I had lunch with Hazelle at school on her 13th birthday ~ this year was the first time that I didn’t cry as I remembered the trauma of my 4th pregnancy and delivery ~ in fact, I hardly thought of it at all ~ so yeah, time does bring healing and I’m grateful for that.
There’s an interesting discussion going on over in the NLQ forums about quiverfull families who are “trusting the Lord” with their family planning and at the same time, accepting government assistance to support their children.
themomma said: This is one of my biggest complaints against a quiver family I know.
It is all “we are leaving it God” while they are using services. I think it is “selective faith” at the least.
About the same time that we were “convicted” (sorry, Kelly ~ I’m still using that word ::) ) to trust the Lord with our family planning, we were also convicted to trust Him with our finances ~ which meant no gov’t assistance, though we easily qualified for every program available.
Because we felt it would be a poor witness to accept medicaid, I did not seek any medical care during my fourth pregnancy (our first “reversal baby”) ~ but instead found a midwife and planned a home birth even though my first three had been delivered via c-section.
Throughout the pregnancy, I had one problem after another ~ I gained 75 lbs. (my pre-pregnancy weight was 95 lbs.) ~ at six months, I went on bed rest because it was so uncomfortable to move and the midwife thought I must have torn a hernia because the pain in my lower abdomen was so intense. Plus, I had contractions almost constantly ~ so strong and regular that even Judy believed they were “the real thing” and the baby could come any time.
I was experiencing extreme anxiety, my heart was POUNDING all the time and I could feel blood whooshing through my head and my ears seemed warm, I was STARVING ~ so hungry that if I didn’t eat a full meal every two hours, I would get a horrible headache, shake and sweat like crazy ~ I knew something was terribly wrong with me, and I felt very strongly that I needed to see a doctor, but ….
The midwife would come and check me ~ listen to the baby’s strong heartbeat, check my blood pressure and tell me everything was okay ~ she told that what I really needed to do was to breathe deeply … and trust the Lord.
Once when I was feeling particularly horrible ~ my heart just racing and I felt so scared ~ I called Judy Jones (yes ~ I’m naming names here) and told her that I really needed help ~ I really needed to go to the doctor. Judy drove to my house did the usual check and assured me that I was okay and the baby was fine.
“Why am I so hungry?” I asked her for the zillionth time. Well, she suspected that I was carrying twins. Wow ~ wouldn’t that be awesome?! But in my heart, I knew there was only one baby ~ something was wrong. Even though we really didn’t have the money for it, I insisted that I needed to go to the OB/GYN. “I can’t handle this anymore ~ I feel like I’m dying!”
I was laying on the couch and Judy got down on her knees beside me and did what she called a “diaphragmatic release” ~ in which she put one hand under my lower back and her other hand on my lower abdomen and then waited patiently while the uterine muscles relaxed. It did calm me down ~ and while we waited, Judy told me a bible story.
She told me about the time when the children of Israel were wandering the in the desert ~ and the Lord was providing for their every need ~ even raining down manna from heaven for them to eat. But the Israelites grew tired and impatient ~ and greedy. They demanded meat ~ and the Lord sent so much quail that the children of Israel were sick of it.“They had meat in abundance,” Judy explained, “but they suffered leanness of the soul.”
Leanness of the soul … that’s what happens to those who don’t trust the Lord through their trials ~ those who seek “worldly” remedies and don’t have the faith to believe that God will never give us more than we can handle.
I absolutely dreaded the thought of having a lean soul ~ I would not disappoint the Lord by giving in and going to a medical doctor who would no doubt insist on doing another c-section delivery and thereby rob me of the testimony which the Lord was working in my life through this difficult circumstance.
Later that evening, the symptoms started again ~ the pounding heart, the shaking, the fear ~ and the contractions HURT! Judy suggested that I take a warm bath which would either make the contractions go away, or else intensify them and really get my labor going.
I settled my huge body into the tub and tried to breathe deeply and relax. Tears welled up in my eyes and I prayed a very pitiful prayer, “Lord, you must really think I’m tough ~ if you think I can handle this. Please just let me feel okay.”
The contractions slowed, my heart rate calmed down ~ I didn’t feel quite so nervous. But I was SOOOOOOOOOO tired. For months I had been unable to sleep more than 15 minutes at a time because of the contractions and the pain from all the added weight. I was feeling so discouraged. So worn down.
I reached for the razor to shave my legs and suddenly had a vision of myself cutting my wrists open and slowly bleeding to death in the bathtub. “When Judy comes to check on me and finds me dead,” I thought to myself, “MAYBE then she’ll believe me when I say that I really CAN’T handle this.”
Hard as it is to imagine ~ that pregnancy only got worse from that point on. I’ll save the rest for my story ~ but here I want to say that after all the agony I suffered in my attempted home birth ~ I ended up at the hospital and was immediately given an emergency c-section. I was devastated ~ I couldn’t understand why the Lord had let me down like that.
After all, we had trusted Him ~ Warren had a vasectomy reversal and I was willing to bear as many “blessings” as He chose to send our way ~ and then after all my faithfulness and trusting throughout that horrendous pregnancy ~ I ended up with another c-section?! Where’s the testimony in that? What about my witness?
For now, I’ll spare you all the details of the delivery and recovery ~ when I went home after spending a week in the hospital, I couldn’t look at my baby Hazelle without crying ~ the trauma of it all was just too much for me.
And then the medical bills started rolling in. It was a complicated delivery and an extended stay ~ the total in bills came to almost $15,000 ~ which at that time, was nearly the same as our annual income. For about one minute, I considered that we should trust the Lord to provide for the medical expenses ~ but truthfully, I’d had enough. Nobody except me and the social worker were going to know ~ and I just didn’t have the strength and enthusiasm to wait expectantly for the Lord to provide enough money to pay all those bills ~ so I didn’t hesitate to sign up for medicaid.
Later, I regretted it ~ I thought of it as the devil’s victory ~ I had cooperated with Satan in denying God an opportunity to show His faithfulness ~ ‘cuz somehow, I was sure that, had I not signed up for medicaid, He WOULD have come through for us and those bills would have been paid ~ and that could have been another part of our testimony for the Lord.
I’d let Him down … it wasn’t what I had meant to do at all … I’d stuck it out way beyond what I’d have ever imagined that I was capable of … I’d tried so hard to be faithful … and yet, I could feel the leanness in my soul.