She was due on July 26th, 2009. The day came and went and I tried to be patient as all very pregnant, very tired, expecting mothers do. It was important that I wait this time especially since I was trusting God for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) birth. My first two boys were born in the hospital with epidurals, and Deacon was unfortunately cut from my body and almost suffocated with fluid in his lungs because of liability practices. Yes, I’m still bitter.
But this baby, this baby would be born in Mexico under the loving care of our Mexican doctor and our beloved doula. Mexico, where people don’t sue someone over spilt coffee and where I would be free to labor as long as I needed without an imaginary 24 hour cut-off rule with my water broken. If you have ever had a baby, maybe you speak this language.
And so it came and went, July 26th, 2009. And the next day passed, and the next, and the following week…and had I been in the states I would have been made to have a repeat C-section, but thank God, this was Mexico and as long as the baby was fine, I could stay pregnant. And then she was ready. At 4 am on August 15th my water broke. I woke no one, simply got out of bed and went to take a shower. I was alone with my secret while all my loves slumbered into the small morning light. I lay back down and the contractions came slowly and radiated joy throughout my heart. The baby would come soon, but I would not rush for help or seek to be hospitalized this time. I was made for this, and I believed it for the first time. There was no fear.
I woke Nathan and we called Dr. Jose’ Luis to let him know the progress. I woke Mom, in from Texas awaiting the new arrival. We slipped away in the night and made the drive to Guadalajara. The day was just beginning and the city was alive with cars and noise and people rushing off to work. We talked about baby names and reveled in the excitement. We dropped our bags at the birth center and then spent the day walking around the city, went to Starbucks, followed Mom through a tack store and looked at Mexican saddles, picked up a few things at the grocery store, ate lunch. When a contraction came I would hold on to Nathan and wait it out, then walk again.
Around 6pm we made our way back to the birth center. Our 4 am wake up that day was catching up and I needed to relax. We slept for 3 hours. The three of us, well, four of us, on the “matrimonio” size bed. At 9pm I woke up, the contractions allowing me no sleep. I had work to do. Sweet Joni, our doula, came to the center and we prepared the tub and the room where Phoebe would finally make her entrance into the world. I remember peace. And candles, and a soft blanket of darkness and aromatherapy, and the water. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. And then we worked together, me and Phoebe, God and Nathan and Jose’ Luis and Joni and my Mom. Mostly everyone stayed in the background, quiet, encouraging when needed, but simply standing by.
Beauty and agony ensued in that careful place between womb and world. I teetered on the edge of great victory and insanity. Nathan prayed like the voice of one crying in the wilderness but I could not decipher his words between my groanings. Pain and triumph and mystery, anything worth it begins this way. And 26 hours after that 4 am water break, my Bright Illuminated Light was born from water into water and into her Daddy’s arms. He baptized her with tears and pulled her to his chest. A girl! The impossible! We had a daughter. It was August 16th, 2009.
Thank you God for this daughter.
She was due on July 26th, 2009.
On July 26th, 2013 we were told the cancer was back.
This waiting for Phoebe is a familiar place. We have been here before. The room is quiet, “no light!” she says. Be still. And I find that primal instinct in myself to close out the world as it goes on, with its busy-ness and rushing to and fro in all its self-importance. We’ve got work to do here. We have a transition to make. God-willing, an eleventh hour healing. But if He chooses to heal her home to Him, we trust.
We encamp around her now, sleep near, keep a watchful eye. She sleeps mostly, can no longer walk, hallucinates, barely eats. And then she’ll sit up and hug her brother or tell us she loves us. Last night she giggled at “the girl in the living room roaring like a lion”. The veil is thin.
All our gratitude for your prayers and kind words and thoughts toward our family,