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You read about birth stories. You prepare in the best way you can to welcome your little one into the world, but sometimes what you think will happen doesn’t, and you face something unexpected. Something that requires a different perspective, a different strength, and total surrender.

I welcomed my son into the world on August 25, 2022, at 1:34 a.m. The events leading up to his birth were ones I didn’t think I would have to deal with at 36 weeks.

Two weeks before his birthday, I went to the doctor to have a mole removed that had developed throughout my pregnancy. It was a quick appointment. The doctor sent it off for a biopsy as routine practice, and that was it.

One week before his birthday, I got a call that the mole had abnormal cells. Cancer. I had an immediate referral to a dermatology specialist the next day. Okay. No big deal.

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I went to see the doctor, expecting it to be a quick appointment. Remove anything that needed to go and then move on. Instead, I learned that I had an aggressive melanoma tumor and needed surgery in a matter of two weeks to avoid spread, if it had not done so already. You can imagine my reaction. I was in such total shock that I didn’t have any questions.

I just sat there as I hit a wall of worry.

I had a referral to an oncologist surgeon the next week to discuss the surgery and my next steps. Tuesday of the following week came, and I learned about my surgery and that I would be induced beforehand.

My world crashed around me.

I did not want to be induced, but more importantly, I wanted my son to be safe. Wednesday morning came, and I got a call from my OB that he wanted me at the hospital. I was induced that day.

My induction began at 3:00 p.m., and I was already 3cm before any meds. At 6:00 p.m., I had another round of Citatech, and I was 4 cm. At 9:00 p.m., my water was broken, and Pitocin was started at a high dose. My contractions started immediately, and I made it 2.5 hours before deciding to have an epidural. I didn’t even have time for it to sink in when my nurse told me I was ready to push. I started at 1:20 a.m., and he was out by 1:34 a.m. I call it a 50/50 unmedicated birth.

My entire world turned upside down, and my birth plan was scrapped.

But not once was I worried at the hospital. I was calm and ready to have him. Even the nurses were shocked by my demeanor, time of induction, and delivery (10.34 hours from start to finish. Not common for first-time mamas). But I wasn’t. I had so many friends and family praying for me that God’s presence filled that room, and I felt total peace.

Ten days postpartum, I was back in a hospital gown and having surgery on my leg and having lymph nodes removed. Two days later, I got a call that the cancer went to my lymph nodes, and I had an immediate referral for an MRI and PET scan, and I’d be on immunotherapy medicine to help boost my immune system to kill any remaining cancer.

Again, my world crashed around me.

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Every fearful thought came at me like arrows. I had no idea how intense melanoma could be, and the weight of it fell on me. I had an army of prayer warriors covering me as I went to get my MRI and PET scan, and I believed in a good report. Those were the longest hours, waiting on the results. But they came at night as I was putting my son to bed. Negative. No sign of cancer anywhere else in my body. Weights fell off me, and relief and praise flooded me.

Throughout this process, I felt every emotion, but a sense of peace was within me.

I prayed when fearful thoughts entered my mind. I told Satan to leave and that my joy could not be stolen. Before my first treatment session, I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the song “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong come to mind. I read their story, knowing it was a reminder from God.

We are not exempt from the trials and hardships this world offers, but we are promised that He is with us during them. I offer my story as encouragement to others who are facing something unexpected. To know that when the world offers a trial seven times hotter, there is another in the fire.

Originally published on an author’s blog

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Kinsley Henderson

Hello, my name is Kinsley Henderson. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for 5. I welcomed our first child in August, and I love being his mama. 

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