It’s been raining a lot here. We have tons of puddles to splash in and my son has been taking advantage of each one. With each second of energy he uses up, I wonder if this will be the night he will sleep through the night. My toddler wakes up two-to-three times a night. It is a phase that has lasted longer, and some days is more challenging than the newborn phase. Each morning my son comes into my bed around 5:45 am. I wrap my arms around him and we cuddle for a solid thirty minutes. I almost feel like he is apologizing for the night before and thanking me for making the trip to his room multiple times a night. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t love the affection from him. It makes me feel like I am succeeding in at least one area of my life. But this morning’s cuddle session was different. Instead of my arms wrapped around him, he wrapped his arms around me. And for the first time since I was pregnant, I could hear the pitter patter of his heart. It brought me back to a time in my life when I never thought I would be able to be held by his little hands, and it made me want to hold on to him a little tighter.
In 2017, I was twenty one weeks pregnant. I had been itching like crazy and felt the urge to scratch the back of my eyeballs. My blood work came back showing that I had cholestasis of pregnancy. The majority of women get cholestasis in their third trimester, so my doctors were concerned as to why I developed it so early. Usually, there is an underlying cause like liver cancer when it is found before the third trimester. I was sent to a perinatologist who let us know that because I had developed it so early, my risk for having a preterm baby or delivering a still born increased. We had to sign papers giving permission to the doctors to resuscitate our baby if he were to go into cardiac arrest. We were told we would deliver by 36 weeks because it wouldn’t be safe for him inside my body after that point.
The whole thing was extremely traumatic. I had blood work taken and fetal heart rate monitoring done twice a week for the next fifteen weeks. I quit my job and felt really isolated. The medication they gave me made me feel dizzy at times. Twice a week I would sit in my OBGYN’s office hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor for thirty minutes. They turned the volume up so that I could hear his heart beat. His heart beat became a comforting sound for me. It was a good reminder that God was in control.
So on mornings like today, I am reminded of the journey that I have been on with my little man. It makes me extremely thankful that I have those little hands to wrap around me on cold frosty mornings. It even makes me thankful for the nightly wakings. Because it reminds me that he is here. He is alive. He is able to run and play and splash in puddles. He is able to wake up multiple times a night. And that is something I wont ever take for granted.
This is the tightrope that I walk.
What tightrope do you walk?