My little man, Hugo James is turning one tomorrow! ONE!!! I cannot believe it. I know people say cherish every moment because it goes so fast…but it really truly does go so fast. I cannot believe I have a one year old! Sitting here pondering over his past year, I am reminded that one year ago today (Thursday, not date) I was in labor and completely unaware of the mind-blowing circumstances that were about to take place over the next two hours. Nothing could have prepared us for what we experienced. If you had told me that we would deliver our own son, in the bath, in our own home, alone, with our own two hands I would not have believed you! But God in all of his awesomeness always seems to go above and beyond our mere human expectations, even the high ones! Now, I was expecting (in faith) a positive labor…but this just took it to a WHOLE. OTHER. LEVEL.
I don’t actually want to dwell too much on the story of Hugo’s birth and the supernatural labor that I experienced, simply because I want to share that story in full detail in another post. What I do want to talk about today is God’s goodness. And not just the fact that God is good in nature and character (which he is) but that God is GOOD. Like…God is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! I want to talk about God’s goodness that supersedes our wildest dreams. We serve a God who wants the very best for us. He doesn’t just want us to ‘get by’ in life, he doesn’t even want us to live a ‘good’ life. He wants us to be prosperous and successful in every single area of our life. Even the unexpected, as we found out.
Hugo was due on May 10 and the days leading up to this date I was having quite serious Braxton hicks, but really thought nothing of it. On the Wednesday evening I noticed them a bit more, but having nothing to go by I just assumed this was normal and carried on as usual. I had an appointment with my midwife the next morning, so I thought I’d just wait to see what she said, thinking it would be something along the lines of “Oh yes, you’ll probably have the baby in the next day or so.” I look back now and laugh at how wrong I was! In fact, what the following morning had to unveil would completely blow my mind forever!
After spending the night on the pull out lounge (I didn’t want to disturb my husband if I started going into labour and having contractions, I wanted him to get a good night sleep if he had to go to work the next day, or take me to the hospital!) I got up out of bed and started to get ready to go to my appointment. But my body had other ideas. Just as my husband, Gavin, was about to walk out the door to work, I asked him if he might take the morning off because I didn’t feel like driving to the hospital (ha ha ha, yes, I can laugh at that thought now!). I can see now that from the moment he shut the door and walked back inside I went into labor – although at the time I STILL didn’t realise it. Hey, I’d never had a baby before and I really wasn’t in any pain – intense, take your breath away, pressure every few minutes yes, but my pre-labor-experienced mind (and body) kept thinking that it was hours, if not days away. Especially as this was my first baby, everyone told me how looooooong and painful the first one is.
To cut a long story short (I’m sorry, I really want to give you the details in another post, it’s such a good story!), my waters broke and my midwife told me to get to the hospital straight away. Well, we tried! We really did try to get there as fast as we could. The few steps I did manage to take in between each contraction that were now so close together got me nearer and nearer to the car. Then finally in the car, albeit straddled over the backseat facing the rear window. We took off and got about 30 seconds up our street only to discover that I was crowning. As Gav slammed the brakes on and turned back around, my cousin/birth partner was on one phone to the ambulance and one to the midwife. We eventually got back inside and I jumped back in the bath (and when I say jump, you know I mean crawled like a groaning whale) and awaited the arrival of the ambulance. Or so I thought.
But then it happened. My body started pushing. My beautiful midwife was on speakerphone saying “Don’t push Nat, DON’T PUSH! Only little tiny pushes if you have to” but this wasn’t up to me, my body literally took over and was doing it’s own thing. I know this sounds crazy, but it wasn’t until the head was out that I actual realised that I was in labor. And not only was I in labour, I was having a baby. NOW. At home, in the bath, alone with just my husband and cousin!
So out popped the little head and my amazing cousin (mother of four, thank goodness for her wisdom and experience in this situation!) told me that the baby would come out next push. I couldn’t quite comprehend that, even though by now my mind was focused on the reality of what was happening and no longer in ‘the zone’ of crazy contractions. Two minutes ago I thought that I ‘might’ have a baby by tonight. I had no idea that I was actually at the end of my labor and about to pop one out then and there. As the midwife instructed Gav on how to check for the the umbilical cord around the neck (all clear!) my body started up again for the grand finale…and with one almighty push it was out! This little purple, squishy, wrinkly, squirmy, swollen, sticky ball of flesh. A baby! MY baby! OUR baby that WE had just delivered ourselves!
I remember sitting there in utter shock. I’m sure you know the adrenaline rush of holding your baby in your arms for the very first time. I was experiencing all of that, but at the same time trying to comprehend what had just happened. I turned to Gav and said “We just delivered our own baby!” If you had told me two hours ago that that was going to happen, I never would have believed you. Gav proudly announced that we had a baby boy and within the next five minutes the ambulance arrived to take over.
Once the lingering labor hormones wore off the reality set in. I had a picture in my mind of how the labor would be…let’s just say no matter what happened, it was going to be in the hospital! Nothing could have prepared us for what eventuated. And that’s probably a good thing, because had we known how these events would unravel we would have approached it all completely differently.
Sometimes God’s best gifts are the biggest surprises. Unfathomable. Even in our wildest dreams. He is a God of extravagance! Not just goodness, but complete, utter, over the top, extravagance. As I would repeat the story to family and friends over the following days I felt like I was telling someone else’s story, or even a dramatic scene from a movie. Not real life. And certainly not our life! You never think these kind of things will happen to you, but then when you are least expecting it, it happens. Above and beyond all you can imagine! Above and beyond all the goodness you were hoping for, praying for, believing for and declaring. ABOVE AND BEYOND!
Needless to say, it took me weeks, if not months to fully grasp in my mind what we had experienced. Then the revelation of God’s grace, glory, protection and power flowed and flowed in my heart and spirit. Once my mind was able to fathom the dramatic yet peaceful arrival of Hugo, I started to feel the honor and privilege that God had let us experience. But not just ‘let’ or ‘allowed’…he had planned this! Nothing is an accident with God. This was all part of his plan and this was in his purpose the whole time. Hugo was always destined to be born in this way. It wasn’t an ‘accident’ that we didn’t make it to the hospital on time, although that’s certainly what we thought. God, in all his goodness and extravagance had always intended for it to turn out this way.
And as I sit here and type these final words I can see my clock ticking over to the very minute he was born, this day, one year ago, to this minute, God’s goodness and extravagance touched my life in a way I could never imagine. What a God we serve! What a God we have the privilege of being called friends with. What a loving Father. What a dreamer, a visionary, what exciting purposes and plans and futures he has for us! Nothing is ‘ordinary’ when we know and serve the real God in all of his majesty, excellence, glory and power. He is BIG and he calls us to big things. He has big things prepared for us. Let’s not settle for the ordinary or for normal. Let’s not even settle for good. For when we lift our expectations, when we go from good to great, he sees our obedience and faith and take us from great to extravagant! This life with him is so unbelievably exciting!!!
Ephesians 3:20, 21 (AMP) –
“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).”
Now that is the God who I serve!