I mentioned that there were so many tender mercies surrounding our experience with Maxwell.
After giving birth to Lincoln down at UC Davis, I always had a hard time understanding why I had to have c-sections. I felt like with his delivery I did all the “right” things to avoid another c-section. I waited until I was good and ready, went into labor on my own, stayed home for the early labor. Once at the hospital I put off receiving an epidural as long as I could and worked through the contractions. We gave Lincoln the maximum time possible to allow him to move down into the birth canal and rotate from his posterior position and it just didn’t happen. We tried everything. He wasn’t very big, especially for a second baby, a week overdue… just 7 1/2 pounds. After 36 hours, Lincoln was born in a cold OR in the middle of the night.
I have no pictures of Lincoln’s actual birth. In fact, I didn’t see him until I was out of surgery and back in the recovery room. I didn’t see him be born, or hear his first cries, or watch him be bathed. He was immediately taken from the operating room which is standard for that particular hospital.
While I loved the experience of labor and I am forever grateful for it, I wondered why I wasn’t able to deliver him naturally, why when I was so prepared and worked so hard did I feel like I had “fallen short.” Lots of my friends and acquaintances had successful VBAC’s, and I felt like I met all the criteria for a favorable outcome. Why was this so difficult for me?
And now, after having Maxwell via scheduled cesarean, now we know.
We had to be here.
Had to be here at this hospital, on this day, with these nurses and physicians. We had to be here in this OR so that I could hold him right away and be near his face, to kiss his cheeks and smell his skin and sing to him before he was gone.
Had to be delivered c-section, in case labor would have been too much for his little body.
Had to be here so Carol could document our time together with our camera.
Had to be in Redding to be near our family.
What if I had a successful VBAC with Lincoln, and had gone back down to Davis to deliver Maxwell? Almost two pounds bigger than Lincoln and also sitting posterior, I’m assuming I would have ended up with a cesarean. In the OR. Without my people. Without a camera. Separated immediately. The NICU at UC Davis is two floors and an elevator ride away.
Those precious few minutes I was able to spend with Maxwell were during my surgery. If he was delivered at Davis, I would have missed out on all of that. No pictures, no time with him, no nothing. How devastating would that be? Oh, I am so thankful for this tender mercy, for the answer to prayers that were said years ago. Thankful to my Father in Heaven for the circumstances in which Maxwell was born.
The past few years I’ve always wondered if I would eventually come to understand why I have to have cesareans, and I really do believe now we know.
It was for Max.
4 thoughts on “Mercies for Max”
What a beautiful post. I love your perspective and I love how Heavenly Father answers our prayers in ways that aren't expected. Sometimes it seems like he isn't listening and sometimes you don't understand until years later. You have such an amazing outlook.
It is amazing to sit back and see how things add up. Things that don't make sense when they happen, but when you realize why they did, you are forever grateful. You're amazing.
What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing…and for your bravery.
I have been absent from the world of blogging for a while now, but I've always enjoyed your posts. I heard through the grapevine about your loss and I've been catching up through your posts. I'm so sorry for your family, but I'm so touched by your posts that encourage sharing grief and your ties to the gospel. My youngest is named Maxwell and when I first read your Maxwell's story, I cried. I don't know you super well anymore, but as a mother I can feel your grief. We faced physical issues with all 4 of our babies at birth which resulted in time spent in the NICU for 3 of them. I understand, to an extent, the helpless feeling and prayers for understanding. Sometimes I look back at situations in my life (happy and sad) and how they worked out and I'm grateful for what I learned. I struggled for years with the repeat c-sections I was forced into. It's amazing how Heavenly Father leads us to the answers if we are open to them. Thank you for sharing your witty humor, your grief, and your life with us. (I don't want to comment on every post, but I LOVED seeing the pictures of your mom with Izzy's dance class. Tell her I said “Hi.”)