Emotional turmoil may be a gross understatement. Lynn and I left the Dr’s office with incredible resolve to love whomever we welcomed into our growing family. Still there were moments that we were completely broken. Emotions would run wild, tears would stream, and fear would once again show his ugly face. My fears centred around my ability to provide a loving and supportive environment for this child. I hoped so, the question continued to linger, “Could I?” Lynn’s fears centred around the health of the child. The potential of Spina Bifida presented some unique challenges and Lynn’s motherly instinct was quickly approaching over-drive.
Lynn and I talked a lot, cried, and prayed together too. In retrospect, I believe this is something that fostered some of the relational closeness that we still enjoy today. I am uncertain what may have happened had we simply shut down, or ‘crawled inside ourselves’ during this intensely emotional season. Sharing our honest thoughts, feelings, and desires allowed us to remain connected and strengthened our relationship together. Taking this one step further, we reached out to others as well, we are a part of a larger faith community that states emphatically, “When one member of the body suffers, we all suffer with it. When one member rejoices, we all rejoice.” We were made to share our journey together.
Heart pounding and knees slightly weak I stood to my feet following the pastor’s invitation and began sharing with the church family what we were currently experiencing. My voice cracked and tears flowed freely as I recounted the emotional visit we had with the specialist just three days prior. I shared our decision, the resolve we had, and the fears that lurked beneath the surface and simply asked that people would pray that both Lynn and I would have the capacity to love whomever we welcomed into our home and for wisdom as we navigate the course set before us.
What an overwhelming response. The church family gathered around us and began to pray as we requested. Simply put we felt loved, supported, and sensed an incredible reassurance that we are not traveling this journey alone.
My compassion for Lynn grew day by day as I helplessly observed sickness take it’s toll. Lynn loved pregnancy but pregnancy did not love her. She was violently ill during all three pregnancies and even hospitalized with our last child. My love for this unborn child grew richer with each passing day. There was an excitement mounting within my heart. The possibilities, the honour of moulding and shaping the precious life that would be entrusted to our care. My fears and apprehensions had turned to excitement and anticipation. Would we have a girl or boy? What did God have in store for them? How would they shape the future?(Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle was realized shortly before the scheduled c-section. Listening to this song catalyzed thoughts about having a baby girl.)
Watching Lynn’s C-Section has to be one of the most incredible events I have witnessed. I cringed as the Dr. skillfully took the scalpel and drew it across Lynn’s abdomen. I cringed a little but being intrigued I continued watching. Looking briefly at Lynn to see if she was ok, our eyes connected, I smiled and said, “Just a little while longer and we’ll see who it is. Joshua or Katelyn.” She smiled in return and I turned my gaze back to the Dr’s skilful hands. now cutting through the uterin wall. The anticipation was so intense I could hardly keep from smiling. The crown of a head appeared, then shoulders, arms, midsection, and legs came into full view as the Dr. held the baby high. From the warmth of the womb to the cool operating room this child was destined to change our lives forever.
“Do we have Joshua or Katelyn?” Lynn said through slurred speech. I turned, smiled, and said, “We have Katelyn and she is a beautiful baby girl.”
What an incredible season of our lives. Emotional turmoil. Facing fear. Solidifying values. Seeking strength and wisdom that goes beyond ourselves. Trusting God’s sovereignty when we don’t understand.
Would I change a single moment of that season? Not a chance! Walking that journey has been very formative within my life.
As I conclude this part of our series Face to Face with Fear, what fears have you faced and how has that shaped who you are?
Until next time,
Face your Fears for they are working a greater good in you.
Your friend and pro-active parent coach