As we arrived at the hospital that evening I felt nervous but also strangely calm. The midwife was lovely and spoke so gently yet confidently. She took us into one of the rooms and hooked me up to those big stretchy band things – the pink and blue ones. And we heard baby’s heartbeat straight away. While she seemed hugely relieved at that, all I could say was, “THAT’S my baby’s heartbeat??? But it’s going like the clappers!!!!” She just smiled and said, “we’ll listen in for a little while”. And so we did and the sound remained the exact same. The machine said baby’s heart was doing 150 beats per minute, apparently normal enough, but the tracing was ” flat”, baby wasn’t moving. Very calmly and gently she said, “I think we’ll send you over to The Ulster and let them have a look. Just to be sure.”
I was still feeling pretty calm at this point, nervous but strangely at peace. As she returned to the room, I asked her, “what’s the best way for us to go to The Ulster from here?” She kind of laughed politely, I guess at my innocence, “pet, you’ll be going in an ambulance, I need to listen in on baby from here on in. Ben can follow in his car and we’ll meet him there”.
So, as we walked out to the ambulance and the guys asked, ” blue lights and siren?” I paused in my step.
“I think just lights”, she replied.
From then on I just repeated over and over in my head, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” For those who know me well I am terrible in small spaces!!! And have suffered terrible panic attacks in the past. So after a bit of a freak out in the back of the ambulance, the guys very kindly found a way to let me see out windows – who knew those blinds had never been pulled up before?! And off we went.
As we sped to The Ulster the midwife was so kind. I knew she was concerned, her eyes could not hide it. But again, all I knew was peace. The ambulance guy chatted away oblivious, I think, to what was going on. And in my head I chanted, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
On arrival at The Ulster we got seen straightaway. And straightaway discovered that baby’s heart was doing 300 beats per minute, not 150 as previously thought, the other machine had been halfing it, it would seem. Neither of those 2 ladies could hide their shock. At this point Ben had not arrived, he was frantically trying to find me!
After a while the news came that this baby would be delivered tonight by c section. And everything inside me crumbled. I had longed for this wee baby. Was so looking forward to another water birth. I LOVED labour with our other 3 and was so excited to do it again for one last time. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t going to happen. But with my stiff upper lip, and inner resolve, I simply said, “OK” and smiled. I remember turning to Ben and saying, “we need to get people praying”.
Ben sent out a text right then to our close friends and family and our church family. To pray. Right in that moment I needed the ‘cloud of witnesses’ that I had been referring to that morning, (see previous post) and they did not let me down. I firmly believe that their prayers helped what was a very traumatic next few hours. I believe their prayers stopped Satan in many ways that night. God was with us. God had a plan. HE had a purpose. And strangely, that peace I had….it never left me.