Friday, June 5, 2009

Counting my Blessings

Not every situation that is used for good by God is pleasant at the outset. I know we'd like things to be clear, and easy, but the reality is that blessings come wrapped in all different sorts of packages. Some are obvious and overt, while others are more subtle, or perhapes even disguised as difficulties.

Recently, our sixth child, Boo, was born a month early. This is one reason I have been so delayed in writing another post. For months I have felt poorly…you may recall that I mentioned I was on limited activity and using that time to write books with my children…Well, one reason for my being on limited activity was the unexplained contractions I kept having. Unfortunately, these never went away.

In fact, things started worsening, in spite of my cooperation with the guidance to stay put at home as much as possible. While my headaches improved for a brief time during the middle of the pregnancy, suddenly one set in that was so unrelenting, I could barely function. I was finding it painful to breathe, and was actually having to hold onto the wall to walk at times as it hurt to straighten up and even to move. I woke up every hour at night in discomfort and was in general miserable, struggling to be a good mom to my five kids and to wrap up the school year quickly. At my last OB visit, I asked why things had gotten so painful and why I would feel so poorly when I never had felt this way before, and they told me that since I was older, of course the pregnancy would be harder…I am VERY OLD at the age of 41, after all. Argh!

Anyway, one morning after I spent an extremely restless and painful night having regular contractions, along with a horrible headache, anxiety, and difficulty even breathing comfortably, I finally had enough and tried to call my OB to tell them I wanted to come in to be seen. I knew something wasn’t right. They had confirmed I was already beginning to dilate at my last appointment, and I have a history of rapid deliveries, so I was genuinely concerned about something happening while I was alone...well, not alone, but at home with five kids for company and no adults nearby! After waiting for hours, and trying two more times, I finally figured out that they had no intention of calling me back, even though the message was tagged as URGENT.

Blessings abound in mysterious ways…I finally got fed up with my OB and called my dad and oldest son (who was visiting my folks an hour away) and asked them to meet me at the hospital near my parents’ house to pick up the little kids, so I could be seen at the ER there…and thankfully they did. I felt I really needed to be seen. I am pretty tough since I am used to living with migraines, but things had escalated beyond my ability to cope gracefully. I really had just enough left in me to make the drive to the hospital and hand the car keys to my son. I also called my husband at work and he met us there, and thankfully they admitted me immediately.
The kindest doctor saw right away that there was a REAL problem and hastened to run some tests, discovering that I had a very bad kidney infection AND a migraine AND I was in true labor. They administered medication to relieve my pain and other symptoms (hallelujiah! pain free for the first time in weeks!) and hoped labor would stop once I felt better, but no luck. It turns out a bad infection can trigger labor and that is what happened. I recalled that there were multiple indicators over the last several weeks, maybe months, that should have alerted my own OB to a kidney problem, but it was all attributed to my "advanced maternal AGE." Argh again!! What is it with doctors these days thinking the early forties are OLD? But God was there with me and even though labor progressed to delivery, which was a month early, Boo came out a quite well developed 8 lbs1 oz…I can’t imagine him being any larger and me still managing
to deliver him! My heart goes out to women who have 10 lb+ babies!!

Welcome to baby Boo, born May 30, 2009...We love you!

Wait though…here is another miracle…for some odd reason, though I was ready by most standards to deliver…fully dilated, wanting to push, Boo did not descend fully like all my others have…until the LAST minute when he came all at once. God knew he had that cord twisted tightly around his little neck several times and couldn’t withstand much time with it that way. If Boo had spent much time that way lower and tighter, he would not be with us today. I now understand why the nurses were concerned and why he was seemingly in stress from time to time in the later stages of labor.

Wasn’t the Lord wonderful to have used my horrible illness for such good?!! If I hadn’t been in the hospital already and the doctors hadn’t been so attentive and they hadn’t already treated me for my illness and they hadn’t decided to go ahead and deliver me THAT day, the ending might have been a different one. I can’t be upset about the time I spent in pain with such a blessed ending. I can’t even be mad (well, not too mad) at my personal OB (whom I have not seen again) since going to the other hospital turned out to be such a blessing. In fact, I’m REALLY glad my OB never called back, because the hospital I wound up delivering in was MUCH nicer than the one I was supposed to go to. That was a nice little bonus, don’t you think? ;-)

Through all of this I have learned that no matter what is going on, we should remember to praise God for His mercies each and every day. You can’t possibly imagine what He has planned, but it is bound to be amazing.


Kim said...

What a great reminder of God's faithfulness..even when we may not see it in the moment! May 30 is a good day to be's worked for me for 43 years! :)

Heather said...

Thanks Kim. God is good...all the time. Happy birthday, belatedly!;-)

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