I had become convinced when I was pregnant with David that I wanted to give God total control over the design of our family. This meant that I was willing to allow God to decide when and how many children we would have. Because I had made this decision in my heart, this by no means meant that I had completely given my life over to the Lord for His will to be done.
After David was born by a Cesarean section, I once again became fearful as I walked with the Lord. I saw Him taking me to a place that was frightening to me, a place where I would surrender, and He might choose to make a decision different than the one I had thought should be made.
For some reason, I seemed to think that once I surrendered all to Jesus, my life would run smoothly without too many bumps in the road. I even seemed to think that my way was the right way. I could even be known to think in my head, “But Lord you know not the plans I have for me!” I think a time or two, I may have heard him laugh at me.
I figured if I prayed hard enough or long enough, God would change all of His plans to correspond with mine.
When I became pregnant with John, I read everything I could about having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I was certain the Lord wouldn’t want me to endure three c-sections. I prayed for a natural delivery. Meanwhile I scheduled a c-section for one week before John’s due date. I prayed, “Lord, make me go into labor earlier.” Therefore ensuring a natural delivery.
I was so convinced the Lord was going to heed my instructions, Steve and I made several trips to the hospital to have our baby before the scheduled c-section. Each time we would arrive at the hospital, contractions would cease. I would then pray harder. I asked the church to pour an entire bottle of Crisco vegetable oil on my head. I figured if a few drops of oil worked, then the whole gallon would for sure change the mind of God. Our Pastor did not pour the oil on my head as I requested. He simply laughed at me. I wasn’t joking. I was willing to do anything to change the mind of God to conform to my way of thinking.
My thinking of course included a smooth delivery, a healthy child, followed by a smooth recovery.
The scheduled day arrived. In my heart I felt that I wasn’t fully trusting God, but knew that I did want our baby to be born. I was tired of waiting for him. The house was as clean as it was going to get. The clothes were all set out. I was ready to have the baby.
Fear filled my heart as I was wheeled to the operating room. I was awake for the procedure even though I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. At one point I felt like I was suffocating. The anesthesiologist assured me this was normal. I wanted to shout, “No one told me I was going to feel like I was dying!” But I didn’t.
Suddenly a newborn baby emerged from behind the cloth. He was adorable. His face was round. I think he even smiled at me when they brought him close for my inspection.
Shortly after John was born, the doctor said, “We had a little problem with your placenta implanting into your uterus. It’s a good thing we did this one cesarean or we could have had a serious bleeding problem on our hands.”
I praised the Lord for knowing what I did not know.
My dreams of a natural delivery had been dashed, however, I took comfort in knowing that God is completely in charge and nothing in this world can eclipse His knowledge.
Before I was able to take John from the hospital he had to be under the “lights” for several hours because of jaundice. After spending an extra day in the hospital, we were allowed to go home, but not without the promise to return every other day for more blood tests and heal pricks.
Not only was I trying to recover from surgery, I now had to go out of the house every other day to take my son to the doctor for more tests. I prefer bed rest after having a baby, not continual running back and forth to the doctor. To make matters worse, it was decided that John should be on formula to reduce the jaundice to acceptable levels or he would have to be hospitalized. I relented and gave him formula.
There’s nothing worse for a new mom than to be told she cannot nurse her children, but that they must have a bottle. Somehow I felt like a failure as a mom because I could not perform the most basic of all functions.
I gave John formula for five days. The day after his formula time was up and his jaundice had cleared enough for him to be out of danger, it was discovered that the water in our town’s water supply had been tainted with E. coli bacteria. All the reports that came back said that it was especially dangerous for young children and the elderly.
I was gripped with fear at the thought that I had been giving my newborn son, E. coli tainted water.
Steve was the Associate City Engineer, which meant the water crisis had him working long hours and dealing with many irate people. He would come home from work drained. I didn’t dare tell him of my fears for our own child.
John began to have diarrhea. I took him to the doctor once again. He was all of ten days old and had been to the doctor at least six times.
That night I cried out to God. “Lord!” I said, “You are aware that I am a wimp right?” That was all I said. I had cried out with the only thing I could say. I had to let God know that I was too wimpy to handle having a sick child.
John did test for some E. coli bacteria, but it was within normal range, if there could possibly be such a thing. The doctor assured me he would be fine.
My worst nightmare is to have a child sick or injured. We have been extremely fortunate. My children all seem to be well coordinated and manage to stay away from high places from which they could fall.
This is a chapter from my book, Gone With the Mind. If you would like to read more from this book, go to the Gone With the Mind category. Or, purchase the book from the link in the sidebar.