Baby girl arrived safe!! Praise the Lord.
And oh, what a story!
We had everything planned.
Throughout my pregnancy I made decisions based on trying to create a different experience. My pregnancy with Kohen was completely healthy, normal and we were at no risk…so how was I going to gain any confidence that another pregnancy could have a different outcome??!! So the decisions we made tried to create space for the possibility of a different outcome.
We decided on a ceasarean section, trying to minimize physical and psychological risks to momma and baby.
I had to go back to the hospital where Kohen died throughout this pregnancy for ultrasounds and NSTs, each time it got a little bit easier. In the end, we decided to deliver at the same hospital. This was a tough decision, but I was confident in our obstetrician and our birth plan. If anything went slightly off course and we were pressed for time, this hospital was our only option regardless, so I think it felt better to have that as our plan from the beginning. One less thing to go awry.
As we discussed with our prenatal doctor, it turned out the obstetrician available would be the same one who was called in for Kohen’s delivery. Labour had advanced beyond the point where she was able to perform a c section, and so she shared that experience with us and cared for us after he died. At first we were uncertain, but I started to think I might feel more confident knowing my surgeon had known my son and shared that experience of losing him…that she might, in fact, want this baby for us…almost as much as we did!
I also worked hard on my heart and soul to prepare for this beautiful girl. I have been working with a counsellor and took so many steps to soften my heart and deal with the after effects of trauma, grief, anger and bitterness…all so that I could love this little one and be fully ready for her arrival.
I asked a group of women from our church to meet with me to pray. We prayed for two months together…that this precious girl would arrive safely.
As I went to the hospital twice a week for non stress tests, I met many of the maternity nurses on staff. One beautiful morning, the nurse administering the test shared that she had been present when Kohen was born. She had been scheduled that night and had been able to see him, and shared in some of our grief and pain at the loss of this perfect beautiful baby boy. That conversation spurred a desire in my heart to open up this delivery to others who had also been present when Kohen was born. Whether it be nursing staff or doctors who responded to the code pink. We shared this desire with our prenatal doctor and she communicated it to the rest of the staff.
All of these things set the stage for…April 27!!
I had gone for an NST the day before, and asked the nurse to check my cervix just to make sure I wasn’t close to going in to labour. She agreed to check and told me it was still quite closed, 1-2 cm. Normal for someone at my stage in pregnancy carrying their third child. I left feeling confident I wasn’t even close to going into labour!
BUT…baby girl chose her own birthday!
At 5:30am on April 27 I woke up in bed and felt things were a little more trickly than usual. I hadn’t been feeling well, and as I coughed I felt that characteristic gush…my waters had broken! I hopped out of bed, frantically waking Andrew up and started rushing around the house. This was NOT the plan!!
We called down to the hospital, got childcare for our oldest sorted and headed down. The potential for panic and anxiety was there, but my labour started gently and I actually felt quite calm. The team was assembling as we made our way down and it was time to meet baby!
I needed some reassurance when we got there, we listened to baby’s heart beat on the ward and then headed down to the OR.
I had my phone with a playlist of music we were going to play during the surgery, but it wasn’t working over the wifi. As I was getting prepped for the spinal, the obstetrician asked me what kind of music I wanted…she had some on her phone she could play. I said “well my list was a mix of Christian music my sister put together for me.” She responded with “Christian mix?! I have Christian mix!!” and proceeded to play Christian music from her phone at full volume throughout the rest of the procedure.
After the spinal was administered, I lay on the bed with the obstetrician holding one of my hands and the anesthetist holding another. As I got used to the changes to my breathing, the tears started to flow. I entered into the most beautiful, heart wrenching space with Kohen and baby girl…and I just held them. In my mind, in my heart, in my arms. I was completely unaware of the flurry of activity around me…until they dropped the screen and there she was!
A red screaming ball of pure alive girl. And oh my heart, I fell in love all over again in that instant. Then tears of relief and joy began to flow. She screamed and screamed and screamed…the obstetrician looked down at me and said “she knew you needed this didn’t she!!”
After I was all stitched up and we headed to recovery, we learned that all of the doctors on call that day had also been present for Kohen’s delivery or code. The nurses on staff that day and through the night were the ones that had cared for us during and after labour with Kohen.
Does that give you chills? It should!
I shared this story with a friend and her response resonated so deeply in my heart. “God does all things well. Only he could orchestrate the healing of an entire community with the delivery of one little girl.”
The atmosphere on the maternity ward that day was just beautiful, everyone was so happy for us and so happy to meet our precious girl. The nurses were absolutely glowing.
A beautiful girl. A beautiful story.
And it is only the beginning!!