God Watched Over Our Baby
Isaac and I were married on August 6th 2011. Three years of marriage came and went before we held our precious, long-awaited bundle in our arms.
In December of 2013, while attending a cousin’s wedding, my husband talked with a couple who had been married for almost nine years. They were on the verge of doing medical testing or fertility treatments, but decided to pray about it instead. Within the month, they were expecting!
I enjoy researching. I wanted to do testing to find out what was wrong with me. My husband had a different perspective: “Isn’t it just as controlling to undergo testing as it is to limit family size?” After hearing this man’s testimony, we committed the matter to daily prayer. Within the next two months, we discovered we were to be parents. What a direct answer to prayer!
In June, we made our annual trip to Ohio. We were just south of Rockford, Illinois, when it happened. I had just grabbed the lunch things from the back seat and was looking down, about to make a sandwich. Suddenly, a horrific impact! I hear my husband’s frantic “Oh, no! Oh, no”! Our windshield shattered so we could scarcely see what was happening. In a matter of moments, it was all over. While traveling 70 m.p.h., we crashed into two stopped (or nearly-stopped) vehicles. We were still alive!
Shakily, we opened our doors and crawled out. Our airbags had deployed, sending up “smoke” that made us think something in the car was about to explode. We left the car (we couldn’t have moved it anyway; the whole front looked like a blob of black mashed potatoes), and stood, in shock, on the shoulder of the road in the grass. Almost immediately, I became aware of back pain.
“We could’ve been killed,” I gasped to my husband. Then—it hit me! The baby! We could lose the baby! I realized that part of my dress was wet. Had my water already broken? At this point, I was a little over twenty weeks along. I had read about lying on your left side if experiencing premature labor, so I lay down that way in the long grass on the shoulder of the road. An off-duty, very helpful EMT came up and recommended that I stay in that position. Besides, it felt better than standing.
The ambulance arrived and took me to the Rockford hospital. My blood pressure was low so they gave me an IV en route. All this time I remained on my left side.
I was not as concerned about myself as I was for my unborn baby. Once at the hospital, they checked the baby’s heartbeat. Via ultrasound, the hospital staff checked for leaking amniotic fluid and monitored me for contractions.
Everything seemed stable with the baby’s condition, and with Tylenol, I got out of bed eight hours after being admitted. Praise the Lord! Isaac’s folks headed straight for Illinois and drove us back to their home in Indiana. That ride was the most excruciating of my life. The back pain persisted, despite Tylenol (which is the safest for pregnancy, but not as effective for serious ailments). I moaned and groaned much of the way.
My abdomen exposed an ugly purple bruise the size of the seat-belt, but it was my back that bothered me the most with almost constant pain. I suddenly became helpless, needing assistance to get in and out of bed and dress, etc. Hot baths helped the most. For about two weeks we spent time recuperating as we alternated between his and my family’s places. Slowly, I began to improve. I could partially recline in an arm-chair where I hand-sewed hems on dresses for my sister’s upcoming wedding.
Returning home to Wisconsin (in an older car that Isaac used to drive), I faced new challenges with my bad back. Everything took longer and required more effort—it was so frustrating. However, a bright spot came during the recovery period, in the form of a sister from church offering to help with my flower-bed. How nice! Just a little thing, but it meant a lot. I continued to recover, feeling back-to-normal in several more weeks.
At about 34 weeks, my midwife checked the baby’s position and suspected a breech presentation. We got a second ultrasound and found the midwife’s suspicion was true. Our baby was in a frank breech position (rear first).
We tried several different methods in an attempt to turn the baby, including the following: 1) Hot and cold therapy (a cold-pack where baby’s head was and a hot water bottle applied in a lower spot, encouraging the baby to “head south”), 2) Lying at a 45-degree angle on a tilted ironing-board, hanging upside-down for five to ten minute intervals in a special chair (like an inversion table for one’s back), and 3) Our midwife trying to turn the baby manually.
All efforts failed and our baby remained stuck! This was our baby who survived a horrible wreck! Should we schedule a C-section or still try for a natural birth? Our midwife stressed that it was our decision to make. Tears and anxiety! Isaac felt we ought to try for a natural birth. With that decision settled, I felt happier—like a weight had gone.
But not for long. My very concerned aunt, a fairly-conservative labor and delivery nurse (who’s not one to go racing after C-sections and epidurals, especially knowing the negative impact they can have on labor) respectfully begged me to have a C-section.
“If you were my daughter,” she pleaded, “I’d be crying at your ankles, saying, ‘Please, get a C-section.’” She also told my dad about a certain X-ray that would show the mother’s pelvic floor measurement and the unborn baby’s head measurement. This X-ray would allegedly give assurance that the baby’s head could fit, if a natural birth were attempted. I very much craved such assurance!
We were just on the verge of calling to schedule an X-ray when my aunt called and basically stated that the information she’d given us was incorrect! No longer did people depend on that certain X-ray to provide accurate information. In fact, she stated, “It would be a waste of time and money” to get it done!
Once she knew our final decision to try for a natural birth, our midwife was wonderfully supportive. She let us know what we might expect with a breech birth. One thing she said was: “All the (breech) babies I’ve delivered needed to be resuscitated.” Gulp! What if the baby wouldn’t be okay after all? What if the baby simply could not be delivered naturally and got stuck? I felt God say to me, “Where I am, there is no risk.”
And it was true! Sixteen days after my original due date, on 25th of October, my labor started with a bang. I took calcium pills, arnica tablets, a magnesium drink, and red raspberry leaf tea to help with labor. Almost twelve hours later, our baby girl entered the world, weighing 8 lbs. 2 oz.!
We prayed aloud as the midwife worked on her for she was limp and blue. But God wanted her to live. She soon breathed and cried! We were especially glad she was okay when we found out that she had the biggest head of any breech baby our midwife had delivered—14” instead of 13 ½"!
Praise God for all His many miracles—especially for the gift of life!
Wonewoc, Wisconsin, USA
Printed in Above Rubies #93.