“Everyone says what a ‘redemptive’ pregnancy this must be since it’s going so well, but pregnancy is not about me. I’m facing significant risks to my body to bring this baby into the world. If it were about me, and it was redemptive, I wouldn’t be so terrified. I’m not scared of what happened last time. I’m scared of what could happen this time…”
Is there anything we crave more than redemption? The happy ending, the eradication of past hurts, the relief, the good vibes, the resolution – we want it so badly, and we want it everywhere. Alleviate poverty. Fight hunger. Free the captives. Find the missing. Cure the cancer.
Our hearts long for redemption.
Yet I struggled to see pregnancy as a place for redemption.
Don’t take my past pains from me. Don’t take my scars, my hurts, my experiences, the things I’ve learned. They make me who I am and they’ve shaped everything I know and believe about my ability to safely bring a baby into the world.
I didn’t want to be told how strong I was during my first pregnancy when I was cracked to the very core on the inside yet smiling on the outside. And I didn’t want to be told how redeemed I must feel during this second, presumably much safer pregnancy, when I was terrified. I knew too much and too little at the same time. I knew what could happen, but I’d gotten through that before. What I didn’t know was what would happen if a body – one that’d been vulnerably cut before, one that couldn’t even risk carrying a baby to full term – went into pre-term labor again.
When my doctor suggested Makena injections, I didn’t have to think twice before saying, yes, please, let’s do it. They are precautionary, and potentially unnecessarily so. They are expensive. They are a pain to get your hands on – a process that includes probably close to 100 phones calls between your doctor, your insurance company and a specialty pharmacy. They are a pain when physically administered – an experience that must be observed religiously on the same day each week and is meant to happen at your doctor’s office, creating weekly appointments. They are such a nuisance.
But hopefully you’ll get to the end and wonder if they were the difference or not.
My doctor was gracious enough to send me home each quad (the injections came in packages of four – a month’s supply – requiring you to call to start the process of obtaining the medicine over again five times to get your full 20 shots from weeks 16 to 36) and let my nurse of a neighbor administer them. Praise be to God for my neighbor who saved me from approximately 16 trips downtown by agreeing to stop by each Thursday night and poke me. Some women get approved to have the equipment and medicine shipped right to their house so they can administer the injections themselves. Not approved for that, I had to slip in under the radar and take a mysterious looking goody bag home each month from my doctor.
I was so terrified of going into pre-term labor, that I think I would have done anything my doctor suggested. Makena injections felt so simple, so I chased them with very little physical exertion and definitely no questionable “can-you-do-this-if-you’re-pregnant?” moments. I was about one step away from putting myself on bedrest.
So did I feel redeemed? No. I felt terrified.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 20 weeks, 3 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 5
Makena Injections: 4