At this time nine years ago I was in active labor and was ready to push and deliver our final child, a girl. At 4:03 pm on August 30, 2007, nearly five weeks before her official due date, Katherine Anne Wood made her entrance into the world at exactly 7.0 pounds; a number that Biblically has often represented completion. I believe this was just one of the ways God used to let me know He had this whole situation under control.
While her delivery was fairly routine, my pregnancy with her was far from it. Most people who know us, know this story well, but to my heart, it bears repeating often; as a reminder of promises I made to God and promises He kept to me.
Nine years is a long time and it can be easy to let the ache of a painful journey dissipate from your mind as the days and years roll on. This past weekend a similar story of God’s faithfulness and goodness reminded me that my own testimony (and Kate’s), now nine years old, is still worthy of sharing.
On May 18, at our anatomy scan, we were met with devastating news that we had a very high chance of losing the pregnancy and our daughter’s life, due to abnormally low amniotic fluid. Only hours before my sister’s wedding rehearsal where I was to stand in as matron of honor, Ryan and I found ourselves reeling from words a high-risk doctor dropped in our laps.
“This pregnancy doesn’t appear to be viable; you should consider augmenting labor or interrupting the pregnancy.”
The short version of the story is that from week 20 until week 35, I was on strict bedrest. Every trip to the bathroom was met with the anxiety of wondering if I’d see spotting that would lead to a late-term miscarriage. I was homebound and worried. Ryan and I went to twice weekly doctor appointments; had scans, tests, checks, and medical discussions. When doctors couldn’t give us firm answers, our faith was tested and stretched.
In all honesty, those nearly 16 weeks of waiting were so full of constant mental and spiritual anguish. Doctor’s would toss out best-guesses about my amniotic fluid, risks for Kate’s development, and hypothetical worst-case scenarios.
During this season, Ryan and I wept and prayed together. I read my Bible constantly, clinging to the promises of God. Others cared for us well; they fed us, prayed for us, and spoke life over our situation. But mostly, I just begged God to spare Kate’s life.
I pleaded with Him to bring our girl to us full-term. In those moments I couldn’t say, “thy will be done…” although I knew that was what a strong Christian should pray. I was selfish. I wanted Kate with me on here on Earth; I didn’t want to wait to meet her in eternity. God does not bargain with us or “make deals” with his children. He is sovereign and I knew I would have to simply trust in Him with Kate.
In the end, after no real medical answers, we were simply left to wait. As each week passed and Kate’s chances of survival increased, my worries never subsided. I wasn’t sure what we’d be met with at her birth and I continually questioned if I could really, truly trust in God. I wanted to, but how could I know to trust when I couldn’t see how this story would end?
Would God still be good if Kate’s life was not spared?
Would He still sit on His throne if she faced a lifetime of severe health problems?
That day, after her weight and APGAR checks, Kate was placed in my arms whole, healthy, complete. Not one minute of oxygen was needed for her lungs; not one minute of a stay in the NICU; not one single lingering developmental OR health problem to this day.
When I heard her cries I joined in with my own and rejoiced by repeating “Thank you, God!” That very day, August 30, 2007 I promised God that I would never quit thanking Him and praising Him for what He had done in Kate’s life and in ours.
As the years and birthdays roll by, I get complacent in my gratitude for God’s protection and preservation of Kate’s life. Time has a way of erasing or at least lessening the anguish of that season. Our joy and celebrating of her life soon turned into life-as-usual; satisfied and fulfilled.
These days, I don’t dwell on the miracle of her life as often as I did in those early days. But every year on her birthday I say a special prayer (usually tearfully) to God thanking Him for the abundance of His faithfulness and goodness to us and to our girl.
I know He has special plans for her life. Won’t you join me in taking a little trip down memory lane?
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.- Psalm 36:5