I remember it being cool the night before Jessica was born.
My mom had come to spend the night and stay with our older three children.
I was two weeks late with no sign of labor. I do remember telling Mama as we walked through the grocery store that night I didn’t feel like I was even 6 months pregnant, much less going to have a baby the next day.
We were excited….Jessa’s arrival would make our little family 2 girls and 2 boys.
In the months leading to her birth, Paul and I had taken Bradley childbirth classes. After two inductions without pain meds, you would think I would have had this figured out. I thought it might be nice to learn how to better manage birth, so Paul agreed and we went to class!
It had been an easy pregnancy and I couldn’t wait to see her little face.
Our induction was started early the next day. Paul remembers the day as having been long and tiring. Jessa and I were great until we reached the early evening hours. Jessica’s heart began to show severe strain.
I’ll never forget my doctor (normally relaxed under any circumstance), coming in to inform, “I really wanted to ride this out with you, but it’s not going to happen today, folks”.
He explained quickly that I would need a spinal and a C-Section. Due to the urgency, Paul would not be in the operating room.
I started to cry.
He told me they would try one time for the spinal. If it took, they would allow Paul in, otherwise they would put me to sleep and take her.
I could see concern and heartbreak on Paul’s face. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him so upset.
Within minutes of being told, I was in the operating room. Praise God, the spinal did take. Paul was allowed to come in …and I was so relieved see his face.
Our baby girl was born.
We first knew something was up when the doctor remarked, “Tracy,have you ever heard the runt of the litter is the cutest?”.
We would learn in a few minutes she was only 5lbs 15oz– a far cry from our big, 9lb babies.
She also had a single umbilical artery….she had loose skin all over her, but she was tiny and beautiful.
From that point, I remember them taking her to the ICU, begging Paul to go with her, and pretty much nothing else.
The recovery room seemed a cold and lonely place. I thought I was completely alone. I stayed cold, and I do remember my teeth chattering.
Paul told me later he had been with me most of the time and there were nurses and other patients in the room.
I must have slept for some time.
I woke up hearing Paul whisper, “Honey, there is someone here to see you.” When I opened my eyes, I saw her tiny little face looking at me.
With all the meds, I had forgotten I had her!
The days that followed would bring the realization we were dealing with one of the biggest challenges I hope we ever face, (you can read Jessica’s heart story HERE).
All of it seems so long ago.
Fast forward to today….
Today, I celebrate my precious child’s 15th birthday.
She asked me about her birth yesterday. She and I shared my memories….over a few tears…..I thought I should write out what I remember.
Miss Jessica, you are perhaps one of the greatest miracles I have ever witnessed.
The Lord called your name, even before you were born (do you remember me telling you how I actually heard Him speak your name to me years before you were born??).
He brought you to my dreams before I ever saw your face and later used those dreams to comfort my heart, while I waited outside of an operating room for your heart to be healed.
My life will never be the same, and your life, has touched so many.
I love you more than I could ever express to you in mere words….the Lord willing, you will one day hold your own babies…and you will know for yourself what I feel.
It is an honor, my dear girl, to wish you the happiest of birthdays.
You are a blessed young woman….cherish each year He gives. Live each year seeking His face and His will for your life.
You are precious.
Happy birthday, my sweet girl.
With my love,