"Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?"
The morning of March 6th was below freezing. While we should have been nestled, snug in our beds, Josh and I were awake in an otherwise empty house. He had his usual toast loaded with coconut oil and peanut butter. I had a very small cup of black coffee and several cups of water. We brushed our teeth and checked to see if we had forgotten anything.
And then we ventured out into the freezing cold to get to the hospital by 6:30. Our baby was going to be born today!
|One of the last photos of me pregnant, at registration the morning Baby B was born.|
I was in good spirits. Just the day before, I had been anxious and emotional, but this morning I was calm. I hadn't been awake all night worrying about my first ever surgery and all the potential "what-ifs". I was purposely avoiding those thoughts and trying to focus on the incredibly surreal event ahead.
Since we had found out that I had a complete placenta previa, back at our 18 week ultrasound, this pregnancy had taken on a much more clinical aspect than my previous three. Lots more ultrasounds, so many that they almost got boring, steroid shots, and planning for my first c-section. While my doctor was very optimistic and never alarmist about the previa, he was also real about the possibilities. Bleeding, hemorrhage, blood transfusion, loss of my uterus. Miraculously, we were headed to the hospital at 36 weeks and 6 days gestation with absolutely no "bleeds" (as they are called) on record! We had made it!
We checked into registration at the hospital and were brought to the labor and delivery floor, where everything takes place. Memories of my previous births flooded back. And I was surprised to find myself thinking "I'm totally okay with not going through labor this time around." Josh and I had some laughs over the cervical dilation chart posted on the wall of my room. Not this time around, we chuckled.
As always, I had wonderful nurses that filled me in on the details of what was to happen. I had my first ever IV inserted (it took two tries. After the first, I started feeling like I was going to pass out. Oh dear, I thought. If this is how my body is reacting to just an IV, I'm in real trouble! But thankfully the second attempt was successful.) I met with the anesthesiologist, who was very kind and had a gentle sense of humor. He filled me in on what to expect from the spinal and that he would do everything and anything to keep me comfortable and feeling well. I asked for a little extra relaxation medication once the baby was born and the surgery was being completed. He said one of his most important jobs was to take pictures for me. All of the staff I met were shocked that I had never had an IV or an epidural before.
As I walked to the OR, I told myself not to look around too much. I didn't want to make myself more nervous. The nurses and other staff were wonderful as they led me through getting the spinal (a breeze) and as they prepped me for surgery. I began to feel very out of breath and the anesthesiologist quickly gave me something via the IV to bring my blood pressure back up. After that, I felt great the whole time.
My mom was brought in and we made light conversation as the surgery began. We talked about my nephew who was flying in from Texas. I felt things happening, but none of it was painful and it was actually comforting to feel something, as opposed to being completely numb. It wasn't long before my doctor announced that he was delivering the baby's legs first- our little guy had gone breach at some point in the past two weeks! I was getting so excited, as was mom, and nervous at the same time. I started crying happy, nervous tears as I anticipated my little guy coming into the world. Similar to birthing naturally, I felt him slipping out of me and it was wonderful. They told my mom to look over and see the baby and she gasped with joy. When we heard his first cry, we both made happy exclamations! It was the sweetest sound in the world!
|My first picture with Baby B. Safe and sound.|
They showed him to me very briefly and brought him to the warmer, where mom got to cut his cord and help clean him up. I waited, quivering with excitement, loving his loud cries. It meant his lungs were in good working order and that he was strong and well.
And then, there he was, bundled up beside me. Someone helped me put my hand on him. He was so close I could barely see him, and he was more adorable than I could possibly imagine. He stayed with me for maybe five minutes. I began to feel tired and more relaxed (the medication I asked for sinking in). My mom and the baby's nurse left the OR to go meet Daddy and Grammy and Grampy for the first time.
The rest of the surgery was very relaxed for me. I just closed my eyes and felt like I was as light as air. I could hear the small talk being made and occasionally some medical talk. My doctor talked to me every now and then. The anesthesiologist constantly checked in with me to be sure I was okay. Everyone was calm and relaxed and I thought, "Everything must be okay. The placenta must have come out just fine."
Nearing the end of surgery, my doctor told me things were going very well but that I had lost a lot of blood (later to find out, about 2 liters), but that they were able to transfuse my own red blood cells back into me using a device called a "cell saver". It collected all the fluids I had lost and separated them out, cleaned them, and allowed my own blood to be transfused back in. That was the final step of surgery for me.
My doctor also informed me that he had put a "balloon" in to help ease the bleeding from my uterus. Stitches where the placenta had attached just didn't work. Apparently this is a very new procedure too because several of my nursing staff had never heard of it.
Before long, I was being transported to the recovery room. I was feeling good, but anxiously looking at the clock. It had been about an hour since the baby had been gone and I was anxious to see him and try to nurse him. About 10 minutes into recovery, Josh brought him in, all smiles. His blood sugar was a little low and I was able to feed him for the very first time, with no problems. Such a huge answer to prayer, as that was one of my greatest desires!
Our baby boy is absolutely perfect. He was just an ounce shy of being seven pounds and was 20 inches long. He is strong, a fantastic nurser, and beautiful from head to toe. He is very calm and relaxed. It truly was love at first sight and incredible joy at his arrival. I don't feel robbed of having a natural birth at all.
The first day of recovery, I felt fine. The c-section itself was a breeze! I got out of bed in the evening, which was difficult, but okay. I slept with my baby inside my hospital gown all night. It was heavenly.
Day two of recovery was very difficult. I was in a lot of pain and discomfort. Since I had never had surgery, it was difficult to know what I needed for pain control measures, and I should have been taking more. I was very discouraged, feeling I would never get better.
Our other three children came in the afternoon to meet their baby brother and there was much excitement! Brown-Eyed Girl had been so excited for this moment and you can see the joy all over her face. Everyone wanted to hold him and love on him.
We stayed for three nights in the hospital, longer than I ever had before. Our nurses were absolutely wonderful and we were so well cared for. The hospital is a very hard place to rest, especially the first 24 hours, but it was good to get my pain under control and have quiet moments with my baby. And no responsibilities except caring for him and me!
At the beginning of this year, I began reading the book of Genesis. When I read the story of two angels coming to visit Abraham in chapter 18, a particular verse stood out to me and has become my focus for this year. When the angels told Abraham he would have a son in his old age, his wife, Sarah, laughed! It was an incredulous, you're-absolutely-crazy, kind of laugh. "And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh?... Is anything too hard for the LORD?" vs14. In the footnote of my Bible, another word for "hard" is "wonderful".
Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?
I asked myself this question.
I found myself believing without a doubt that nothing was too hard for the Lord to do. He could, of course, get me through this pregnancy without any major catastrophe.
But did I believe that nothing was too wonderful for the Lord to do on my behalf?
I sometimes found myself thinking that there was no way I would get through without something bad happening. God would still be good, he would still be there to help me, but something surely had to go wrong.
But I was challenged by this verse. Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?
Like the father of a demon possessed boy in Mark 9, I believed that God was able... but I still needed help with my unbelief.
We have seen, through the pregnancy and the birth of our newest child, that there is nothing too wonderful for the LORD to do. He is all that is wonderful, after all. We praise Him and thank Him for his tremendous goodness to us, for showing us his deep tenderness and kindness through all of this.
My first full day at home, I got up and made some coffee. I took it back up to my bed, where Baby B lay sleeping in his little bed, and opened up my Bible to Isaiah 40. One of my favorite "mommy" verses is in this chapter and I wanted to remind myself that the Lord would tenderly carry me through this new season of life- three older children and a newborn!
"He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young."
As I read from the start of the chapter, however, another passage touched my heart.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins.
When I look at these pictures of my family- my amazing husband, my four beautiful children- what I see is redemption.
I will never pretend that this is the life I dreamed of.
In fact, I was headed in an entirely different direction in my younger life, one that I thought promised joy and all the good things in life. What I found was complete misery. While I looked like such a good girl on the outside, I was on several paths of destruction that, had I continued, would have caused me much heartache. And would find me living a very different life right now.
I was a deep, deep sinner no matter how clean and pretty I looked. But at a very old-feeling 20 years of age, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Shortly after, I met my husband. We had a whirlwind engagement and marriage and fifteen years later, we are still in love, we have four precious children, and life is anything but boring.
Even though I am a housewife
A stay-at-home mom.
Not a lawyer.
Not a city-girl.
Truth is, this life is so much better than what I would have chosen. My warfare is ended, my sin is pardoned, and I have received more than I deserve from the Lord's hand.
I see those faces, and I see what wonderful things the Lord is capable of doing in my life.
I am overwhelmed.
Welcome to our crazy little family, Baby B! We love and adore you!