Wednesday, November 21

post partum thoughts from a Granny's heart

Today is November 21st.  It is a week since we welcomed our little granddaughter Matilda Joy into this world - and into our arms.  This time last week I was so incredibly tired.  It had been a very long haul - physically, and emotionally.

The next day, I wrote a post for this blog.  I wrote it and saved it.  But later, decided to post something different, and let this one sit.  I tossed around whether or not I would actually post it - and I think that now, I will.  You see - having a grandchild - or more-so for our children - when they have a child - we do not take that for granted.  We have learned other things too - and that is that God - He is GOD.  He allows some things to happen that we will NEVER understand EVER.  We have learned that HE (being GOD) does not OWE us anything.  We are NOT ENTITLED to anything!  We have learned that Life is great - full - fun - but also HARD and even in the midst of that - in the midst of the sometimes pain and anguish - that God is still in control (even if we think he isn't) and that God is Sovereign (no matter what)    An aside:  you should check out the latest sermon series at our church's website - it pertains to this too.  Check out

I have come to realize that I hate it when all I hear is "oh, this and this happened ~ God is GOOD!"  Or, "so and so was healed ~ God is GOOD!"  OR, "this miracle happened ~ God is GOOD!"  Sorry, this is where it is raw and I kind of put it all out there.  I am really tired of just hearing people exclaim GOD IS GOOD when GOOD THINGS HAPPEN!  You see - the reality of God's goodness is that HE IS GOOD even when life really sucks!  HE IS GOOD when my friend is diagnosed with terminal cancer.  HE IS GOOD when my friends husband loses his job.  AND the reality - HE IS GOOD even when we lost our grandson JAY.  It is those HARD THINGS that we just can not even explain how or why we can/or can not say that, but we KNOW in the hard stuff what we believe - and that is that GOD IS GOOD!  All the time.  No matter what.  Joy or in sorrow.  In sickness or in health.  In prosperity or poor times.  GOD IS GOOD.  (okay, sorry, I just had to say that out loud)   This is really when I appreciate what Delbert said in our sermon on Sunday.

ANYHOW last week I wrote this following post, and today, I have decided to post it.  It is raw.  It is emotional.  Don't read it if you don't want to.   Why am I posting it?  Perhaps just so you can see a window into my being - and see how once again joy and sorrow walk side by side.  
I did not post this last week - because somehow, I just wanted to celebrate our little Matilda Joy's life.  The thing was - in the shadow of the great joy, was the sorrow, crouched down and weeping in the corner.  In the midst of the great joy - was the reality of an incomplete family on this side of heaven.  In the midst of the waiting and the praying and the rejoicing, was the memory of the waiting and the praying and the wailing in grief.  

Here is is .... my journal waiting for my granddaughter to be born:

Today is November 15th, a day and a half since we were blessed with our 4th Grandchild, who happens to be our 1st GrandDAUGHTER.  We knew she was a girl.  Actually, I knew she was a girl before Ash and Mike told us she was a girl.  I don't know if it is a "gift" or not - but I have always been accurate with my "gut" feeling about what a person is carrying.  Accurate almost 100%.  I was wrong with a set of twins, whom I thought was a girl and a boy.  They are both girls.  ANYHOW ... it was hard keeping the secret, and well, I oops once or twice on my blog (which Ashley and Leah detected and Ashley was able to change since she knows my blog password!)  At this point, it doesn't matter!

I can't believe that I have not written yesterday.  Thing is - it was all I could do to have a coherent thought yesterday.  By the time Mattie was born, I had almost been up for 24 hours straight.  I had gotten up quite early (5:30) Monday morning, with a headache.  So, by the time Alvin and I got home yesterday - I had been up for a day and a half straight, and was so very tired.  That was not the only thing though.  I was also very very emotional.  I knew going in to be part of the "coaching" team (along with Michael my son-in-law) that it would be emotional.  My baby was going to be having a baby!!  That is emotional in itself.  I knew it would be hard to see my daughter working through labor and delivery.  Little did I know how emotionally hard it would get.

I am going to share with you a part of my journalling from that day/night and today as well:

Tuesday, November 13 about 3:45 pm:  It's been a long week ~ especially with Ash.  We left home @9:50 for her doctor's appointment and went from there with our hopes up that today will be our babe's b'day.  We are still hoping and praying.  LORD? Please hear our prayers.  Please Lord.  There is anxiety there again.  Please take it Lord.

Wednesday, November 14th at 1:54 am:  I sit here in the coheir - with the two nurses doing their thing.  Mike is asleep in one chair and you are asleep in your bed - briefly waking to breathe through contractions.  They started oxytocin about 15 minutes ago ~ of course it is a little concerning - especially when I hear them talking about things that are "not typical" (not sure what they were referring to, but heard those words).  

O Lord, please help this little one to be born safe and sound.  I would be lying if I said I am not afraid - because I am - anxious. Please Lord - help our little one to be delivered safe and sound.  Please Lord.

It feels like my worry level is up.... Ash, you are such a trooper.  Not sure what other word to use.  I honestly did not know/believe women could be in labor for days, and you have been (since Sunday when you first went into the hospital and got sent home).  My sweet girl ~ bring my sweet granddaughter into this world.  

O Lord, please bring her safely.

journal entry @ 2:15 am:  Ashley is in the washroom, and I can hear Ash is having another contraction in there.  The oxytocin will likely be kicking in soon (to help speed dilation).  O Lord, please - help our girl and help our little girl BOTH to be kept safe and sound during L&D.

To My Sweet Little Granddaughter:  I have been praying for you little one - right from the start.  
Praying for your health, your grow ht, your delivery.  Your birthday - which will be today November 14.  O Sweet One - the nurse just asked your mommy if she knew what you were - and your mommy said "Yes, a girl" to which the nurse replied "She's a stubborn one!"  

journal entry @ 3:01 am:  Dr. is in and going to check.  I have been praying - that things would be progressing and it sounds like things are changing.  O Lord please.  Please ~

and that is when everything started to become a blur!  Shortly after I journalled the above - I put down my pen and listened to the doctor.  She is an amazing doctor!  I was so impressed with her - and I know that Ashley loves her as a doctor.  She had come in and I heard her say to the nurses that things were good"  And then she watched the baby's heart rate on the monitor.  That is when it was obvious something was awry.  Matilda's heartbeat - which was normally in the 140's to 150's was now low - 90.
Within seconds I hear her speaking some orders - we are going to do an emergency c-section now.  Get the team in place and ready.  Let's take her down.  You guys come with us.  BIM BAM BOOM
Nurses were all doing a job - it seemed they had rehearsed this - there was no one out of place or not doing something.  Within literally seconds they had Ashley wheeling down the hall toward the high-risk section and Michael and I were chasing behind.

I will be honest.  Just prior to the activity I was anxious.  But this change in plans - this emergency brought absolute terror to my being.  I sent Alvin a text.  He was in the front lobby of the hospital with Michael's mom, dad, sister and brother.  I think my text said "they are doing emergency c-section.  Pray"

I was scared to death that this little one was going to die.  And when I went to talk with Alvin and I saw the horror/anxiety on Alvin's face, and behind him noticed Jeannette and Phoebe (mom, and sister) ALL I could think of was "O God, NO, please no"

As I sat with Michael I had no words - just NO words.  Then I remembered the look of him, with his head in his hands, not uttering a single word or sound .... that is what he looked like when he came to the hospital when we lost our firstborn grandson Jay.  

Michael was taken to gown.  I was not able to join them at this point.  I went to get my camera for him to take into the room, and I was pretty tearful at this point.  I looked around the abandoned room.  Just mere minutes before, the "baby mix" was playing ... now everything was eerily quiet and askew.

Coming back - I saw Michael was done gowning up and now waiting.  I prayed with Michael, bravely trying to pray without losing my composure - as that would not have been helpful for him going into the OR.  I knew that he was feeling/thinking/experiencing pretty much the same thoughts/feelings/memories.  I didn't need to ask him.  We didn't need to talk.  I prayed together - it was short and sweet.  My heart cry:  Please Lord - we pray for a safe delivery.  Safety for our little granddaughter.  Please Lord - help her to come out screaming!  Michael went into the OR to be present with Ashley for the delivery of his little girl.

Before I walked out, the nurse that helped get things in order for the c-section assured me that the baby's heartbeat had recovered.  I shared some of our story with her - about losing our Jay.  About the fear of losing this one too.  I wept silently as I walked.  She had tried to assure me, but I needed to hear that she was born safely and soundly.  I could not help but think "you can not assure me of anything FOR sure ..."

We sat in the front lobby.  I cried a bit more.  Phoebe didn't say "let's pray" she just started praying. I was not the only anxious one in that circle of chairs at 3:55 am.  I also knew that Josh who was at work, and Leah, who was pacing at home, waiting for news - were also praying.  Phoebe prayed and just before she said AMEN, my phone beeped - with a text.  I looked at it when we were done praying and it was from Michael and said "She is screaming!"

More beautiful words could never have been heard by anyone - nor such beautiful screaming.
We thanked God.


a "p.s" written about the above post:  I have watched our little Matti over the past week.  I am so thankful.  I have watched our little Everett and Roger over the past week - and my heart is even more thankful.  I have been blessed with 4 Grandchildren - 1 in Heaven, and 3 here with us.  Last week - we were thankful.  But once again, I could not help but say - "why Lord, Why didn't you answer our prayers for Jay?  Why"  I have been thinking a lot about that.  About how some families breeze through Labor and Delivery without ever giving it a thought.  But it was in our minds and hearts from beginning until the end.  Joy and Sorrow just continue to walk closely.  We are thankful for all of our grandchildren - and grateful to be able to cuddle, hold and love the three that we have here, this side of Heaven.  And know that one day - we will also get to hold our Jay!  Till then, we say, God you are Sovereign.  God, you are Good.  God, we are thankful.  


Adrienne Redekopp said...

Hi Joy - I came across your blog through Ashley's. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I knew before I started reading that your beautiful grandbaby was healthy - and yet reading your story, I felt the strong emotions, and found myself in tears. I'm thankful right along with your family for the safe birth of your first granddaughter. Blessings and love on you all!

Heidi Clark said...

Joy, I'm sitting here weeping. You voiced what I'm sure my mom and husband felt last year after my health scare with PEs and a crash c-section. My mom said the same thing, there were no words that they could say while they waited to hear from the docs and nurses, just silent agonizing moments of prayer to a sovereign God. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.