He is, after all, only one day old.
But for months and months, Cole resolutely stayed upside down in the womb, refusing to turn even when it was time to begin his exit strategy. This position was difficult for his mother to handle. Stacy’s heartburn was extreme. Her hips and lower back ached and pained her terribly. As the weeks wore on, you could almost see in the way she carried the baby that something was very wrong.
“I need the baby to turn,” Stacy said to me.
“We’ll pray about it,” I said. And we did. I emailed my friends to seek God’s help in this. I put Stacy on the prayer chain at my church.
Days went by. Weeks went by. The baby didn’t budge.
“I don’t want a C-section,” Stacy told me after one of her doctor’s visits. I could hear the tears she was holding back. Stacy had already given birth to three healthy, lively children—Isabelle (6), Knox (4) and Will (2)—and she would need to take care of them when she came home with the new baby. “I need the baby to turn.”
Little Will did all he could to help. He would place his face close to Stacy’s belly and talk to the unborn child. “Baby, this is Will. Flip! Come out and I will hold you.”
Stacy is a firm believer in prayer. But she knows that answered prayer often depends on our doing all we can to achieve the hoped-for outcome. So she read and listened to strategies others said had worked in the past with breech babies. She went to the health club and did handstands in the deep end of the pool. (I am truly sorry I do not have video of this for you.) She submitted to acupuncture. “The baby wiggled around like crazy but didn’t turn,” she reported. She went to the hospital, along with her husband, Brett, and two doctors worked all morning trying to turn the baby by manipulating (pushing!) on her belly. Needless to say, this was painful. And, unfortunately, disappointing. The week before she was scheduled for her C-section, she went to a special pregnancy chiropractor every day.
But mostly Stacy prayed. Day after day. All day long as she went about her work and while taking care of her family, she would place her hands on her belly and pray that God would flip this child.
The night before she was to go into the hospital, Stacy and I talked on the phone, finalizing the plans for my taking care of the other three children. “Do you have your head around the fact that you will be having a C-section in the morning?” I asked. I thought it important that she accept what was going to happen to her.
“No,” Stacy said with a nervous little laugh. “I don’t.”
Stacy has a stubborn faith. I had talked to her about how God’s will isn’t always what we pray for, that no matter what comes our way God will work it for our good. She agreed…but in her heart continued to believe her baby would turn and be born naturally.
The day of the procedure arrived. I prayed that the doctor would have a steady hand, that the incision would be small, that the baby could be snatched whole and healthy from the womb. I waited hours for my son to call me. Finally the phone rang.
I grabbed it and blurted out, “How is everything? Did the surgery go well?”
Brett chuckled. “Well…the baby turned. Now we’re waiting for Stacy’s labor to begin.”
I couldn’t believe it.
But I’m sure Stacy could.
Hebrews tells us that, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s a good thing to trust God’s will, to acknowledge that what comes our way has been filtered through the hands of a loving Father. But I think perhaps we “mature” Christians give up too easily. That we need to hold fast to that which we pray for, to that which we long for. Maybe we need to be a bit more stubborn.
And like baby Cole.