Have You Heard My BEST Thanksgiving Story?
When I share this story with others I usually start out by saying;
We were young and dumb then . . .
We had faith enough to fill the Grand Canyon. . . a couple times over.
The kind of faith that takes any challenge head-on, mustering all our grit and determination to see it through to the end! That was us as first time parents with our first term pregnancy. A year prior to this pregnancy we had to say good-bye to our first child, Jeremiah. Sarah was pregnant only 11 weeks before she miscarried.
It was grueling for Sarah. At that time (and still today) she was a Registered Nurse. She knew about the medical procedure to help with the miscarriage. She chose not to go that route. That is another story all-together!
Sarah and I wanted to be “Au Naturale” about a lot of things
Fast-forward one year from the miscarriage. The test results are in; she is pregnant again!
And, when we went “Au Naturale”, we REALLY went ALL NATURAL, to the degree that we decided to NOT have an ultrasound. This is probably the most important part of this story.
The Day I Almost Lost My Wife, But Gained More
Fast forward nine months.
Our amazing midwife, Kelli Johnson, who has faithfully served Sarah at all her births, received a yet another phone call from me one fateful November night . . . “Let me know when her contractions are 6 minutes apart . . . ” she says. “I am getting everything ready, and will be on my way soon” she says.
Me. I’m quietly freaking out. Sarah is in her own universe. I mean, she is in a zone for having this baby. It is the kind of intense concentration one sees from a star pitcher, or quarterback. She is doing all the natural methods of progressing a delivery.
- Power walking. CHECK!
- Oxytocin Stimulation. CHECK! (If you know what I’m talking about, then you KNOW what I’m talking about here)
- Pregnancy Pilates. CHECK! (She was a delivery warrior)
The contraction are now 5 minutes apart and the midwife, midwife’s assistant, and Diane Polozola, our doula show up and set up all the gear. My job is to keep the birthing pool in the living room of our small 1 room apartment loaded with nice hot water.
I think this is gonna speed along now that everything is set up. “Give it an hour or two” I tersely think to myself.
I then remembered that I should always make room for the unexpected. So, then with a cocky smirk I thought to myself, “Okay, probably 4 more hours ‘give or take’ and some pushing time that will most certainly wake the neighbors.”
Famous last words–err thoughts rather. I wouldn’t dare say those words in front of my wife during the throws of labor for fear of my life.
Guess what. It didn’t go according to my plan.
It took all night and into the mid morning for Sarah to deliver our beautiful surprise . . .
Surprises Of My Life
Remember when I said we didn’t have an ultrasound done?
Well, at approximately 9:45 AM, I was then aware that I was the proud father of a beautiful 5 lb, 6 oz baby girl. I was too “in love at first sight” and starry eyed over the sight of my precious daughter, Ayla to notice that she wasn’t the 10 pounder of a baby we had expected. The midwife new something was not right at the first sign of the rather small size of Ayla.
When I got to hold Ayla for the first time the midwife got fast to work checking Sarah for some medical reasons I didn’t understand. All I knew was that my wife had just given it all she had. I was proud of her for doing an amazing job of delivering our first daughter. First, I took new-born baby Ayla to a painting of Jesus I had done a few years before. Her eyes fixated intensely on the face of Jesus!
I was stoked! Already she knew her Savior! (Hey, I can indulge myself in this even if it may just be an illusion of mine. But hey! With God all things are possible, even if new-born babies can’t see clearly).
Two seconds later I heard the most peculiar sound in my entire life. The “fetal baby heart Doppler” doohickey starts making that familiar noise of a baby’s heart!
The Real Surprise of This Thanksgiving Story!
Imagine, if you will . . . a single sound that could spin the world you thought you lived in into a total whirlwind. That was what it felt like to instantly go from being a brand new father of one baby girl into a brand new father of twins! Then I saw him: my son Gabriel. He was just as beautiful as his older twin sister.
I wasn’t really afraid of not having enough to provide for these new twins of ours. Well. Okay, I was a bit worried. But, I had two brand-new babies to look after and bring up in the admonition of the LORD. Those where the things really on my mind and the hope of my prayers to have God’s strength to do the job right.
Things take a Turn for the Worse!
Before I know it I turn to show Sarah our new son I see that her eyes have rolled back and she fainted in a heap on the ground.
She had lost too much blood! Her blood pressure was dropping rapidly! She would not wake up when we tried to call to her.
Our midwife, who used to be a Miami paramedic, jumped to action: gave Sarah oxygen and other medical assistance that just looked like a blur.
In that frenzied blur of life saving everything that mattered in my life became crystal clear. I flashed back to the first time I saw Sarah. She was 15, and I was 17. I walked down the steps of my high school. As I walked down I saw her and something special took over my whole existence. She and I had a mutual friend she was with–she introduced Sarah to me, and I was so smitten I kissed her hand.
In that flash of a moment of clarity it was that first smile she gave me when we first met that stuck in my mind as I crouched to whisper soothing words of assurance to her as she lay unconscious on our living room floor.
I acted fast in all of this, but deep down inside I was incredibly . . .
I was afraid that I had lost Sarah the moment we started our vastly bigger than expected family. Our doula, Dianne, and I prayed to Jesus, fervently to bring Sarah back to us. I wet Sarah’s lips with a damp washcloth and spoke tender words of love, and joy over our new twin babies and how I knew she would be an amazing mother. I could feel it in the depths of my soul. She was going to make it.
I cried out to God.
I cried out again. She was unresponsive. We began praying even stronger in Jesus name for her complete recovery and return from her shock.
Three beautiful sets of eyes
At this point Sarah was still being attended to by the midwife and the midwife’s assistant. Dianne, dutifully held the swaddled twins, while praying with me.
Sarah was still unconscious. 10 minutes seemed like an eternity.
Then, slowly . . . weakly . . .
She started to open her eyes.
I tenderly kissed her forehead, and whispered praises to Jesus in her ear and told her,
I love you soo much!”
We then were able to look upon our precious new gifts from God. And for the first time. I could smile at all three sets of eyes of my beautiful new family. This is one reason why I thank God for my wife. His beautiful gift to me. That is why I thank God for my family, that is on loan to me. I will do my best to lead them always to the LORD!
And that Thanksgiving turned out to be my family’s dearest Thanksgiving . . . So Far . . . What is YOUR most memorable and remarkable Thanksgiving Story? Please drop a comment with some details we all would like to hear.