Today my oldest son, Joshua, is 10 years old. It truly is an amazing miracle.
The first time this baby idea came up was over a Big Mac at McDonald's. We were discussing our friends and the baby they would have soon and the question came up "when are we going to have a baby?" It took us many Bic Macs, hours of talking and days of prayer to finally conclude that this was the path God was taking us down.
I took a test the day before Thanksgiving and sure enough, we were pregnant. We were ecstatic. We went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy. My due date was set for July 27. We took lamaze classes. My friends threw a baby shower for me. We went to Sears and picked out a crib along with sheets and the cutest comforter. We didn't find out the sex because we wanted to be surprised. We even chose names, again, over Bic Macs. If it was a boy, his name would be Joshua Daniel.
As time went on, however, I noticed that my ankles were swelling. It got so bad that I couldn't even wear shoes. I had to wear sandles. Along with that, my fingers were swelling and I took off my wedding ring for fear of having to eventually cut it off.
We went to the doctor and he wasn't very alarmed because everything was normal. My blood pressure and my urine was all normal. He sent me home and told me to come back in a week.
When I came back, I was swollen even more and the doctor did the normal tests. He came back and told me he wanted to draw some blood. As it turns out, my urine contained protein, my blood pressure was literally sky high and the blood tests came back with the news that I had toxemia. This is a disease that only pregnant get and the cure is to deliver the baby. I was three weeks away from my due date, so my doctor called a specialist. Because of my blood tests and my blood pressure, the specialist told my doctor to get me to the hospital and quick. This baby needed to be born.
Off I went. Alone. Chris was at work as we weren't anticipating having the baby that day. I frantically called looking for him. I finally got a hold of him and he came right away. Meanwhile, I was being hooked up to machines and given medicine to start my labor. I was very relieved when Chris got there. We were excited to finally meet our baby.
As the hours went, things weren't progressing as well as they should. The specialist came in and informed us of the situation. I was very sick. The baby's heart rate was dropping and he was getting very sick. Labor was not progressing as fast as the doctor would like and the situation was getting very serious. To avoid anything very drastic happening, an emergency c-section was required.
I don't remember much after that. The nurses were in a very big hurry to prepare me for the surgery. I remember a lot of scurrying around and looks of concern on my loved ones faces. They had to push me ahead of a woman who's baby was breach and I remember being wheeled into the operating room.
To say the least, the c-section did not go off as planned. I will spare you the details, but I remember being in a lot of pain. At one point, I remember seeing my baby for a split second before they took him to the "baby emergency room". They informed me it was a boy. I think I smiled. The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with Chris sitting beside me, holding my hand and telling me how much he loved me. He asked me if I was in pain and I said yes and I recall him yelling at nurses to get me some medicine. I don't even remember if I asked how the baby was doing.
Sometime later, after the medicine kicked in, Chris began to tell me how our baby was doing. He was in the baby intensive care and he was very sick. Chris went to see him at one point and he just lay there, with all kinds of iv's and an oxygen mask over his head, making a kind of whimpering sound. I asked if I could see him. This part I remember very clearly. The nurses wouldn't let me out of bed yet, so they wheeled my bed into the NICU. There was my baby boy. All 8 pounds 13 ounces of him (remember he was 3 weeks early; a big boy!). I lay there crying, wanting desperately to hold him, but not yet able. I reached out my hand and stroked his face. In that very instant, he stopped whimpering and relaxed. A baby knows his mother's touch. I laid there like that for about 15 minutes or so before I had to go to my room and get some rest. I told Joshua I loved him and allowed them to take me to my room.
It would be two full days before I saw my baby again. During that time, my mom took polaroid pictures of him and brought them to me. I held those pictures close to my heart and looked at them every minute. Also during that time, the doctor from the NICU came to see me. Chris was working at the time and I was alone in my room. He came and told me that Joshua was out of the woods and that he was going to be fine. He should grow up into a healthy boy with no after affects. I thanked him and waited for him to leave the room. I asked him to shut the door. The tears flooded out of me. All I could do was cry and thank God.
I was finally well enough to go see Joshua. As Chris pushed my wheelchair to the NICU, I actually felt nervous. I hadn't seen Joshua since that first day. He pushed me close to his bed and I saw him laying there. "Do you want to hold him?" the nurse asked me. "Really?" I answered. The next thing I knew, I was holding my baby boy for the first time. Let me tell you, there is nothing like it.
A week later, Joshua came home. He did all the normal baby things: sleep, eat and poop. Today, he is a strapping 10 year old almost as tall as me. He loves broccoli and hates green beans. He would rather be playing sword fight with his brother than read a book. He pitches for his little league team. His best friend is his dad with whom he loves to do anything with. He has a love for the Lord that grows every day.
God is good. And I amazed at what He can do. He knew what was coming our way that day and He gave us the strength to get through it. It was a terrifying experience, but God knew what He was doing and I don't regret the outcome.
Happy birthday, Joshua. I thank God for you.