I’ve written this story a thousand times in my head, but it’s felt impossible to actually sit down to type it. I have a new appreciation for the words spoken of Mary about the time following Jesus’ birth, “And Mary treasured these things in her heart.” Oh yes, I know now. You must treasure these things in your heart because the story you are telling is holy and how can you express the sacredness of it adequately? Here is my best shot.
I chose November 1st to be induced for Abbott’s birth because I wanted to take the girls trick or treating on October 31st. I got to do that, and it was delightful. There is just about nothing more precious to me than the wonder my kids experience over total strangers giving them candy. You would think they won the lottery.
After hoping in vain for weeks that I would go into labor on my own, I went in for my induction, two days before our due date. Some people ask why I would induce before my due date. I give them two reasons 1) giant babies and 2) no signs of labor. I can’t imagine how big my babies would get if I let them just stay in there indefinitely. In the words of my doctor “I was made to carry babies.”
Everything seemed so normal throughout the whole delivery. I got an epidural. It worked (praise Jesus/see Maribelle’s birth story). I couldn’t feel a thing once it was time to push. Not a thing. This made me nervous because I could totally feel pushing with my girls because my epidural had been turned off. And it took a really, really long time with both of them. Not this time though! Sweet little Abbott came after three contractions…I pushed 7 times. It was so surreal.
There are certain things that are seared into my brain about each of my deliveries…things that I will never forget. I will never forget the doctor handing Annelise to me and my first thought being “I am holding my husband” because she looked exactly like her father. I will never forget watching Royce carry her around the delivery room, tears in his eyes, suddenly transformed into a dad. I will never forget how BIG Maribelle’s cheeks were or that they let me hold her for what felt like a really long time before taking her to be weighed.
This time, I will never forget a lot of things.
I will never forget my first glimpse of Abbott. Well, not really Abbott, but his pee arcing through the air and landing on my stomach. Yes, the first thing my son did out of the womb BEFORE I’D EVEN SEEN HIM was pee on me.
But then, I’ll never forget the collective gasp of my doctor and nurse when they saw his umbilical cord.
I’ll never forget the doctor holding it up for me to see–two knots tied tight as shoelaces 6 inches apart from one another.
I’ll never forget the doctor declaring Abbott a “miracle baby”.
I’ll never forget the nurse’s response as I later naively asked her what normally happens when there are two knots in the umbilical cord. “Normally it’s a stillborn,” she reluctantly told me, her eyes downcast.
I’ll never forget the post-partum nurse coming in the next morning and gushing over him. “All the nurses are talking about him,” she said. “Everyone wants to meet the baby that had two knots in his cord.”
I still haven’t googled it. My friend asked if I had. When I told her that i hadn’t yet, she said that her husband did and I probably shouldn’t.
I do know this: Abbott is a miracle. They all are. Every day with our children is a gift. And I intellectually knew that to be true with our other kids, but now I can whisper it over them with humility. Every day we get to be with our son is a gift. “Normally it’s a stillborn.” I don’t presume to know why our son survived what other babies haven’t. I don’t know why we got to bring home a healthy 9 lb, 12 oz baby boy (did I mention I have big babies?). My only response is that of Moses: take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy ground.
Abbott means “father”, derived from Abba, “daddy”. Which, I mean, how perfect for our little man. God has used him and many other stories from the early days of his life to reveal Himself to us as our good Father. We are so thankful for our little guy. He smiles and talks to us constantly. He knows and loves his momma. He’s our little snuggler. We treasure the gift that he is.
We love you Abbott!