Have we not been reassured about the fall of one sparrow and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered? (see Matt. 10:29–30; D&C 84:80). God is in the details! (Neal A. Maxwell, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 16)
During a routine obstetric ultrasound I was told that I needed to be induced immediately to give birth to my fifth child, just two weeks shy of my due date. I was not expecting that. My ultrasound revealed too little amniotic fluid and that the baby could be in danger. Because I knew that ultrasound measurements can be unreliable, I requested to talk to my doctor. I finally saw him a few hours later and asked him to repeat the ultrasound. Again the measurements showed too little amniotic fluid.
I knew I was dehydrated and hungry so I asked to be released to go home and eat, drink some water, pack, and see my kids before being induced. I had a strong desire to go home and be with my children and to call my parents. (I usually only called them on Sundays and this was Monday.) The doctor was okay with that, with the agreement that I would return in two hours to be induced.
I went home with my husband and ate a big dinner, drank lots of water, called and talked to my mom in California and let her know what was going on. My dad was on his way out the door for his daily bike ride and he got on the phone very quickly to wish me luck. I explained to my dad what was happening and that we would be having the baby soon. He said, “Break a leg, Kid! Well, having a baby is a piece of cake for you. You know how to do this!”
Little did I know that was the last time I would ever hear his voice in this life. An hour later on our way to the hospital we discovered that he had had a massive heart attack on his bike ride and had died. He was 49. We rode to the hospital in shock, while I sobbed until I threw up. How was I going to have a baby now?
Our doctors were wonderful and they gave us a private room and left us alone for a few hours until they came in once more to apologize and offer comfort. Then they again said they needed to induce because of the amniotic fluid. I asked again for one more ultrasound. I had been drinking a lot of water to improve my hydration level so I needed another opinion. They did another one and found that my level had gone from a 1 to a 7 in just a few hours of hydration! I was elated and relieved. However, they still suggested induction. (A normal level is about 10 and up.) I requested to stay overnight and be on an I.V. drip and fluids to hydrate me and check again in the morning since the baby’s heart tones were perfectly fine and in no distress at the time. They thought that was reasonable, so I was able to stay overnight.
I received a blessing from my husband and my doctor who promised me that I would have the birth that I desired and that we would all be healthy and that emotionally I would be able to handle this. I was able to finally talk to my mom and cry with her. I couldn’t believe I was preparing for giving birth with my daddy just barely gone. I was grateful for that night to prepare for what lay ahead.
A scripture I had previously read kept coming to my head:
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
I repeated that over and over in my mind that night, my pillow soaked with my tears.
Unbeknownst to me, earlier that night, my grandmother (my Dad’s mom) had received the news that my dad had had a heart attack. She did not know yet that he had passed away, nor that I was preparing to go to the hospital to have a baby. She and my grandfather knelt down together immediately to pray for him and for our family. As they prayed, my grandmother heard a distinct voice tell her, “Gregg is bringing the baby.” She had no clue what that meant until she found out my dad had died and that the baby was on her way. While we don’t really know the details of how and when the spirit of life enters a baby’s body, I like to think that perhaps the time spent that night waiting it out and preparing was time for my dad to give instruction and counsel, and to send his granddaughter to earth.
The next day my amniotic fluid level was back down to 1 despite my efforts that night. I was induced and gave birth very easily and quickly, though emotionally it was very trying. I could feel my dad there; he was with me. It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my life… intense joy at the life of a new babe all through the sorrow of the death of my father. I reflected on the cycle of life and I was lifted up. My promised blessings came true and I was given peace as I held my newborn baby in my arms.
The Lord is in all the little details of our lives.
– by Stephanie