For a few months I had been praying for a gal in our church who was trying to get pregnant. She had experienced a miscarriage (maybe several) and she so wanted to have a baby. One of my first thoughts was why me God and not her. How would I even begin to tell her I was expecting a baby. I am not proud of the thoughts that ran through my mind or of the fear that I allowed to grip me. It took me over a month to share with someone other than my husband that I was pregnant. And then on Mother's Day my husband announced to our entire church that I was expecting. I felt a small sense of relief.
The next step was to find a doctor. Again, back up a few years. I was able to have the same doctor deliver all four of my children. I went to the same hospital and even had some of the same nurses each time. It was familiar and very comfortable. But in early 2001 we had moved eight hours away. God had led us to this small mountain community in the foothills of Northern California. We had lived in this new community for three years but I had no need for an OBGYN, I was not planning on another baby. I remember looking through my insurance book wondering who should I chose. After all, I was anticipating a doctor to give me the third degree, "you're how old, and you've had how many c-sections". I asked around and ended up in the office of Dr. Goddard. God knew exactly what I needed. When I told him of my concerns he proceeded to tell me that his mother had delivered him at the age of 45 and that he was not concerned in the least about another c-section, after all he said, "most of the work will be done by me, not you." The man had me laughing from the moment I stepped into the room until I left. When my blood pressure was taken for that first visit, it was high. I was so nervous. But when I left I knew that God had a plan. I didn't fully understand it, but I knew.
My pregnancy progressed as normal. My morning sickness was normal and seemed to disappear at around three months, but the first trimester tiredness never went away. I was tired until the very end. This was the most frustrating. After all I had four other children to take care of. It didn't take me long to recognize my limitations and after discussing it with my husband I removed myself from all areas of ministry. At the time I was overseeing many areas in our church. I was teaching a ladies bible study weekly, facilitating children's ministry on Sundays and Wednesdays and taking care of administration and other record keeping for the church. I distinctly remember one of the elders in our church commending me for my choice. His parents had become pastors when he was a young boy and although his dad was a wonderful pastor much of the family life he had previously enjoyed was no longer there due to the ministry. His remarks left an imprint on my heart.
I endured the continuous stream of comments when others would find out I was expecting number five. I remember one afternoon being at the post office with my than four year old son and he was whining about something and the lady at the counter telling me I was going to have my hands full when number "2" was born. I just smiled.
Throughout my pregnancy I had trouble imagining life with baby number five. How was I going to manage it all. I pondered questions in my heart like, "why did God chose to give me another child?" My closest friends were moving full force ahead with their lives. Their children were getting older and they were experiencing new seasons. In the meantime I continued on..many days feeling very much alone. My blood pressure was fine. I went through the usual procedures for being an older woman (I had already done this with #4) choosing not to have any tests and accepting what God would give us. In October 2004, my husband was at a Pastor's conference in Hawaii. It was while he was gone that my doctor and I agreed that my c-section would be scheduled for December 7th. One week before my due date.
The final weeks leading up to this day were filled with weekly visits for a stress test to the OB unit at the hospital. At one visit I was having contractions five minutes apart but they soon went away. I kept hoping that maybe he would come early. Thanksgiving came and went. I was ready. On one of my last visits to my doctor's office I could hear the nurse pleading my case to do the c-section earlier. I love that nurse. She was such a breath of fresh air each visit. This baby proved to be no different than the rest and on December 7, 2004 Coleman Christopher was born weighing 7lbs 15 oz.. Throughout my pregnancy I continually asked the Lord about this child. I will share on Thursday, Coleman's 2nd Birthday the verse and unspeakable peace God gave me the morning I was privileged to deliver my fifth child.
And the gal I had been praying for? When Coleman was born she was seven months pregnant with a little girl. Another beautiful miracle and gift from the Lord.