This past weekend, we watched the video of our youngest child’s birth. Since viewing it, I’ve been reminded of God’s faithfulness during that trying season.
Lindsey was my fourth baby, and with all of the others I delivered around my due date. Surprisingly, early labor pains began one night and I just kept thinking it was false labor. The contractions lasted throughout the night and by ten the next morning I knew I needed to go to the hospital to be examined. Not long after getting there and hooked up to machines, it was confirmed that I was in fact in labor. The doctors were very concerned because I had had three cesareans previously and didn’t want my uterus to rupture. They did a test on the baby in the womb and determined that her lungs were developed enough and that an emergency C-section should happen.
At 5:13 that afternoon Lindsey Amber was born five weeks early. She is my only baby that I actually saw come out of my belly. The on call doctor heard me say I had never seen them born because of the screen they put up, literally at your chin, so that you can’t see. He grabbed the paper screen and tore it down and out came the most beautiful baby! I remember thinking how she looked like the others only smaller. You can imagine our elation at the fact that she cried right away and seemed completely healthy. They wrapped her up tight and brought her over to me on the operating table so I could kiss her and off she went with the pediatrician and her daddy to the well baby nursery while they finished putting me back together.
In the nursery, the doctor began the normal examination of the baby. Lindsey stopped breathing during the exam. The doctor shook her and her breathing came back. Again she stopped breathing and the doctor couldn’t resuscitate her. He grabbed the baby running towards the pediatric PICU shouting, “Emergency, emergency!!” My husband was running after him as well as a nurse. The nurse, in a panic, couldn’t get the code on the PICU door to open, so the doctor somehow busted through the door, still shouting, “Emergency, emergency!” Immediately a team of people were around our baby and were shoving a life saving tube down her throat in an effort to get air to her lungs, all while her daddy looked on in horror. A nurse escorted him out at that point.
About an hour later, I was out of recovery, and in my hospital room. I could see that Spanky was crying, but he always cried at the birth of each baby, so I shrugged it off. I also noticed that our friends and family were crying, but to be honest, I was so drugged I didn’t think about it. There was a knock on our door and in came a doctor and a nurse practitioner and they asked everyone to leave the room but Spanky and me. At that time, they began to tell me what happened to our sweet baby after delivery. They began asking me all kinds of questions about my pregnancy. They told me that they didn’t give us any hope that Lindsey would survive, and if she did, she would probably have brain damage because of the lack of oxygen she had when she stopped breathing. The crazy thing was that in my drug induced state; the presence of the Lord was with me. I remember He asked me, “Will you trust me?”
Several years before Lindsey’s birth, I had suffered a heart wrenching miscarriage. Truthfully, I was so frustrated and angry with the Lord that He asked me then, “Will you still serve me?” I replied, “Yes,” determinedly. The crazy thing was, God used that miscarriage in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. While my heart was broken over the miscarriage, I can’t tell you how many times God used it to help someone else and how it brought about the revelation that He is so trustworthy. The miscarriage was not only a stepping-stone of God showing His faithfulness to us over the years, but a memory that I ponder oftentimes to remind myself of the sovereignty of God.
So on that day, October 9, 1999 when the Lord asked me if I would trust Him, I wholeheartedly knew that I could. No matter the uncertain journey we were about to embark on. I remember the peace that came over me when I said I would trust Him.
Lindsey was born with bruises all over her extremities, which indicates a serious infection in infants. She looked like she had been in a car wreck. One of our favorite nurses, Tim, was so wonderful to us. At that time you could only go the ICU during certain hours. Tim gave me the phone number to speak with him and we frequently called him from our hospital room during the day. I remember one phone call when Tim told me he didn’t like her color, because she was so gray. He expressed how critical she was. Tim always told us the truth, which I appreciated so much. Spanky and I will always be grateful to him and the team of nurses and doctors that fought so hard to keep Lindsey alive. Basically they treated her for everything under the sun, until they could figure out what was wrong with our little one.
I can’t tell you how much of a faith walk this was. We truly didn’t know if she would survive. It was a roller coaster ride-one good hour, replaced with a bad hour. One good day and then a bad day. The most wonderful thing was how the church surrounded us. When I say the church, I don’t just mean our church. Our church was wonderful, but the body of Christ from all denominations was there for us. Looking back, I don’t think we were ever alone for more than 15 minutes at a time. There was always someone with us to pray, to help us laugh, to feed us, to cry with us. This was so important because we didn’t want to be left alone to our own thoughts.
We held Lindsey for the first time when she was eight days old. The joy we felt was incredible! We truly thought we were on the road to taking our precious baby home. It was true elation! But as part of the roller coaster ride, at five the next morning we both awoke out of a dead sleep and ran down the hospital hall to PICU and walked in to find them pumping blood out of our little one’s tummy. Through the entire trauma of PICU, Lindsey had developed a stress ulcer. That was my worst day. I was so exhausted and my faith was at it’s weakest that morning. I cried the entire day and could barely open my eyes from how swollen they were. Here I thought we were close to checking out of that hospital and now we were being told that she may be in the hospital for many more weeks and that she needed to see many more specialists. I just kept thinking if I could get her home she would be okay. That day friends came by with a CD player and we worshiped in the hospital room.
Throughout our stay we really felt in our spirit that God had allowed all of this for a greater reason. We thought maybe the reason was that a nurse needed to be told about Jesus, or a patient, and so we did. In fact we told anyone who would listen, and even those that wouldn’t! One thing that was so crazy was Lindsey was the biggest baby in the PICU, but the sickest.
After a day of the enemy fighting like the dickens, we received a phone call in our hospital room that there was another patient who needed prayer and would we go pray with her. Spanky said yes. I have to be honest-I really didn’t want to go pray. I was emotionally spent and was exhausted. But he urged me to go with him. We walked to her hospital room and there was a policeman standing guard at her room. He allowed us to go in to see her. She had shoplifted in Florida and was being extradited back there as soon as she was discharged. She had just delivered a baby also. It was so sad-her breasts were wrapped tightly in an effort to dry her milk up and her baby wasn’t in her room anymore. She was going to prison and her baby was going to be left behind with family. We led her to the Lord in that hospital room. It was such a sweet moment. A lady from our church ministered to her in the local jail before she was taken back to Florida. I’ve never forgotten her and have thought about her many times over the years.
The crazy thing was-after we prayed with her, amazing things began happening with Lindsey. She started doing amazing! I was able to nurse her and bathe her! One by one every tube was taken out. We checked straight out of PICU two days after praying with the woman, and brought our baby home! Some close friends of ours got a limo and we left the hospital in style! We still chuckle at how unorthodox that was, but everything about Lindsey’s birth was!
Thinking back during that difficult time, I always remember the body of Christ showing up. They were there for us. People were bringing us meals at the hospital and bringing meals to our children at home. We felt so loved. When the body of believers serves one another, Jesus is magnified.
Lindsey will be eighteen this October. She is a special child-a true gift from the Lord! When she was little I would tell people that she was joyful and pleasant-I still marvel that she came from us! Lindsey is healthy, smart, shy, kind, and talented. She is all of the kid’s favorite sibling. Course she’s been special to them since birth. She is our miracle!