On September 24, 2009 a beautiful little boy, our fourth child, Andrew, was placed into his daddy’s arms after being under oxygen and doctor’s care for nearly ten minutes. Fortunately, we were at the hospital.
We had chosen home birth for our two previous children, Alexis and Jackson. Both were born safely with no complications with help from a wonderful Christian midwife team in California. When my wife, Kristy, first became pregnant with Andrew, I felt certain we should have another home birth as both previous births went so well.
Kristy prayed and felt certain that we were to have a hospital birth this time. She began seeing an OB-GYN, but did not feel comfortable with him. Finally, at twenty weeks, she agreed to look into a home birth. We started with one midwife, but we weren‘t feeling comfortable with her, so we called around to check out some other midwives in our area of Georgia.
Kristy still had an unsettled feeling about the home birth. She went into the restroom in the middle of one of the “interviews” with a new midwife and prayed (after realizing she couldn’t figure this out on her own) and heard quite clearly, again, that this baby was to be born at the hospital. That night she and I talked for quite a while as I was adamant about having another home birth. We ended the conversation with both of us agreeing to pray over it and trust that God will guide us.
The following day Kristy called the hospital, asked a few questions, and was directed to a website for a supposedly good Christian OB-GYN. She called their office to set up a visit and from that very first phone call, she felt that she had found a great doctor. I went to the first visit and came out agreeing that if we weren’t going to have this baby at home, then he definitely seemed like a good choice. We kept on schedule with our appointments as the due date grew closer. With our previous children, all of them came a week or two early, progressed naturally, and Kristy had felt very comfortable that everything had proceeded well.
As we progressed towards our due date for Andrew, though, , Kristy began feeling unsettled again…”why isn’t my water breaking?” “why am I not progressing?”. This created a feeling of anger towards God in her. After talking with a friend she realized that her anger towards God was really a sin. She was not putting her trust in Him to carry her through, so she sought His forgiveness and then carried on.
At her final doctor’s visit before Andrew’s birth, the doctor told her that he felt okay having her come in to be induced since things were not progressing. The night before the scheduled induction, Kristy felt the temptation inside to try different methods to bring on labor (Kristy had used various methods to help bring on labor in all 3 of her previous pregnancies, including Castor Oil, which did work positively for her), but I remember clearly her telling me that it didn’t “feel right.” The next morning, September 24th, we left for the hospital to be induced.
One the way to the hospital, Kristy turned to me and said “Dave, you may think I’m crazy or weird, but I was just praying and I saw Jesus, clearly, and he’s holding me and the baby.” We had NO IDEA what this meant! The doctor broke her water and placed Kristy on Pitocin. After Kristy’s first contraction, about 3 nurses came rushing into the room and began frantically working.
Neither Kristy nor I had any idea what was happening. She was then placed on oxygen and told to relax. At the next contraction, they showed us that the baby’s heartbeat dropped, and it continued to do so with every contraction. They had Kristy roll to the other side, but it still kept happening. Because the heart beat kept rising in between contractions, they weren’t “too” worried, though the nurses did keep a strong monitor on Kristy and the baby.
Within an hour or so, Kristy labored to the full 10 cm and felt the urge to use the restroom. The nurses began prepping the room for delivery while Kristy got up to use the restroom. While in there, she turned and looked at me and we realized the cord was out. Both of us just thought this meant that the baby was coming.
We told the nurse, who then (after her eyes bulged a good 3x their normal size!) began yelling down the hall various commands all followed by a “STAT!” Next thing I knew both Kristy and I were being rushed (literally! I had to run to keep up!) through the emergency hall to the operating room where they put Kristy under to have an emergency c-section (I was not allowed into the room in case our son was born dead).
A prolapsed cord is very rare – less than 0.6% of all births are prolapsed cords. The dangers include stillbirth and organ damage from the lack of oxygen. Emergency C-Section is usually the only alternative. With the cord being pinched with each contraction, there’s no doubt in our minds that Andrew would have died as his heart wouldn’t have had the chance to rise back up after each drop. As it was, Andrew required oxygen for several minutes to be resuscitated immediately after birth.
I decided to share this story with you as both Kristy and I learned a new level of trust. Kristy didn’t lean on her own understanding…she trusted in the Lord. She prayed over every decision (from home birth vs. hospital to Castor Oil vs. Hospital induction). We are not against home births nor various methods used to help induce labor; in fact, God willing, we hope to enjoy another home birth in the future. In this case, God led us against our own understanding and because of her trust in Him, we have a thriving and very healthy and beautiful little boy!
-Dave Edmisten President, justopenthebook.com
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)