24 Mar

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made
in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16


It was all wrapped up in one word … ANTICIPATION.   May 4, 2009 was to be the big day.  From the beginning when a test stick proved the validity of the moment, dreams of a cute house with a white picket fence and a fun SUV  filled the hearts of two young people.  Prayers of thanksgiving and protection were immediately offered to God when the news was gifted to us on Grandparents’ Day a week later.  Feelings of overwhelming emotion consumed endless thoughts that were burdened with concerns, fears, exhilaration, and awe.  Days of excitement soon turned into long weeks of nausea.  These weeks mercifully gave way to a few months of calm as the small petite frame gave way to its natural transformation into a protective shelter and a place to nurture.  Repeated doctor appointments and the technological wonderment of ultrasounds dispelled the fear of earlier test result concerns … and vividly announced the news of  IT’S A BOY!  We also saw a cute little button nose, a high forehead and a hand that loved to stretch up above his head.  ANTICIPATION … did I already mention that?  The holidays arrived with special attention to the ever-growing bulge, grateful for lots of family time and support.   The winter snows and ice were moderate that year, all the while efforts to keep the front parking spot cleared and available was always made to help prevent any spills.  Friends schemed and a surprise visit highlighted the first shower given in February.  A belly button and wedding rings were placed in the lost and found box, along with skinny feet and the desire for coffee.  Instead, monkeys became the prominent accessory!  Mid March, family and friends gathered in celebration of this ANTICIPATION ~ showering with story books and crossing off more and more of the necessary items registered at local stores.  With gift bags and packages still waiting for attention in a corner of the house, a frequent flyer ticket flew the excessively swollen maternal carrier to Indianapolis the following weekend. A few additional necessities for the final 6 weeks of expansion were purchased, followed by another party of friends and family contributing to the ANTICIPATION.  Concerned parents bade farewell with explicit instructions to call OB/GYN upon arrival back home and an appointment was quickly made.

Kim drove herself to that memorable OB appointment, still expecting with total ANTICIPATION of that magical due date of May 4, but assumed it would include complete bed rest for the next 6 weeks.  As the story continues, the visit at noon resulted in a diagnosis of severe pre-eclampsia … extreme high levels of protein in the urine, high blood pressure, excessive swelling, headache and blurred vision, with possible brain swelling.  At this level of intensity, the only treatment was a constant administration of magnesium to prevent seizures.  The only cure was to deliver.  Delivery at 34 weeks dictated the trip by ambulance to the Women’s Pavilion at Geisinger Hospital in Danville, PA.  The concerned parents/soon-to-be grandparents dropped everything, grabbing all the necessities for a possible extended stay.  Prayers, encouragement, and support from family and friends began to pour in and carried all of our hearts as the hours began to tick by on that clock in room 214.  Little to no sleep claimed the night and early morning hours for the entourage of loved ones as the inducement of labor began.  Time marched on as seizure prevention meds caused extreme dizziness and nausea … and contractions steadily increased the need for an epidural.  The routine of advancing labor took control in that room that day … with doctors and nurses coming and going in preparation.

The occasional glance deep into the eyes of the patient stirred the heart as there was fear and concern ~ she and hubby still had 6 weeks of ANTICIPATION … they were not ready.  Classes had not been attended yet, tiny laundry still needed to be washed, and monkeys of every shape and size needed to be lovingly placed in the nursery.  Nursery?  Nothing was ready in this room but the crib  ~  with the letters  C   O   L  E  hanging above. 

Benchmark moments of the day  ~  1 cm … then 4, water breaking, 7 cm, then 9.  In late evening the moans gave way to pushes.  Pushes that were determined and dedicated to deliver a prize.  Except the prize was becoming weak and lethargic due to the medicines passed along through his system.  The monitored swish swish that had become the backdrop of our life that day began to slow dramatically and quickly became the priority of the moment.  A finality abruptly changed the course of this event as the head doctor took charge and made the decision for emergency surgery.  As wires were being pulled and cords yanked, mayhem filled the room with extreme urgency.  I once again looked into the eyes of my precious child and caught the glimpse of a very frightened little girl, realizing the ANTICIPATION of the normal and safe was suddenly turning into the unusual and scary. Following her out of the room, shock took over my emotions as I saw hospital personnel running as they quickly pushed the bed around the corner and out of sight.  The once boisterous room behind me filled with the activities of labor and delivery was all of a sudden eerily quiet.  I turned to see the empty and frightened look on my son-in-law’s face … and I felt my own heart bursting out of the shock and into uncontrollable sobs.  Sobs for the fear, for the unknown, for the disappointment, and for love.  Love for this new family. 

March 24, 2009 at 7:06 pm Cole Michael Arndt was born.  He was immediately taken to the NICU where God assisted trained professionals perform a miracle of reviving a non-responsive baby.  Time seemed like an eternity as we waited for news about these loves of our life.  Two hours later, we were taken to the small cubicle #9 in the neonatal intensive care unit which was the new protective shelter for the tiny boy lying there.  4 lb. 5 oz. and 17 ¾” long.  Tubes and wires, patches, cords, heat, lights and monitors became the norm for this little man for the next 20 days…with each day a marked improvement over the last.  After the recuperating new mom was discharged from her temporary dwelling, the nearby Ronald McDonald House became home for those of us keeping vigilance over the itty one.  Over the course of our stay, blessings were heaped upon us by family, friends, and those in the NICU who were caring for Cole.  Easter Sunday was truly a celebration day when he came home from the hospital. 

Today is March 24th.  The day that quickly replaced that magical due date of ANTICIPATION into the REALITY of Cole Michael Arndt …

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

 God knew …

Till next time,

Cole Michael ~ 2 hours old

Grami & Cole ~ 24 days old

Kim, Troy, Cole & Tadpole

3 Responses to “ANTICIPATION”

  1. Shelley Carter March 25, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    So precious Deb.God is so good.That has been a fast year.Love ya

  2. jules March 25, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    It’s so hard to believe that Cole is already a year old! Kim and Troy are so blessed! As are you and Tim! And you wrapped up with my favorite passage from Psalms.

    Miss you lots and Love you!!!!!

  3. ophie March 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experience and joy. God is so wonderful.

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