Throughout the pregnancy, the way Casey feels on a day-to-day basis has changed quite a bit. Unfortunately for her, the change has not usually been positive. The first couple of months, she was nauseous...a lot. After that, she had major food aversions, but was hungry all the time. I'm not talking just hungry, I mean famished, like she hadn't had sustenance in days. She was also growing very fast and had a lot of swelling and other aches and pains during this phase. And oh yeah, by the way, she had two surgeries during this phase - one planned, one unplanned. Ok, she's going to correct me on this one - the unplanned surgery wasn't technically surgery, but whatever, she had to be rushed to the ER, drugged up, stuck with a really long needle to drain a huge cyst on her ovary, then spent the rest of the night in the hospital...I can call that surgery if I want!
Next came the pressure down low and the acid reflux. After that, sleepless nights were the norm, along with just about everything else mentioned above except for the nausea. Back pain came along shortly after that and difficulty moving around. Shortness of breath, major baby movement, a freak sharp shooting pain up her spine, bleeding gums, stuffy nasal pressure, false labor, one more night in the hospital, and bed rest all came along in November. December has brought more of the same as well as a sore throat, just more intense than before. Now that January has arrived, the intensity has ratcheted up a bit more.
All of these symptoms have sort of come in phases which have lasted anywhere from 2-4 weeks before the next phase begins. Through it all, whenever I've asked her how she feels, she generally rattles off her list of current ailments which for the most part have been consistent with whatever phase she was in. So for us, the phase became "the new normal". She'd run down a list of 5 or 6 issues that would be awful to deal with, but truthfully had become her norm and were therefore not much cause for concern. Basically, "the new normal" meant, "I'm miserable, but no more than what I've been and there is nothing to worry about at the moment." Great way to go through life, huh?
Well, it seems lately that "the new normal" has only lasted a few days before a different new normal has taken its place. She has been feeling really rough since the day after Christmas and it has gotten a bit worse every 3 or 4 days since then. I think the new normal from here on out is that she is going to be beyond miserable and it's going to take every bit of strength that she's got to keep from losing her mind. She's dealt with a lot up to this point, but we're about to see just how much this girl can take. It's tough to watch because there is so little that can be done to make her comfortable. She's shown a toughness that I've never seen and hopefully she'll never have a need for again once all this is over. She'll need to match misery for grit every step of the way. That's right, Casey Ann and grit go hand in hand these days!!
Pray for her as often as you will. Pray for her strength of spirit, pray for her relative comfort, pray for her patience, pray for her perseverence, pray for her health. Pray for her in anyway that you can think of, but please pray for her. We both know that God will see her through this last month in his way, but we also know how valuable everyone's prayers have been up to this point and how valuable they'll be as the pregnancy wages its final battle on her body. Please pray...