I’ve never known joy like this before. Joy in me, in us, in our family so complete that I know it could only be from the hand of our God who knows how much we’ve needed it. Joy that encompasses even the crazy, sleepless, “what on earth?” moments. This is a joy I am so grateful for that words could hardly express it.
Since June 11th I have been thoroughly humbled by how intricately God has heard and answered my prayers. I’ve not all the time this past year seen so many prayers answered so soon. This past year, for me, has been defined by praying for faithfulness even when the answered prayer doesn’t come. Trusting, even when the worst has seemed to happen. These past two weeks, for the first time since Gideon’s diagnosis last November…I’ve felt God’s “Yeses, simply because I love you…” more than ever before.
On June 11th I sat in my doctors office for a routine check up. My daughter Faith was with me so she could hear Samuel’s heartbeat, and we sat and giggled and chatted while we waited for the visit to begin. Visits at that point in pregnancy usually go routine. Weight, heart beat, blood pressure and a “see you next week!” We got the weight, the heart beat, then the blood pressure…155/98. Um, I’m sorry what? Then we monitored for 20 min and the blood pressure never came down.
I knew by the first reading that that meant that I had pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure always sits at 110/70ish and I had never seen a number like that in my life. Not in any other pregnancy, not ever. Its such silliness, but I giggled in my mind as I thought “God answered my prayer with pre-eclampsia…this baby is coming early!” I probably didn’t (and still don’t) know enough pre-eclampsia to make me nervous, all I could do was sit in disbelief that Samuel was going to come!
We scrambled, packed bags, made attempts at plans for the next couple of days, and off we went. To the hospital. To have our baby? Really, to have our baby? Could it possibly be?
During our time in the hospital I sat in disbelief as I watched God answer small prayer after small prayer. Prayers only I know I prayed. Prayers of little small details that I hadn’t even shared were set before me in a perfect time of labor and delivery.
List of huge praises:
1. They let me still do VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)
2. In a VBAC induction pitocin is avoided so I didn’t even need to beg them not to give it to me
3. I was already dilated, so the measures they took for induction were all medicine free and my body kicked in naturally into labor
4. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to get an epidural. I had not had a good experience with the epidural I got with my daughter and I delivered my next two sons naturally and it went so much better. Call it a cacophony of reasons, I just wasn’t sensing that natural childbirth was the way for me to go this time. And at 12:00 am, at 6 cm dilated I decided to get the epidural. My husband slept on the couch next to me as I rested in perfect peace in bed praising God for the gift of some relief yet still being able to be aware of every contraction (which was literally verbatim exactly what I prayed for).
5. This might sound weird, but since is took me 3 hours to push my daughter out I really wanted to be able to feel pushing. Another prayer answered. I was able to move my legs perfectly and at 2:30 I woke up, yelled at my husband to wake up, pressed the nurse call button because, “This baby is about to come out, RIGHT NOW!” One contraction later at 2:38 am Samuel was born!
In my prayer journal the next day, as I held my brand new healthy baby boy, I reflected on all God had done and simply sat in awe. Not only had I been spared the last two weeks of a pregnancy and not only had I delivered early for the first time ever, but it literally went the way I had dreamed of and prayed for.
When they put Samuel on my chest I looked at him and said, “Hey buddy, I love you and I need you to cry for Momma. I need to hear you cry!” I held so tightly onto Gideon’s one little cry that I just felt like I needed to hear one loud and clear! Would you believe Samuel, after one second of being born, laid there on my chest wide eyed, looking and me and not making a sound. I sobbed and sobbed as one piece of me felt the gentle whisper of “Mommy, its okay. It’s all going to be okay” and the other piece of me still yelled, “Cry, please cry!” It wasn’t until the nurses took him off me for a split second that he belted out the loudest cry and my soul felt a rush of relief.
He was here. My son Samuel was here and I was so in love.
These past 10 days have been the best of my life. Spending time as a family, making summer memories and soaking up our new addition our family has never been happier. The kids are amazing with him. I think that their void this past year has been just as real as Dave and I’s and you can see the healing taking place in them too.
Having Samuel after losing Gideon has had two glaring effects. I do imagine, more than ever what Gideon would have been like in these days. What his antics would have been, what his cry would have sounded like, what getting to know him would have brought. Questions that only Heaven will bring answers to.
But the other thing is my appreciation for this time. Every second, with each of my kids, is like a precious eternity to me…savoring every single heart beat of each and every one of them. Every hug, every smile, every kiss, every snuggle every little…tiny…baby…sound it all goes in the recesses of my heart filling it up with more gratitude imaginable.
Thank you God, for you have been so so good to us.