There’s a certain unpredictability to giving birth. Yes, you will have your baby in the end to kiss and snuggle. But there’s so many ways to get from point A to point B that it can leave a new mom very anxious in the days leading up to their baby’s birth. I remember playing out every possible scenario in my mind during those long sleepless nights the couple weeks before Heidi was born. What if my water broke, what if I woke up having fast and strong contractions, what if I had to be induced, what if I needed an emergency c-section, what if she came too early, what if she came too late, what if she had complications that the doctor missed, etc. In fact, I wrote in my journal that I was plagued by fears I would still lose Heidi due to miscarriage or birth complications. I woke from nightmares, and spent several sleepless nights crying and letting these fears get to me.
That night finally came though. I don’t think I ever felt more alive than the night I gave birth to Heidi. The fear I felt when those contractions started knocking me off my feet, the exhaustion I felt as I was pushing with all that was in me, the rush I felt when she finally slipped out, the way the air was knocked out of me when she was laid on my chest for the first time, and the absolute heart-breaking adoration and relief I felt when I first looked into her eyes. I always wonder if there will ever be a time where I can think about that night without tears in my eyes. I’m starting to doubt it.
I’m incredibly blessed right now to be watching my two best friends’ families growing right along with mine. We’ve been friends since third grade. Some days I can’t believe we went from riding bikes at dusk, making bead jewelry, and sipping Oreo milkshakes and whispering our secrets to being blessed by husbands, babies, and a still-solid and amazing friendship. Caitlyn is pregnant with her third, a sweet baby boy. And Julie is due in about a week.
Last week, we got an email from Jules saying she found out Baby was breech. The doctor wanted her to come in first thing in the morning to do an external cephalic version to try and turn the baby. Apparently, this procedure could lead to a c-section or induction…two things Julie wanted to avoid. Those are scary words to be throwing around a woman who is very close to having her first child. When doctors start saying words like that, a mom can’t help but become anxious and fearful. On one side, major surgery is always scary. On the other, the idea of forcing your baby out when he/she is not ready leaves a mom feeling a little uncomfortable. Either way, Julie was faced with the possibility that her birth story may not be what she always envisioned.
She was upset, as any mom would be, and was concerned for her baby. But she was trying to focus on the end goal: a healthy baby. I commend her greatly for this because it’s not easy. When I was told that Heidi was looking pretty big and that we may just have to schedule a c-section, I also was upset and praying fervently that it would be unnecessary. I wanted that story so bad…the one where my water breaks, we rush to the hospital, Cody and I squeeze hands while I push, the doctor holds up my beautiful baby for all to see, and lays her on my chest. I was very blessed to have a lovely birth story to tell. But there’s never a guarantee that will happen.
So we prayed. We prayed for peace for Julie. We asked very specifically that God would turn Baby Scott so that any procedures, inductions, and c-sections would be completely unnecessary. That was our first and foremost desire for Baby. We prayed that regardless, a healthy baby would be delivered to Julie and Mike, free of health issues and complications. I was up a lot that night, probably because I was anxious for Julie. I knew exactly how she felt, and I just wanted her to feel peace that night. I knew she wasn’t sleeping either, so I just stayed awake reading and praying and checking on my own sweet baby girl.
The next morning, I had just finished feeding Heidi breakfast when I got a text from Julie: “Baby turned on its own last night and the doctor sent us home!” Without a second thought, I threw my hands in the air and yelled, “Praise God!” And I immediately had tears on my cheeks. I got this overwhelming feeling that we had all witnessed a miracle. Maybe a small one but a miracle nonetheless. I felt a deep joy and awe at what God had done in Julie the night before.
You can say this happens all the time…that breech babies turn on their own, that it’s not uncommon, and that by chance Baby righted itself during the night. But knowing how many people were covering that little family in prayer, I know better. I have no doubt the God whose hands fashioned the earth and the mountains and the trees and the little girl kicking her legs in her high chair and slopping cereal on her face right in my kitchen…that same God had those same hands on Julie’s baby, gently coaxing him/her into a safer position. God answered prayer in a matter of hours. He didn’t have to, but He did. And in a day and age when miracles don’t often get talked about or recognized, it was just the hope my heart needed. It was just what a lot of people needed to recognize that the huge God of the world is also the God of small things. And when we realize that, I think we realize the small things are actually the great things…the amazing things, the worthwhile things, the valuable things. I am so grateful to love and serve such a God.
What a special baby, that one. 🙂
“4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning…”