Scott and I just returned home from our 32nd week check-up. Praise God, everything is still good, but we’re getting to the end… we were told we’ve “graduated” to once weekly check-ups and some early signs that my body and the babies are getting ready for their big day.
I had a sense throughout this past week that my blood pressure was going up a bit again. Sure enough, it’s up 15 points, but the doctors aren’t too worried because I’m usually blessed with low blood pressure… at about 115/70. As long as I stay below 140/90 I’m considered “normal”. We’ve ordered an in-home monitor to make sure it doesn’t take a sudden turn north before next Friday’s appointment.
They also thought I looked a bit “puffy”, even though Scott said he didn’t see it… it could be my lips, I asked Scott and the kids last night at dinner if they looked a little Botox-y!! I hadn’t gained any weight since my last appointment two weeks ago… actually, I lost about a ½ pound plus the girls have likely gained ½ to 1 pound each, so there’s no signs of retaining fluids yet but that’s also something to watch. If I suddenly start gaining weight and experiencing escalating blood pressure, that would signal preeclampsia, which would trigger steroid shots for a couple of days to rapidly develop the babies’ lungs and then a scheduled c-section. None of this would be unexpected for twins or a 40+ pregnancy, but we’ve been praying to fend that off for about 3 – 4 more weeks.
Gauging where we’re at with pre-partum signals is important, you see, because I have the exact date picked out for when I would like the babies to be born… four weeks from today. It’s not for numerology sake (like how weddings skyrocketed on 09/09/09) but rather so the babies would be born the first weekend of the kids’ Spring Break… which would be about a week pre-term, but likely still allow them to come home when I would that Monday morning and then we’d all have that week together as a family to bond.
Scott giggles a bit at my planning, but secretly I know he’s come to appreciate… and even respect it… I’m known for coming pretty close to my mark. When that does happen it’s usually because I’ve added in the necessary prayers as well, which we’ve definitely been doing throughout this pregnancy, as have family and friends on our behalf. We haven’t been praying for a specific date per se but rather for healthy babies and a happy family.
This started me thinking this week about how these days are the easy part of parenting… having three other children ages 8, 11 and 13 has only put into perspective for Scott and me what the full application of parenting really is. Right now, if I sleep and eat well (which Scott monitors both beautifully!) and stay in-tune with the signals my body is sending, we will have done everything we can to bring these babies into the world with the best chances of success. But once they’re here, there are thousands of things that influence them… and that’s when the power of a praying parent really begins. We have to plant the right seeds early, before the shaping of their character is ever tested… we have to be in-tune with the signals in their lives and start course-correcting before they’re making their own decisions… we have to prepare their hearts to know and love Jesus.
A couple of years ago, when our hearts concluded that we were to adopt and bring suspended life into this world, Scott and I prayed for the strength and wisdom to rear that child or children to glorify God. We knew that was our purpose… that their lives would be a manifestation of God’s will to fulfill His rendition of what a perfect world should be. At a prayer service last year at our church we walked forward in acknowledgement that our children are really God’s children and we are simply His stewards, ultimately God could use them in any way for His purpose and when He reveals that to us we would do our part to direct and support our children. I’ve even begun praying for their future spouses and marriages. We may not know yet the men they will marry, but God does… just as we didn’t have even a remote idea of these babies twenty years ago, but God knew they would be ours and the exact date of their births. Proverbs 22:6