To be the Mom of a TEENAGER!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CJ!!!!!
(Warning - this is long!)
How on earth did that happen? 13 years ago today, at 10:34 AM (On our 2-year wedding anniversary), my dream came true. I became a Mom. I had wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. That was my ultimate goal in life - to get married and become a mom. I wanted to take care of my family. I am so thankful God granted me this wish!
However, on the day CJ was born, it was quite a bit of a shock. You see, he was born on May 30, 1994, but he wasn't due until September 14! I was only 24 weeks pregnant when he decided to make his appearance.
I had absolutely no trouble conceiving him. And my pregnancy had been wonderful - no complications whatsoever. I had just begun showing and was so excited that I was going to be wearing maternity clothes. My mother in law had just bought me a beautiful red maternity outfit that I was going to wear to church on May 29. I never got to wear that outfit. We went to the hospital on Saturday, May 28 at the advice of my midwife, as I was having some spotting and some very light cramping. We fully intended to leave the hospital to go shoe shopping to get a new pair of shoes for my new outfit.
Was I surprised when I arrived at the hospital. The nurse asked if I was in labor, and I looked at her as if she had 2 heads. Of course I wasn't in labor! I wasn't due for 3 and a half more months!
And I was more surprised when the nurse could tell I was confused by all the things they were saying while they were checking me (we hadn't even had any classes - so I was clueless as to what was going on!) looked at me and said something like, sweetie, you are in labor. Your contractions are 2 minutes apart, and you are fully dilated.
How was this possible? We didn't know, but we would soon learn God was in control through it all.
They attempted to stop my labor. Magnesium - what horrible stuff! It would take me from being completely fine, carrying on a conversation to completely broken out in a sweat, everything going black, and horrid vomiting in a matter of seconds.
But whatever it took for to keep my baby in as long as possible, was fine with me.
I was told at the beginning that if I had him then, he only had a 50% chance of survival. But if I could "keep him in" for 3 more weeks, his chances would increase to 80%. So we were set to be in that hospital for at least 3 weeks. Whatever it took.
That was Saturday.
On Sunday, when we realized that we were looking at a long stay, Chip decided to go home to tie up some loose ends and get us some clothes and things we would need for the stay. Home was 45 minutes away.
While he was gone, it was decided that it wasn't so safe for me to be getting up to use the bathroom, nor was it safe for me to be lifting my body to use a bedpan. So it was determined I needed a catheter. So, in it went.
Now, I had had catheters more than once due to some childhood bladder issues. I knew what it was supposed to feel like. So when they were "all done", I looked at the nurse, and said, "You put it in wrong." She looked at me like I had 2 heads!
"You put it in wrong!"
"I don't think so."
"Yes you did - I just wet all over myself."
The nurse, with a very puzzled look, decided to check. She gave a very concerned look to another nurse.
"Sweetie, your water just broke."
I have no idea what I said after that, but I knew I was crying. I knew what that meant. And I was TERRIFIED. It had only been a day - not 3 weeks, and my husband had gone home. He was going to miss the birth of our tiny baby - what was I going to do?
This was before we had cell phones. Cell phones hadn't even been around that long, so of course we didn't have one. But he did have a pager. So they paged him. He had JUST arrived home. So he turned around and sped back to the hospital. He arrived in 25 minutes. (Remember, we lived 45 minutes away!)
He was sweating, and I could tell there had been tears streaming down his face. But he made it, and CJ was still safe inside...for now.
It was determined my water had only ruptured slightly, and there was a slow leak. There was still enough fluid for him to stay a little longer.
It was now Sunday night. I was completely miserable. My head kept sliding down and hitting the wall, as they had my feet higher than my head, hoping gravity would help keep him in longer. I had not slept since we got there, and I was so uncomfortable.
I began to rub my belly and sing to CJ. Then I began to pray. I prayed the hardest thing I ever had in my life. I told God I was miserable and asked for him to bring me some comfort. I told Him I'd do whatever I needed to do for the sake of my baby. I thanked Him for this life He had given us. Told Him I'd do whatever I could to make sure he always knew what God had done for him, and raise him the best I could in the way God would want me to.
But, I told Him that this child belonged to Him, and that if He wanted him, He could have him. But I asked that if He wanted him, to go ahead and take him, not to wait 3 weeks or longer. That I couldn't bear the discomfort another day if He was going to take him. And that if He was going to let me keep him, then to please make me as comfortable as possible.
And then the most amazing thing happened. Something I had NEVER experienced before in my life. And kind of hard to explain. But it was perfect peace. It felt as if a blanket was being placed on me, and covered me from my feet to the top of my head. I felt so warm and so incredibly at peace. And I even fell asleep after that. I still didn't have any idea what was in store, but I knew God was with me and in control.
Monday morning I awoke at about 5:30. I was feeling contractions. I woke Chip up and told him it was time. I was not afraid. I still didn't know when this baby was born, if he'd be alive or not, but I wasn't afraid.
(I'll skip through all the details from that point until he was born - or I'll never get finished with this post!)
He was here. I couldn't believe it. I wanted a little boy, but until this moment, didn't know if this baby was a boy or girl. And no one else cared. That wasn't important to them at this point, so no one announced it. I looked down and saw him, and I screamed, "IT'S A BOY!"
Later I found out that my Mom who was sitting out in the hall (both of our parents were) heard me and began to cry.
A few minutes after he was born, there was a tiny cry. Only one, but it was a cry. He was alive, and I knew what God's answer was.
Then he wasn't breathing. He was completely purple. I had no idea. The doctor placed him in my arms, bagging him as I held him. She said, "The baby is not breathing, but it's important for mom to hold him right now." She was bagging him as she spoke. I never heard her say that. I never saw the bag attached to him. All I saw was a perfect little life God had given me. He was alive.
I was amazed as later I watched video of me holding him those couple of minutes, as I talked to him and told him how much I loved him. I couldn't believe I had never seen that big bag attached to his face.
God blocked that from me and allowed me to see what was important. This perfect little life. God is so amazing.
Later that day, when everyone had gone, and Chip and I were all alone, it hit us what a long road we had ahead of us. I already had God's promise that this baby boy belonged to us, that much I knew. But we had no idea what to expect over the next weeks, months, or even years.
And it dawned on us that it was our 2 year anniversary. What a gift! What emotions we were feeling at that moment. We just held each other and cried.
I won't go into details of the months in the hospital. This post is already much longer than I had planned on it being.
But a longer story short, after being told of all the possible things that could be wrong with him (and there were a LOT), he was perfectly healthy. And God had already given us the peace that he would be fine, that the Doctor's and nurses were concerned that we weren't taking the situation seriously at times. They just couldn't understand what we already knew!
To their amazement, we brought our precious baby boy home on August 19 - almost a month before he was due to be born. He weighed 2 lb. 2 oz. at the time of birth, dropping to 1 lb. 14 oz. before he began to gain. He was right at 5 pounds when we brought him home, and he was almost 3 months old.
And then I blinked.
Because now he's 13! My precious baby boy is a teenager. I can hardly believe it. He is growing into such a fine, handsome young man. I am so proud of him.
I love you with all my heart. You are truly a gift and a miracle from God. And even when it doesn't seem like it, my love for you never waivers. I may get upset or irritated, but my love is still constant. I love you unconditionally. I am so proud of you and the wonderful young man you are becoming. We've had some tough days lately, but I'm just praying for God to help you and me both through those tough spots, and for them to make us stronger and just make us love each other more. I just don't ever want you to doubt my love for you. You are an amazing kid. You are smart and funny. And you have such a generous and kind spirit. Sure, sometimes a little attitude gets in the way, but I think that's just part of growing up. I imagine I had some of that same attitude when I was your age. But you are an incredible kid, and I can't wait to see what God has in store. Actually, I can wait, as I don't want you to grow up TOO fast, but you know what I mean. I can hardly believe the tiny baby they placed in my arms 13 years ago, has grown up so big already.
I see so much of your Dad in you, and that makes me very happy. I have to admit, it scares me a little when parts of me come out in you. Especially when it's not the good parts. I am so thankful you have such an incredible father to guide you and train you. Because of that, I know you are going to be a great man some day.
But for now, can you stay my little boy for just a little longer? It's just not fair how fast you are growing up. I love you son - so much. And I'm so proud of you. And I thank God for answering my prayers and allowing you to make me a Mom.