The hospital bed was smaller than I had expected it to be and much firmer. I could feel myself sweating from nerves and excitement as I sat under the thin white sheet and smelled the freshly cleaned room in the birthing suite. I had watched plenty of “positive birthing” videos in order to mentally prepare myself, but nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.
Ever since I can remember I knew I wanted to be a mother. So, when my husband and I found out we were pregnant we were so excited. When we found out we were having a little girl, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t stop dreaming about all the tea parties and dress ups we had ahead of us.
Weeks turned to months and slowly my wardrobe shifted from size small rompers to large t-shirts and sweatpants I stole from my husband’s closet. He still hasn’t gotten back a hoodie I took from him. My emotions were growing along with my tummy and a precious life was kicking around inside of me. I will never forget that feeling. The feeling of her little legs running across my stomach. I could feel her very much alive inside of me, and I could even sense her personality. The Doctor said she would be a cuddly baby because she liked to snuggle up to my bladder. It’s crazy how well I already knew my daughter and how connected I felt to her. I’d sing to her, and her dad and I would read her stories so that she would know our voices.
I had made my birthing plan, and everything was going accordingly. That is until I got a phone call from my brother.
“Hey Sis. I need you to come down to the gym like now… Your husband blew his knee out playing basketball.” He said in a worried tone.
“What? How did it happen? Is he okay?” I asked in shock.
“I don’t know. Just get down here before they take him to the hospital.”
“Okay I am on my way!” I said as I shoved the last bit of burger into my mouth and jumped in my car.
I kept thinking, “Don’t get too stressed or you will stress the baby… stay calm for the baby.” My husband was the director of a summer camp for kids and my younger brother was working with him. The camp was about ten minutes from my house, so I made it there just before the ambulance. They rushed him to the hospital, and I had to follow behind them in my car because of COVID policies. I felt like I was in a Fast and Furious movie trying to keep up with the ambulance that said it wouldn’t drive too fast so that it wouldn’t lose me.
My husband tore the patella tendon completely off his knee and had to have major surgery. This was not on my birthing plan at all. He wouldn’t be able to drive me to the hospital and I, nine months pregnant, had to deal with all my pregnancy stuff and take care of him. Thankfully my parents lived close by and were able to help.
I finally got to forty weeks and after a few contractions had come and gone I was sure I was going to go into labor at any moment. A week went by and still… nothing. I went to the scheduled Doctor’s appointment and the Doctor said, “The baby is doing good, but if you haven’t gone into labor by the end of the week, we will have to induce you. It’s safest for you and baby so she doesn’t stay in there too long.”
“Inducing her really wasn’t in my birth plan.” I said hesitantly. “But if it’s what is safest for her then I will do it.
I was so incredibly ready to have her out in the world and in my arms, I couldn’t wait a day longer. Another week went by and still, my baby was swimming in my tummy with no plans to come out. So, the hospital told me to call them at 6:00pm so that they could officially tell me to come in for the induction. Knowing the day and time I would give birth made me so much more anxious than not knowing. Having the hospital keep delaying the time I should come in due to not having enough rooms available made it worse. It ended up being the next day at 9:00am that they finally had a room available for me.
There I sat on that firm hospital bed beyond ready to hold my little girl while my mom braided my hair. My husband sat by us looking more nervous than me.
“All right mama,’ said the nurse, “We are going to put you on Pitocin to help your body go into labor. There is a small chance this could lead to you having to have a C-section but that just comes with the inducing process.”
As soon as the nurse left the room, I remember looking at my mom and husband and saying, “Oh no. I didn’t prepare myself for a C-section.”
My husband rolled over to me in his wheelchair and put his hand on my arm. “Hey, whatever happens, God has got you and He’s got our little girl.”
His words calmed me as I thought about how God was in control of a situation that felt so incredibly out of control.
Being a parent seemed as scary as it did wonderful, and I found myself going through major anxiety thinking about all the things that could go wrong. All of a sudden, a simple task had so many potential dangers attached to it. I couldn’t even imagine myself carrying our baby up the stairs without fearing tripping and falling. Then in the midst of all my fears I remembered that God is in control of the uncontrollable. My mom and dad did everything in their power to keep me safe, but still there were things they couldn’t control. Like the time I should have died in a four-wheeler accident at seven. God can control the things we cannot and remembering this gave me peace.
Everything was going smoothly, and the major contractions had started. It was getting close to the time to have my baby. The nurse came in, looked at mine and the baby’s vitals, wrote something down and then left the room. She returned with the doctor who then said, “Your baby’s heart rate is fluctuating due to the Pitocin. This is dangerous and if this continues, we will have to rush you into an emergency C-section to get your baby out.
Tears swelled in my eyes as a mother’s worst fears clouded my every thought. “What if something bad happens to my baby? A C-section is so scary… what if something bad happens to me? Oh, my goodness, my poor baby.” These words spilled out of my mouth as my family tried to stay calm for me. I could see they were just as worried behind their gentle smiles.
My mind felt like chaos when the song “No one ever cared for me like Jesus” by Steffany Gretzinger started playing from my playlist on my phone. It got to the part were the lyrics said,
“Let my children tell their children. Let this be their memory. That all my treasure was in heaven, and you were everything to me.”
I remember hearing that and praying to God that that would be what my children would remember about me. I prayed that my baby would be safe and that her heart would stabilize so that she could live to love Him and tell her children about Him and His love for us. Listening to that song and praying to God gave me so much peace despite my fear. I told my mom and husband to pray, and they told the rest of the family. We joined together in prayer over our little girl and I trusted in the Lord.
The nurse came back and said that her heart rate had stabilized and everything was going to be okay. After twelve hours of labor, it was finally time to push. My mom held one of my legs up and my husband held up the other, and within a few minutes of pushing, my little girl took her first breath. I was holding the greatest miracle I have ever received. The Lord answered our prayers and blessed us with a beautiful, healthy baby girl with a head full of black curls. Even with the stresses of life as a new mom that make it seem like I have a thousand things on my plate, I am reminded of God’s love when I look into the eyes of my baby. Her smile gives me so much peace as I think of my God in whom I can trust with all things.