Friday, October 19th, 2012...1:39 am

Our Miracle Baby

Jump to Comments

It was an unbelievable 3 hours.  That is “unbelievable” by the normal English usage of the word.  However, what is impossible with man is possible with God.  Today I have witnessed a miracle.  It isn’t on the same order of magnitude as God making the sun stand still (Joshua 10), parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14), the preservation of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 2), the healing a man born blind (John 9), the Virgin Birth, or the Resurrection.  I don’t believe it is too much of a stretch to say that it is on a similar level to Daniel being protected for a night in a den full of hungry lions (Daniel 6), Jonah surviving three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, or of Ahasuerus getting insomnia, having his chronicles read to him, and being reminded of how Mordecai had exposed a plot to assassinate him in such a way that it led to deliverance of the Jews from the genocidal hand of Haman (Esther 6).

Now that I am clothed, caffeinated, and (somewhat) in my right mind, I want to document how the Triune God orchestrated today’s events to save the lives of my beloved wife and daughter.  I write this for several reasons.  The primary reason is that  Anya will likely have several difficult and trying times throughout her life, and the testimony of the events leading up to and including her healthy, live birth will stand as a memorial of God’s faithfulness, not just for Anya, but for her family, friends, and the strangers across cyberspace who happen across this unremarkable post on my obscure blog.   I have no pretense as to what the future holds, but I know God is faithful, and he uses mysterious means to advance His kingdom.  It is my hope that this record of His faithfulness will be one of those mysterious means in the life of some soul in need of perspective.  I’m still trying to process what happened, so this is written to “future me” as much as it is written to anybody else.

If you believe in probability or pure brute chance as such, I should be planning one or two funerals today.  Instead I am giving glory to the Triune God Who,  in His sovereignty, ordains every event of the universe  no matter how great or small for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.  It’s probably not the best method of storytelling, but I will provide a chronicle of events as I remember them.

10/17/2012 11:00AM: Shelley and I drive separately to Rex Hospital in Raleigh for a biophysical profile of Anya.  Anya passes with flying colors, but is in a transverse position instead of being head-down.  Her OB tells her that there are three options based on the current state in descending order of his preference: 1.) Drive to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill for an immediate cesarean section.  2.) Attempt to perform an inversion and then an induction on Tuesday 10/23.  3.) Wait it out.  He was apprehensive of the second and third choices because there was about a 10-15% chance of cord prolapse that would be in his words “catastrophic.”  I asked him to elaborate on what catastrophic meant and what percentage of prolapses resulted in infant mortality.  He stated that nearly all of them would be.  Shelley really had her heart set on a VBAC and was willing to accept that risk level enough to wait it out until Tuesday, so we decided on option 2.  I was kind of nervous about that decision, though.  On the way out to the car, I expressed my concern to Shelley. She was calm and at peace with her decision.

10/17/2012 12:00PM: (Part of the story that nobody really knows about.) Shelley and I had driven to Rex in serperate cars.  On the way back to work I went to the LORD in prayer and wrestled with Him about my concerns.  I know that there’s no such thing as chance, luck, or probability apart from God, but I also know that we need to  make decisions in this world, and that it is wise to base them on the revealed Word of God and our best understanding of the causal relations of past events that God has ordained in history.  In a nutshell, my day job is to try and prevent  errors by discovering the cause-and-effect relationships of past errors and recommending corrective actions that eliminate or mitigate the cause that produce the error.  This framework is how I generally solve problems, and the risk mitigator within me was really uncomfortable with the potential for disaster.   As I prayed, it was as if I were faced with this line of questioning as my heart was cross-examined: Do you own Anya and Shelley or does God own them?  God does.  Is God good? Yes.  Is God faithful. Yes.  Does God control all things and work them together for His glory and the good of his elect? Yes.  Should you then trust that God will control the outcome of this thing in a way that will be for His glory and your good?  Well, I suppose so.  (Little did I know…)

10/18/2012 1:07AM: I lay down in bed to sleep, later than I otherwise would.

10/18/2012 1:15AM: I’m still awake. Shelley walks into the bed room and comments that Eli had thrown the pillows on the floor.  She bends over to pick them up.  She has what we think is a strong Braxton Hicks contraction, which isn’t out of the ordinary.  A minute passes.  Instead of subsiding, the pain intensifies.  Shelley tries lying on her side in the bed, getting in the shower, and a couple of other things, but it doesn’t work.

10/18/2012 1:21AM: I call our doula and tell her that Shelley is in a great deal of pain and it’s like she’s having one long contraction that won’t subside.  She recommends that I call UNC Hospital.

10/18/2012 1:22AM: I call UNC Hospital and ask to be transferred to labor and delivery.  Continuous ring no answer.  All the while, Shelley’s pain is intensifying.

10/18/2012 1:24AM: I call UNC Hospital again and ask to be transferred to labor and delivery.  They pick up and tell me that I need to be transferred to the OB on call.  Transferred back to operator and then over to OB on call.  Our connection isn’t very good.  So she says she’ll call me back on my cell.

10/18/2012 1:31AM: OB on call calls me back on my cell. She tells my to get to the hospital.  We mobilize and get Shelley who can not walk without the assistance of both me and her sister Grace.

10/18/2012 1:40AM: We hit the road.

10/18/2012 1:41AM: OB calls my cell back.  She says she has tried several times to reach me in the last couple of minutes.  She tells me I need to get to the closest hospital, not UNC (which is about an hour away).  I (recalling my prior experience) tell her that Rex would be where we are heading.  (Rex is 33 minutes away from our house according to Google Maps.  WakeMed Cary is 24 minutes away.)  Shelley is in indescribable pain and throwing up on the drive.  I don’t know if my wife or my daughter will even still be alive when I get to the hospital.

10/18/2012 1:41AM: We tell our doula that we are going to Rex instead of UNC.

10/18/2012 1:54AM: The ramp from NC 55 to US1 north is closed.  Both WakeMed Cary and Rex are off of route 1, but there is a back way to WakeMed Cary.  We decide that we need to go to WakeMed because we can get there using back roads.  This actually gets us to the hospital quicker because WakeMed is closer than Rex.

10/18/2012 1:56AM: Our doula calls.  We tell her that we need to go to WakeMed Cary instead of Rex.

10/18/2012 1:58AM: Our doula thinks to call ahead to WakeMed Cary and let them know we are coming.  She winds up speaking to Shelley’s favorite nurse midwife from our birth with Eli who already knows Shelley.

10/18/2012 2:03AM: Our doula calls us and lets us know that she called ahead to WakeMed Cary and Shelley’s favorite nurse midwife is ready and waiting for her.

10/18/2012 2:05AM: We arrive at WakeMedCary I jump out of the van and tell the security guy that we have an obstetric emergency with a possible uterine rupture and were on the way to UNC when we were re-routed here.  He grabs a wheelchair and helps me get Shelley out of the van into the chair.

10/18/2012 2:07AM: They take us to the check in desk.  I’m able to convince the check-in person that this is a life-and-death matter.  They let Shelley get wheeled back while I fill out the paperwork.

10/18/2012 2:12AM: Paperwork is done enough.  I rush back to maternity ward room 7 and when I get there, there is a heartbeat on the fetal monitor.  Anya had moved back to a head down position, but there was no letting up to Shelley’s pain.  By the time I get there, the decision has been made to perform an emergency cesarean.  The on-call OB is on the way in.

10/18/2012 2:15AM: For the next 20-25 minutes they try to get an IV into Shelley’s arm.  3 nurses and then 2 anesthesiologists (including the head guy) are unsuccessful.  They decide that general anesthesia is the only option.

10/18/2012 2:40-3:17AM: They take Shelley back to the OR.  Neither I nor the doula are allowed back there with her.  By the time they perform the long vertical incision, Shelley’s uterus had ruptured to such a point that Anya is no longer even in the uterus, but in Shelley’s abdominal cavity.  The umbilical cord is also wrapped around Anya’s neck four times.  Yet somehow, but God’s miraculous providence ANYA IS STILL ALIVE.  The nurse midwife said that she has been doing this for a while and had never personally seen a uterine rupture of this magnitude where the baby survived.  Not only is Anya alive, but she is alive and well.  No signs of neurological damage, no worse for wear than any other cesarean baby.  Shelley had a lot of internal bleeding, but somehow Anya must have managed to avoid aspirating blood or any other dangerous fluid that could have been in Shelley’s abdominal cavity while remaining connected via the umbilical cord to Shelley’s placenta.

Despite the magnitude of the rupture, the OB was able to repair and save Shelley’s uterus.  It will be a long recovery for Shelley and far more difficult than her previous two c-sections but I am so thankful to have them both alive.  Reflecting on this, there were a series of variables where if any one of them changed, I’m making funeral arrangements.  What would have happened if the ramp to US1 were open and we had gone the farther distance to Rex? Or if the UNC OBGYN hadn’t anticipated uterine rupture and re-routed us to a closer hospital?  Or if they were able to get an IV into Shelley instead of using general anesthesia?  Or if I had not been at home when the rupture started?  What happened was so blatantly providential that it wouldn’t be tolerated as fiction.  A fiction reader would say that there are just too many coincidences for this to be a believable plot.  And yet here we are.  It is as if I have received my wife and daughter back from the dead today, and it causes me to look forward to the resurrection at the end of history.  Both Shelley and Anya will one day die (as will we all), but a day will come when the trumpet shall sound and the perishable will be raised imperishable.

You can keep your jackpot winning lottery tickets, I’ll take Anya!


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.