Months ago I felt this inexplainable desire to be at the delivery of my friend, Britni’s baby. I never said anything to her, because although we were good friends, we weren’t the very best intimate type of friend that you would invite to your birth. One day she told me, “I feel like you have a connection to this baby.” “Oh my word! I feel the same way!” I could hardly contain my excitement. I asked her to be at the delivery and she said, “you have to be!” Her hubby approved it and on we went with our lives.
As the due date slowly approached, I looked at my calendar and wondered how in the world I was ever going to be able to follow through with our birth-attending plan with my daycare children, husband’s busy work schedule, family in town, and my own nursing baby at home. I prayed for the timing of the birth of this baby - of course I prayed selfishly, but also for the timing for Britni as she also has a lot on her plate (she’s moving!).
Fast forward to 6.11.11. I woke up at a little after 1:00am and saw a few missed texts from Britni.
June 10, 2011 11:14 PM
“Still 5 min apart and getting bad...called midwife and she said oh crap...hospital is closed, they are full.”
June 10h, 2011 11:41 PM
“It’s go time!!!” And I had more beans at dinner tonight...this is gonna be bad.”
I panic, I laugh, I ask Eric if I can go to the hospital. I throw on my jeans from the day before and head out the door wondering if I may have missed it all! I pray the entire way to the hospital. The very hospital where I’ve delivered 3 precious babies.
I arrive at the hospital, get my picture taken for my security sticker and head up to the 3rd floor. Hubert buzzes me in and tells me “You DON’T want to be in there.” I ask him to please call the room because they wanted me there for the delivery. My mind is racing, “Why can’t I be in there? Did she lose the baby? Is she pushing the baby out at this very instant? Has something gone terribly wrong?...” Hubert gets permission for me to go into the room.
I enter the room. There is laughter. There is joy. Britni tells me that nurse Kelly is her dear friend and stayed late just so Brit could come to St Francis even though they were technically “full.” Wow, what a good friend. Kenny is updating the blog on his phone. Britni’s other friend, Laura, is getting ice water for Brit and making sure she’s comfy.
We laugh, we pray Britni through painful medicine-less contractions, we laugh some more, we spray industrial strength air freshener (remember the bean comment), I photograph and try to keep my view G rated.
Things start picking up a little bit. The midwife comes in and check Britni. The nurse checks Britni. The midwife checks Britni again. “What do you feel?” “What do you feel?”
Baby is not quite in the right position so the midwife and nurse get Britni out of bed, and have her do lunges with her leg up on the edge of the bed. By this time, there is no more laughing, there is much more praying and I’ve given up on my G rated view. The midwife thinks this could be it, baby might just come while Britni is standing. Britni begs for pain meds, but Theresa, the midwife, attempting to honor Brit’s original request to go with out meds encourages her to try to lunges a bit more.
Lunges don’t work. Brit gets back in bed and they check her again, nurse, midwife, nurse, midwife. “The nose is this way?” “The cheek is that way?” “I feel the cheek.” “Yes, I do too.”
Ok, let’s push. I’m not really sure if the goal was to push the baby out at this time or just to push the baby into a better position. They finally order Britni an epidural. “It’s ok Britni, an epidural is on the way. Let’s just try pushing one more time.”
“Where is the epidural?” ... “How long has it been since I ordered the epidural?”
“Where’s the midwife?”... “Can you please see where the midwife is?”
“Can you check her again?” ... “What are you feeling?”
“We need to page the doctor.” ... “We need to page the doctor again.” “We need to page Dr. Jenkins.”...
Things are unclear. I’m snapping pictures. I’m praying out loud. I’m singing “How Great is our God” to myself while I stand out of the way in the corner. Another nurse comes in. The anesthesiologist comes in. “We need to prep the OR.”
Finally the midwife gets ahold of the doctor, “Baby is face presentation, we’re prepping the OR.” My breath stops. My mind is reeling. “Face presentation.” “Prep the OR.” Britni is going to have a c-section. Brit didn’t see this coming. Britni is so calm. Wow. I’m totally surprised.
“Face presentation.” “Prep the OR.” I’ve heard those words before. It’s almost as if I’m witnessing the birth of my first born son all over again. What are the chances? Funny you ask because Wikipedia says that face presentation frequency ranges from 1/500-1/1250.
The nurses kick Laura and I out of the room. We wait at the end of the hall. We pray. We make small talk. We pray. We watch. We photograph. We wait. We pray. We wait. We pray over the recovery room. We wait. The seconds literally tick by.
A little after 3:00 am I hear the most beautiful sound. The scream of a newborn baby. We watch the doorway with anticipation and are filled with joy as the proud father walks into the room, pushing his precious baby girl in the bassinet with the hugest smile on his face. Kenny’s eyes are filled with love for his 3rd daughter but I can still see the pain and concern for his beautiful wife whom he left in the OR by herself. When Britni was rolled through those same doors she was alert, smiling the best she could and just trying to process the events of the past few moments. It was a whirlwind. It was a calculated frenzy to ensure a healthy baby. Britni was in the best of hands... and the best of Hands.
This is only the beginning of “God’s Selah Story.” This story is just one of God’s miracles. This story isn’t just one miracle, it’s a string of them. Nurse Kelly is Britni’s Godly friend. Britni and I share this unique birth experience. The birth of a healthy baby. The love of a faithful husband. The skilled hands of nurses, midwifes and surgeons. The encouragement of Christian caregivers. The outpouring of love by concerned friends.
I can see these amazing miracles (and I’m sure there are many more I can’t see) and how God orchestrated this precious event. What I’m still waiting to see, and it may not come here on earth is, “why?” I bet God has a really cool answer for that question. My own “why” questions after my “face presentation emergency c-section” experience are starting to be answered; so that I could walk alongside my dear friend 4 years later as she experienced this very same traumatic event.
This is God’s plan and we can find peace knowing that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)