Surrender: not your average birth story

"He's flipped. That's why," said the ultrasound tech, "The doctors couldn't figure out why you weren't progressing very quickly, but it looks like your baby is breech."

 

Apparently, I can be stubborn at times...

 

WE all have our besetting sins: those things we struggle with, day in and day out. Mine is stubbornness and inflexibility.

I had gone in for my induction with the mentality that I can rise over any obstacles that stand in my way; this was my fourth baby after all. Little did I know that this child, like every other, had a lesson to teach me in his very own way. 

After nearly three weeks of contracting regularly and at least 24 hours of active labor, doctors couldn't figure out why my body was simply not responding to the induction. It seemed like things were going smoothly, but then.... nothing. I had plateaued. 

We were sent home, then returned hours later to find that I had still not progressed despite having extremely strong contractions 2-3 minutes apart. Before sending me home again, the doctors decided to have an ultrasound to be sure everything was okay. It was then that we discovered our baby had flipped to breech during labor. There was no way to avoid a C-section at this point. We were prepped and ready for surgery within 20 minutes and my doctor joined the team despite this being her day off. 

 

I wish I could say that all went smoothly. I wish I could say that I was able to surrender to this new plan and found some beautiful outcome in spite of how different everything had become so fast; but I can't.

 

Instead, I suffered a massive panic attack on the table once my anesthesia kicked in and I couldn't move my legs. It was embarrassing. My doctor was there, a friend was in the room as the respiratory therapist, and my husband felt helpless as I laid there in utter panic. It was him steadying my head and forcing me to refocus that allowed me to finally be calm enough to make it through the procedure. 

 

Honestly, most major times in life involve a forced refocusing. If we don't find a way calm ourselves - or allow others to steady us - we find ourselves struggling with our own selfish desires instead of surrendering to that which is objectively better. 

 

My son was born one year ago today with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck like a noose. The doctors suggested this is the reason he flipped - he felt such pressure that he knew the only way to avoid that was to flip - even though it was likely very uncomfortable for him to do so. My son's own forced refocus saved his life. My forced refocus preserved his life and allowed me to understand that my own expectations - no matter how well intentioned - aren't always what is objectively best. 

 

Lord help me understand when my hopes and expectations aren't best, or might be hindering a better outcome. Help me to surrender to your will daily, that you might be able to radiate through me. 

 

Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. 

 

For further reading, here's Psalm 40.