It’s nearly midnight and still no baby. She’s been slowly dilating from a 2 to a 5 for a couple hours now. I’m tired too, but I want to be a supportive husband. What can I do except be a cheerleader for her to “be patient”? “It’ll happen when it’s ready”. Another 90 min’s goes by and finally, she’s at a 7.
And then my world turned upside down. She started experiencing severe pain, a burning in her abdomen. She knew something was wrong and tried to adjust to make it go away, like maybe it was gas or a pinched nerve. After a few moments of this, with no success, the nurse called it what it was. She summoned for the doctor and the rest of the delivery team.
Within a few moments, everyone was there, and everyone had their game face on. I don’t even remember them pulling out the stirrups or prepping the bed, but we were in the middle of encouraging her to push within moments of him walking in the door.
That’s when I knew something was wrong. Baby came out and made no movement what so ever. This is my 6th child, I know what’s supposed to happen at each step along the way, and NONE of that was happening!
Doctor is throwing out commands that puts the nurses on high alert! Some head out to prep the OR for mom, while others remain with the baby to perform CPR (or whatever the equivalent is for a newborn).
Meanwhile my wife is bleeding out profusely (I’ll spare the details. Remember I’ve done this before and know what it’s suppose to look like, and this wasn’t normal). She of course can’t see anything happening and is only curious that the baby is doing well. She can’t hear him crying and that begins to worry her. Through all this she’s on the borderline of blacking out.
Although, there is no progress with the baby, I ping pong back and forth to them both and assure her everything is ok. I lied to her. I lied to my wife. I’m not a liar, but I lied. I don’t know why. I guess I thought that if I could keep her calm until SHE was stabilized, that would help the doctor and the situation. Or maybe it was for my own concerns – if I can convince myself and put out the final outcome BEFORE it occurs, maybe this isn’t happening.
Earlier that day, she asked me for a blessing. I’ve given her blessings for each of our kids deliveries. But this one was different. It spoke of this moment, the moment where she would need to fully rely on the skilled professionals caring for her AND trust in God.
And then it happened. The nurse got a pulse. It seemed like eternity! But she got a pulse and was able to get him breathing on his own. The three of us had a brief moment together for ONE photo before they whisked mom off to the operating room. The doctors and nurse insisted that happen before she left. She was pale and lacked the energy to hold her head up on her own.
I’m not gonna lie and say that all those crazy lifetime movies and scary articles passed around the internet didn’t cross my mind. The stories about mom dying on the OR table leaving dad with all the kids to raise alone. I’m sure it would have crossed your mind too. And to compound the situation, baby wasn’t out of the woods yet, either! The nurses were still in serious mode to get him to the neonatal room to run all the oxygen level tests. They seemed hopeful, but there was something that said they’ve seen this before and they don’t like what’s next.
Meanwhile, I have NO CLUE what’s happening with my eternal companion. She’s off with the surgical staff, alone, while I go with the baby and nurses.
2 hours. Waiting. Wondering. Watching as this fragile little spirit struggles to get all of his vitals balanced. It WILL cause you to reflect. I trust God has a plan. I trust His plan is what is best for my earthly development AND the eternal progression of our family.
And then I felt PEACE. I felt God’s promise of comfort, through His Holy Spirit. I looked at my new born as he lay in the nursery, and I KNEW everything was ok. There’s something celestial about looking into the eyes of a new born that gives you confirmation that your faith in God is now closer to knowledge.
And then at that moment, the Doctor walked in and reported that everything was fine. Mom and baby are both on the right road to recovery. Vital signs all on the path to perfect.
So what happened? My wife had torn her uterus and her cervix and the baby wasn’t getting oxygen. The doctor knew that if they hadn’t taken baby out at that moment, and instead taken her to the OR for C-section, that there was a high risk of losing baby or having brain damage for the rest of his life.
Today I saw the hand of God in the birth of my son. My family is now complete. And as the capstone of it all, God’s hand was in this. He’s been there for ALL our children’s births. We are blessed as parents to walk hand in hand with the Creator of all, to bring His children to His world. To lead them, guide them and walk beside them. To not only help THEM find the way, but to recognize the times THEY are helping US find the way. We will return to live with Him someday, but it won’t be Heaven without our family.