If you missed the first part of the story, read it HERE.
This is Part 2 of Grace’s story:
A few weeks before Grace’s birth, I remember telling my friend Jennifer that I wasn’t afraid to go into labor early. Grace was so large, she was taking up my breathing space. I was very uncomfortable in those last few months.
Jennifer was a childhood friend but was also a nurse. Any crazy feelings or scares during each of my three pregnancies usually got run through Jennifer to determine if I needed to call the doctor or not. My type 1 diabetes put me in the high-risk category for pregnancy. Jennifer just so happened to be specialized in high-risk pregnancies. She worked for years on the high-risk floor of the Women’s Pavilion at the hospital. (Yep. Another God thing. Did you ever realize God could plan your friends?)
As Jennifer and I spoke that day, Jennifer cautioned me about being so eager to deliver early. I told her with confidence, “God planned this pregnancy. He has guided me through the entire thing. If I go into labor early, His hand is in that, too. He’ll take care of things.” Little did I know that I would have to put my words to the test.
It’s so easy as a Christian to spout off what we’ve been taught in church – God is love. He’s got the whole world in His hands. Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. But it’s another story when you have to live out what you speak.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what faith is until you’ve had to stand on it.
So, even though I told Jennifer it was okay if Grace was early and had to be in the NICU, I honestly didn’t believe that would happen. I had the false assumption that when “God’s got you” that means nothing bad will happen. But that’s not true at all. Bad things can and will happen. Expect them.
Just know when a storm comes, God will weather it with you.
Evidently, the day I delivered Grace, every other woman and her mother’s best friend’s dog groomer had a baby that day, too. It was Bethlehem all over again. There was no place to lay my head.
My baby was in the NICU, so no need for extra mother-baby bonding time in the delivery room. I was scooted out into a recovery room for c-sections, even though I didn’t have one. There were eight beds about four feet apart, each separated with a floor to ceiling curtain.
I laid in the bed, empty – empty womb, empty arms. The room so small, I could hear the other women waking and moaning. Some crying. Others asking about their babies. No matter how I wished, I couldn’t stop the tears.
Hours passed and still no room, no baby. Alan went to find out when we could see Grace and returned with a wheelchair. “They said we could visit her now.” He was solemn. I know now how much he was trying to keep it together and be strong for me.
I’ll never forget turning the corner in the NICU, and seeing our baby in the first bed. At nine and a half pounds, she was triple the size of most of the babies there. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your child hooked to so many wires and tubes.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t touch her,” the nurse told us. I nodded my head in a daze not taking my eyes off of Grace.
“How long will she have to stay in here?” I asked, still thinking we were on the “couple hour” plan.
“Well, it’s hard to tell,” the nurse told us, obviously used to the beep and chirps going off in the room around us. “Hopefully, just a few days.”
I’ll never forget the weight of those words. Or the desperation I felt in that moment.
Tune in tomorrow for more of the story. 🙂 Have you had an experience where your faith was put to the test? I’d love to hear about it.
Click HERE to read Part 3 of Grace’s story.