Does sweet Ezra not totally look like a little Scottish boy?! [Because he for sure is one.] I adore newborn pictures so much. But sometimes pictures only tell part of the story. So, I've started with my photography asking families to share a bit about their story to further the depth the pictures bring. I resonate so much with what Sarah shares about her birth plan. It can apply to anyone who is a planner...
It didn't exactly go to plan. My plan, that is.
I had spent hours poring over how I wanted labor to transpire. I had planned out in great detail exactly how I wanted our sweet little Ezra to enter the world. I'm a planner! I had plans, dreams, and hopes and a strong determination for them to come to fruition.
So, when the word induction was first brought into the conversation at Week 40 I was scared. Not for what might take place, but for my plan...my heart's desire was for a completely natural, intervention, and medication-free birth. I knew in my heart that an induction would be the first step to losing control of my entire birth plan. However, at 41 weeks and no dilation, we were advised that going beyond 41 weeks would be risky for both the baby and me.
The ironic thing is even the induction process didn't even go to plan! What should have taken 12 hours turned out to be 30, long, and painful hours throughout which the fetal monitor showed Ezra also struggled. After I could bear the pain and exhaustion no more, I acquiesced to an epidural. To me, an epidural meant I lost...meant I was too weak...it meant failure. I come from an area of Scotland in which the rate of epidural is 12%. However, after it was administered I immediately felt a release. Of pain, yes, but more so a release of anxiety as peace washed over me. As much as I had longed to not need it, I knew it was the right decision at the time.
Fast-forward 15 hours and it was GO-time--time to push! This was it. The moment we had all been waiting for! Ok, so I knew it wasn't going to feel the same as without the epidural; however, after 2 full days of pain and no sleep I didn't care anymore! However, three hours of pushing later and my heart sank as the reality set in: labor was not progressing as expected and Ezra was struggling. I was given a "break" before starting to push again, but during that time, Jason and I separately felt the Holy Spirit prompt us to request a c-section.
As I lay there listening to all the activity going on around me I was so very anxious to meet my sweet little baby boy. However, he was promptly taken to the back of the room for evaluation and held beside my head for a brief moment before being whisked away to NICU for precautionary measures. This broke my new momma heart as I was unable to nurse my baby in his first hour or even have skin-to-skin contact. The final part of my birth plan vanished as well.
After it was all said and done, we were blessed to have received excellent care and to have safely arrived home with a sweet, healthy, beautiful baby. Did it happen the way we expected...hoped...? No! Does that matter...? No!
So as we journey forward into parenthood, the lesson I take with me is a simple one: hold all plans loosely for, "The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9 NASB).
And so it is with life. The ultimate goal I strive for as a Christian is to become more Christ-like and to spend eternity in Heaven. Yes, I have dreams for my life, but they might not be the plans the Lord has for me and I must trust in His plans (Jeremiah 29:11).
My mind has many plans for Ezra's life. I have hopes and dreams for him to attain. I long to protect him from hurt and from the world, but I know that isn't possible. What I can do is pray. Pray for him to grow up to know Jesus. Pray for him to pray over his own future. Pray for him to allow the Lord to direct his steps. Ultimately, the Lord's protection over him and plans for his life are far greater than my own because they began long before he was known.
Ezra, you are loved so dearly and unconditionally by your parents, family and friends, but loved first by your Father in Heaven.