I always have mixed feelings when I think about today. First, I celebrate the birth of my son... he was born 5 years ago ~ December 11th, 2006. The birth of a child is always a miracle... but it's scary when they're born sooner than expected. I also remember my Grandpa Ross' passing on that very same day... it's sad when someone leaves this earth sooner than expected...
The course of events surrounding that December 11th were full of many highs and lows. Now, 5 years later, I can reflect on what happened with a clearer perception.
Some may say this is all coincidence... well, judge for yourself...
I got very sick in the beginning of December with a flu-like virus. It was the worst I can remember feeling ~ ever ~ and being 8 months pregnant intensified everything. I couldn't sleep all night on the 9th, and on December 10th, I awoke from a nap with strong contractions just 3 minutes apart. I knew if I didn't get to the hospital fast my baby would be in trouble.
My husband and daughter came home from church just when I needed them. I know Chad broke the speed limit all the way to the hospital, and I was admitted immediately around noon. The plan was to stop my labor if possible. I was given a continuous series of shots, IV medications which burned my veins, and fluids for hydration.
As night came, I would drift off to sleep only to be jolted awake by a contraction. The medications weren't helping. In the morning, the doctor came in and said it was time to deliver my baby... and now. Without even the option of an epidural, pitocin was administered.
As a nurse, I knew what pitocin does... and it's a very helpful drug for speeding up labor. It also has a very, very... very painful effect if you have no epidural. Thanks be to God, Zachary was born soon after I received it.
While I was suffering to bring life in to the world, another precious life was ebbing away. My Grandpa Ross was in another area hospital, holding on to life, but not for long. After I gave birth to a son, Zachary Andrew, the word was relayed to my Grandpa's bedside just hours before he drew his final breath.
Zachary Andrew means "the Lord remembers" and "strong and courageous". So many of the nurses, and even doctors would come in and say, "Babies just know when it's their time to come." I will forever believe that Zachary came exactly one month before his January 11th due date for a purpose... because even as everything medically possible was done to hold him back, he still found a way to come in to this world.
Zachary had to stay in the hospital for a week to receive IV and oxygen therapy. I wasn't able to bring him to my room, he had to stay in the nursery. After my discharge, I was able to stay in a small room across from the nursery. I was able to watch him and I could visit and hold his hand... but not him. The nurses had no obligation to check on me, but they did. Their kindness and compassion I will always remember.
After that long week, we brought our little one home. He seemed so fragile and small. I prayed that God would remember our little Zachary and help him grow strong.
In these 5 years, we've witnessed a miracle as Zachary has grown from being a prematurely born, small baby... in to a physically strong boy. At his last check-up he surpassed the expected height and weight for his age by quite a large margin. He appears to be older than his sister, and people are always surprised to hear he was born early.
Is it all coincidence that Zachary arrived 'early'? Would Grandpa be proud of the boy who arrived on the day he took his leave? I believe he would.... and is.
So, do you believe this is a story of coincidences? As for me, I will forever believe God's will far outweighs any human expectation. Yes, this day will always be a day of mixed emotions. It saddens me that I'll always be able to count the years my Grandpa has been gone by the age of my son. However, I feel hopeful also... believing in due time we will all meet again.
Perhaps Grandpa and Zachary will already be acquainted...