a gift

“The appropriate response to a gift is gratitude”
-Nancy Guthrie

After my third baby, I stopped writing out a “birth plan.” I had a few things I instructed Bryan to push for–let’s keep the baby alive and healthy, try  not to c-section me, and I’d like to hold her ASAP. Oh yeah, and get me out of this hospital as soon as I can walk!

Yesterday, at my 28 week appointments for Kit, I was told the birth plan–there’s going to be more than a dozen people in there when she’s born–pediatricians, cardiologists, obs, half the hospital–we’ll hook her up to an IV of medicine right away, and I might just get to squeeze her hand before they run away with her to the CICU for tests and medicine. Then we will be there one week, maybe two, maybe a month…

I knew from the moment she was diagnosed that I wouldn’t get to hold her right after she was born, but that was still hard to hear. The way things are planned to go–this is best case scenario planned!–will be so wildly different from my other girls. No quiet cuddling in our room after delivery, no nursing right away, no hoards of family and friends coming by to visit. She’ll be born straight into emergency. Then hopefully we will find out if they think she’s got a chance to live.

Some days I feel so deeply sad about Kit, and sad that I have to carry her an entire pregnancy not knowing if she’ll live very long afterward. It can feel meaningless, even cruel.

I know though that God is not cruel. And Kit is alive right now–completely alive!–listening to her sisters giggles and shrieks, to her daddy play guitar, to my stories read aloud every night.  Her life is a gift, even if it is mostly spent hidden away in my life, and instead of despair, I need to respond in gratitude.