I wrote the below blog entry in italics on the morning of February 18, the day Emma Claire was born. I did not post it that morning because I wanted to go back and read over it one more time before I did. That night as I laid in the operating room I told Kyle about the post while our little girl was being delivered. Over the past month I have wanted to share it with you all but I wanted to wait until I could take the time to add her birth story to it so those of you not aware of the circumstances of her birth could truly understand how amazing God's hand has been in both my pregnancy and Emma Claire's birth.
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. ~ Isaiah 25:1
The one thing that has been undeniable about this pregnancy is how God's hand has been over it the entire time. Literally, every prayer has been answered and I'm continually amazed at his faithfulness.
Early in the pregnancy when we went for our first ultrasound, I was told I was going to miscarry and sent home. I was obviously upset but after the initial shock wore off I was overcome with peace. I knew that I had prayed for a baby and that if it was God's timing everything would be fine. A week later we went back in for another ultrasound and there was her beating heart strong and healthy. That peace has stayed with me for the entire pregnancy.
Another huge answer to prayer came last week. I've known for a long time, long before I ever became pregnant that going back to work was going to be extremely hard for me. I've prayed even before I was pregnant that God would somehow work out a way where I would not have to put our child in daycare full time. His answer - I'll be working from home 2 days a week and the other 3 days she'll be staying with a former elementary school teacher and stay at home mommy to an adorable 5 month old little boy who lives just 3 miles from our home. And yet again, he has given me complete peace with this arrangement.
As we face this last 6 weeks of pregnancy, I continue to trust God for strength during delivery, a healthy baby, continued peace, and most of all for his guidance in raising our little girl in a home full of love where she will grow up in His "perfect faithfulness".
On the afternoon of the day the post above was written, Kyle texted me to tell me he was going to go visit his friend at the VA Medical Center in Durham. Tracy had been in the hospital off and on for months and after being rescheduled several times he had surgery earlier that week. I debated on whether or not I wanted to go with Kyle since I had been busy that week and needed the rest. I texted him back however and told him to come by my office and pick me up and I'd ride with him.
As we were finishing up our visit with Tracy, I felt a gush which I thought a bit odd but wasn't too alarmed at first. As we were walking to the elevator I felt several more and told Kyle that I thought my water had broken. When we got to the car I looked down to discover that I was covered in blood. After a moment of panic, I pulled it together and called my OB. I got the standard press 1 for this, 2 for that and finally "if this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911 or go to your closest emergency room". The closest emergency room was Duke Hospital which is literally across the street from the VA Medical Center where we had been visiting Tracy. Kyle had already pulled out of the parking space in the deck so I had him let me out so I could walk over the ER while he found another parking space. After 10-15 minutes which seemed like forever, they got me up to Labor & Delivery where the room quickly filled with doctors and techs. They started an ultrasound and got Emma Claire on the monitors. At that time she was doing well and the plan was to continue monitoring me but to hold off on a c-section unless the bleeding didn't stop or she started to show signs of distress. While I was in triage waiting for word on what exactly was happening and if she was going to be born that night I kept thinking of the verse above and despite how overwhelming that evening was God's peace stayed with me.
They had just moved me from triage into a room and got me settled when the doctor came back in and asked if I was feeling anything. She told me I was having contractions 2 minutes apart and that Emma Claire had a spell where she seemed to be stressed. After talking it over with the doctor, we decided to go ahead and deliver that night via c-section.
Emma Claire was born 6 weeks premature at 11:01 PM, about 4 1/2 hours after the bleeding started. She weighed 5lbs, 1 oz and measured 18 1/2 inches long. The c-section confirmed that I was having a placental abruption. "Placental abruption is an complication of pregnancy, wherein the placental lining has separated from the uterus of the mother. It occurs in 1% of pregnancies world wide with a fetal mortality rate of 20-40% depending on the degree of separation. Placental abruption is also a significant contributor to maternal mortality. Many women can die from this type of abnormality."
It is very apparent that God orchestrated the events of that evening... An unplanned visit to a friend whose surgery had been rescheduled multiple times to occur that very week across the street from one of the best hospitals in the country with the highest level NICU around where my bleeding started right as we were about to leave to go home. Some might call it chance, good fortune, or coincidence. Our family calls it "Perfect Faithfulness" and our beautiful daughter will be a daily reminder of it.