To many, four years may seem a long time. In the minds of those who see days filled with the mundane and jobs that overwhelm. Hands that pour out time and again. Labor intensive hours that make ends meet. Hearts that beat in rhythm with economies and monies and housing markets and things of this world.
For me, four years seems like just yesterday. The time I lay in that hospital bed, a quiet stillness about. Echoes of my unborn child’s heart, closely monitored on screens next to me. And my own heart aching in a reality of what might have been.
The doctor had come early that morning. Making rounds before his day of clinic began. We talked. About babies and perinatologists and holiday weekends. And he made it so… that I was to be NPO (nothing by mouth) until I had seen her. She was to have the final say. The end all tell all answer lay in her hands.
And so I waited. For what seemed the longest time in my life (when you are pregnant and have no food, even a minute seems like eternity). The nurse told me she was running late. An emergency trumping her schedule.
My room was quiet that day. My husband had returned to work. NO friends had come to visit. And in the quiet moments you can choose to embrace God or you can choose to hide. But, it seemed He was there. And while my mind raced with seemingly scary thoughts, I allowed my heart to beat in rhythm with His. Momentarily giving control to the ONE who gives.
And I remember the sun how the rays came in that day. Striking the floor, giving evidence of His always present presence. And on occasion the nurse would stop by. A casual hello and a peek… at him. My child.
The time came and she wheeled me down the hall. Her office in a small corner at the end. The silence in the room was deafening. Somber enough to qualify for a funeral. Then she uttered three words. And my own heart nearly stopped. “Today is the day.” One look in her eyes and the tears ran down my face. I questioned in a whisper…. “now?” She embraced me. Putting arms around and holding tight. “As soon as possible.”
The nurse hooked me back up to the monitors and I lay there alone. Me and my God. I made a single phone call telling him to come. And I cried out to my God in the silence. Pleaded with him to take my own life. To let this child live. And the sun continued to shine…. now streaming through clouds. Rain on the horizon.
The phone rang. The voice of a friend on the other end. In the area wanting to stop by. I couldn’t say it. Couldn’t utter the words to her. But she knew…. something was wrong.
She sat with me and we talked. A good diversion from the fear. And while her words calmed my anxiety, he walked through the door. And leaning over the bed, he held me. Whispering but one thing…. “it’s going to be ok. Our God will provide.” And for the first time in years I felt our marital issues fade away…. as I saw our God embrace his heart.
The delivery room was somber. Crowded with what seemed thirty people or more. And while I lay there…. strapped down, blocked off from view… they feverishly worked to save the life of my unborn child.
He didn’t come out screaming. He didn’t even cry. And the doctors worked intently… getting on their knees… to provide a way. The smallest ET tube was too big. He cored on the table three times. The room was silent. The doctor was sweating. Every second was critical.
And up from the silence we heard the faintest squeak. His cry.
GAVIN ERIC PHILBEN
was born at 25 weeks.
Weighed 1lb 3 oz
12 inches long.
Today, four years later…. we celebrate with him… on his birthday. And we celebrate the everlasting promise of a God that will BE!
Happy Birthday GAVIN!