Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Planning on Full Hands


A year ago today, we left the hospital with empty hands. I had the car seat installed, but didn’t fill it for the trip home. Instead of going straight home, we stopped at Target for tissues and cabbages. The tissues for obvious reasons. We bought the good stuff, with lotion and everything, since we knew they would be used a lot. The cabbage was a surprise that our nurse clued us in on. Apparently, and I don’t know the science behind it, the cabbage slows down or stops the milk production process, since the whole body hadn’t yet realized that it wasn’t pregnant anymore. You learn things in times like these………

In a couple hours, we’ll do one more round of checks with the doctor. We’ll do the nonstress test, another growth check ultrasound, and another chat with the doctor. We know right now that Zoe is alive, so there isn’t likely a surprise coming. At this point, it’s really about planning for delivery, sort of like normal parents, if you will. We’ll talk about induction, what to expect, the stuff that you usually expect to talk about in week 37. We’re further than before, and planning different.

This is my paranoid insistence this year. We left town twice this weekend. Each time, everything we’re taking to the hospital went along. Every trip out of the house is gauged by how far we’ll be from home, and whether we really want to look at running by the apartment to get things, because I don’t want to leave the room at all this time. Last year, I snuck out to get our stuff, and took a shower as a nice getaway a different time, just because I needed to with the immensity of everything. This year, I’m not planning to leave at all. 

In a way, it reminds me of my years in seminary and the National Guard after 9/11. For two of those years, I would get phone calls from my unit and a couple others letting me know that I was deploying with them. Sometimes it was 2 days notice, sometimes a week, sometimes a cancellation. We gave up on notifying people of each one, because it happened several times a week. Once it changed during a phone call. Those two years involved a chaotic state of readiness for a big event combined with the need to keep moving along with life. I lived with a set of bags packed and ready to haul out the door. I had everything set with our school’s registrar to suspend things until I returned. That was normal and that’s what we’ve got now. Every trip could be the one, but most of them won’t be, so we keep walking along. Or sitting along, since most of what I do really involves sitting in a chair.

And I pray a lot. I prayed a lot last time, too, but this is going better. I want to say that we’re in too deep for anything to go awry, but that was true last year. Still, zo far, zo good.

All that said, we’ve both prepared this time like it’s going to work out. I’m ready. Becky’s ready. Dr. Doribear has her cute little scrubs ready. Of course, besides our little group, there is a horde of people all over the place that are ready.

Zoe, you energetic little daredevil, it’s down to you now. We’re just waiting on you. This year, we’re planning to leave with our hands full.


6 thoughts on “Planning on Full Hands

  1. Wow, I had heard of using cabbage leaves for engorgement when one’s milk first comes in, but it didn’t occur to me that it actually helped reduce the milk supply. Nature is crazy.

    I cannot wait until you are heading home with Zoe in your arms!

  2. Sending up a prayer for full hands…also thinking of you on this day when your hands were so empty…

  3. I did the cabbages too! it worked pretty well. I do not want to smell cabbage any time soon though.

    I am so excited for your Zoe to come and can’t wait to see her pictures. Your story is the one that gives me the most hope at this moment. I want God to give us exactly what He’s given you guys–another healthy baby of the same sex within almost a year of her sister.

    • Thanks!
      I honestly don’t think we’ve eaten cabbage since, but we didn’t eat it much before.

      The countdown is 12 days in the morning. Then inducing happens. Zoe doesn’t have options now 🙂

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