Welcome to the world Selah Grace!
December 27th, 2015
Apparently dramatic birth stories are our family's destiny, we haven't had a boring delivery yet and this one was certainly no exception. It goes along perfectly though with God's amazing timing and provision for little Selah's entire time in the womb as well. We know we could just share her adorable chubby picture and we would be so proud to do so, but we want to have a moment of open vulnerability about the amazing work God has done in our family this year in hopes that He can touch your life and your family as well.
In March 2015 my husband and I traveled to China to adopt two little boys. It is a long and deeply personal story but in the end we were only able to bring one little boy, our son Max, home with us.
When we arrived back home my husband, who himself grew up and aged out of an orphanage became clinically depressed. It took months of medical, spiritual and therapeutic help to bring him back to our family. Meanwhile, exactly four weeks after coming home from China I learned we were expecting a baby, a complete and utter shock I must tell you. We were already adjusting to Max joining our family, and I was acting as a single mother because my husband was unable to be a part of our family because of his depression. It was the most overwhelming time of my life, but also one of the most beautiful and cherished times as well.
I was in the kitchen one day listening to music and just praying out loud and telling God I just couldn't do all of this alone anymore, I just couldn't take it... And maybe this has happened to you to, the most perfect song came on at the moment which touched me to my core. It was Kari Jobe's song "I am not alone"
These are the lyrics
When I walk through deep waters,
I know that you will be with me
When I'm standing in the fire,
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow,
Oh I will not fear
I am not alone,
I am not alone
You will go before me,
You will never leave me
In the midst of deep sorrow,
I see your light is breaking through
The dark night will not over take me,
I am pressing into you
Lord you fight my every battle,
And I will not fear
You amaze me,
You call me as your own
You're my strength,
You're my defender
You're my refuge in the storm,
Through these trials
You have always been faithful,
You bring healing to my soul
It was in that moment that I knew God used that song to speak to my soul, HE would fight my battles, my battle with worry, my battle with feeling of inadequacy, my battle with feeling like I was going to be crushed under the weight of the world around me.
In the next few weeks God worked some pretty amazing miracles that kept our family together, my husband intended to move back to Hungary and leave our family but lost his Green Card, which was found weeks later under the couch in our basement (How did it get there? Seriously only God)
I wanted to hire the same midwife to deliver this baby as our previous one since I would be having her as a single mother and wanted the emotional support, but I found out our insurance wouldn't cover it and because of the adoption expenses I couldn't afford to pay her. I remember I was in our basement on the floor just sobbing out to God that I couldn't do this on my own anymore, please God I just need some help. The next day I checked our mail and we had received an adoption grant that I didn't expect and it was in the exact amount needed to pay the midwife. Isn't God amazing?!
In the meantime my husband still doesn't know that baby even exists, I knew if I put another stress on him that any glimmer of healing he might have with his struggle with depression would go away and we would be back to square one. I decided to keep it between me and my parents until my husband made the decision to re-join our family.
May 13th, 2015, my husband's birthday, I believe is a day that God worked a miracle in my husband's heart, it was as if he was the Pharaoh of Egypt with a heart that was too hard to feel and on this day his heart could feel again and he told me that he decided to stay with our family and allow God to show him what it meant to love. It was a big shift from where he was even the day before so it was hard for me to let the secret out, but that day I told him through many tears that we were expecting another baby.
The pregnancy was pretty easy, for which I am so thankful! My biggest struggle was my blood levels, they kept my midwife on the edge of her seat and I got tested a lot to make sure that my blood was healthy enough to make this another low risk delivery. The end of November I had my blood levels tested, they had suddenly dropped and my platelet level was too low. I shared this with an amazing woman and she just stopped and put her hands on me and prayed - I don't know if you believe in this or have experienced this before, I hadn't.... But I FELT the Holy Spirit working in my body, and baby started moving in my womb in a big way. 30 minutes later when I had my blood drawn my levels had completely reversed and were higher than they had ever been for any of my otherpregnancies... God is so good and powerful and the true healer!
At 36 weeks we had a position check ultrasound, fully believing we would just get to see baby's little face and learn that she would be here soon, but we found out she was footling breech and because of the position of my placenta not a candidate to get help to flip over. God needed to flip her. A childhood friend said it this way - work as if it depends on you and pray as if it depends on God - so 5 chiropractic visits, 2 acupuncturists, 2 specialist massages and lots of stretching and spending time upside down later we learned that sometime in there she had flipped over to be head down. It didn't happen during one of those appointments, I am told I would have known because of her current size... God just did it.
Fast forward to December 26th. 10pm in the evening my water broke. Everything was still looking good so we were to call the midwife again when things got started and she would come over and stay until baby came (because Miss Seraphina came extraordinarily quick we needed to be ready far before it seemed logical) We called her at 12:30am and she didn't answer... We called for an hour with no answer - something had happened to her phone, and for a woman who never misses a phone call ever this was a very odd thing. At 1:30am I called my dad and told him I needed him to drive to her house and wake her up and tell her we needed her. In true form my ever calm fix it dad jumped in his car and pounded on her door like a crazy person (literally she though he was a psychotic person) and said "Anna is in labor and needs you!" by 2:30am he had brought her to our house and when she walked in the door learned that there was meconium in my water (baby had pooped in the womb) and we needed to transport to the hospital because baby couldn't come at home with any risk factors. My dad stayed with our sleeping children and off to the hospital we went, no hospital bag, just me in my jammies wearing my husband's coat and feeling so disappointed that things didn't work out as we had planned.
We were checked in at 3:00am at Methodist hospital and went to the triage room, there we learned that not only did we need to worry about the meconium, but that baby had flipped back to breech and I would need to have a C-section. As I was being prepped for the C-section still in the triage room I remember telling my midwife who was right there with me "The baby is hurting me" it wasn't a contraction, it was something else. Then I suddenly had the urge to push, which if you have a breech baby and are supposed to wait for the surgeon to arrive is not good.... I gave that first push and the entire room erupted into action. I was given a drug to stop my contractions and an ultrasound was performed again. In my mind I knew they were going to have to do an emergency C-section because I could feel that baby was going to be there in a matter of seconds and would not wait for a drug or a surgeon and she would get stuck. Then I heard it... "Baby flipped again - she is head down lets have this baby" I was about to have baby right there in the triage room but because of the quick shot of medicine they had given me to put me under I was able to be wheeled into a delivery room quickly and lifted over onto a delivery bed. Things had slowed down a tiny bit, enough for me to open my eyes and realize how crazy and amazing all of this was, and then as baby was being born suddenly the room jumped into action. 5 people all doing crazy quick jobs to help because little did I know but baby's shoulders were stuck and she was not getting oxygen and 5 sets of hands had to help rotate me and baby and my pelvis all at the same time from inside and out and get her out immediately. It seemed like an eternity waiting for her little cry to fill the room, but they got all the meconium sucked out of her and the most beautiful sound of a crying baby filled the room. She was brought to me and I held the chubbiest most miraculous gift.
It wasn't the birth we planned, but it was exactly what was needed to bring our daughter into the world and I look back just a day later completely grateful for the God timing in it all... If our midwife had come at the first phone call we would have reached the hospital before active labor and would have gone right in for a C-section without baby having flipped at that very last moment. Everything happened in the perfect time to bring about what truly will always live in my mind as a miraculous night.
Selah Grace is deeply loved by her three older siblings and is already the mostly snuggly content babies I have ever known. She has a gently husky cry, no need to be loud around here because she has 5 people doting on her and fighting over who gets to hold her and change her diapers.
We thank God for the way he brought and grew our family together this year. We gained a son, a daughter and were blessed to keep a husband and father all in one year. Oh, and that husband, he became the spiritual leader of our home in a miraculous way, he starts every day encouraging me in my walk with the Lord and has the initiative to teach our children daily about how to love God and others in a sacrificial way... He is the husband of my dreams that was only possible by walking through flames to find.
- A musical term usied in the psalms (Biblical songs) that means to stop and listen, or stop and reflect on what has been said. God has said a lot in our little girl's life already and we will choose to pause and reflect on all He has taught us.
The word translated "grace" in the New Testament comes from the Greek word charis, which means "favor, blessing, or kindness." We can all extend grace to others; but when the word grace is used in connection with God, it takes on a more powerful meaning. Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves. It is His benevolence to the undeserving.
Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God"