The piercing feline screams woke me from my sleep. My eyes popped open and my head instinctually shot up. At 2 a.m. my first thoughts included, “Why is there a cat in my house?” and “Why is this cat in so much pain?”
Reality quickly set in as I gained my bearings and looked around the room. I was not at home. I was in the hospital. The twins had tried to make an early arrival and I had been admitted for pre-term labor. I had been given a medicine called Magnesium, but I call it The Devil’s Koolaid.
“I must have been dreaming.” I thought. But again I heard a cat. A cat who did not want to be here.
“Am I hallucinating?”
The nurses had warned me of the crazy awful side effects of Magnesium. Dizziness, nausea, overall feelings of crumminess. I don’t remember anything about a cat though.
Turns out there wasn’t a cat in my hospital room. There was a woman in labor in the room next to me. Apparently meowing loudly like a cat brought her relief. I ain’t judgin’. Bringing a baby into the world is hard work. With or without meds, it’s tough stuff. If meowing helped ease the pain, I say go for it mama.
The meowing continued on and off for the next hour or so. Finally, I heard the room erupt into joyous hoops and hollers. The helpless teeny cry of a newborn replaced the cat screams and I smiled a jealous smile.
There would be no meowing in my near future. The medical staff had made sure of this. Their hefty dose of Magnesium had slowed down my contractions considerably. Instead of labor pains, I now felt like an active volcano. Every inch of my body felt as if it were on fire. Liquid magma raced through my face and hands and at any moment I was sure my face would burst into flames.
Even after the 24 hour dose, I felt heavy and slow. The smallest movement required intense concentration. Not that I was moving much. The high risk doctor said I was not allowed to get up for at least a day. I wanted to throw him through the window.
If I knew I was going to be admitted into the hospital, I would have washed my hair before coming in. I was on day 2 of dry shampoo. It wasn’t pretty kids.
But I can do anything for a day, right? Mind over matter. It’s all in my head.
After one day, the well dressed high risk doctor returned. He informed me I would be staying in the hospital until delivery. Ummm….what? I’m 31 weeks doc and pretty smart. I can do the math. I cannot be on bedrest for that long.
He offered a sympathetic grin. The Devil’s Koolaid had been successful, but it was too risky to send me home. I wanted to rip his fancy cuff links off and shove them down his throat. (And yes, he was really wearing cuff links. I was not hallucinating.)
Long story short, I’ve now been in the hospital for six days. The doctors and nurses remind me daily I am doing great. Every day we keep those babies “cooking” inside the better, and complications are decreasing.
This makes me happy. Of course I want the absolute best for my unborn babies.
But being here means I am away from you, Neala and Lincoln.
Sure, you come to visit. We try to Facetime when we have a good connection. But mama misses being home with you. I’m not there when you wake up in the morning. I can’t tuck you in at night. These things do not make me happy.
There have been a few moments I have cried and thrown myself a pity party. But then I pray and ask God for grace to make it through the rest of the day.
The Bible says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
If I look too far into the future, I become overwhelmed. My body and mind are exhausted. The thought of being here for another month seems dreadful and almost impossible.
But if I set a goal to make it through today, well that seems achievable.
Neala and Lincoln (and the twins), there will be times in your life you will not enjoy. There will be moments and experiences you don’t choose, yet have to face. It’s ok if you throw a pity party. But it can only last about 2.8 seconds.
Remind yourself of the Lord’s great love. Remind yourself his compassions never fail. Remember a new morning always comes.
And when you hear a cat meowing, I hope it reminds you of new life. And all the hard work mommies do just to get you little turkeys into this world.