I want to thank everyone who has been reading and following this blog and praying for our family. I have felt a burden to post this update for the past two days, but I have been completely overwhelmed with our son now being here and getting myself recuperated combined with all of the concerned family and friends who have been contacting us wanting updates. Every time I tried to start writing this, something else would demand my attention. But I’m glad to finally be writing this now because I feel those of you who have been praying for us around the world deserve a (relatively) timely update!
George and I arrived at the hospital at 7:30am. It was hard to believe this day was finally upon us. I had a final ultrasound to confirm Zion’s position, and he was indeed still breech. So we had peace that a C-section was God’s plan for bringing our son into the world. My procedure was originally scheduled for 9:30am; however, it got pushed back to 12:30pm due to a low number of NICU beds. So we hunkered down and relaxed. Here’s a photo of us with my OB, Dr. Bowen, after he arrived.
Once Dr. Bowen was on site, they picked up the pace and prepped us both for the procedure. During this time period Katie walked in! (Recall the God-fearing labor and delivery nurse I met the other week at the Women’s Night of Encouragement?). It was so nice to see her face. And I was blessed by how kind she was to deliberately come into work a couple hours early in order to be able to be with me during my C-section. George was all geared up in necessary attire – scrubs, and his Zealous for Zion shirt of course!
With both of my previous childbirths, the epidurals only “took” on one side of my body, which wasn’t a big deal because enough of the edge was taken off to make labor bearable. But I started getting really nervous that the same thing might happen today with the C-section. The anesthesiologist though was very empathetic and reassured me that I would indeed be fully numbed for the procedure. It took a while to get the epidural medicine in though due to my “tough ligaments” as the anesthesiologist called them. Having a needle in my spine is not the most comforting feeling, so I just kept praying, “Jesus be with me. Comfort me.” And I also was fixated on saying Psalm 23 to myself…
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
– Psalm 23
Jesus sure did comfort me. He was with me the entire way through. Looking back, I see the ways that God ensured my comfort during this procedure since He knew how much I wasn’t looking forward to a C-section. I had the familiar face of Katie in the room with us. The anesthesiologist happened to be a Greek woman (she enjoyed bonding with my Greek husband) and she genuinely cared about my concerns and worries regarding pain management. And as promised, I didn’t feel pain during the procedure at all – only pressure. I felt the Father’s deep love for me in all that He orchestrated.
Before I knew it they were beginning the incision. And next thing I knew Dr. Bowen was pulling Zion out – rear end first! Welcome to the world Zion John!
The team honored my request to delay cord clamping for at least one minute. I recall hearing the nurse counting up in 15 second increments. I heard some whimpering noises which was encouraging. At one minute they cut the cord and took him over to the adjacent warmer to assess his breathing. God had already answered two of my prayers. I was able to meet my son ALIVE! And he was able to take breaths (albeit labored breaths) on his own! Thanks be to God!
“Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
– John 11:40
They then began to help him breathe by giving him some oxygen through a mask. After that, they brought him over so I could meet him and give him a kiss. Oh how sweet it was to see his face, finally!!!
While the doctor was closing me up, they decided to transfer Zion to NICU since he needed more breathing support than the mask. George went back with Zion per my request. During my 2-hour recovery time, the team honored my birth plan wishes by not going too invasive too quickly if not necessary, resuscitating Zion in a stepwise fashion. So they did a trial of a CPAP mask to see if that provided adequate oxygen to Zion…
But that wasn’t enough either for our little guy. His breathing was still too labored. So he was eventually fully intubated. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that, but God had spoken. And our desires were to fully intervene to help our boy survive. Now he could be more comfortable…
As soon as my 2 hour recovery was over, they wheeled me right into the NICU to finally get some quality time with my son. Mommy on her bed. And Zion on his!
We spent the rest of the evening getting to know our boy and just soaking him in. We touched every little body part. His clenched little fists with the index fingers sticking up in an unusual way. His funny little feet with heels that jut out. We especially admired the small amount of blondish hair he had that took us both by surprise, being that our other two children were born with full heads of black hair! What a treasure that God had knitted together especially for George and I. These moments are what it was all about. These moments are why Zion’s life was worthy to be carried to full term, defects and all. Zion was so worth it, because he was fearfully and wonderfully made by his Creator.
Zion had his first visitors that night as well. His Grandpa and Busia stopped by, as well as my new friend Katie, the L&D nurse who helped deliver him!
We thank everyone for praying for our boy. We have been so eager to make this post to show you the fruit of your prayers! We will be updating our Prayer Requests page with new prayers. So please check that too if God puts Zion on your heart to pray for him.
We feel the immense love and know that we love you all (to the moon) back! 🙂
“For the LORD shall comfort Zion…”
– Isaiah 51:3