Every 4 years I get a day to pause and think. Usually it is “tomorrow” but then when tomorrow comes, it was “yesterday” and I had neither of those. I will use today to get a lot done on quilts and the usual Monday jobs… water the plants and wash towels.
On February 29, 1984, I went to the doctor and P had taken me so was in the room for my appointment. I had told him I was sure he would get to hear the heartbeat through the doctor’s stethoscope and see the doctor measure how big the baby was getting. But as measurement started, P got up to watch and immediately the doctor snapped the tape back and P sat down.
The doctor listened for a heartbeat and he didn’t hear it but didn’t say that or much of anything either. He asked me to come to the back for the lab room for a pregnancy test. In oblivion, I walked there without much thinking of what that could mean. Until he came to the room several minutes later to say it was negative. I wasn’t pregnant any longer. I was 18 weeks along. I had felt wiggles and the doctor had heard the heart beat and measured my growing womb for several visits. Until the 29th of February.
Eight years later on February 28, 1992, I was admitted to the high-risk mom’s unit for surgery the next day. Our sweet #5 was just 11 weeks but they agreed to give me a cerclage a week earlier than planned. I only had a local for it and listened in to all their chatter while they secured our wee one to help keep the already-open door closed until there was an ability for life outside.
It was fun to be in the recovery room, the only one not working that was truely awake! I can still remember and see the recovery room nurses joy and delight when an L&D nurse came down with the loud heartbeat monitor. The sound of the healthy heartbeat after surgery resounded in the whole room! Much to my thankfulness and the fun of the nurses. It wasn’t usual for them to get to hear an infant heartbeat like that.
Back in my room, P was waiting. While I regained feeling in my legs, I realized…. it was February 29, 1992. A miracle on Leap Day! A big step in saving our baby.
There were a whole lot more miracles before and after this date in 8 long months to bring us our son, JP! Our son… that came to us via pergonal & something else & wonderful scientists and technology, then surgery, terbutaline, mag-sulfate IVs (near death experience in my head! :p ), a terbutaline-infusion pump, 6 months of bedrest and 2 months of “rest”, 3 weeks of quarantine from Miss K, a handful of CNAs at home (Eva was my favorite!), dozens of meals and drivers from church, but above all, God, the Creator of all… was perfect! He arrived fast and quietly, just 3 1/2 weeks early and just under 5# and we came home in the usual timeframe for then of 2 days later. Delight!
Today I know there was loss of our first.
Today I’m thankful for the gift of our youngest.
All in the same breath.
No one replaced another.
I wanted each one.
We’ll all reunite later.