I sat in the Ob/Gyn lobby in front of a painting of a baby wrapped in a quilt, unable to see the other happy mothers through my tears. “I just want my babies!” my heart begged the God of life. The joy of an ultrasound and hearing the gushing heartbeats of our boys crashed with the doctor’s analyses of the grainy pictures and meticulous measurements. Our 5-month grown little ones had twin-to-twin transfusion, and both were in jeopardy.
My husband checked me into the hospital that day and got me settled in for the night, for the foreseeable future. I had left work in the morning for the appointment, my lunch still in the break room refrigerator. Within a couple of hours, my entire life had changed.
It was early December, 1999. Christmas was quickly coming. The news was full of Y2K analyses: Would the computers be able to flip the date to 1/1/2000? Would all our systems shut down and throw us into chaos? Should we be prepping? Then the theorists began: The new millennium would bring the return of Christ. Several mountain tops had people watching the skies.
Would my babies have a world to be born into?
My worries focused inside the room as the doctors considered amniotic fluid levels, heart rates, oxygenation. It’s amazing how quickly you can adjust to a new schedule of not much. I’d try to wake before breakfast. The cleaning lady came at 9:30. Docs made rounds at 10. The highlight of each day was the ultrasounds. Lunch. Nap. Read. Evening news and supper. Talk to Darrick on the phone if he couldn’t come. Repeat.
I wore heart rate monitors across my expanse and a series of people checked every heart beat on the printed tapes. I saw the Christmas lights turn on in the street below, and off. I force-fed myself as much as I could eat for the little guys. Darrick and I and the staff watched the calendar flip to the new millenium, and the hospital lights and computers and heat stayed on.
I wrestled with God. I talked to the chaplain. I prayed.
I sat in that hospital room for 2 months before the great birthday came. What seemed like a forever long haul became a tiny, almost forgotten blip on the screen of my whole life. The quiet wait burst into joy and activity and hope fulfilled.
There’s a lot of waiting on the birthing of dreams going on in our house right now. My preemie babies are young men figuring out how to get back to college, along with their baby sister. I’m trying to grow a writing career. My husband and I are working on a God-sized vision of a brand new church. And outside, our world is laboring its hopes for a cure for a virus and hate.
And I remind myself:
Watch and wait
Feed your dream
Get your wrestling with God done
Pray and pray and pray some more
Listen for every heartbeat. The Lord grows beautiful miracles in the unseen darkness.