5 Years Ago...

Still much to post on all kinds of topics...hopefully after co-op this afternoon I'll have a little more time over the next few days to catch up...but I wanted to get in a few quick "reminiscing" thoughts this morning.

Whenever I was asked for Ammah Grace's birthdate, my immediate response almost always used to be "February 4".  I'm getting better...now I usually just *think* February 4 before mentally correcting myself and then replying, "February 7."  February 4 is the date seared in my memory, and from there the dates all just kind of ran together until March 20, when we finally got to bring her home.

It usually starts on February 3...remembering the conversation I had with my mom that day.  She and my dad were headed to Tulsa for him to see a specialist about some health issues.   A winter storm was forecast, and Mother had expressed concern about leaving, "What if we get snowed in in Tulsa and can't get back and something happens and you need us?"   It had been a very uncomfortable pregnancy, and I wasn't feeling the greatest.  "You'll only be gone two days, even if you do get snowed in Wednesday...it will all melt by Thursday, and what could possibly happen that we would need you before then?  We'll be fine."   The expression "famous last words" seems made for that conversation!

Nothing incredibly exciting on memory lane until late Wednesday night.  Mother and Daddy had gone to Tulsa, and sure enough, the weather had gotten bad there and they ended up spending the night.  Billy and I and the kids stayed home from church because I wasn't feeling well.  We were beginning to get a very light dusting of snow.   At 8:00, Billy started prayer time in the living room preparatory to getting the kids to bed...I was on the sofa and not planning to move anytime soon. :-)   Just as he began to pray, I felt an odd sensation; although my water had never broken naturally in my three previous pregnancies, I was suspicious that that was what had just happened.  

An hour later, we were at the hospital, where Dr. Muylaert confirmed that yes, my water had broken, and I was trying to go into labor...ten weeks early.   They started meds to try to stop labor, and steroids to help Baby's lungs mature more quickly in case they couldn't stall delivery for the four weeks they hoped for.    He calmly informed us that I needed to be transferred...immediately...to UAMS in Little Rock.  "It is much safer to transport *you* before the baby is born than to transport baby after birth."   He then began to explain the various dangers the baby faced.   The whole thing seemed so unreal...like a nightmare from which I couldn't wake up. 

A few hours later, I was in an ambulance on the way to Little Rock...in a snowstorm.   If the weather had been better, I would have been in a helicopter instead of an ambulance.   It was a crazy ride...if you've never been on an ambulance on the interstate, ignoring the speed limit completely, on ice...well, count your blessings. :)  Actually, I was so worried about going into labor that I forgot to worry about the travel...most of the time, anyway.   It's amazing the way God blesses during the scariest of times...Bro. Phil was praying with us when the ambulance crew arrived, and as we walked (well, everyone else walked, I rode flat on my back :)) down to the ambulance bay, one of the guys said, "Well, if it helps at all, know that you're being taken care of by fellow Christians, and we're praying for you."  Did it help?  Wow...what a blessing.  I still get goosebumps thinking about it.  

And I still get teary thinking about watching poor Billy standing in the snow as they put me in the back of the ambulance.  Hard as it was, I had the easy part...he had to stay home and go to work, take care of the kids and the house, all the while worrying about what was going on 2 1/2 hours away with his wife and unborn daughter.  I am so thankful for the help and support, from that moment through the next 7 weeks and then some, of our wonderful family, friends, and church family.  We would never have made it through those days without people who were the hands and feet and voice of Jesus to us in so many ways.  

I'm planning to do a bit more "reminiscing" over the next few days...lots of memories and miracles.  But I'll end this post with the Scripture that I was clinging to 5 years ago this moment.

Our friends Kathy and Justin were some of the greatest blessings God gave during this time...they had been through very similar circumstances (and in fact, I ended up in Kathy's old room at UAMS for a while. :))  A picture of their Joshua...one of UAMS's most amazing miracle babies...was on the bulletin board in the hallway I walked to the NICU to see Ammah Grace after she was born.  It was such an encouragement to walk by that picture and be reminded of God's awesome power and goodness. 

While I was still in the ER in Fort Smith, waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive that Wednesday night, Kathy read me this Scripture over the phone.  It was one God had given them during the long months before Joshua was born, when they were being told not to expect him to live.  I clung to it during the days of waiting before she was born, and the weeks and months of wondering after.   I knew that no matter what the outcome, God was going to give us a new song, and show us many wonders.  

Psam 40:1-5

I waited patiently for the LORD; 

       He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
       out of the mud and mire;
       He set my feet on a rock
       and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
       a hymn of praise to our God.
       Many will see and fear
       and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man
       who makes the LORD his trust,
       who does not look to the proud,
       to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O LORD my God,
       are the wonders you have done.
       The things you planned for us
       no one can recount to you;
       were I to speak and tell of them,
       they would be too many to declare.

He has truly given us wonders too many to declare, and we are so thankful!!

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