Monday, February 8, 2010

Special Delivery

It should come as no surprise that Jewel loves to write stories. You see, her life started as a story of what one tiny baby could teach her mama, even before she was born. It contained all the makings of a good story, too-- conflict, angst, a gripping climax, and a happy ending. Read on to learn what God taught me during my pregnancy with Jewel.

Sweat slicked my forehead and mingled with the wetness squeezing from eyes closed tightly against the glare of the fluorescent lights. Late July sun poured through the large window to my right, adding to the piercing artificial light. The room was stuffy. The metallic scent of blood mixed with antiseptic hospital smells and made my stomach swim. Gritting my teeth against the pain, I struggled as each new wave crashed over me.

“Just a few more pushes and your baby will be here,” coaxed a nurse. I knew the pain was necessary to bring this baby into the world, but I also knew her connection to my body might be the only thing keeping my daughter alive. Upon her entrance into the bright, stuffy room she would either split the air with the lusty wail of a healthy newborn or pierce my heart with the mewling cry of a terminally ill infant. While my body struggled to bring forth life, my heart fought to keep death at bay.

The ordeal was culminating on July 30, 2000, but it had begun months before. In March, we first glimpsed our tiny baby. Arms and legs waved and her profile revealed a sweet, turned-up nose. She kicked and wiggled, oblivious to the cartwheels her acrobatics caused in our hearts. The doctor called a few days later. In reviewing the ultrasound images, he had discovered a problem.

“The images show a cyst in the baby’s brain. It’s in an area that doesn’t necessarily cause a problem, but there is a high incidence of this type of cyst being linked to a fatal disorder,” he explained. We later learned that the disorder was nearly always fatal within the first week after birth, that it affected girls more than boys, that our child had one other trait that seemed to link her to the sickness, and that there was no treatment or cure for it.

One morning, as I prayed my way through the day’s chores, I grew frustrated. God, you and I both know you have a plan in this. You’re going to do what you want to do. There’s no magic prayer that I can say that will take this all away. Why should I bother? No sooner had the thought flown through my mind when a voice thundered in my heart, hitting me so forcefully that my body jolted with the shock: I don’t ask you to pray so THINGS will change; I ask you to pray so YOU will change.

The remainder of my pregnancy passed with the normal struggles of swollen ankles, backaches, and insomnia, followed by thirty-six hours of labor. But I no longer struggled to pray. I knew God was using my prayers to prepare me for the journey ahead.

When I gave birth to our daughter, red and squalling that Sunday morning in July, the doctor placed her on my stomach saying, “It’s a girl. And she’s healthy.” All those months of praying and waiting were over. We could now move into a new life with the tiny girl with the button nose. But the lesson God taught me about prayer has continued to live and grow within me.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this Nikki! When Brett and I talk about miracles that we have witnessed. This true story of yours comes up everytime. Praise the Lord! He is so good to us!