For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
I’ve been struggling thinking about drafting this post. I have come to my computer several times since I woke this morning, but the words just won’t come. I have begged God for discretion on what to share and what to leave out. Our story isn’t pretty, but it’s the one God gave us, and I believe it is to be shared to bring Him the glory that belongs to Him.
We arrived at Northside Hospital around 3 pm on May 14. Our brother-in-law, Will, and his brother Chris arrived within a half hour of us getting there. The rest of the Taube family was in Savannah, GA where they had vacationed for a few days, and my parents were on their way from Ohio. They would arrive in intervals throughout the evening, each visit blessing and encouraging us more and more as the night became more difficult to endure. We would also hear from our missionary friends all over the world throughout the night who were laboring in prayer for our family. We are so very blessed!
We were overwhelmed with information from nurses, doctors, and hospital staff. We were informed that the induction process could take 1-3 days, and that we should be prepared for a long, painful delivery. We prayed along with family and friends that our baby would come quickly and that the Lord would show His power in my pain.
Surprisingly, time passed quickly as I tried to rest, curled up in the fetal position in my hospital bed, eyes and teeth clenched tightly. I told Paul, “It doesn’t seem fair for this to hurt so much physically when it already hurts so much emotionally.” When I had Jolynn, I knew all the pain would be “worth it,” but I had a hard time sensing this at this time, knowing my pain would not result in a healthy, thriving child lighting our lives up with the joy of infancy.
We sent family away and prayed together. He read to me from Romans 8. I treasured this verse: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (26). I didn’t know what to say or how to pray, but God knew my heart and would meet my every need.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (27-28).
We knew in our hearts that this was for the good, that God would receive glory in doing His will in our lives, and that we needed to honor Him by taking it as graciously as He would allow. It didn’t take the hurt away, but it helped us to see the bigger picture of it all. It wasn’t just us, grieving parents, writhing in pain from a loss no one should ever have to bear; it was a small taste of the sufferings of Christ, a more perfect understanding of the painful results of sin on the world, and a glorious glimpse of the true beauty of the gospel.
The night wore on, most of which was a blur. We tried to pass the time with idle conversation, mindless television, and competitive card games. I was so happy to have family there to distract us from the painful reality, but I knew the time was coming when we’d have to face it alone.
Hours passed, pain increased, and I could tell that the time for our baby’s arrival was near. I prayed a few things: that my baby would not be born in a toilet, that a doctor or nurse would be present (although we were informed they most likely would not be) and that our family would not be there when the delivery occurred. I received light pain medication intravenously (the nurses called this a “medical margarita”) and requested an epidural an hour later.
Most of our visitors had left by this time, and the last, my parents would leave shortly after midnight. My dad had been up since 3 am the previous morning, but he lovingly stayed by my bedside until we assured them it was okay with us if they left. I knew it was hard for them to see me in pain, and I wanted to avoid sharing the trauma of the delivery with them. They would be supportive and strong, but I couldn’t bear to have my parents experience what I knew would be a painful experience for all.
A short time after they left, before I would receive my epidural, I felt an urgency to use the bathroom. Shortly after, a nurse came in to deliver pillows to Paul, and she helped me get up. As I stood up, blood and fluid dropped to the floor, the pain peaked to a whole new level, and she helped me to sit down to alleviate the pain. A few sharp contractions and a few seconds later, at 12:35 am, my precious baby met the reality I hoped he wouldn’t. My prayer for a hospital bed delivery went unanswered, but thankfully a nurse was present, and our families were not.
I heard myself scream and sob as the nurse and my sweet but strong husband held me. With the help of these two, the Lord allowed me to compose myself, and they helped me stand as another nurse came in to cut the chord and collect our baby. The shock of it all was overwhelming. It felt like a horrible dream or a movie I’d like to turn off. I refused to turn around and look in the toilet, and I prayed my husband would do the same.
As I returned to the bed, I watched as the nurse cleaned and cared for my child, wrapped in a small blanket. It seemed too small to hold anything at all, much less a child. They worked to stabilize me, physically and emotionally, and minutes later, I was holding my beautiful baby boy! All the pain melted away as I stared at my perfect, tiny blessing and marveled at the intricacies of the work of God’s hands on my precious baby.