oh, the places you'll go {and other dr. seuss-isms}

hot air balloon {5}

dear baby-b,

i know it's been a while since i wrote you...
i haven't been around much.
well, that is to say, i have not been writing to you here lately...
much less doing any other kind of blogging.
but there are some reasons for that.

however, as you well know, i've been around.
in fact, not just around... but SURROUNDing you...
for almost twenty-nine weeks, now.

so, back to the reasons i have not blogged in quite a while.
well, i thought i would take a bit of a break...
or at least cut way back.
in fact, the day i wrote that i planned to do just that
was the day before japan was struck by a tragic chain of events.
and so even after i had planned on stopping in
every once in a while {maybe once a week},
i just couldn't do it.

there were so many things i could have written about
and taken photos of...
especially pertaining to you.
but i just couldn't do it.
nothing i could say would seem necessary.
nothing i could say wouldn't seem trivial
in light of what was going on almost half-way around the world.

for instance, i wanted to write about the nursery i am setting up for you.
i might have written about how when i found the perfect curtains for your room,
i went to buy them and discovered i was $1.56 short in my bank account
and was so bummed, because i really wanted to get those curtains for you..
but then i realized that there are pregnant women in japan
who are worried about radiation seeping into their homes
and affecting their unborn babies,
and the biggest of my worries was not having enough money to buy curtains,
and that for a time, i might have to let sunlight seep into your window
through the cracks in the blinds.
but this is so not a problem or a trial or a hurdle.
it's nothing.
simply nothing.
especially in light of what things could be like for us.

and the list of things i could have written about
would go on and on and on.
and like the curtains, all of it seemed un-important.
not to say our lives and our worlds are not important...
i'll get to that in a bit.
but i could only watch the news
in disbelief
and grieve for those people
who were hit with three separate tragic events in a row...
one after another,
each spawned by the one before...
with no breaks and no respite.
and i sat here helpless... except the ability to pray.
and so there was nothing for me to say
for a good long while
that would have mattered in light of it all.

but i realized something this week.
we all have many worlds to think about.
we have humanity and the world in general {this big ball we call earth}
to care about and be concerned for.
but then we each have the micro worlds we live in.
our homes.
our families.
our small communities.
and sometimes our own small worlds can be shaken
even the way the earth shook that day
to cause so much heartache and pain and devastation in japan.

though we may not experience the magnitude of pain and loss
in our own little worlds
that an entire region of the world could,
life is still sometimes difficult,
and when the crisis-mode and attention of a world event like that dies down,
we are back in the center of those things going on in our own lives.
and you know what?
it's okay to think on those things, too...
to write about them, process them, work through them, deal with them.

and by the time you are old enough to read this,
you won't remember what i will write about.
in fact, you may not have even been aware when it was happening.
but i'll never forget it.
but just in case i do, i'm writing it down now.

it started monday.
i lay there on that exam table
with my head supported by a comfortable pillow
and my belly exposed.
it was quiet... only the sound of the sonogram machine... a very comforting, buzzing sound
that filled the room with a peaceful quiet.
it was warm in the room...
i loved that, because your mama hates to be cold.
it was just such a serene environment,
and i couldn't wait to see your face come across the screen.

i was there for one reason, and one reason only...
to check and see if i still had the placenta previa
that the doctors had discovered eight weeks earlier.
and i did.
i do.

the technician left the room at one point... just like last time.
she had to check with the radiologist to see if more images were needed.
she left the room,
and it was just you and me.
you had been quite still... except for a yawn or two.
i saw your face even more clearly than i could eight weeks ago.
and i'm sure it has changed so much in that time.
your heart was beating strong,
and i could not help but cry when i saw you.
this time i was alone.
papa was working, so it was just you and me.
i didn't expect to get emotional this time... after all, we had done this once before.
but i was more emotional than the last time.
it was mostly from seeing you,
but also from learning that my previa condition still existed.
i had high hopes that things would have changed in the weeks that followed the first ultrasound.

so when she left,
again, it was just you and me.
and the tears rolled more quickly than i could keep up with them...
and like last time, it was a silent cry.
tears were only felt, though...
this time, not even heard hitting the exam-table paper,
because i caught each one with my hands,
hoping to not smudge the mascara
that i probably should have never even put on in the first place...
knowing where i would be going.

i was crying out of joy to see you again...
to see how much of a reality you have become as you grow in me day by day.
you were once only a dream of mine.
but now you are so real.
{i had to use the dr. seuss quote above,
because i loved how appropriate it was for this post... for this time in my life.
and the funny part is, i have not been sleeping for about a month...
something i always attribute to the very restless legs i have at night
due to your existence and growth in my belly.
but maybe it's also for the reason in the dr. seuss quote...
maybe i'm SO IN LOVE with you
and so happy that you are here... soon to REALLY be here...
that the reality that was once only a dream
now keeps me awake.}

well, back to the exam table and you and me lying there in silence.
i looked up.
well, i guess i had been looking up the entire time
{when not looking over at the monitor to see your precious face}.
i mean, where else would i look?
but when the technician was gone,
your face disappeared from the monitor.
so i had to look somewhere else.
and lying there on my back, it was up that i chose to look.
and i'm glad i did.
you know what i saw?
i saw clouds and hot air balloons
on a bright blue sky.
i'm not kidding.
i'm not just saying that... like it's something i saw in my mind's eyes.
there were literally clouds and hot air balloons and blue sky.
you see, it was one of those fluorescent ceiling light covers
that a lot of hospitals now use... to brighten up the cold, sterile spaces
that hospital rooms can sometimes be.
it was a photo printed on plastic
made to look like we were looking out through a sky light
and were beneath some balloons sailing through the sky.
had the light been on,
it would have looked even more real.
but the lights were dimmed,
and all i saw was a darker version of this cheerful sight.

and it made me think back...
"oh, yeah, whatever happened to those photos i took
on my way home one day last fall...
of the balloon that was in the sky?
i totally forgot about those!
i need to dig those up and see if i could make something of them."

well, i did just that.
in fact, when i finally found them, i discovered they were taken
about one week before i even knew you existed.
you had been growing in my tummy for just a couple weeks.
but when the balloon shots were taken, i didn't know you were there.
here i was, a half year later,
on a table,
looking up,
waiting for you,
thinking about how far i've come,
wishing i had received better news,
but still so very grateful to be there...
to see your face,
to watch your heart beat.
i was once again moved.
by so much.
to tears.

i couldn't wait to get home and look for the photos and process them.
and write about the day.
but you know what i did instead?
i came home and looked up some things about placenta previa {at this stage of pregnancy}
on the internet and did some reading about what i might expect.
right thing or wrong thing to do... i don't know.
but i did it.
and i became discouraged.
and balloons and blue sky went out the window for a time.
and worry took their place.

and this time, my sleepless night was not only filled with thoughts of
"oh, my... how uncomfortable am i!
how i want to sleep right now, but can't, no matter how tired.
how i wish i could make my legs stop tickling/fidgeting."
"yikes... this is not good.
there are so many things that could go wrong,
and even if they don't,
i still may very likely have to deliver a little early
and it would be via the c-section i was hoping not to have."
and though i know worry is not good,
i could not help myself.
in fact, i don't even know that it was so much worry
as much as it was just thinking about all that could happen...
how if the previa causes bleeding,
i may have to be hospitalized
or on complete bed rest for the last two and a half months
before you arrive.
how my Rh- blood could pose a problem
should there be bleeding
if you have Rh+ blood.
how i can't afford to be on bed rest...
there's still so much for me to do to get ready for you.
in fact, even if not bed rest, being restricted to what i can do...
no heavy lifting.
nothing strenuous.
i still have to go pick up your crib
finish setting up your room
and clean our home like it's never been cleaned before
{that's part of that nesting instinct mamas get}
and baby-proof some of the rooms in our house
and lots of other things.
i can't be sitting around taking it easy!

so i lay there and thought of all these things.
i thought about your safety and health.
i thought about my safety and health.
i thought about money
and what pregnancy or birth complications would mean to our wallets.
i thought about how i have longed since day one
that you will arrive at {or close to} your full-term due date.

and i should have lain there and thought of balloons and fluffy clouds instead.
or about how God is going to take care of us.
but i did not.

however, i did have enough sense to get up and go to the computer
and write and ask a good many people
who i consider near and dear...
people who i know would want the best for you
and would be thrilled to meet you...
if they would pray.
not just for you and for our health and for this pregnancy.
but for me and my mind to be at peace...
that i would not worry or fear.

and aside from praying myself,
it was the best thing i could do in that moment.
i went back to bed,
and though i did not sleep so well the remainder of the night,
i did wake up with a sense of peace...
i actually felt as if many were praying for us.
and my feelings were confirmed when i logged into my e-mail the next day
and many had already written back to let me know they were praying.
in fact, many prayed right there for us in their message.
baby-b, you can't know what that did for me.
it reminded me of so many things...
that God is control.
that He would not bring us this far just to let us go.
that no matter what happens... complications or not...
we will be cared for and are in good hands.
that He is faithful.
that He is good.
that so many care for us
and are so happily awaiting your arrival
and are ready to pray at a moment's notice.
one friend even wrote back and told me that when she read my request for prayer,
she stopped what she was doing
and got down on her knees right there in the middle of her kitchen and prayed.
baby-b... this is the kind of person i want to be...
a "drop everything to pray" kind of person...
for me.
for you.
for others.
for the people in japan who i don't even know.
for my sister.
for my brother.
and i want you to be that way too.

and perhaps i can't give you a lot it this life.
but i can give you this...
the knowledge that having a host of friends and family praying for you
or being part of a host of friends and family praying for others
is one of the most wonderful things you could ever partake in.
and i hope that some day you will meet each and every person that prayed for us.
i know that you will meet many of them.
the whole church choir is praying for us...
i'm sure you'll get to meet them some day.
so many friends and family members praying...
even friends of friends who i have never met.
many of my mom's friends who i don't know are praying for us.
you may never meet them... nor i,
but i'm glad you know about them.
i'm glad i do too.
like i said, i felt the prayers.
i felt the peace.
in fact, i slept like a baby that next night.
and even in my waking hours,
i was able to lay aside worry, and instead, just trust.

and so i was able to quit reading what the web sites say...
what could go wrong...
what will likely happen in my situation.
and i was able to look for those balloon photos.
and i processed them...
and i had a blast doing it!
it's been so long since i took photos... or even just processed old pictures!
and how appropriate they were in so many ways.

i have to say, i was not sure if i would add words to them.
i thought about adding some quotes about prayer
or bible verses or nothing at all.
but when i saw how whimsical they seemed after i processed them,
i thought about the comment i read on a web site on monday.
it was on one of those pregnancy forum sites...
a woman who is in the same exact situation as i am
wrote about how she is disheartened and concerned
that at twenty-eight weeks, her ultrasound revealed
that her previa had not corrected itself
{or the placenta had not migrated upward}
like it does for ninety percent of the women who have it.
another pregnant mom left a comment on her post
telling her to go read the dr. seuss book, up, up, up
to the baby in her womb and to herself...
in hopes that the placenta would move up.
of course, it was a whimsical, light-hearted encouragement... not real advice.
but i liked that.
i went to your closet to see if that was one of the six or seven
dr. seuss books i have for you.
well, it was not,
so i googled to look for some quotes from the book instead.
i did not find any, but i came across
several other sweet little dr. seuss quotes
that i found very appropriate for my blog post and these photos...
and for this time in the pregnancy.

so here they are.
none really having anything to do with the other...
in fact, some not even really having to do with this post.
but i like them all.

hot air balloon {3}

hot air balloon {1}

hot air balloon {2}

hot air balloon {4}

i love this last one... it's from one of my favorite of his books.
in fact, you will soon be hearing me read it to you
while i sit in our glider chair...
maybe even tonight.

oh, i almost forgot, baby-b.
we are not "out of the woods" yet.
and there is still a risk of some things to "go wrong".
but one thing i do know...
there are many who are praying for us still.
and we are in very good hands...
the doctor's,
and more importantly, God's.
and, no matter what,
i love you more than anything
and will do anything to keep you safe...
now and for the rest of my life.
and lots of women and their babies get through this.
so i know we can too!

and one more thing.
i went yesterday to get that rhogam shot
in case our blood types are incompatible.
while i was there, i asked the nurse to check my chart
and see if my previa is considered posterior or anterior.
this makes a big difference,
because if it is posterior,
there is a much better chance that it may yet change
{there is a higher chance that the placenta will "migrate" upward},
than if it is an anterior previa.
well, she informed me that IT IS posterior!!
woo hoo!

i had already felt a lot of peace because i knew many were praying for us.
but then when i got that news, i felt even better!!
and even if it doesn't move up, up, up...

i love you.



Jakki said...

Baby-b is SO very loved and so very blessed to have a love so tightly wrapped around him ( I do not know if Baby-b is a boy or girl and if Baby-b is a girl, my apologies from the bottom of my heart go out to her)...not only from his mother but from his family and friends. I LOVE the first Dr seuss quote because it does represent a mothers love..more than a romantic love. At least that's how I see it.

Take care and know that you've added one more to your blog-land group of prayers going up on you and Baby-b's behalf

Ashley Sisk said...

So much love in this post - I love the photos!

Kara said...

Georgia...I love your blog and your writing, I've missed it so much. You have such a gift for words...the right words, at the right time. I wish I could express myself the way that you do. I hope we can meet for coffee someday.

georgia b. said...

kara... i would love that. and i think we will just have to make a point of letting that come about.

thanks for your kind words... to all of you.

Tracey said...

G-What great words. My biggest heart lesson this past year is coming to know that every person has his/her journey and each one is just as important/valuable in the eyes of God--- whether it's a person fleeing from a tsunami or a woman blogging through her painful emotions. Humans put lesser value and weight to "tribulations" and compare them on a scale of suffering, but God does not. My concern about where my son is going to middle school is as important to him as the suffering of those in Japan. He knows our pain, great and small, and considers it worth attending to because it belongs to YOU, his child.
To believe this does not mean that I am invalidating the horrendous pain and suffering I see in Japan, it just means that I am not invalidating mine when I set it up in comparison. He never invalidates or belittles our pain.
I also think I am only just beginning to understand what it means when the Bible says we are to bear one another's burdens. We are a global family and we are to act in LOVE and concern when our brothers and sisters are hurting.
Your heart knows this and will be a blessing to your little child who will see a mama care for others in the way that she does.

georgia b. said...

thanks, t.
i'm glad you wrote what you did. you bring up very good points about the pain and suffering of ALL of us in God's eyes. it's a comfort to know he cares for us all equally. and nice to hear of another mama whose own struggles make her relate, identify and sympathize with mine. i'm blessed to know you. thank you so much for your lengthy and thoughtful comment.

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Hi girl in tears...loved you story about baby-b and the balloons and your love for this little one...
you made me smile girl. I vividly remembered the moment I cryed over Jesse just like you did...oh God this was over 15 years ago and still it is in my head. Gladd you shared my friend.
Loved the lines at the balloons too.
Happy weekend for all the 3 of you.
Hugs Dagmar

angiephoto365 said...

What a moving post - and you are right it will be ok! Sending many prayers and well wishes your way!


beth said...

i know you and baby b are going to be just fine...i really do !

and those photos georgia are beyond fantastic ! is there anyway to incorporate them into his nursery somehow ?

and the places you will go....both of our kids have those books with special letters written in them from their dad. it was a special gift he gave to both of them one year without telling me about it...at a time when they were both old enough to really understand the meaning behind it all....i think they were 10 and 13 that year.....


maccandace said...

Georgia, I, too, will pray for you. These are lovely photos, they would look great in your nursery, or maybe when baby-b is a little older, perfect for a child's bedroom walls.

georgia b. said...

thanks, you guys!

if my baby's nursery wasn't all about birds and themed with chocolate brown and orange and creams and whites for a color scheme, i would totally use these in the room!

maybe for baby #2???

{don't tell hubby i said that.}

georgia b. said...

thanks for your prayers, all... so appreciated by this growing family.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh georgia, such sweet photos and all that love for your sweet little baby.
i will be keeping you both in my thoughts.

Oliag said...

You are such a wonderful mother already!! Love these balloon photos...I can see them decorating baby b's room....

georgia b. said...

thank you, kelly. thank you, gail.

so appreciated.

EnnythingGoes said...

now i read it! i'm glad you brought it to my attention. your baby-b posts will someday be a popular baby book. :)

EnnythingGoes said...

praying for God's hand of protection upon you and the baby and that He will intervene in the previa issue. i hope you know that. looking forward to june 19. :)