by my casual dismissal, I missed out on a fear-thwarting opportunity.


            My prayers started changing, though—from asking God to see us through the bedridden phase to seeing us through a safe delivery. I even took a mental risk and envisioned myself in the rocking chair, cradling a new baby to my breast. I deliberately brought the image to mind several times a day. At the very least, it sent happy hormones frolicking through my body.
            Then I worked out a small activity schedule to keep myself busy and focused. And a friend from church delivered books I voraciously devoured. Christian radio kept me spiritually alert for two hours a day. Two hours of post-lunch soap operas threatened to deaden the effects, though. Chris and Parker became classic movie experts—flopping on the bed next to me or on the floor, or maintaining a rhythmical rocking in the rocking chair—as they devoured them. Another friend kept a supply stacked on my entertainment center.
            And, as always, I continued to count the days, hours and minutes…


            But then I was faced with a dilemma. A serious dilemma.
            The Monday before my birthday, Parker stayed home for the President’s Day holiday. He rose at four-thirty in the morning complaining of a severe stomachache before reluctantly returning to bed for more sleep. Re-awakening at eight o’clock, he continued fussing about his stomach and punctuated his plight by rolling around on the ground in my bedroom, clutching his midsection and crying out, “My tummy hurts too much to stand.” Even the tears ran. The one, potentially saving grace was that he simultaneously complained of hunger.
            I called Chris and Parker’s pediatrician. As a group, we decided to feed him. Then wait. So I sent him to the kitchen to raid the refrigerator and cupboards. Finally, after some food and time, Parker triumphantly announced that his stomachache had vanished and he happily retreated to the Lego Land of his bedroom.
            It all sounds so comical now. But there was nothing comical about it then. I felt so helpless lying in bed with my four-year-old writhing in pain before me. No one else in the house. Just a bedridden mother and her four-year-old child.
            I thanked God profusely that I didn’t have to take him to the hospital; that I wasn’t forced to compromise the health of one child—not yet seen—for one I knew, and could touch, and loved intensely.
            In an emergency, there would have been no question. Parker would have come first. I would have gotten out of that bed, gotten dressed, put him in his car seat, cranked open the heavy garage door, (No, we didn’t have an automatic garage door opener), and driven him to the doctor. I would have counted the cost—and pushed my “luck.”
            Mercifully, God made certain I didn't have to.


NEXT WEEK: My birthday arrives, and I plead for my baby’s life…

Until next week,

Thanks for joining me!



photo credit: <a href="">Lisandro M. Enrique</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>