July was unusually hot that year, and I struggled with the oppressive heat. I stood in a pan of cold water while I washed the dishes and soaked my swelling feet in another one while eating supper. It was the last month of my pregnancy and I was desperate for relief.
On Sunday night, July 17th I started having contractions at church during the evening service. Overnight the pains stopped for a few hours and I was able to get a little sleep, but by 6 AM I knew I was finally going to be delivered from this sweltering pregnancy.
My delivery of Stephanie two years earlier had been long and arduous. We had walked the hospital halls for hours waiting for her to make her entrance. Michael remembered the details well, so he was in no hurry to get me to the hospital. After all, why hurry when all you will do is wait? He took his time driving the ten miles to the hospital, and during the ride I realized there was no space between my labor pains. When we arrived Michael chose a regular parking place. “Aren’t you going to pull up to the door?” I panted.
“No, the walking is good for you.”
Somehow I lumbered in to the lobby and a nurse asked if I wanted a wheel chair. Before I could answer Michael piped up and said: “Oh no, she’s fine. The walking will do her good.” Then he stopped at the counter to buy a newspaper and fished around in his pocket to find the exact change. I perched on the edge of a chair nearby with my legs spread wide and continued the controlled panting.
Another nurse stopped near me: “Are you all right? Do you want a wheel chair?”
“Oh no, she’s fine. The walking will do her good.”
Another contraction started as the elevator doors closed behind us. When the doors opened the pains stopped long enough for me to make it out into the hallway, but then another one hit and I leaned against the wall, waiting for that contraction to subside. Finally I was able to make it into the delivery room and sat down for another contraction.
The nurses’ voice was calm and casual: “Okay, we’re going to get some vital signs, and collect a urine sample, then you can get changed.”
Her voice became urgent: “You know what? I’ll help you into this johnny and we’ll do an exam.”
Ten minutes later the doctor was holding my baby in her hands: “Yep, it’s a boy.”
“It’s a boy?”
“Yep, it’s a boy.”
“It’s a boy? What is it?”
Nurse: “It’s a boy.”
“It’s a boy? It’s a boy?”
Doctor: (Firmly) “Yes, it’s a boy!”
I couldn’t believe my ears: “What is it?”
The nurse had had enough: “Linda, it’s a BOY!”
I was sobbing and laughing at the same time. “A son! I have a SON!”
Even today I tell this story with tears in my eyes. Despite my failed plans of timing, charts and temperatures God knew how to give me a son. He had given me the desire of my heart.
There are many fitting photos of Mike I could have used for this blog, but I wanted to share this picture because it is what he looked like on October 17, 2015. I had called him to sob out the news that my brother Floyd had died and Mike abandoned his own plans, drove 2½ hours and sat in a coffee shop with me to share my sorrow. Then he drove home to serve in the kids’ ministry at his own church the next day. I needed him, and he was there for me.
Happy Birthday, Mike. You are still the answer to my prayers.
“Linda, once again your writing has brought me to tears. God did answer your prayers - you have a fantastic son who is a blessing to many in his church.”