Thursday, August 11, 2011

those with child, those in labour

There are a lot of emotions the week that your baby turns one.  There might be a few more when their birth was the most difficult experience of your life.  We celebrate our little wonder and are so grateful for his life in our lives.  But both Chris and I have experienced feelings of heaviness, panic and anxiety as we remember what this week was like a year ago.

Safran's birth was probably the time in my life when I felt most powerless, most incapable, weakest, most inept.  My child, whom I carried, dreamed and loved in my secret and safest place for 40 weeks, needed me to push him into the world before he died.  His dangerously low heartbeat, too late in the birth for a cesarean, steadily screamed the graveness of the situation.  And as hard as I could push (even with no pain meds that could have dampened my ability), it just wasn't fast enough.  Those moments of hearing his slow heartbeat and pushing with every fibre in my body (with midwives and a doctor encouraging/yelling for me to push harder) and still he wasn't coming - it was an unbelievable feeling.  I knew my baby could very well die inside of me, an inch away from the rest of the world.  Thirty minutes of pushing, two vacuum attempts, and finally he was on my chest.  But he was white and completely limp (APGAR score of 2) and quickly moved to the resus trolley a few feet from my bed.
maybe 90 minutes after birth
In the end, although he was transferred to a special care hospital in Sydney (without me for the first 30 hours), he was released from the NICU in five days, labeled a 'spontaneous recovery'.  After initially telling us he wasn't moving one side of his body and "You need to know he may never be all right", within three days doctors suspected that he would actually be just fine.  It all ended extremely well.

But this whole year, I've never been able to feel like that was because of me.  

There's a passage in the Bible,  in Jeremiah 31, where the prophet is sharing God's heart and plans for the refugee community who were living in Babylon.  He promises that God will bring them back to their homeland, to rebuild and restore.  And among them that come will be, "the blind, the lame, those with child and those in labour."

Hm.  That's an interesting group of people to choose to not only make an extremely dangerous and difficult trek back to Jerusalem but to be the people who will work in a very harsh place to re-establish their homeland.  

God specifically is choosing those that the rest of the world has rejected and ignored, those who are perceived as weak.  The blind, the lame, pregnant women and moms in labour.

And that's my confession these days:  "God, you know me.  I'm still the same.  I'm blind, I'm lame, I'm pregnant, I'm labouring.  I'm a weak one. And I really, really, really need you."

It's true, I couldn't push my baby into the world fast enough.  Because of the unusual circumstances surrounding his birth (partially due to a malformation of his umbilical cord), I was not enough.  I think this week I am just beginning to feel a release from that shame.  I was not enough, and that's okay.  God was there.  He never let go of me, or Saf - and even if the outcome would have been much worse, it would still be true.

The weak are very close to God's heart.  And as my baby turned one, I'm nearing the half-way mark of my newest pregnancy - and when you've experienced birth trauma, that can be a scary thing.  But I feel assured this evening that it all doesn't rest on me.  And no matter what happens, God won't let go.


Post a Comment