Saturday, January 15, 2011

My (un)Planned Son - Part 1

Now, this child was entirely unplanned, you see. This was a go-back-to-the-calendar, count-up-the-days, scratch-your-head, then sit-down-and-freak-out unplanned.

I’ve had to work to forgive myself for the next part.
I cried. I cried for 3 days. In fact, I sobbed. I did not plan for this child. I was exhausted with the two I had. We were financially strapped already. I had not planned my life out like this.

Funny how many times the word “I” was used. God was starting the process of me realizing that life is not about me. I didn’t really appreciate it at the time, but looking back, I can see that this was a pivotal event in changing my perspective on the world.

It didn’t take incredibly long to get excited about the expectation of another child. My belly, after being pregnant twice in the last 2 years, popped out quickly and we found ourselves telling our friends before we normally would have, given four prior miscarriages.

And then I got up in the middle of the night. I was about 11 weeks pregnant. And I was miscarrying.

Or so I thought. And I was pretty familiar with the experience, so one would think I could not be wrong in that circumstance.

I called a friend who had also miscarried around that time. If you ask her the story, she will admit that she had no idea who I was or why I was calling for about the first 5 minutes of the conversation. Granted, it was 3:00AM.

After some sobbing on my end, she encouraged me to wait and call the doctor in the (regular) morning. But what was I to do until then?

I can still remember sitting in my office, next to the phone, repenting for my early tears about being pregnant, begging God not to take this child. And I’m surprised that I still looked at it that way, after my many struggles with getting pregnant. I viewed it as my child, that God would take. Had I really not learned anything?

These children were all His. Are all His. We are just blessed enough to care for them for a time. As God spoke to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jer. 1:5.

I waited until the morning. I called the doctor and with no surprise, she called me to her office. But when I got there, I was surprised and frankly, angry.

She told me she wanted to do an ultrasound. I was speechless. Did she really not hear me when I said I was miscarrying? That I knew what I was talking about? Did she really want to show me my dying or dead child on a monitor? I didn’t even know what to say.

I couldn’t say much when the heartbeat showed up on the screen. Strong heartbeat.

I cried again. But for a much, much better reason. The Lord was incredibly gracious to us that day. And it would certainly not be the last time.
The rest of the pregnancy was fairly uneventful although there were many, many more ultrasounds, both in an effort to discover the reason for the bleeding and to hopefully catch any early labor signs so I wouldn’t end up in the hospital again with a premature baby.

Thankfully, my aunt Barb actually stayed with us for the last month of my pregnancy to help lighten my load and to finish the details of our basement/playroom buildout. This space would become such a necessity and a blessing much later on.

We checked me into the hospital for a scheduled c-section on March 12, 2009. Other than 3 attempted epidurals not working and requiring a spinal block, the birth was successful and Case was born a whopping 10 pounds, 1 ounce. We were ecstatic!

Because he was over 10 pounds, the nurses took him back every hour to check things out. He was about 4 hours old when, back in the NICU, he stopped breathing and turned blue.

He was put on a ventilator and the doctors tried to find out what was wrong. They settled on diagnosing a lung condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn, a condition that kills 1 in 5 babies who suffer from it. Case survived and was weaned from the ventilator in three days and from oxygen in seven days. We were incredibly blessed … again.

Our child had survived twice when he could have died. God had spared him. “But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3.

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