Any day now, my daughter-in-law will be giving birth to my first grandbaby, a boy. I’ve asked to be called Ama because that is what my younger son called my mother. I can’t believe the day is almost here and I can’t stop thinking back to when I gave birth to my first child, also a boy. The very son who will soon become a father. Ahhh, I can’t help but smile.
Did I ever tell you the story of his birth? I don’t think I did.
This story begins back about 25 years ago when I was in my eighth month of pregnancy with our first child, my husband’s employer changed insurance companies. Although I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the doctor that had been seeing me, I was less ecstatic over the idea of having to start up a new gynecological relationship that late into the pregnancy.
Being pregnant had been very non-eventful up to this point. My previous doctor had done an ultrasound at 20 weeks and pronounced everything completely normal. At 7 months he had told me that the baby was already preparing for delivery and even went so far as to have me feel on my pelvic region what he claimed was the baby’s head in the down position.
When I walked into the unfamiliar office that day I was somewhat annoyed to find this new doctor would be running a full array of tests on me including an ultrasound – regardless of what my transferred records showed.
As he proceeded to put the cold gel on my stomach I proceeded to tell him that I didn’t feel all of these duplicate tests were necessary. He kindly ignored me and continued on. I watched his face while he watched the monitor. He had been smiling, but now he seemed to have more of a concerned look on his face. He started asking me questions.
“Did your previous doctor inform you that the baby is basically in an a-fetal position?”
The ultrasound, that I had felt was unnecessary, had revealed that my baby was not only breech but in what the doctor referred to as a stargazing position. As the back of his skull touched his spine, his feet pointed towards his head. His little body formed somewhat of a circle -the opposite of a fetal position – with his face pressed into my ribs. (He also slept that way in his bassinet for the first few weeks.) There was absolutely no way for me to deliver this baby naturally; a Cesarean delivery was scheduled for 4 weeks from that day.
I went into labor hours before I was to arrive at the hospital on a cold December morning in 1989. Dr. Chapman, who we would later find out, was one of the area’s most renowned OB/GYN’s, effortlessly delivered our healthy 7lb 2oz little boy.
I didn’t know the Lord at that time but it’s obvious to me now that God in
his mercy had arranged these circumstances in order to keep my son from being paralyzed. According to the doctor, without the second ultrasound, I would have gone into labor and the doctor would then have seen that the baby was breech. The stargazing position is so rare that without even considering it he would have attempted to turn my baby severing his spinal cord.
I don’t know what God’s providential hand has prepared for my son to accomplish in his lifetime but I assume it includes walking. I pray that he walks the very path the Lord has laid out for him, never turning to the right or to the left, walking as straight as his little nose grew to be, eventually.