Monday, November 7, 2011

When God Hands You Plan B

 "The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Early on in my two and a half weeks of hospitalized bed rest, my mom gave me a little notebook. On the cover it said, "Life is all about how you handle Plan B." Inside of it she wrote, "Dear Sweet Daughter, whether it's Plan B, C, D or Z it's ALWAYS God's Plan A that comes to pass." What a good reminder it was for me!

I never in a million years thought I would go into pre-term labor. I remember seeing "Know the Warning Signs of Pre-Term Labor" on a screen in my OB's office, and instantly dismissing it. "Won't be needing that," I presumed smugly. My mom had had 4 perfectly normal full-term pregnancies. I was young and in good health. It was my firm belief that I'd have to fight off the doctors from inducing me once I went beyond 40 weeks. Everyone goes late on their first, right? Ha ha. Not so.

On the fateful day that my mucus plug fell out, at only 24 weeks, things went from bad to worse. I went to the hospital and was initially told by a nurse that I'd be home in a few hours. Then after an internal ultrasound revealed a non-existent cervix the doctor said I'd be staying indefinitely, depending on what my body did. Two hours later the same doctor did a speculative exam and informed me that I was 3 cm dilated and my membranes were bulging. Eww. Translation: he could see my water sac dangling down, and it was in serious danger of breaking. Guess who wasn't going to be getting out of bed anytime soon? No more toilets, no more showers. Funny how the little things we take for granted become such a big deal when they're no longer available.

My "plans" just kept on changing. That night I started contracting, until they were only two minutes apart. I pleaded with the Lord on behalf of our daughter, barely on the brink of viability. "Lord, have mercy!" He gave me great peace, but it was a battle. The only thing that stopped my entire body from shaking was quoting scripture out loud. Then mercifully labor stopped around 2 am the following morning. And for two weeks my body cooperated. I planned on being on bed rest forever. I thought I would make it to at least 36 weeks. Ultimately I knew that God was in control and He would bring our baby when He deemed best, but I was hoping to keep her in as long as possible.

Then the contractions returned, and after three days of battling them with every drug in the book, my water broke. At the doctor's check I was 4 or 5 cm, and there was nothing more that could be done. She was coming. My Plan A had been to deliver as naturally as possible. Then my placenta started to tear and I was rushed for an emergency c-section. My introduction to breastfeeding was via a pump. My daughter spent her first two months of life in the NICU. I hoped and prayed that she would come home without oxygen, yet the Lord chose otherwise.

None of these events were my plans. I would not have chosen or asked for any of them. So how would I respond? Let me tell you, there were days in which I completely succumbed to my feelings of anxiety, disappointment, and self-pity. But God in His mercy graciously would bring me back to Himself, reminding me that His thoughts were not my thoughts, and His plans were not my plans. No, His are infinitely better! Even when we cannot see that. Thank God that He works all things according to the counsel of His will. Throughout our ordeal I was reminded time and time again that God has a purpose in EVERYTHING He brings me through. I was able to have joy despite the uncertainties and agonies of having a tiny little baby in the NICU. God does everything for our good and His glory. In moments like these this truth becomes less of a cliche and more of a solid reality.

Life is going to be full of Plan B's. Will we turn inward, becoming bitter and disillusioned, or will we look to the Lord and choose joy? "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes" (Ps. 119:71). "This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life" (Ps. 119:50). "And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love the Lord and are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

God is faithful. After the most eventful months of my life so far, I can testify to it. He has been good. Praise His holy name!

2 comments:

  1. I was referred to this blog by a friend. I'm a doula in South Korea and I just wanted to share how heart touching this story is. I could barely breathe as I was reading this with tears in my eyes. Your story is wonderful and still happening. I am so thankful to God that your miracle is here. Thank you Lord for showing up in this story! I hope you keep posting because this blog is a great encouragement to women :)

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  2. Thank you for your encouragement! We are so thankful to the LORD, He has truly had His hand of blessing on our daughter. She is doing really well! Thank you for reading.

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