This day, 2 years ago I had the awesome privilege of auditioning on the Voice season 3. The road to get there was a long, arduous one full of much personal heartache, having lost my brother Kristian to cancer, who was my musical inspiration and producer.
I remember thinking at the time that it just didn’t make sense, because I felt like all pathways had lead me to that point, and to not have the chairs turn was disappointing and confusing.
I knew as soon as it was over that although my heart was sad, it was just the beginning of a new journey for me.
Fast forward 2 years, and I am on the verge of the biggest change in life I think I will ever experience; giving birth to my first child. Up until 30 weeks, I had the perfect pregnancy – barely any morning sickness or nausea, felt pretty great and all around enjoyed feeling my little man growing steadily inside of me.
I felt like I almost had it too easy; I had been struggling to control my diabetes all my life and along with some ovary issues I hadn’t dreamed it would be so simple and straightforward for us to conceive a healthy child, and so quickly. (We fell pregnant on the first attempt!) All throughout the first and second trimester I would pinch myself, almost disbelieving that for once in my life, something I wanted so desperately could be mine with relative ease.
Then I reached week 30. My blood sugars spiked with a new surge of hormones, I lost a bit of control. My scans which had previously shown a perfectly sized and developing boy started to show a large baby in the 95th percentile. For those of you who don’t understand what that means, it basically says on average, he is bigger than 95% of babies at that stage of development. I began to experience extreme discomfort, above and beyond the usual third trimester stretching and weight due to his size.
I began to feel discouraged that once again, I had failed. Despite multiple reassurances from my doctors and technicians that his size was not due to my diabetic control but rather a sign of a genetically large family (thanks for that, my darling giant husband!) I still couldn’t shake that feeling of disappointment and failure in my heart. I felt I had let him down and was compromising his safe entrance to this world.
At 31 weeks my OBGYN ruled out natural birth and told me I would need a caesarean to bring him safely into the world. I did not have my heart set on a natural delivery, having prepared myself for the higher chances of requiring a c section from day one, but to have the option taken away somehow felt like I had failed, again.
At 32 weeks I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia due to rising blood pressure (which had previously been excellent) and severe oedema (swelling) in my entire body, even in my abdomen. The doctors discovered protein in my urine, another symptom, and I was ordered to bed rest, twice weekly heart rate monitoring for baby to ensure his heart was not under strain from my high blood pressure, and told I would be operated on to deliver him within the next 1 – 3 weeks.
I’m not going to lie; I had said numerous times around 31 weeks that I didn’t think I was going to make it to the 38 week mark, where I knew I would be induced (as per high risk pregnancy procedures) but to be having him potentially delivered at 32 – 35 weeks was worrying. His lungs would not have fully developed. Babies born prior to 36 weeks can experience developmental delays and often require lengthy stays in NICU wards to enable them the best fighting chance at life.
All of my dreams of bringing home a beautiful little man within a few days of his arrival suddenly felt so far away.
I am now 33 weeks and preparing as best as I can for his arrival. I’ve swung from guilt over his larger size to gratitude for his extra weight. I’ve packed and unpacked and repacked my hospital bag with baby clothes right from 00000 sizes to 000 size. I do not know what to expect, what to do, how to process any of this.
We also move house tomorrow. We currently live in a three-storey townhouse with the kitchen/living on the top floor and the bedroom/bathroom on the second. This means any time I wish to use the bathroom or eat food, there are stairs involved. Something that is causing me to exert myself over and above the bed rest I am meant to be having. The stress of having my life in boxes, being bed bound, not being able to control any of these situations and negotiating the stairs has been so, so hard. Stuart has been incredible, packing the entire house himself. I have a beautiful support network of friends who are helping with the move and unpacking. I am grateful beyond words for these things.
But moving house is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through.
So is losing a family member to cancer and dealing with the settlement of their estate.
So is having a baby.
So is pre-eclampsia.
So is type 1 diabetes.
Right now I feel very anxious, out of control, afraid of the unknown. And yet amidst all of this I feel a peace that can only come from God.
Time and time again I’ve faced these kinds of storms. And time and time again, He has pulled me through, protected me in his arms, and brought me out the other side. It’s times like these that I am so, so thankful for my Jesus. It’s times like these that I am reminded of his love, his strength and his promises to me; that when I call on his name, he answers and delivers me safe from harm.
So right now I am claiming that for my son, for my husband, and for myself.
If you would like to pray for our little family, these are our requests:
- Baby born no earlier than 34 weeks (20th may)
- Weighing no less than 6.5lbs
- Not incubated for more than a week
- Home in no more than 9 days post birth
- No health/breathing complications
- Breast fed
- Blood pressure to cease rising (currently 140/80)
- No further swelling/oedema
- No infection post caesarean
- Diabetes control during, pre and post delivery
- The peace of God in my heart
- God’s perfect timing
- The safe delivery of our son
- Wisdom for my doctors
My God will be victorious and glorified in this no matter what, and I know that. But I also need to believe that he will show mercy on this mother’s heart, and on my family.
Thank you for standing with us in times like these. I can’t wait to introduce you to our baby Walker.
“All in His perfect timing; up ahead a light is shining and I know that dawn will be arriving very soon.
When God closes a door, he opens a window… He opens a window so I can see He’s working it out, the very best for me… He opens a window just for me.”