I was 42 weeks pregnant and going against the advice of friends to attend my 20 year high school reunion 350 miles away from my home. This pregnancy had been almost the opposite of my blissful previous pregnancy with J. The anxiety level was way up, I was in pain all the time from my pubic bone being separated and I was tired from reunion preperations all day. The fact that I couldn't see how swollen my puffy feet was a blessing in disguise.
Many people wanted to know why I was crazy enough to even attend the reunion and my response was 'because I worked so damn hard on the planning'. I was the chair of the committee and the previous reunion left many people with a sour taste in their mouths so we (the committee) had some things to prove. We had experienced the trivial things that people who never move past high school mentality participate in and I'd had to bring the committee back to task and play mediator more than once. I wasn't going to miss this event unless I was actually laboring and delivering. Yes, I was in pain but hell, I could stay home and be in pain or I could go and be in pain. I chose to go. I can tell you that there was no one else there who was pregnant :) I also didn't labor and deliver that night.
Speaking of laboring and delivering - I was prepared in the event the worse case scenario occured. Everyone was spastic that I was going to go into labor while in Savannah so to shut them up and to negotiate agreement with my husband - I got our midwife to travel to Savannah with us. We paid for her hotel room and she spent the weekend in the city with her teenage daughters. She was just a cellphone call away if I needed anything and she saw me before we left to come home on Sunday morning. She enjoyed an incredible weekend in the city and I had birth backup if necessary. I would have delivered at my sister's house if necessary. Turns out - Baby K wanted another whole week to cook inside me.
I wanted to share about something that happened during the middle of the night after the reunion was over. Sleep was very difficult and very sporadic for me during those last months because of the pubic pain that I was experiencing. I hardly ever slept more than 2 hours at a time. I was not in very good emotional shape and I was worried a good bit about how the breastfeeding relationship was going to be with this baby. Breastfeeding had gone horribly wrong with J and it took us more than 4 months to recover from that poor start. I had 3 visits a week with the lactation consultant and encountered almost every single problem in the book before we got things straightened out. I didn't want a repeat with this baby.
It was a little after 3 am and I'd gotten up for my routine bladder trip. I couldn't go more than 2 hours of sleep before I'd either be hurting too bad or have to go potty. Oh, the joys of pregnancy . I'd gotten up and for some reason couldn't go back to sleep. I remember sitting in a comfy chair with ottoman by the huge floor to ceiling window. I'd played several games of solitaire on my pocket PC. I was getting restless. I remember praying and asking God to just help me, even if only for a little while to rest and to help me with my anxiety about the pending birth. I remember asking Him for a sign perhaps that everything was going to be ok. I just wanted something, anything, that I could cling to as hope that things were going to work out to my advantage.
As I sat by the window looking out over Liberty Street in Savannah and at the highrise apartment buildings where many of the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) students lived - I saw a single light on in what was a totally dark building. This light illuminated the entire apartment room and I saw what I thought to be a young woman rocking and nursing an infant baby. I stared in amazement at the sight. Was that really what I was looking at? What was I seeing? I spent the next 10 minutes focused on that lighted room across the street and down 3 buildings trying to figure out what I was looking at. Strangely the woman never moved but it sure looked like she was holding and nursing an infant. I remember feeling like that might be 'the sign' and I said a prayer of thanksgiving for the feeling of relief, serenity, and the knowledge that for some reason - I knew everything would be ok. for the very first time in my entire pregnancy, I felt at peace and it was a real down to the bone peace. I touched my ripe belly and felt my baby move within me. It was as if my baby was agreeing with my prayer and sending me some message at that moment. I prayed and I was convinced that I'd just recieved a small gift from God.
I went to the bathroom again and when I returned to watch the woman....the light was out and the entire building was black. The next morning I asked the front desk about that building. It was office space and not apartment space. There are no offices open or occupied after 5 pm.
To this day I don't know what I saw. I do know what I experienced though. I had this feeling of wellbeing wash over me and I felt deep in my soul that whatever was getting ready to happen would be ok and so would I.
When I mentioned this phenomenon to my message board friends and was contemplating if I really saw something or not, one (whose opinion and words I value to this day) wrote this in response:
You know what, it doesn't matter. Whether it was real or imagined, God gave you that because it was something you needed, something that really helped you. A vision or a reality, it Was For You. I cannot explain these things, I wouldn't even be audacious enough to try. What I know is my experience. You have read in detail about my experience in the woods. There was so much more than than what I can explain. And i will never, ever know what was real and what was not. But it doesn't matter to me. To me, it was all real. It was the reality I needed at the time. God gave me that. I needed it to survive, and God provided. I cannot explain it.
Keep that wonderful image in your mind. No matter what.
You had a beautiful weekend, and that is that.
You are a blessing to all of us.
I've been blessed far more by the people who surround me. I continue to be amazed at how people enter my life and the footprints that they leave. The next week proved to be an additional challenge as I prepared to birth our daughter. I'll share more of that when I'm able.
Here are some pictures from that evening at teh reunion:
Obviously the quality is poor - but you get the general idea. I was heavy with child :)
And this one (I'm being courageous here ) was taken of me 2 weeks before my due date. I still had 4 weeks until delivery.
It hurts me now to look at that picture when I think of how much weight my body was carrying and how physically miserable I was. I feel like I was robbed of the joy that I experienced with J's pregnancy and how free I felt. See those flip flops? Those shoes were the only shoes that I wore for the last 4 months of my pregnancy - they were all I could get my feet into. I can really sympathize with women who don't enjoy pregnancy because up until that point - I had always loved being pregnant. When this picture was taken and the month that followed this picture - I didn't like it (being pregnant).
Anyway - just thought I'd share some memories with you.
We didn't go to the new house today. I rested, napped for over 2 hours, got the house cleaned up and decluttered, spent some time on the phone with my efm and ate vegetables for dinner. We have a full week ahead of us.