Photo Story Friday-My Season of Challenge

This is my own special version of Photo Story Friday meets Writing Prompt by Octamom.

Photostory Friday”>

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Octamom’s writing prompt this week calls for a retrospective about a season of challenge.

My most vivid season of challenge is finally beginning to fade into lighter shades of memory.

My season of challenge found me living away from my family in a (debateably) sterile room, in an institution that never slept. I had my own bedding, pictures tacked onto the walls that my girls drew, plants that I wasn’t allowed to care for on my counter, toys in a drawer for the kids to play with when they visited, and a view of the parking lot outside.
I “lived” in one of the largest suites in my unit. I was assigned someone to care for me 24/7. I had a nutritionist, a social worker, a whole slew of doctors, innumerable nurses and the constant digital company of my babies beating hearts.
I had so much, yet I didn’t have many of the things I cared for most.

I didn’t have my family. More than that, I didn’t know how the separation was going to effect all of us. I didn’t even know from one hour to the other if I would eventually deliver two live babies.
It was a time of challenge AND reward.
I was glad that I was in the hospital doing everything that I could possibly do for my babies, yet I worried constantly. I gratefully stayed on my back for 23 hours of every day. I felt like I was a horse being saddled 24/7 with heart rate monitors. I endured needle pricks every third day. I gave up any sense of privacy; yet doing all of that didn’t give me the peace of mind I craved.
I missed my family. So much. Some days I just wanted to walk out the door and never come back. Some days (OK, so I’m exaggerating, there were only 2 times in 10 weeks) against doctors orders I went outside and dared them to say a word to me. Some days the nurse I was assigned bugged me so badly I wanted to take all of my frustrations out on her. Some days I just cried all day long. But most days I didn’t feel that way at all. Some days I was just plain grateful that I had gotten to that point.
I had a crude hand made calendar that I used to count down the days until delivery. Beginning a new day was a huge accomplishment. Completing a new week was almost grounds for a party. Hitting gestational milestones kept me sane. Hearing the beat, beat, beat of their hearts calmed me.
And terrified me. I became expert at knowing what was normal for my babies heart rates and when they deviated it sent me into a panic.
I didn’t sleep at night because I was afraid that a nurse would miss a deceleration. I didn’t sleep during the day because there were too many distractions. I had a lot of time for reflection.
I reflected on the sanctity of human life. Of the miracle of birth and the great privilege we had been granted to be stewards of our children.
I thought constantly about what would have happened if the egg split a few days earlier (two
amniotic sacs), or even a day later (conjoined twins). I pictured in my mind their two cords knotting tighter and tighter with each movement. I replayed in my minds eye one of the babies almost dying right before my very eyes. I couldn’t remove the image that represented the scariest moments of my life, and still can’t, really.
I had time for soul searching and reflection on the divine. I had the opportunity to see how strong of a man my husband was and how willing he was to sacrifice everything for his family.
It probably sounds like purely negative experience, but it wasn’t. It was a literal season of growth and development for me and my babies, it was a time to define who I was and to know without doubt my Saviour’s love for me. It was a time that dragged by, yet flew quickly at the same time.
It was a gift that I gave my babies. It was a season of challenge, but it was also a season of abundance.

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