Yesterday, Facebook reminded me that it’s been one year since the urine test at my midwife’s office confirmed that I had preeclampsia. I was 30 weeks and 5 days pregnant.
You can read about my initial reactions here.
After a brief moment of grieving over the homebirth I knew this ruled out, I made Matt Redman’s song “10,000 Reasons” my prayer and my resolve.
“Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul, worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
Worship His holy name”
I didn’t know what all would come to pass.
Hospitalization. Monitors. IVs. Throwing up in front of my husband and the nurses, unable to even move my arms to keep my hair out of the way. And that was just the first day (a year ago tomorrow).
Topping two hundred pounds. Having a “bottom number” blood pressure reading that would be bad if it was the “top number”. Pneumonia. Fluid restriction. Liver shutting down. Not being able to see color for six weeks.
Labor induction. Uncontrollable shaking. So swollen I couldn’t see. A c-section.
Two hours before I could touch my baby, a half dozen before I could hold her. Twenty-six days before I could take her home.
Her first taste of breastmilk came from a bottle. It was mixed with formula. Her first latch wasn’t at my breast, it was at a nipple shield. Only one breastfeeding session a day for that first month.
Three months before her first smile. Eleven months before she’d sleep more than three hours consistently.
It’s been a hard year. A very, very hard year.
But one year past the official declaration of preeclampsia, another song by Matt Redman springs into my heart and from my mouth as tears roll down my cheeks.
“Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful”
Thank you, God, for your faithful presence, for your enduring grace, for Tirzah Mae and I alive today – on this day one year out.