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To appreciate the light, you must walk through the darkness. To be whole, you must first be broken.

That’s what I feel like the last two years of my life have been. Darkness and light and darkness and light. Having my faith throughout the last two years has helped me face many challenging life circumstances.

March 11 and 12 of 2020 were life-altering for me.

Those two days were painful. They were beautiful.

They were dark. They were hopeful.

They were heart-wrenching. They were a blessing.

They were devastating. They were a miracle.

Thy will be done.

On March 11, my mom was called home to be with the Lord Jesus. A mother’s love is never-ending, and two years later, I still feel her love. I will always feel her love.

She was the epitome of what a mother should be. A graceful, selfless woman who gave everything she had and then some.

She was gone. A life well-lived.

She left a long-lasting legacy. A husband of 48 years, 8 children, 10 grandchildren, a sister, and countless other family and friends whose lives are better because she was a part of it.

Thy will be done.

On March 11, 2020, I was 39-weeks pregnant.

I had a decision to make. Rush the viewing and funeral and hope my baby boy stayed put or prolong the funeral and be induced. I took the latter.

Just hours after my mom passed away, I was anxiously waiting in my doctor’s office. I wanted to ensure the baby was not in distress. My emotions were extreme as I asked how far dilated I was. I also asked the doctor if it was safe and wise for me to be induced.

A fear of mine during pregnancy was that I would be in labor when my mom passed away or have my water break during her funeral. My mom had been fighting Alzheimer’s disease for many years.

My family knew her time was limited.

It was also very fitting that my mom had at least one of her children pregnant at the time of her death. She loved babies, and babies loved her.

RELATED: My Mom’s Death Was Expected, But It Didn’t Hurt Any Less

I was blessed to have an empathetic doctor. The hospital staff walked me through the process and were kind and understanding. I think almost every staff member that came into my room offered their condolences.

I was calm. Surprisingly calm. I had a peace within me that everything was going to be okay.

Thy will be done.

God’s timing. God’s perfect timing.

On March 10 around 6:45 p.m., I said goodbye to my mom for the last time. I was two centimeters dilated and going into the induction process. At 6:45 p.m. on March 11, the doctor broke my waterI was only three centimeters dilated. 

At about 10:30 p.m. the night of March 10, the staff at the nursing home raised my mom’s morphine. 

Fast forward to 10:30 p.m. on March 11, I was given an epidural. The staff at the hospital was so compassionate. I shocked the anesthesiologist when I told him why I had been induced. Throughout the whole process, I was able to speak in a calm manner.

I thought of my mom and how she would react.

In order to get an epidural, you have to be very still and relaxed. I was not relaxed. However, I simply spoke, “I need to be like my mom. Mom would be calm.” After speaking those words, I let my shoulders fall into my nurse’s arms. 

It was midnight on the 11th that the nurses checked on my mom. She seemed to be comfortable and at peace. It was midnight on the 12th that my cervix was checked again. I was still only three centimeters, possibly four, but the epidural was working. 

At 2:30 a.m. on the 11th, my mom was still comfortable and peaceful. At 2:30 a.m., my cervix was checked again, and I was still only four centimeters. I was discouraged, but I had the thought Thy will be done.

Music is always soothing to my soul. So, I put on some more music. I had been listening to songs I knew Mom liked or reminded me of my mom. Some of the artists were Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Beatles, John Denver, Garth Brooks, The High Kings, Rachel Platten, Thomas Rhett. It was a very eclectic playlist.

At around 3:30 a.m. on the 11th, my dad said he had his last exchange with my mom. It was around 3:30 a.m. on the 12th that I had just heard for the very first time a song called “Mom” sung by Donna Taggart. It was a beautiful song that made me cry. I was also feeling a lot of pressure and asked the nurse to get the doctor to see if my cervix could be checked again. 

It was around 3:45 a.m. on the 11th that my sister said she gave my mom a kiss as she held her hand. 

The doctor came in around 3:45 a.m. on the 12th and with a smile told me he wasn’t going to check my cervix because he could see my son’s head. 

Thy will be done.

It was now time for me to push. 

Emotions. The emotions were intense. Happiness. Fear. Gratitude. Sadness. Intense emotions. I remember telling my nurses that my mom had passed away at 4:02 a.m. More tears. Tears of joy. Tears of sadness. Tears of pure gratitude. My mom was with us. 

At 3:55 a.m. I started pushing. I had a flood of tears. They seemed endless. I couldn’t breathe. My mom, my precious mom was with us. I wasn’t feeling pain as I pushed and pushed. 

It was after about five minutes of pushing that I was firmly told to stop pushing. The cord was wrapped around my son’s neck. I don’t know the exact time, but I know in my heart it was 4:02 a.m. 

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I was told to start pushing again. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Everyone was telling me to breathe. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop thinking of my mom. One more push. It was 4:07 a.m. that my angel baby entered the world. 

Thy will be done.

I did not push him out. Yes, I went through the motions, but I know in my heart that my mom handed my son to the doctor. A mother’s love knows no end.

My mom’s last gift to me was a pain-free labor and a healthy baby boy.

Thy will be done.

A perfect baby boy. A precious gift from God. In the arms of an angel, my son was born. 

Thy will be done.

I remember the nurse placing him in my arms. All I saw was my mom’s eyes staring back at me. My perfect baby boy, with the face of an angel smiling back at me. 

Thy will be done.

God’s timing. God’s perfect timing. 

I will never fully understand the timing of my mom’s death and my son’s birth. They were by far the hardest moments of my life. God called my mom home but gave me a miracle, my healthy baby boy. 

Thy will be done.

The days, weeks, and months that followed were turbulent. Grief, hormones, a pandemic, and postpartum depression and anxiety. It all felt like too much. Now, almost two years later, I’m still trying to process it all. 

I continue to see the light in the darkness. With God’s grace and my guardian angel, I continue to press on. I may still have broken parts, but I know with God . . . Thy will be done.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Katie Spencer

Katie Spencer is a mom, wife, and mental health advocate. She loves chocolate and sharing her own mental health challenges so that other moms know there is hope. You can visit her blog at https://thevaliantmomma.com/ or on Facebook @thevaliantmomma where she shares her journey through all aspects of her life.

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