"Where are you baby?...come on baby", these are the words spoken by my Labor and Delivery Nurse as she is using both the doppler and the stethoscope on my belly to try, desperately, to locate my 36-week baby's heartbeat...
We were at the end. So very close to meeting this treasured baby I had already been getting to know as he kicked and squirmed in my belly; and through his heartbeats, I had already fallen in love. We were so very close. And that is all I could think about. "God, please, we are so close."
See things started to get complicated at 20 weeks. We realized I had something - or rather the two of us had something - called a single artery umbilical cord. This means one artery is missing - one of the key pathways for nutrients and oxygen for my growing baby. It happens in about 1% of pregnancies - not the 1% category most in our world are aiming for here. The first thing my Dr. said after he found this issue was "don't google it". This is a condition that can go relatively smoothly, or quickly decline into as bad an outcome as loss of a life.
From that point forward, I was on growth ultrasounds until the seemingly inevitable happened - he started falling in his growth...rapidly...from the 45th percentile at 28 weeks to at 32 weeks, the 15th; two weeks later the 12th...at this point, they said we had two weeks and if he fell below the 10th percentile, we were getting him out.
Now, I didn't lean on Christ the way I do now, but I sure as heck shouted out and pleaded with Him when I needed something (there was a ton missing in my relationship with Him, but regardless, He answered); I asked Him for clear direction forward; "Please, God, don't make me go through another two weeks wondering, not knowing, if this baby is going to pass away in my belly. Please, just make it clear that he is either thriving or it is very clearly time to get him out. And, God, I would love to just get him out." So that next ultrasound, at 36 weeks, he was at the 5th...it was go time. I had also been doing non-stress tests and ultrasounds that told me he was "happy". To say I was monitored closely was not an overstatement.
So back to the delivery room, where my world was about to change in a dramatic way, one way or another...and the nurse cannot find a heartbeat. After all this. She looks at my husband to push a red button as she scrambles to slap oxygen on my now tear drenched face. "God, I was so close to meeting him. How is this about to happen?" I look desperately at my mom who always seems to have the answers, but all she could muster up is "it will be okay". Would it? At that moment, I honestly didn't know. I didn't trust the Lord the way I should have, or the way I do now. I didn't cling to Him like He tells us to so that we can get through times like this. I felt like I had lost control....but did I ever have it?
One of my biggest hurdles in my life is control. So many things I have tried to control in the past and still find myself striving to control in the present. We forget that when we give up control, we see God's beautiful work unfold. See Jesus, with a simple word, alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit, created this world. With the vapor of His breath: light, gravity, molecules, oceans, mountains and LIFE were formed.
We forget that "all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:16b-17).
He is always in control; He is the one holding all things together. And He is always good. He is faithful to the fact that, even when we go through such trials that this broken world has to offer, He will work them for good.
That day, regardless of what happened in that delivery room, God was, is and is always good, and in full control. His goodness isn't based on our circumstances; His goodness doesn't increase or decrease based on our own understanding of our lives and what we "deserve." His ways are so much higher than our own. He gives us true joy in knowing that - regardless of what happens in this world - we have Him to lean on, find comfort in, to have hope in. We have something so much greater than any high or low here.
And that day, when I didn't "deserve" a son, He gave me one. Somehow, that little boy came out with a cry louder than any baby I've ever heard. He was small, malnourished and absolutely perfect. He had the strength and the almighty power of our Creator putting breath in his lungs. Giving him breath was the very One who knew the incredible joy I would feel to have my son to love and hold, as well as the intense pain I would feel losing him...He knew it perfectly: because He gave us Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3:16