It's Thanksgiving in the US today, a day that we are called to reflect on all for which we are thankful. So this Thanksgiving I wanted to share with you a story of grace for which I am especially grateful.
There are a few things in this world that I am good at -- but, unfortunately, having babies is not one of them. I am diabetic which makes things a little complicated. Often diabetics have to watch their pregnancies because their babies become enormous but in my case, I have had just the opposite problem. And that was especially true when I fell pregnant with Skylar. We were thrilled that I was pregnant (and many tears of happiness were shed when I found out that I was having a girl after having our magical boy). But as the weeks went by, it became clear that Skylar wasn't really growing. Or not the way she was supposed to, anyway. In the first weeks of the pregnancy, our doctor kept reassuring us that things would be fine but soon thereafter she started to look worried. When Skylar was only 3.5 pounds my doctor mused aloud whether labor should be induced "because maybe the baby would do better on the outside."
To make matters even more stressful, Skylar's heart kept stopping - for a few beats at a time. This meant that I had to go into the hospital virtually every day. In those last weeks, I would lie in the operating room with a fetal monitor strapped to me, just in case an emergency c-section was called for - just in case Skylar's heart stopped beating altogether. The midwives would hover over me while I prayed silently to a God that I was not even sure that I believed in.
My doctor put me on full bed rest. I was running an office with numerous staff at the time and had no back up plan - more stress, more stress. I spent my days in bed lying on my side and whispering to myself "grow little baby, please grow." And miraculously, she did grow. But was it enough? We wanted her to hit the magic 5 pound number. But despite the growth spurt, the doctor stared at the ultrasound picture and tentatively estimated a pound less - 4 pounds. At 4 pounds there could be complications. Were we prepared?
I sobbed as they wheeled me into the operating room for delivery. I couldn't have a natural birth because my pelvis is misshapen - not enough room through which to squeeze a baby's small body. As they prepared for the c-section, I felt a sense of foreboding that terrified me. I was so certain that there was something wrong with the baby. I felt weak. I felt incapable. I felt unprepared for what lay before me. My blood pressure dropped suddenly, and the doctors had to wait until it was raised for the operation to begin. The minutes ticked by. My husband Chris never let go of my hand. But I couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my face uncontrollably. I was quietly hysterical.
Then it was all over. My doctor held the baby in her hands and said two words that I had been waiting to hear, "She's big." Skylar was a smidge over 5 pounds. And she was perfect. I turned then to my husband and told him that I thought we should give Skylar the middle name Grace. He blinked his eyes and agreed.
So it's Thanksgiving today, and it's also the day that we are throwing Skylar Grace's fifth birthday party this year. Rather appropriate don't you think?
And no matter the country in which you are reading this little blog, I want to reach out to you right now and wish for you and your family many, many blessings. Because today I am giving thanks, and I hope you are, too.