As much as we plan for any day, any event, there will always be unknowns. There will often be something we don't see coming. But that doesn't mean that we won't be prepared to take it on.
This is the first sentence of the last blog post I wrote...512 days ago. Ironically, it was the last post because if I may be very transparent, last year was incredibly hard in a lot of ways. If I may go further in my honesty, my faith took a hard hit last December and it took a bit for me to recover and feel like writing anything again. And that's what I want to share - what happens when something happens exactly the way you pray it wouldn't.
Abbey and I met in July of 2021. She was expecting her first child in January, and she always seemed so eager to learn and put into practice anything that would help her reach her goals of an unmedicated hospital birth. She took the classes. She read the books. She put what she learned into practice. She shared what she was praying for and we prayed in agreement over those details.
She literally did "all the things".
On December 6, at only 33 weeks, she learned that an immediate medical induction was necessary. This was most certainly not what we had prayed for. Of course her baby was premature and required delicate care, but our whole team still tried to facilitate the most natural, yet gentle experience possible. On December 7, it was clear that laboring was no longer safe for her and her baby and the call was made to transfer to the OR. Stat. We quickly, but as calmly as possible, began pulling wires, unlocking the bed, and moving stuff to the perimeter of the room to make the fastest transfer possible. I leaned down to let her know that it was time to meet her baby, that her husband and I couldn't go in with her, but that her amazing nurse was going to be right by her side. I asked if I could pray for her. She nodded. And I opened my mouth and nothing but a single sob came out. In one moment I lost my resolve, feeling completely worthless - that the person she hired to help hold things together just...couldn't. And then they rolled her out. Her husband and I were left in an empty room and I'll never forget him breaking the silence. "Tell me the truth. Is she going to be okay?" And because I'm not the one to give much outside the truth, I said, "That's what I'm praying for right now." Her baby was born quickly after, and dad was able to get a peek before he was whisked to the NICU. A little over 2 hours later Abbey got to meet her baby and begin the long journey to going home.
I left that night feeling defeated. Sad. Angry, honestly. The birth we prayed in agreement so hard for, that Abbey worked so diligently towards, went completely the "wrong way".
Or so I thought.
A few months later in February, I attended another birth at the same hospital, with the same team. And because it was eating me alive, I found the courage to ask the nurse, "What happened? Did we do something wrong? Did we miss something?" I was almost afraid of the answer because I had been carrying it with me for a while and wasn't sure I wanted to potentially feel worse about it. And I'll never forget what she said...
"Wait, you didn't know? Once we got into the OR, we realized that not only did he have a very short cord, but it was also wrapped tightly around his body twice. Had she continued to labor as she was, it could have been detrimental for both of them."
And I said, "And had her pregnancy continued and he grew with it short and wrapped as it was..."
"Who knows. What we do know is that given the circumstances and that info, it's very possible that he was born at exactly the right time."
Immediately I felt convicted. For nearly 3 months I let my faith be clouded simply because the answer to our prayer was vastly different than what I thought it "should be". But how often do we do that? We feel like we know best, have a great plan, and pray accordingly - failing to remember that God can see things we cannot and regardless of how hard the steps are, He's in them, giving us all we need.
We don't always get to know the why behind the way things happening as they do. But I'll forever be thankful to be given those particular insights on that day, one year ago today, as a reminder that God has called me to this business, not to manage, but to simply serve. And truthfully, 2022 has had some bang-ups, too. But I've carried with me all year the peace of knowing that I am not asked to do anything but show up, trust, and serve with open hands, heart, & mind.
Here is an excerpt from Abbey, written a few months ago (shared with permission):
"After almost 5 months, I’m at peace with my birth story and I share it with a prayerful heart that it helps someone else. The first photo is moments before I was rushed into the OR to be intubated and put to sleep for an emergency c-section at 33 weeks. This most definitely was not my plan, however, these amazing ladies allowed me to labor how I chose for as long as possible until it became unsafe for both Remi and I. Dr. *, my nurse, *, and my doula, Jeanna, forever hold the most special place in my heart. We had planned for a natural, intervention-free childbirth, so my heart was crushed when this became my reality, BUT my body and my Jesus knew what they were doing. A few days after Remi’s birth, I learned that his umbilical cord was extremely short and wrapped around him twice. Remi was literally born in the most perfect moment and most perfect way to get him here safe and sound."
Happy Birth Day Anniversary, Abbey.
You and your little armful of joy are so loved.