I came to in a daze as I was wheeled back into the hospital room. I wasn’t fully aware of where I was or how I got there. I didn’t realize what had just happened, that I had just delivered my baby. I look at pictures of me being handed my son on the day he was born, but I don’t actually remember it happening. I didn’t get to see his first breath or be the first to hold him. I didn’t see him for hours. He was probably frightened and cold, and more than anything he needed his mom. And I wasn’t there for him. This is my memory of delivering my son. This is his birth story.
Reliving this moment brings me sadness. It’s a sad way to bring a child into the world. I was completely put out during surgery for fear I was suffering a uterine rupture (I wasn’t), and due to the quick surgery that occurred thereafter an error occurred and I suffered a rare complication.
Yet in that moment amidst all that went wrong, somehow, all I felt was joy. Once I became aware of the situation surrounding my son’s birth, I made a decision: sadness would not define this day or this baby. Because this baby, this day, this was a joyful day. I couldn’t control what happened, but I took control of my response. I chose to be joyful.
It’s interesting what sustains us during difficult times. It’s been exactly one-year since my son’s birth and I still shake my head wondering how I got through it. How did I not give into the pain and grief? How did I not fall into a season of sadness and even anger?
I know the answer. It was all God.
One thing we don’t take into account when facing challenges or tragedy in our lives is the One who is silently with us but loudly present. The One who promises to give strength to the weary, to never leave us or forsake us, and to work all things together for good. My husband will tell you that I had a strong inner peace during those days. And I am here to tell you that if you are experiencing, fearing or anticipating a time in your life where you wonder how you can make it to the other side, you can and you will. We underestimate our strength because it does not come from ourselves. And thank God for that.
Over time I did experience feelings of sadness and loss, of why me. I wish I could have seen my son be born, but I didn’t, and it is what it is. During this time in my life I felt like God was giving me an important, life-affirming choice: I either trust Him through this or I don’t. I either desperately grasp for control of the situation (that I really I don’t have in the first place) or I relinquish it. The decision was mine.
Deciding to give that control over and trust Him during my son’s arrival has changed my life. And that is the sweet spot of the story; that is what I learned from missing my son’s birth. Thanks for letting me share it with you.