Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Thanksgiving Story, Part II

(Part I can be read here...)

There is a flurry of activity, and an hour later I am resting in a hospital bed; gowned and monitored and feeling that first niggling bit of fear as the contractions intensify. I sing quietly with Fernando, whose cd plays restfully in the background of my room.

Open my lips
I will sing Your praise forever
Open my lips, Oh Lord
I will sing Your praise forever
A broken spirit and a contrite heart
These You will not despise
Open my lips
I will sing Your praise forever

And even when the pain increases, I continue to sing, although my now whispering voice is broken. He hears.

Kevin lets me squeeze his hand, hug his neck, cry into his shoulder. My heart sends silent thanks heavenward that this man is here, next to me, even though I had given up on the possibility at one time. Thank you...

My water breaks, bringing with the flow some meconium. The contractions are right on top of each other, and I begin fighting with myself not to fight. Let your body tell you what to do! midwife warns, rubbing my shoulders. She examines, and declares a six.

Ten amazingly intense minutes later, I am complete, and ready to push.

I call on Jesus more times than I can count, bringing smiles to the faces of my midwife and nurse. But it is, of course, in His name that I find the strength to push through the fire, and suddenly, it is over.

I rest back, eyes on the ceiling, letting my body release the last of Little Man's home, thinking of how quickly everything had transpired. But when I look to my left, I see Kevin's tears, and the cries of Little Man finally reach my ears. Do you hear him? Kevin asks, and we hold each other and weep.

When the NICU nurses finish examining the baby's lungs and stomach, declaring him meconium-free, he is laid on my chest, and new life blinks and squeaks, fingers curled tightly, eyes gazing into mine. Our little warrior with a just and upright heart, I declare. Husband agrees. Gideon Justus.


The haze of the next few days is pleasant. My family visits, Nana and Papa holding and loving all of our children, and meals are delivered to the door by our precious church family. Gideon Justus sleeps in a milk-induced coma, and, happily, I sleep too.

We marvel at his slightly early arrival... A week early! And Daddy made it home just in time... How we thank the Lord, though we know not His ways.

And my Heavenly Bridegroom begins to reveal His plan.

The phone rings late in the evening on October 31, 2008. Gideon's one-week birthday; his original due date.

Husband stands at the bedroom door, tears in his eyes.

Dad is gone.

...To be continued...

17 fellow travelers shared:

EEEEMommy said...


jen said...

Will you please write a book? It can be about absolutely anything and I'll buy it!

Nancy said...

I'm with my Jenny. I'll even volunteer to be your publicist :-)

Stacy said...

beautiful, Elise...

i love reading your thanksgiving story.

(((love you, friend)))


Bekki said...

His timing is truly amazing.


Beka said...

I have no words...
but thank you for sharing this precious story with us.

Lots of love and hugs,

Beverly said...

This is BEAUTIFUL. Just as I knew it would be. Love to you.

Rebecca M said...

Thanks for sharing this Elise- I've been looking forward to Part 2. I'm so thankful that He leads us in the way he has planned for us!

Shelley said...


Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. I'm sorry about the loss of your father but rejoice in the birth of your son! Thank you for sharing.
In Christ-

P.S. For what it is worth I also have a Gideon born the begining of Nov. in '02

Katie Eagy said...

You have a way of sharing your heart and experiences that always touches my heart! What a story. It was as if I didn't miss a thing - even though you were in Utah this time around! Bless you, Elise!

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

Such a beautiful story... His hand is all over it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Cindee said...

Isn't God good. And His timing is perfect!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I kept slipping back for this.
This moment of his coming.
Of his cradling.

And then too, of the leaving.

Life all braids, doesn't it?
And Him in the centre, three-strand days.

Shake Kevin's hand for me... His dad and Abba Father smile at who he is too as a father.

Such people, beautiful people. Thank you, as always, Elise...

All's grace,

Rebekah said...

I love reading your story..so beautiful. I also needed to read this at 3 AM when I am unable to sleep due to the worries of this life:

"But it is, of course, in His name that I find the strength to push through the fire"

Thank you for this. I will go back to bed now, clinging to His name.

Jenn @ Munchkin Land said...

I am so enjoying this series... Its beautifully written, as always. Thank you for this precious glimpse into your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I am beside myself with tears as I marvel at the joy and the anguish of it all....

He's always been faithful.

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