Last week, we had a baby: Abigail Lynn Tweeton – weighing in at 9 pounds, 1 oz. and measuring 20.5 inches long.
Delivering her was an interesting story. Liz’s water broke around 8:30 a.m. on Labor Day (figures). We rushed to the hospital where she was given fluids and drugs to induce labor, after it was discovered that there may be problems within the ambionic fluid and that the baby needed to come out as soon as possible.
She went through 14 hours of hard, intensive, grueling labor with almost no drugs at all. When it came to the last stage of labor, she managed to push a 9 pound baby out in less than an hour. I helped and watched as I saw the top of the head of our first born child work her way out into the new world around 10:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, the labor didn’t end with Abigail being placed on her mother’s lap to breastfeed. Instead, the doctor clamped off the umbilical cord wrapped thrice around her neck. Then she was placed on a warming bed where nurses trying to clear her nose, mouth and lungs of myconium. After almost a half hour of watching the nurses try to get her lungs to open, I began to panic. I started preparing for the worse news, trying to shield Liz from watching the nurses attempt over and over again to pump air into Abigail’s body.
We were then told that Abigail would have to be transported to Medford where she would receive intensive care, given her critical condition. That night was the worst night of our lives.
The next day, I drove alone to Medford to see Abigail, with Liz left in Crescent City under doctor’s orders to recover. On the drive, I was left along to contemplate how wickedly and selfish I’ve behaved since the day Liz got pregnant. The baby had been nothing more than a task to be accomplished, not a person who’s future I bore responsibility for. At the hospital, when I saw her, I grieved at what I saw. She was wired and tubed in every way possible. And then the doctor spoke to me about her complications and the severity of her condition. I couldn’t even concentrate on the details, because all I could think of was, “What will I tell Liz if our child dies?”
I had prayed to arrive in Medford to tell Liz how well Abby was doing, but it looked dismal. I saw my newborn daughter, lying there is a doped state, in pain and helpless. I also saw how helpless I was to save her. I begged the Lord to make me suffer alone in exchange for my child and for my wife who would suffer greatly if anything happened.
Then I realized how unfair an exchange that would be? How can that be a fair trade, exchanging a 28-year sinner in exchange for a newborn baby? What can I truly give in exchange for the life of our child, whose days the Lord ordained long ago? Nothing. Upon realizing that, I admitted “The child is Yours. She’s in Your hands.”
Since that day, Abigail has recovered greatly and at a miraculous pace. She’s breathing on her own with minimal assistance. She’s got most of her tubes and wires removed. She should be fit enough to return home with us in a week or so. Most of all, Liz finally got to hold her newborn baby in her arms.
Every September 5th, when Abigail has her birthday, Liz and I will remember how joyful, shocked, horrified, humbled, and grateful we were after this whole experience. We’ll remember how the Lord moved with a mighty hand and outstretched arm to save the child that He’s placed in our care.