I sat in my car looking at the test and shook all over. Pregnant. I didn’t want it to be, though, I knew in my heart it was. How could God do this to me? My husband and I had asked Him for no more babies. My last one had been difficult, it had almost destroyed me and my marriage. How could I tell my husband?
I saw him look out the door, concern on his face. After 15 years of marriage, I could almost read his mind. He was worried about me, why was I sitting out here alone. He walked down the front steps in the twilight and opened the van door, eyes locked with mine.
I hand him the little stick. He knows what it is and doesn’t bother to look.
“You’re sure?” His eyebrows raised, but his look spoke more comfort than I expected and I nod my head, not trusting my own voice. “We’ll be okay. This wouldn’t have happened without reason.” He hugged me close and helped me into the house. My back hurt so badly after the long day, I could hardly walk.
I made it to my room and buried my face in my pillow. My fear an almost palpable moving mass over my head. The children looked in my room but avoided coming in. I hadn’t told them, they simply knew something was wrong.
“Why Lord?” I whispered. “I prayed for no more pregnancies. You know my body can’t handle it and I would never have an abortion. Why are you doing this to me?”
The world around me became very quiet, though the television was on in the next room, I couldn’t hear it. The noise of the children went silent. The room warmed and I felt comfort, almost an embrace, but more of a gentle pressure on my whole self. To say that God spoke would be false because I heard no voice, more like words impressed upon me. Be calm. I love you and I wouldn’t harm you. In the midst of the scariest moment of my life, I felt the Lord’s presence and assurance.
The day came for my induction, by then I couldn’t walk the pain was so great. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d had a pain-free day. They hooked up the IV and started the medication. The nurses came in frequently as our boy was active and evaded their monitoring equipment. After hours of feeling no contractions and having Gabriel jump off the radar once again, I was worried.
It was about 5 o’clock when my abdomen stretched. It was not a contraction. The discomfort was so great I had to stand and get out of the bed. A nurse came in to check my vitals. I walked around the end of the bed, approaching a chair by the foot, when my water broke. It gushed in every direction soaking the floor and the nurse’s shoes. I looked at her in shock and horror. I couldn’t even finish sitting down. She called another nurse in to help me while she busied herself cleaning.
I sat down after changing and the nurse joked with me.
“I’ve never seen a water break quite like that!” She laughed. “Your contractions look strong and steady before the break, we should check you soon.”
I stared at her with my eyes wide. I’ve been through three other births…I know a contraction. I hadn’t felt a single one.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, quite.” She showed me the long register of squiggles. Sure enough, I’d been having some good contractions before my water broke.
I got back into my bed and the nurse checked me. She went from business as usual to alarm within the space of a moment.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, grabbing my husband’s hand. She masked the look as soon as I spoke but the damage was done. I knew something had happened and the fact that she’d tried to hide it made my heart race. I broke out in a cold sweat.
“Either your son has moved his head sideways and I felt an ear, or your son just had his first rectal exam…”
My husband grabbed my hand and knelt down to my level. I gasped back tears of fear and confusion. You said this would be all right…I thought the words I could not say aloud.
The examining nurse told the other nurse to get the portable ultrasound machine to verify what was going on. It was already in the room from when Gabriel had performed evasive maneuvers earlier. They found him right away. He had somersaulted into a full breach position. The one nurse told the other to get the doctor who appeared in the doorway as they spoke.
“I was walking by and heard you needed me?” She walked in grabbing gloves along the way.
The nurse replied, “Baby shifted, water broke, checked her, he’s gone full breach, she’s dilated to 6cm, moving rapidly.”
How could I be that far along and not feel a single contraction? It just wasn’t possible. The doctor spoke to me, I was so scared and confused.
“You’re moving rapidly, with a full breach and your history of back trouble, I would recommend a C-section. I’ll give you a few minutes to talk with your husband. I’m sorry to have to rush you, but if we are to have time to prep you, we’ll need to know quickly.”
She and the nurses left the room and silence descended. My husband squeezed my hand. I’d forgotten he was holding it.
“You do see God’s hand in all of this, right?” he said, standing but still holding my hand. He didn’t wait for me to answer, but I could feel his excitement. “He provided you a day when no one else was here. He provided two nurses who care. He made Gabriel move all over to avoid the monitor so the Ultrasound machine was already in the room. The nurse was here when your water broke so you would be checked right away, and the doctor was right outside the room when she was needed. Now, He is providing a way for you to have a cesarean for your back. I’m not taking this lightly, but I think you should take it.”
I nodded and the next two hours were a blur. As I got feeling back in my feet, I needed to get up and walk. I grabbed my cane out of habit to stand. I kissed Gabriel’s forehead, braced myself for the ever-present pain, and stood, only to be shocked. The pain was gone. The epidural, even fading in my legs, kept the pain from my spine. I almost cried. I wanted to dance. This child I’d been so terrified of carrying, set me free. After having pain for almost a decade, after the birth of my last child I had six months without pain. Gabe continues to be one of my little miracles.