"For we battle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" Ephesians 6:12.
Today was another appointment in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic. I didn't sleep much last night. Not because of anxiety over the appointment, but because Samuel is a big boy now (thus my need to use the bathroom every 2 hours or so...). When my alarm went off at 5:30am, my only thought was "maybe Bryan can just go without me". But I got up, we got ready and we set out for our appointment. Samuel had been kicking earlier but must have decided to get more sleep while we drove. When we got in with our doctor, all was as expected. Yep, he's still got a strong heartbeat. Yep, he's moving. Nope, no amniotic fluid. (He weighs 3lbs, 4oz. He's still growing!!) The doctor was surprised to see that Samuel had moved to a breech position. For the past few months, he has been transverse (sideways) and due to the lacking fluid, it seemed he would be unable to move. Now all he has to do is switch to head down.
After the ultrasound, we all sat down and the doctor proceeded to talk to us about what he believes will happen and what his/our plans are. He told us we should rule out the idea that Samuel might not make it to full term. Then he said, but he might. (So doctor, what you're telling us is that he may or may not live until birth? Oh, thanks for your keen insight.) We discussed a c-section (since he is breech) and he told us we wouldn't need one because it wouldn't change the outcome. (typically, a breech baby is delivered c-section because it can be traumatic for them to be born naturally.) After every intervention we discussed, he quickly reminded us "nothing will change the outcome, unfortunately". So, basically, what we got out of talking with him was this: Samuel is going to die. Maybe before I deliver, maybe during delivery, maybe shortly after.
I think it was the combination of being tired, mixed with the fact that I don't ever even consider that Samuel will die, but I wasn't able to stand firm like I now wish I would have. I just sort of nodded along. The only tidbit I managed this time was "God is in control of his life. We won't decide when he comes." This was in response to a question about being induced. Other than that, I let it all get to me and spent the majority of the appointment sobbing in front of everyone we encountered.
When that portion of the appointment was finished, we were going to meet with the neonatology group to discuss their role in his birth. I had gone to the bathroom to try to regain my composure, but lost it again as soon as they came in. (UGH! I hate it when I can't get myself back under control! What kinds of faith does that show!). This began the most nightmarish portion of the morning. Normally, when I think about Samuel, I picture him all perfect and precious as I hold him close and love him. The picture they painted looked something like this; he'll be blue, he'll be damaged, he'll be in a strange position, he may be dead or he may be struggling to live, he'll have a flat face and on and on. What on earth am I supposed to do with that information?? In my head, I kept saying "no, it won't be like that" but since I was sobbing I couldn't actually say much. The options for their involvement are things like using a breathing tube if it appears he may have good enough lung function to stay alive for a while longer. Hooking him up to life support so a kidney specialist could run tests to see if he could be a candidate for a kidney transplant in a few years (yes, years). Giving him morphine to make him comfortable while he dies in our arms. The short version of what they said is that there is no real hope, but they would do whatever we want. We told them, though sobs, that we don't want him to go through any undue suffering. If he is fighting, then we will fight, but if not then we just want to spend as much time as possible with him. (I'm sick just thinking about that). One of the doctors said, "It's possible he will be trying to breathe but be unable to. He may be gasping and struggling to breathe. I just need you to prepare yourself." I said to myself "How would anyone prepare themselves for that?!? Are you kidding me?! What I should have said to him was "you need to prepare yourself for when he breathes just fine and is completely healed!" But, instead, like a wimp, I just sobbed and nodded. What kind of horrible nightmare would that day be if it weren't for God? How can anyone get through something like that?
Finally, they left and Bryan did his best to help me calm down.(through all of this, Bryan was very calm and collected. "He's going to be fine" he kept telling me.) Next on the appointment schedule was a tour of the birthing center. (Our day was ill-conceived. "First, lets tell them all about how the baby will die, then let's show them where it will happen". GROSS!) The nurse came to show us around and was so nice. (I'm sure I looked wonderful, standing there all red and puffy from crying, trying to smile and act normal). She showed us the rooms and where we sign in and all that. Her happiness was helpful for me to refocus and put the past hour behind me. The rooms are beautiful and well appointed with everything we will need. I realized in the room, "this is where my life will change forever". Then, we finally left for home.
When I think about what that day (his birth-day) is "suppose" to be like, I want to lie down and die. How can anyone do that and keep functioning? So, instead, I try to focus on what that day WILL be like. God will walk with us. He will protect us from the temptation to be anxious, He will shield us from the negative talk of the medical staff. He will give me strength and courage. He will put Samuel in a correct position for being delivered and he will heal his wounds. I will be handed a perfectly healthy baby boy! God will give me the words to say to the doctors to let them know HE was the healer. Then, we will take our precious miracle baby home with us and never, ever, ever go back to the Mayo Clinic.
I really let myself down this morning. I didn't stand up to the enemy
when he came to steal and cheat and lie to me. I just sat down and
cried. I'm disappointed in myself and I hope God can give me another
chance to show my faith.Now that I'm home and have rested, I'm very sad
about how I handled the appointment. How did my sobbing show those
doctors I believe in a mighty God who can do anything? It didn't. My only
comfort is that God knows I'm a mess and can't do anything without Him.
Hopefully, He will once again show me mercy and help me to regain
whatever ground I lost this morning. (and now I realize I need to
refocus my efforts on being better prepared to "battle" with the devil
during these appointments.)
Dear God, forgive me for my weakness this morning. Forgive me for allowing the death and destruction of the devil to overwhelm my thinking. NOTHING that was said this morning is from you. You said you came to give life (abundant life) and I will hold tight to that promise. You also said that what is impossible for men is possible for you. Thank you, God, for that!! Help me to be strong and fight harder in the future. Give me another chance to show those doctors you are in control. Prepare us for Samuel's birth-day. Prepare the hearts of those who will be there for the miracle they are going to see. God, help me to be a stronger witness of Your power and peace. Thank you for never leaving us and thank you for our precious little Samuel. We want him so much and we can't thank you enough for allowing us to have him! Continue to grown our faith and give us the strength to stand up and fight for our baby. Thank you Lord.