Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wondrous Works

  I'm back! Perhaps you didn't know I had been anywhere, but for a couple of months we shut off our internet service to save some money. We just turned it back on, and I'm so excited to document our first couple of weeks as a family of four! That's right, our sweet Cora Nicole was born on July 3, at 1:38pm. She weighed in at a whopping 9lbs., 2oz., and was 20in. long - 1/2in. shorter than her brother was at birth, and 2lbs. heavier!

There is so much to catch up on ... I still haven't even posted Liam's 2 year update and his birthday was over 2 months ago. However, for tonight I want to tell the story of Cora's arrival: a story worthy of telling partly because it is about her, but primarily because it is about the grace of God. A few days after coming home from the hospital I read Psalm 105 and was reminded why I need to tell this story:
 "Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and he judgments he uttered," Psalm 106:1-5
  So, a story of one of His wondrous works ...

  At my 39 week check-up, my doctor and I decided that I would check in to the hospital on July 3 to be induced. The 3rd was one day after my due date and the next time my doctor was on-call. I felt a little guilty about scheduling an induction that didn't seem to be medically necessary, but I had been dilated 3cm for a couple of weeks already and I really wanted my doctor to be the one to deliver her, so we went for it.

  We arrived at the hospital at 6am that Tuesday, and by 7:45 my doctor had come and broken my water. Josh and I were both very relaxed and spent the morning watching coverage of the Tour de France and re-runs of olympic gymnastic trials. By 10:30 my contractions were still pretty far apart (about every 8 min.), but had become painful enough that I got an epidural. By 11:00 my nurse thought my doctor would want to start me on pitocin since the contractions weren't getting much closer, but upon checking me she found I had progressed to 7cm - no wonder the contractions had started hurting! My doctor came by my room on her lunch break to check on me, and found I was nearly ready to start pushing!

  After only about 20 minutes of pushing, Cora's head came out, and it was at this point that our smooth labor and delivery process took an unexpected turn. Her shoulders became stuck - an emergency condition called shoulder dystocia. I didn't really know what was going on ... just that she was stuck and I needed to keep pushing.  The next few minutes were intense, much more so than I even realized at the time. I knew things were serious when I could see fear in my husband's face, and when two of the nurses in the room jumped up onto my bed with me and were pushing on my belly, trying to dislodge her.

  When she finally came out, she was blue and unresponsive. The NICU nurses who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere whisked her to the other side of the room where they immediately began administering oxygen. My amazing nurse, Lisa (a long time family friend ... she's known me since I was a little girl), leaned on my shoulder and prayed that Jesus would breathe life into Cora. It has taken me longer to type these last two paragraphs than it took to live the experience, so I can't say exactly what I was thinking during those brief, yet long minutes, but I do recall two thought fragments that flashed through my brain. I know I realized my baby might not live; and I know I thought about the meaning of her name: heart full of victory.  I knew she would experience God's victory in her life, regardless of the outcome of that day.

 Sometime between a minute and two minutes after she emerged, we finally heard a tiny whimper, which graciously grew stronger and stronger. Cora recovered from her traumatic birth so quickly that she didn't even have to be taken to the NICU. Within 10 minutes she was strong and stable enough that I was able to hold her for a couple of minutes, before she was taken to the nursery for some tests and x-rays, just to be sure she hadn't suffered any additional complications. Two hours later she was brought back to us - pink, hungry, with no broken bones or nerve damage and amazingly minimal bruising. Twenty-four hours later, we were headed home.

The blessed hands that Jesus used to help revive our baby girl

Proud Daddy loving on his sweetheart


1st night home: so happy to be with both of my little treasures
 I will never be able to express my gratefulness that on July 3, 2012, God decided to give Cora victory by breathing life into her lungs. However, as wonderful as that gift is, my greater hope and prayer for her is that, at some point in her young life,  He will give her victory by breathing eternal life into her spirit and by waking her heart to a knowledge of Him. I pray that she will live a full and abundant life in Him, and that she will be used to point others toward the victorious life they, too, can have in Him.

  Thank you, Jesus, for Cora.


The Slonekers said...

Stef! Her story still tugs at my heart, even though I've heard it many times before! How gracious is our Heavenly Father to breathe life back in her and use the skilled hands of those doctors and nurses. Her's will be a story of His goodness for years to come! Hope you all are doing well!

kaw said...

Josh and Stef,

Becky told me a little of Cora's story when I was home. SO thankful with you both for God's wondrous works! What a great reminder that we literally need him for every breath! Again, can't wait to meet her!