18 / 52 – Seven

I remember the day Ethan was born.  I had gotten sick with preeclampsia and we had to be induced three weeks early.  The pregnancy had already been stressful, but I was a mess at the news we’d be delivering nearly a month early.  We already had a one year old in the house, the crib wasn’t even put together yet, and I was still warming up to thought of having two full time diaper wearers!

Branden and I hadn’t settled on a name yet.  He had a list and I had a list, but no matches.  Pulling into the hospital parking lot that day, Branden said, “Just pick the name you love the most and that’ll be it.  But I get to pick the next one!”

“I love Ethan.” I said without hesitating.

“What about the middle name?” he asked.

“Cole.  Ethan Cole.”


I don’t remember much about the induction.  I’m sure everything went just as it was supposed to – checking in, settling into our room, getting hooked up to all the monitors.  I have high blood pressure, which is what led to the preeclampsia, so some special precautions were being taken.  The anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural.  I remember Branden wanting to watch (no thanks!)  The anesthesiologist let him as long as he was sitting down.  He told Branden that if he fainted, he wasn’t going to be able to help him up!


I was progressing with the medicine.  Soon my doctor came in to break my water.  We had a short exchange about how I didn’t want to end up with a c-section.  He reassured me I was at very little risk since my labor with Silas only lasted 8 hours.  He broke my water and stepped out of the room.

The nurse that was with me put an internal monitor on Ethan’s head.  Within seconds I remember her saying how the baby didn’t like something.  She asked me to get on my hands and knees.  I’m sure I looked at her with complete confusion.  Wires were running from me to several machines, and my epidural was in full effect!  She didn’t wait for me.  I’m not sure how, but she grabbed my ankles and within seconds, I was on all fours!


Branden and my mom were the only ones in the room with us at the time.  I remember my mom starting to cry.  She came to the bed, kissed my forehead, and said she was going to step out.  We have a long history of women with high blood pressure in our family, and I knew she was scared.  So was I.

A team of five or six women burst into the room.  They were all yelling at each other.  Wires were unhooked and the bed began to move.  We were going to an operating room.

I remember just crying at this point, not knowing what was happening, if my baby was okay, if Branden was going to be with me when I delivered.  The OR was chaotic and loud.  Things were happening without me.  I could see my doctor getting into his operating gear.  I was moved onto a new bed and quickly prepped for surgery.  A nurse came and put an oxygen mask over my face.


“What’s happening?”  I was still crying.

“Your baby’s heart rate dropped, but it’s starting to come up.  Can you hear it?”

I listened for that familiar “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” of the heartbeat through the machine.  I could hear it.

“We have to get your baby out right now,” she said calmly.

The anesthesiologist I had seen an hour or so before was standing at the head of my bed.  He was yelling into the room, “Do I put her out?  Do I put her out?”  No one was answering him.  “Do I put her out?!”

“Just put her out!” someone yelled back.

I looked up at the nurse.  “Can my husband come in here?” I asked desperately.

“I’m sorry, no.”

And I was out.


The next few hours were less chaotic, but equally emotional.  I woke up to a new room, a new nurse, Branden and my mom, but no baby.  He was fine, being monitored because of the stressful delivery, but it was hours before I got to meet or hold him.

Branden told me later that it was only about 15 minutes between the time they wheeled me out of the room to when they handed him the baby, all cleaned up and swaddled.  A video was taken of our families meeting him and of Branden sharing the name we’d picked for him that morning.

The next day my doctor came in to check on me.  He explained that Ethan’s cord had been wrapped around his body five times – more times than the doctor had ever seen in his ten years of delivering babies!


We stayed in the hospital almost a week.  My blood pressure needed to be monitored, new medicine figured out, and there was a list of things that needed to be “checked off” before we were discharged.

In the wake of it all, I remember finally getting home and walking through the unexpected events of Ethan’s birth.  Branden said, “Maybe it needed to happen that way, so you would know that no matter what, God is in control.”

Later I remember the Lord speaking to me about it, helping me realize that getting sick and having to deliver earlier likely saved both Ethan’s and my life.  If my water had broken at home (as it did with Silas), neither of us would probably have made it.


God is so good, isn’t He?  Saving us before we even know we need it?

We always have our plans, our ideas, expectations.  But God is quietly working things out the way they need to be.  So often I realize in hindsight how little faith I’ve had.  But there is no condemnation or “I told you so” booming from Heaven.  Only grace, and a love that chooses to keep walking with me.


When the fog lies low on the path ahead, and I am unsure or even afraid.  When I’m full of doubt or feeling frantic because I have no control (I do like control!) I need to remember, I belong to God – the One that would let nothing keep me from Him!  Whatever His plans might include, they are for my ultimate good, not harm, and for His glory.  I am safe with Him.


And Ethan 🙂  He’s seven!  He was spoiled by so many in Texas as we traveled through and then here in Colorado when we got home!

IMG_2797 IMG_2798

He’s this amazing combination of cleverness and innocence, still excited at the things he’s learning about the world around him!  He’s funny and quirky and loves music.  He’s embarrassed easily but also loves to make people laugh.  He still likes to snuggle, which makes me happy 🙂  He’s little and big at the same time.  Maybe I’ll always feel that way, but it’s true today!


Happy seventh birthday sweet boy!

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