Thursday, January 31, 2008

life in hospital

In one week (one week!) from about now, we're scheduled to meet our two littlest girls! I drew a calendar on the whiteboard on my hospital room wall, and I drew another on a piece of paper, and my daughter is crossing the days off at home. It feels like Advent all over again.

I've finished since I've been here: three cross-stitch projects, two baby blankets, two pairs of baby booties; and I've almost done embroidering two baby hats. The nurses all say how talented I am, but I just remind them that I am a woman with A LOT OF TIME on my hands. And they all say that it's just as well, as I won't have much time after the twins get here.

I'm sure they're right.

By the way, my recommendation for you, if you even find yourself in the hospital for awhile, is to equip yourself with lots of handiwork, and lots of good audiobooks. I haven't found anything that passes the time faster than listening to the Chronicles of Narnia (read by excellent actors like Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart and Jeremy Northam) and hunching over some needlework. It's the sort of thing you can dive into and find yourself hours later in the day the next time you look up. As time in a hospital room can drag, this is a great gift. Plus, eve if it's not the work you want to be doing, it is work, and work is something I think it would be hard to live very long without.

Well, my lunch tray has come, and thought I'm not terribly hungry (because the babies are taking up all the room an empty stomach normally takes up!) I'm going to go eat now. Studies have shown that twins have much better birth weights when their pregnant moms make sure to eat enough (healthy) calories, and by the girls' last ultrasound weight estimate, it seems to be working. I'm not going to stop this last week; I want to get these girls up to five pounds each by the time they're born next week! Or, at least, I want to do everything in my power to get them as close as possible. And may God in his mercy do the rest.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm back!

Sort of. I'm still at the hospital (3 weeks, 2 days and counting), but thanks to my kind brother-in-law, I finally have internet access!

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for the twins and for me and my family.

Today was actually a good day to get internet access back, because I actually have an update on the twins' conditions today; I had an ultrasound (first official one in three weeks) to check on the girls, and the estimate is that they're both weighing in at about 4 lbs right now, which is absolutely great for this gestational age! (approx. 32 weeks). It looks like I'll be delivering in two weeks, and boy, I can hardly wait!

One of the babies did show something slightly troubling though: a few small spots on the front of her abdomen, which might be nothing at all or might be the signs of a serious infection. There's no way to know which it is until she's born, so I ask your prayers that she will be just fine.

As for staying in the hospital . . . I've discovered that it's not that being in the hospital is bad, it's that not being home is bad. This lovely Catholic hospital has amazingly kind and competent nurses and staff, who make a hard stay a whole lot easier. But oh it is so hard not to be home. Hard to not see and hear and touch my kids.

And I think that God is giving me a crash course in "How Not to Worry 101". That perpetual temptation of mine is stronger than ever here. I just stop worrying about whether something awful will happen to our house (a fire maybe, or robbers) when it occurs to me that I can worry about whether or not the insurance will pay our hospital bill (despite having been previously assured that they will). My mom tells me that this is spiritual warfare, and I think she's right. And now I'm worried that there's something hideously wrong with one of the twins.

I am having so much practicing in putting away "anxious imaginations". But by God's grace, maybe by the time I get out of here I will be much better at trusting Him, having had so much time in here to practice.

I take about a five minute walk around the floor every night before I go to sleep, and one night this past week had me telling my Father, "I can't control any of this. I can't keep these babies safe and I can't keep my toddlers at home safe. I can't do anything to make this turn out well. I can't do any of it. You can do all of it." And then I realized that this was always true. I hope I remember that when I get out of here. It's a lesson I don't want to lose.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s. On the walls near the elevator on this L&D floor is a framed quotation from St. Francis de Sales. I stop and read it twice a day, on my brief walks. I don't have it memorized exactly yet, but it goes something like this:

"Do not think about tomorrow. That same heavenly Father, who cares for you today, will be with you then. Either He will shield you from sorrow, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Therefore put away all anxious thoughts and imaginations."