It was August 2013. My wife and I were trying to have a baby for a few months and while at a retreat with our church’s college students, her period came. Later that month, we took a pregnancy test and to our surprise, it came back positive. My wife had an appointment with the midwife and they confirmed the pregnancy as having begun prior to the retreat. *shrug*
A few weeks later we go to church, and she finds she’s bled a tiny bit but it seems to have stopped. I end up going to coach football practice for our church and after several hours, towards the end, I get a text: “I’m bleeding a lot…I don’t know what to do.” She was at Awana – a children’s Bible study club our kids LOVE. So I go to pick her and the kids up. While waiting, I alert our midwife and she says it doesn’t sound too bad and that we’ll monitor it. The bleeding’s getting worse. On our way home, we call the midwives and she tells them how much she’s bled (pretty much a pad every hour or something like that). The midwife cautioned us and told us that we should go to the hospital.
We drop the kids off at home and as we are leaving the house, she gushes more blood. We start driving towards the hospital. We were both sobbing and saying our goodbyes to this little one we never got to know. The car was quiet, but then I whisper, “I’m kind of hungry.” “Me too,” my wife replied. We figured the baby was gone anyway so may as well get some food since we have no idea how long we have to wait in the ER – I think I had a McWrap and she had a hot chocolate and apple pie. I’m not gonna lie – McCafe is McDelicious.
We get to the ER and to our surprise, it is EMPTY.
We’re admitted and told that we’ll be getting an ultrasound soon. Our nurse arrives and after some conversation, my wife tells her how we were at Awana – turns out she’s a believer and her kids went to Awana as well. “We don’t know how God works, but we know it’s for our good” she told us.
The “transporter” as I like to call them, took the brakes off of the wife’s bed and wheeled us over to the ultrasound room. We get into the dark room and tell the story to the technician. “Ok, let’s get in there and see what’s going on,” she said.
WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH
I was seated, looking down at the floor but my eyes shot up to the screen. “There’s your baby,” the technician said. “It’s alive,” my wife exclaimed. “It looks alive to me,” the tech said, as we could see the little being on the screen.
What an emotional day! Wife was diagnosed with subchorionic hematoma and she was under strict guidelines and watch for a miscarriage.
8 months later, she said she felt like Free Willy. “But you won’t be jumping into the air anytime soon,” I replied. Sometimes I say unwise things. The baby’s due date was on Friday and Monday morning, my wife (supposedly) wakes me up in the middle of the night and says she’s feeling a contraction. I have no recollection of this the next morning. She says the discomfort is really deep but it doesn’t feel like labor. For some reason, I thought it best not to go to work today.
That was around 5:30am. It’s now around 9am and she’s been feeling intermittent contractions but nothing too unbearable. We were joking and having a good old time, but we still felt it necessary to call our midwives. Since it was during office hours and my wife didn’t get a cervical exam at her last checkup they scheduled us for a labor check at 11:30am. The birth center is quite a drive away, so we decide to head there early. She has a few more contractions on the drive over but she’s laughing and the contractions are getting further apart, so we’re basically making backup plans to walk around the mall or a local park.
We get there around 10:40 and we are seen around 11. The midwife performs an exam and says, “Are you feeling these contractions?” We thought she was going to say, “Because these are what we call Braxton-Hicks, honey. What is this, your first child?” and that she would tell us to go home and she’ll see us in a week.
Instead, her next words were, “because you are at 9cm dilated.” ^_^
This past Friday, and many times before that, many ladies at our church had been praying for my wife to have an easy, peaceful labor. God definitely answered those prayers.
So we ended up staying. We got situated but the contractions were still very intermittent. The midwife offered to break the bag of waters to speed up the labor but we declined and figured it best to let her body do what it was going to do. Later, the contractions began to get more regular and more intense. The baby’s back was towards my wife’s back, which meant back labor. So she labored on her hands and knees to try and get the baby to turn. After 3 births, I’ve finally figured out how I can actually be useful during the childbirth: I squeeze my wife’s hips together, kind of like I’m playing an accordion, and the counterpressure seems to really help her relax during the contractions.
Up to this point, the labor was pretty “easy” (easy for me to say, right?). But then it got intense around 1:12. After a false alarm were she felt she had to push, she had a few more contractions, her water broke at 1:30, and after two pushes, our fourth baby was out. It was a BOY! My wife had been praying for a playmate for S#1, and God provided.
The afterbirth was shocking. When my wife delivered the placenta, the midwife said she had vasa previa – and if the bag of waters had broken any earlier, there could have been major complications. In fact, she held up the umbilical cord for 10 seconds and the cord severed from the placenta completely. Praise the Lord for His providence.
We named him, God is salvation, because for Baby #4, God truly was our salvation. From the SCH to vasa previa, every time I see him nursing and with every diaper I change, I am reminded that God is my salvation.
Thanks be to God.