A prayer I've had consistently the past few years has been to see God moving in my life and in my everyday. I have to admit that I don't see Him. Not because He hasn't moved but because I am so narrowly focused in my eyesight, my heart and my soul that I know I don't let Him in. So I've been praying, consistently, that He would please show Himself to me. That he would open me up so that I can see Him. This whole thing with Libby has been an answer to that prayer. And not just in one or two ways, but every single step that we have taken the past 6 days has had God involved. So involved that even my nearsighted, blinded, weak eyes have not missed it.
I saw God moving before any of this started when He moved my heart to pray consistently for the baby and the pregnancy. I gave it over to him-without knowing why-from the very beginning. I prayed for her and it in a way that I haven't for the other two. I prayed that God would protect the baby, protect me and protect the birth. But more than that, I always gave it back to Him. I thanked Him for blessing us with the pregnancy and would always, consistently, every time, say that this was His child that He had a plan for. And if it meant we would never even get to meet her, I would trust Him. I prayed this before I even started showing, before I had anything to worry about. God moved my heart to be willing to give this over to Him without knowing why.
I saw God moving on Wednesday when we went through the ultrasound test. I knew in the way technicians and doctors talked that something was wrong. Yet God clearly protected my heart and allowed it not to worry. This is not from me. I knew something was wrong yet I was protected, until we knew the facts, from worrying about it.
I saw God moving on Wednesday when we were checked in and met our doctor. John and I are incredibly holistic in how we approach health care. We believe that minimal intervention in nearly every aspect is better than intervention. If I can treat a problem with something from the earth instead of a medicine I always do. Our medicine cabinet contains vitamins and herbal rubs, not chemicals. It's just the way we feel comfortable dealing with our family and any physical issues that come up. So when we checked into the hospital, faced with the thought of a hospital, my immediate thoughts and fears were we were going to be bullied into all sorts of interventions. That not only would we be bullied but what we believe so deeply would be ridiculed or worse. We got the opposite. Our doctor was about as perfect a match for a homebirth family as we could get. He respected what we had done so far in the pregnancy. He never once, for even a second, made us feel stupid or inferior. We truly felt he listened to us and respected us on an intellectual level. Even a few times when we made choices he told us he didn't think would be best, he never made it seem that we were making a mistake or he was smarter than us. Having a doctor who listened to us and gave us as many choices and as much control as possible was a complete God moment. We could have easily gotten the 100% opposite, yet God was in the details in when we came into the hospital and who happened to be on call at the time. Coincidentally (or not), our doctor happened to be the one on call for the next week-so we never had to switch doctors and we got consistent care the entire 2.5 days we were in the hospital.
I saw God working when we had peace on Thursday about our plan of what to do. We made the very hard choice to have a hospital birth, to be induced, to have my water broken. All things I would never do, yet I was 100% at peace with the choice and confident it was the right one. Changing so much from what I hold dearly to, that could only be God giving peace and assurance.
I saw God moving when we were faced with the thought that Libby might have downs syndrome. He lead my heart to pray, to be at peace, to trust in Him to be good and sovereign. He reminded me of my prayers the past few months to give the pregnancy to Him. My normal response to hard times is to get angry and wonder why God doesn't just fix it. And yet I couldn't even go there if I wanted. He protected me that much.
I saw God moving over the choice to get an epidural or not. I considered getting one, simply because I actually had the option and let's face it, labor is not fun. I debated obsessively for probably 24 hours about what to do. I prayed for clarity on the issue. Not just a hunch but undebated clarity on what I should do. The morning we induced, I decided I would get it. I was handed the paperwork and all the risks were highlighted. It was so clear to me that I did not need it. That anything I was afraid of in a natural labor I would be able to handle and if anything lasting or significant came of the epidural I would not be able to handle that. So as though someone spoke out loud, I knew to decline it. It turns out that it was the right choice. I was in pain for exactly 4 minutes. What a blessing that a Pitocin induced labor, which is suppose to be very very painful, was not something I needed to fear after all.
I saw God move during the labor. Once induced it moved so slowly and I was terrified it would end in a C-section. I truly thought that all the choices we had made up until that point were wrong and something would happen to the baby and something would happen to me. God let it end in the most perfect way it could-a healthy birth for both me and Libby with no lasting consequences from it.
I saw God move when I birthed Libby. After this was all over, I came to see that the most important thing to me in birth is being able to push my baby out the way I want to. Nothing else, in the end, matters. I was able to do this. I didn't get to labor how I wanted, labor didn't start how I wanted, Libby wasn't treated the way I wanted her to get treated when she was born, but the one and only thing that did happen the way I wanted, was I got to push her out how my body saw fit. So even though nothing else in the entire birth happened as I wanted it to, I have no negative reaction or memory of the birth because the one thing that did matter to me in the end happened.
God moved when Libby cried her first breath on her own!
God moved when he gave me the girl I so wanted!
God moved when there was no sign of downs syndrome or any other abnormality!
God moved when the only problem Libby had was needing stomach surgery-scary of course, but straight forward and safe as far as surgeries go.
God moved when my little baby was born healthy enough for me to get to hold her!
God has moved since the birth too. We have seen our Church rally around us and provide us with more than we could have ever asked or imagined. We have seen these friends truly be the hands and feet of Christ. We pray that they feel as blessed from serving us as we feel from getting served. I think both John and I would agree that we have never seen or felt so much love both from people and outwardly pouring from God. It takes our breath away when we ponder and reflect and remember how we are being helped.
Libby is in surgery now. We are waiting to hear how it goes. I will hopefully get to hold my little girl today-for the first time in over 48 hours. I am looking forward to see how else God will move in this situation. My eyes are opened, I am focused. I pray God keeps me in this space a little bit longer.
Thank You Lord Jesus for your incredible mercy and grace.