It seems like, not that long ago, I was typing about our first week with Baby Mac in baby mac, week one. Now, it has been one week with two-year-old Mac and one-week-old Baby Jane; our little family of four.
I was changing one of Baby Jane’s poopy diapers. If you recall, or know from personal experience, these first days bring some interesting scrap material from out of the baby. At first, God shows off his creativity by filling the baby, poop ready, with sticky molasses. Then, as they consume more milk, the molasses is all gone, and an orange, nasty poop comes in. This is the scene of our funny moment.
Trivia: what is Mac’s favorite color? You guessed it: orange. So, Mac was immediately interested in helping me change the diaper when he saw the orange substance. “Mac, what does that look like?” Of course, my son is brilliant, and replies, “Oranj!’ Kelli chimes in from a distance, “An orange shirt?” Mac begins his chant, “Oranj shit, oranj shit, oranj shit.”
We’re not the best parents, but we’re learning.
The rest of this post may bore most of you. I’m not offended if you decide to stop reading. I know people close to us like specifics. So, I wanted to write some of the specifics. Starting with Mac’s birth:
Mac’s birth obviously went well; here he is next to me with his toy chain saw, happy and healthy. Kelli was two weeks overdue. On the night of that fourteenth day, we went to the hospital for an induction. Kelli was given Cervidil, a medication to soften the cervix. For the three nights leading up to this, Kelli was having strong contractions and, due to, we were already pretty sleep deprived. That night, at the hospital after the Cervidil, things just got worse; stronger contractions. The nurse told us to sleep. Was she joking? By morning, Kelli was dilated enough for an induction cocktail. The doctor came with a straightened fish hook to break her water, then Pitocin, an epidural, and an entire day of labor. At 9:32 p.m. that night, Mac arrived. This was not a quick moment. This was an all day experience. I was, literally, looking at Mac’s head for hours, before Mac was even breathing air. I remember going out of the room and talking with my parents, having lunch, while Mac’s head was still slightly showing through the stork’s basket. Mac arrived with a rush of meconium he pooped in utero. He arrived with an umbilical cord tightly around his neck. Due to his time spent in the stork’s canal, Mac had a large (what the pediatrician later described as, “the largest one [she’d] ever seen”) hematoma on his head. Due to an episiotomy and some other factors, Kelli was immobile for the first couple days, slow, and in a lot of pain for the first few weeks. And, we had just moved into a tri-level home (stairs).
One week overdue with Baby Jane, Kelli feared a repeat of Mac’s labor. Obviously, things could have been a lot worse. But, in our eyes, things could have been a lot better. During the entire pregnancy, Kelli and I had been praying for a better labor/birth experience. We asked family and friends to pray for us. Baby Jane’s birth, although different than we envisioned, is the answer to those prayers.
Now, as I previously quoted in lessons at two, child birth post sin is not intended to be a joyful and blissful experience; physically that is. It is Eve’s consequence; it is a reminder of her (our) sin.
I used to be more black and white than I am today (if you can believe that). I do not take medicine; well, I rarely take medicine. Back then, I would not take anything, believing God would heal me. I still believe God will heal me. My refusal to take medicine came to a turning point when I was blessed with malaria. Unconscious, then “loopy,” I was not in a position to refuse the medication I was being administered. Given the circumstances, which I am happy to share any time, I realized that it was only God who could have saved me at that point. The miracle it was to have the medication with us, the people who were with me at the time, and a lot of other factors, made me realize that God orchestrated it that way. God planned for me to take the medicine that probably saved my life. God, in my mind, created that medicine specifically for me.
My thoughts on medicine and the like have developed since then. I am still pretty anti-medicine, but I am very open-minded. There is a reason God created lavender to have a soothing and healing oil. There are a thousand natural remedies, found in God’s creation. There are also a thousand man-made narcotic and other remedies. God created the man. You don’t think God created the drug? I do. The sin is not the drug; the sin is the abuse and/or misuse of the drug.
We went to the doctor on April 18th. Things were looking very similar to Mac. So much so, even the doctor, looking at his charts, said it looked like a “repeat” of Mac’s birth. So, we decided, lets do it. Why go another week with hospital visits for checks on the baby, ultrasounds, and Kelli feeling miserable?
Kelli did not want an induction. Given my stance, as described briefly, I kept an open mind. I was also 100% for my wife, fully supportive of her decision. God has blessed our marriage, blessed us, in that Kelli and I can read each other and communicate very clearly without a lot of words. Without Kelli saying so, I knew it was time. Kelli wanted the have Baby Jane, and that meant it might take an induction. The doctor said the “standard of care” was to have an induction that night. Believing God led us to our physician, trusting our physician, trusting God, we scheduled it with the hospital.
This meant medicine: drugs. It also meant another induction; a possible replay of Mac’s labor/birth. I want to take a moment and speak of Kelli’s great faith. Kelli really did not want an induction. She had been praying for a natural birth. Probably inspired from Mac’s birth, I think Kelli’s prayer was, more simply, for a better labor and birth experience. I really hate to use the word “fear,” but Kelli truly did fear another Mac-like labor. There we were, in the doctor’s office, hearing from God and our physician that an induction appeared imminent. Kelli, setting all fear and reserve aside, went with it. Kelli knew agreeing may mean the same painful experience, but she accepted it. She trusted God. Further, fear aside, Kelli accepted that God would grant her prayer, just maybe not in the way she envisioned.
We went to the hospital for the induction and were in our room at 9:00 p.m. The plan was for Kelli to be given three pills, one every four hours, of Cytotec. Within minutes of the first pill, Kelli began having consistent and strong contractions. Through the night, the contractions got stronger. Her cervix was also dilating through the night. After four hours, the nurse decided the next dose was not necessary. By 7:00 a.m., it was obvious the baby was coming. Praise God for the epidural, which Kelli choose to get at that point. It was exactly 11:04 a.m. (time is exact thanks to iMessage). Kelli told the nurse she wanted to push. The nurses got into position; I looked on. Kelli pushed. “Ok, don’t push anymore. We’re gonna call your doctor now,” said the nurse, shortly after Kelli started the push. I was watching. I saw Baby Jane’s head! The doctor was there in about five minutes. He made small talk while we waited for the next contraction. It came. He told Kelli to push. Kelli pushed. I watched as Jane’s head came out. One more push, and Jane was there in front of me and quickly on to Kelli’s chest. It was 11:12 a.m.; two pushes later.
We stayed the night in the hospital. The next day, we went home. We were home in the afternoon. We had dinner at home (thank you Peking Inn delivery man).
Although this was not the natural birth Kelli and I dreamed of, it was an obvious answer to prayers. It was nothing like Mac’s labor and birth. The induction did not cause a miserable experience. The labor was not days long. Don’t be fooled. Obviously, the consequence, there was/is pain. Kelli is managing well; we walked to the coffee shop today!
I think this whole experience is due to some specific things. Since I am being specific, I’m going to continue.
Kelli is an amazing woman of God. She has a tremendous and admirable faith in God, as well as her husband (me).
We belong to a great church, where we are blessed to be a part of an Adult Bible Fellowship of young families like ours. The Bereans, as we are known, have continually prayed for us, as well as our bi-weekly study and prayer group.
Our Bible fellowship has amazing mentors, Dave and Judy Gerry. Kelli attends Judy’s Bible studies weekly. Dave and Judy not only teach regularly on Sundays, they are extremely dedicated to praying for the young families, including us, daily. Judy is very specific and I have caught her several times, in conversation or in email, asking Kelli what she can be in prayer about.
Mac. I know he is only two, and I have not spoken of him (or at least his birth) in the highest regard in this post, but, he is an incredible toddler. He is funny. He loves to joke. He loves making people laugh, then himself joining in with loud forced laughter. He loves people. Start clapping and Mac will join in. He loves seeing people smile and laugh. Mac really is a good two year old. Wild at times, but a good little guy who brings me and Kelli so much joy. Kelli says he is sweet. He really is.
There are obviously numerous other people who have been praying for us: parents, siblings, family, friends, even the FaceBook friends I haven’t seen in over a decade.
The moral of the blog is this:
We recognize and appreciate all of the prayer and support. Thank you.
God does answer prayer. Just because it is not how you picture, doesn’t mean He is not listening. I think, in modern times, people have forgotten to ask God for things. He is a good God who loves to bless us. Don’t just ask God to bless the food (although totally Biblical, and you should do that, too). Ask God to give you what you righteously desire. He will. But, remember, it will not always appear as black and white as I am.