Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Lord Remembers-A birth story

 “Where are you, God?”  is a question I’ve asked myself many times over the last two years.  "I thought you were going to heal my mom.  I thought you would keep my husband and me closer to home.  I thought you’d let me be married for at least a year before getting pregnant! I thought I could have this baby the way I wanted to."  I put so many expectations on God, that when things weren’t going my way, I surely thought he had forgotten about me.  He has continually changed the course (my course…) and humbled me down to my core.   With each new event that came, I would reference the last one to Him: “uh, God, do you remember what you just put me through? Why this? Why now? I’m still recovering from that last test of my faith.” I constantly questioned his Will. 

Last Sunday afternoon, Ashley and Kyle had just driven off from a lovely weekend visit! We had an exceptional time, but near the end of their time, I was feeling a bit “off”.  My stomach was very tight and I was having difficult time breathing.  I told Nick I was going to take my blood pressure out of curiosity.  It was a shocking 178/115! I was concerned, so I called Whitney, who just finished nursing school (oh, and did I mention she’s brilliant?).  She advised me to take it again in a half hour and call her back.  No change.  Whitney, knowing how “high-stress” I am, called me and used soothing tones! Haha. The conversation went a little something like this: “Adrienne, don’t be alarmed.  I want you to hold Nick’s hand...take deep breaths…and then pack a bag and drive to the ER immediately.”  I wasn’t stressed.  I felt fine.  I humored Whit by packing a bag, but I thought for sure I’d be unpacking it in a few hours. 

We arrived at the ER, and I calmly explained the situation to the front desk.  They got me a bracelet and shipped us off to a private room where they proceeded to hook me up to various machines.  They monitored by blood pressure and, sure enough, it was still high.  Nick and I were very relaxed and were reluctant to call any family members because we thought it was such a minor issue.  We had a dozen doctors and nurses come in and ask me various questions, and then they sent me next door to get a full ultrasound.  They spend 45 minutes documenting every inch of my sweet baby, while Nick and I chatted about his upcoming business trip.  We went back into our little room where they proceeded to hook me up to an IV and told us we’d be staying the night.  We were both kind of wondering if that was necessary… when the nurse casually said “oh yeah, you kids probably won’t be leaving here without a baby”…. WHAT?! Both of our jaws dropped!! I was speechless and Nick managed to mutter “but…we don’t have anything at our house for a baby….we don’t have a car seat!”… The nurse chuckled and said “oh, you’ll have plenty of time to get all of that stuff…don’t worry”. 

Finally, we were left alone for the first time in two hours.  We were so shocked! We didn’t realize the severity of the situation, and were NOT prepared to think about having a baby so soon! The doctor came back in and briefly explained preeclampsia.  He said they would have to do a 24 test to be sure, but he was quite certain I had it.  They hooked me up to magnesium so I wouldn’t get seizures from the said preeclampsia.  We were transferred to a different room where Nick “set up shop”.  He ran home and got us all the essentials (even his playstation…).  I look back at how terrifying the experience could have been, and I can only thank God that he prepared me for each step.  I was very relaxed and focused on getting those results! Even at that point, Nick and I were praying it wasn’t preeclampsia, and I could go home and keep the baby safe in my womb for a few more weeks. 

After 24 hours, the doctor came in and said that based on my protein levels I had severe preeclampsia and they would have to do a cesarean section as soon as possible.  A c-section? Really, God? We have discussed this! I want a natural birth—no meds—no magnesium—no steroids….where are you? I had done SO much research on natural birth, that I had no idea what to even expect with a c-section.  The magnesium is a muscle relaxer, so I am still slightly foggy on a lot of the details.  They prepared both Nick and me for the procedure, and wheeled me in.  They gave me a spinal anesthetic and minutes later, I was strapped down ready for surgery.  They let Nick back in at this point.  He looked just as scared as I was while he held my hand tightly.  The doctors were discussing the weather as they cut right into me.  I heard someone say they took the baby away (what? I didn’t hear anything… is he okay? Am I okay??).  I started to cry when a nurse came up and told me the baby was in good health.  I couldn’t shake my anxiety so they gave me even MORE pain meds in my IV line.  Awesome.  Even though I was upset, I felt God say “I’m here, I haven’t forgotten”. 

The doctors finished up and wheeled me into a recovery room for an hour before I could see my baby.  I had that time to mentally recover and hopefully gain some coherency before visiting the NICU.  I honestly protested when the nurse asked me if I wanted to go see him.  It wasn’t my fairy tale birth.  I still felt so light headed, and I wanted to mentally record every second of meeting my child.  They wheeled me in anyway, and Nick and I were awestruck at the sight of our perfect little baby.  He was so beautiful.  So small.  Such a beautiful representation of God’s faithfulness.  As I looked at his sweet face, God whispered “this is my Will…you have a son”. 

Zechariah means “The Lord Remembers”.  Throughout each trial Nick and I have faced in our love story, God has always reminded us that He is there.  He hasn’t forgotten our needs, He fulfilled them.  We have chosen to forget God and ask for our own will, but He has remained faithful and shown us mercy when we haven’t deserved it.  This little baby boy will always be a reminder of God’s love and provision.

Zechariah Alan George,
We love you more than you will ever know.  We will strive to live godly lives so that you might see Him through us.  We can’t wait to watch you grow, and we will always remind you that God is there, even if it feels like He’s not.  You are our little miracle.  We praise Him for your life!
                                                                                                  Love,  Mom and Dad

update! Baby Z is back to his birth weight of 3 lbs 6 oz.  He if off oxygen and on breast milk every three hours! :) They just put a PICC line in his arm to replace the tube in his belly button.  This will reduce the chance of him getting infection, and is a better alternative for his fluids.  He's progressing very well, and the nurses say if he continues to do well, we can plan to take him home in about 2.5 weeks!!

Also- Nick changed his very first diaper (of his life....for shame!) yesterday.  He was absolutely terrified, but took it like a champ. :) I presume there will be many more to come.