Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
It was 12 weeks ago yesterday that the Tetralogy of Fallot diagnosis was confirmed at Children's Hospital -- for 12 weeks now, we've known this was coming. For 12 weeks, we've been preparing and waiting. With 6 more weeks until our due date (and no signs of early labor, despite what the general public may think) and no reason to expect that he will come earlier than that, that means there is more waiting to do.
Waiting. And ... waiting.
That's where we are right now: just waiting -- waiting for the time when it's right for Ewan to be born. Like any expectant parents, we are over-the-moon excited to meet this little guy. I can't wait one day to get to kiss and cuddle him, to see his face, and find out if he has my nose or his daddy's hair. His spunky in-utero activity gives us glimpses into his personality. I can't wait to know him outside the womb.
But any heart mom who had the advantage of finding out ahead of time knows that this waiting period is bittersweet: the day I get to meet him -- the day I've anticipated since I found out I was pregnant -- is the day it will get tough for him. He's in such ease now: warm and well-fed, growing and kicking away. But when the time comes for his birth and first breath, this will be the beginning of his struggle to live and thrive -- when we find out what kind of heart story he's going to have, when we watch, when he fights, when we entrust him to an amazing team of doctors and surgeons and ultimately, to the Providence of God.
Waiting and wondering. Praying.
As I see other heart stories play out, I cannot help but wonder about ours. I immerse myself in details, familiarize myself with the ups and downs of the families waiting on their little fighter babies -- following stats, praying for functioning kidneys. Like them, I can only watch and pray. Just like they did, I have to wait until it is time. And just like they did not know, we will have no idea until the story plays out before us what will happen in the days and weeks immediately following Ewan's birth.
And so I find that within myself I hold the tension of two equally-weighted truths: I can't wait for him to be here, and I want him to stay in there for as long as possible, shielded and protected.
I know the waiting will be all worth it. I know it's necessary. And I want to give that time to him.
Every day I wait is a gift -- another day we are connected, where I get to feel his movements (which have been hard and frequent lately), where I can play a role no one else can play in sustaining his life. I need to remember to breathe through those times where I get anxious about what hasn't happened yet and where I attempt to imagine what nobody can know. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to live in the moment, even though I know that this is what is best for the both of us.
I know that one day soon, my heart will be walking around outside my body.