Saturday, July 08, 2006

 

The Lord saves from sorrow, trouble, and distress...

This is the name we had chosen for our second child. Of course, that wouldn't fit well onto the birth certificate, so we had to go with a more Anglo version: Joshua Owen. He was to be our first "granola baby" born in California. Here are just a few of my memories of this pregnancy...

What a hot summer! Southern California in 1997 was miserable. Now we know it brought about El Nino the following winter! That was the summer I discovered and fell in love with the Starbucks Frappaccino. I would literally roll pennies to pay for one, so great was my craving. My indulgent husband would sit by and just laugh.

Harrison was looking forward to having a "new baby." He wanted to count baby fingers, toes, arms, legs, ears and eyes. He gave up his baby bed and moved into a "big boy" one to make room for this new addition.

We went to Knott's Berry Farm amusement park near the end of my pregnancy. What a ripoff! I couldn't ride but 2 kiddie rides and had to pay for a ticket anyway! But it is quite a nice place and much less crowded than Six Flags. Harrison and Rob had a blast.

I went into labor on July 4, but didn't realize it. My contractions stalled after 2 hours. So I walked. And walked. And walked faster. Then walked some more. But nothing happened. Until the morning of July 8. I had a prenatal appointment early that morning, so Rob, Harrison and I went together. At that appointment, my midwife remarked that since it was my due date she would need to examine me. During the examination she said I was 7 cm dilated! Wow! I guess I really had been in labor on the 4th. When she listened for the heartbeat, she couldn't find it, but said she wasn't worried since Owen was so low in the birth canal. She sent us aross the street to the hospital to have him.

Once there, the flurry of activity began. The nurses told me to remove my clothes quickly and get into a gown. I barely got into the bed when some doctor came in and broke my water. It was peagreen and I became panicked. He tried to shove some electrodes into Owen's head to monitor his heart and breathing, but he was unable to do so. He barked orders for an ultrasound machine and ran the probe all over my stomach. Then he left the room. I looked at Rob and noticed he was very pale and not speaking. The nurse came into my room and asked me if I wanted any pain medication, but not an epidural because they wouldn't give one in the case of fetal demise. What???? in the heck did she just say? It soon became clear that we wouldn't be taking our baby home from the hospital, but that we would be going to his funeral. After Owen was delivered, it was determined he had died approximately 4-6 hours previously.

Oh, the theological struggles in that 24 hour period following. We cried, held our baby, rocked our baby and dressed our baby. I realize twenty years ago he would have been taken from the room and we wouldn't have seen him again until in a casket. At the end of the day, we had to agree with Abraham, "Will not the Judge of the earth do what is right?"

So, why am I thankful? Well, for many reasons. Owen never experienced the temptation to sin. He has never been sinned against. He has a perfect, whole body. You know, as we walked through this devastation, we remembered our Sunday school teaching from a few weeks before Owen died. The lesson was from John 9- about the man born blind.

And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him."

So our focus became, "What works of God might be displayed in Owen's death?" Before this happened, we would proclaim to any listener about God's sovereignty. Now was the time to put our belief into action. See, theology isn't just for our time in the pew on Sunday mornings. It is to be lived out as a testimony to all.

Our Owen would be 9 years old today. Instead, he is with our Savior. How could I possibly want him back here? Hopefully, our faith and the fruit of our faith has 9 years worth of growth and trust in our great God, the Judge of the earth.

Comments:
Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony. Isn't it amazing how God uses circumstances that sound so horrible to build up His people?
 
Oh Sherri...my heart hugs yours today as I just read this. What a beautiful name Joshua has. I know he'll be blessed (as you) when you finally get to hug him. Warm hugs and thoughts, Elly
 
Sherri-

You did a beautiful job describing such a painful memory. Thank-you for saying that you struggled theologically. I think it is so helpful to the body of Christ to hear from someone who has gone through a trial like the one you have endured and talk openly about how you worked through it.

I'll look forward to meeting your Owen in Heaven.
 
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