six years ago
I woke up with a bachache––the same backache I’d had for two weeks. My belly was enormous. Pulling on my huge maternity pants, I realize this is the last week I can wear them. Unbelievable.
At Bible Study, I can hardly sit in my chair, my back hurts so much. “Don’t be a baby,” I tell myself. I didn’t want to be one of those whiny women, complaining all the time about aches and pains. After all, I want these babies more than anything. I wasn’t about to start complaining about the pregnancy.
My BSF leader pulls me aside after class. “Are you okay?” She asks. The tears come without warning.
“My back,” I explain.
She wraps her arms around me. “Call your doctor. Today. Right now.”
“But it’s normal,” I tell her. “Back pain is normal when your belly is this big.”
“It is normal, but there’s also a lot that can go wrong in a twin pregnancy.” She is a nurse in addition to being a BSF leader.
“I have an appointment this afternoon. I’ll mention the back pain.”
When I get home, I check on the turkey thawing in the fridge. I clean my bathroom. Something inside me knows there is something wrong.
“I’m sorry for the discomfort,” my doctor says, “I just need to make sure I’m feeling what I’m feeling.”
Minutes later, I’m in a wheelchair. My doctor tells a nurse to call labor and delivery. He pushes my wheelchair down a hall, to the elevator. Walking briskly, he explains, “You’re in active labor. We need to stop the labor. Now, we just saw the babies on the ultrasound. You're at 26 weeks. The babies are almost 2 pounds and they do have a chance. But we’re going to do everything we can to stop this.”
“But I need to go home,” I tell him, “I’m making the turkey tomorrow.”
My doctor pauses and comes around my chair to face me, kneeling down. “Sweetie, you’re not making any turkey tomorrow. You’re not leaving this hospital until these babies are born. Nobody will care about the turkey. They’ll get a pizza or something. It doesn’t matter.”
And so it was. Nobody cared about the turkey.
Once the drip of magnesium sulfate started, I didn’t care about much of anything. Between the hot flashes and extreme nausea, I just held on through that long night. Prayers bubbled up from my soul; prayers I couldn’t think to pray, but they came groaning out of me anyway. “Please, God.”
He was present during that first long night, and on that strange Thanksgiving day. He was present.
And He heard. He answered. And my babies did not come on this day, six years ago. And the noise I hear right now in the next room is a sweet reality.
Happy unBirthday, noisy boys. Today I celebrate God’s faithfulness to you both; to me. Surely He gave me the desire of my heart that day. And I am so grateful.