Abigail's Story

Goodbye

37 weeks.

After a quick calculation, I realized that that’s how far along I’d be when it came time to move.

This is crazy. 

My mind felt almost paralyzed with all the change that was about to happen. Were we really getting to move back to California? I’d wanted to for so long. But this timing… seriously? Couldn’t it have happened before the pregnancy? Or at least a little earlier? Or maybe after the baby? After all, I really loved my doctor. I needed close monitoring. I wanted to nest.

But, who am I to argue with God. I had begged Him to let this happen, and now He said yes. He knew I was pregnant. He knew I was high risk because of the fibroids. He knew that even though this sorta made no sense on our timeline, it was going to be the absolute best possible thing for us.

Something big was coming that I was going to need a lot of help through. A lot of support. A lot of love.

And He was gracious enough to bring me home.

***

“How many of you are planning on going natural?”

The instructor’s voice echoed through the room, and all hands went up, including my own. I’ve always had a pretty high pain tolerance, and figured that I’d be able to rough it out without an epidural, without pain meds. I’d talked to my mom who had 3 natural births, and got some advice from her.

But after watching the very graphic video of multiple women and their childbirth experience, my tune changed. I thought these classes were supposed to make me feel more prepared for the impending labor, not less so. I knew it had only been one class, but, I was scared out of my mind.

I knew the baby was coming out of me one way or the other. I could only hope it’d be like those wonder mom stories that had the kid out after 2 hours of labor and 3 quick pushes.

Please, let mine be like that. 

Thankfully, the following week, the instructor showed us the second half of the video. The one that showed the babies first cry, and the moment that I’d been fixated on, since seeing those two little lines. The moment I spent daydreaming about. The moment they’d lay her on my chest, and we’d have our moment, just the two of us, getting intimately acquainted. I’d look at her. She might look at me. She’d be beautiful. Even if she was red, and slimy, and smelly. I wouldn’t care. Because she’d be mine. My own little miracle from God. And I’d get to look into her sweet innocent eyes and say, “Hi precious one… I’m mommy.”

It was the moment I lived for.

I couldn’t wait.

***

“Make sure you know the hospitals all along the way. I’ll make sure we give you your up-to-date records. Keep them handy, just incase.”

Her voice was comforting to me, like it had been the first time we met when she verified that my pregnancy was valid. In the past 7 months, I’d grown to love this doctor so much. I regretted having to leave her. Having to cut off our journey together before the culmination of what we’d been working towards all along. I wished she could deliver my baby. I wished I could take her with me. But her other patients felt the same way, I’m sure, and that wouldn’t be fair to them. She hugged me, wished me the best, and made me promise to send a picture of the baby after she was born.

I was nervous about the idea of finding a new doctor so late in my pregnancy, but this doctor had told me that she’d accepted women even further along than I was, and assured me that the doctors in California would do the same.

She didn’t know that wouldn’t be the case.

***

The U-haul was reserved and most of the boxes were packed. My sciatic nerve pain made it difficult to walk, but there wasn’t really time to stop. My husband had to finish out his work obligations, and I was determined to not take everything we owned to our new home by having other people help us pack every little thing we had. I wanted it to be organized. I needed to maintain some control over my what-seemed-to-be-falling-apart life.

While most moms-to-be at this point are putting the finishing touches on the nursery, I was placing all of the baby’s “immediate need” clothing and blankets into a storage box, and taping a paper onto it that said DO NOT STORE. KEEP ACCESSIBLE. 

I had never in my life longed harder for stability, but each day our home just got more and more taken apart.

When a young man and his mom came to take away our couch, they handed my husband $100, and disappeared out the door with our last piece of furniture. We went to Big 5, and bought some fold-up chairs, so that we’d at least have some place to sit that wasn’t on the hard tile. It would do for a few days.

***

Finally, it was moving day.

My parents were in town, and the guys had spent the entire evening before strategically packing the trucks and U-haul with what seemed like never-ending boxes, despite our garage sales and craigslisting to lighten up our load. But finally, we were ready.

We did the walk-through, checked every corner of every room, made sure lights were off, sinks were securely shut, and windows were locked. The scent of lemon still filled the air from all the scrubbing, dusting, sweeping and mopping. The fridge was empty, the cupboards too. We closed the door.

Before getting into the car, my mom snapped one last picture of us, standing in front of our first home together. The only house we’d ever owned. The home we’d laughed in, cried in, prayed in, and emotionally died in.

This home had seen a million tears and heard a thousand thuds, as pregnancy test after pregnancy test hit the bottom of the trash can. It watched the hope of a wife as she hung pictures of Winnie the Pooh on the walls of an unfilled room, so that it could become a safe haven for a very special foster child. It witnessed the joy, laughter, and fear, as they brought home a seven-week-old angel, but not knowing if it would be permanent. It had heard every prayer, begging God to let her stay. And it heard the joyous laughter on the day that God said yes. It had watched a mommy spin her daughter round and round the living room, and had heard the glorious giggles that healed two broken hearts. It had watched a mother’s belly grow, and with it, a family’s love.

We looked one last time towards this house that had been our home, and we said goodbye.

 

Continue reading the story here.

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