THE SAMUEL SERIES 1: THE SONG
After my water broke, getting to labor and delivery, and them confirming it was my water bag, they sent me home.
I was halfway through my third pregnancy, only 21 weeks. We had only just had the extensive ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby (which we opted to wait and see), a few weeks before, and everything at that time was fine. But here I was, in a place no mom wants to find herself. The Doctors said that 50% of pPROM (Preterm premature rupture of membranes) deliver in 24-48 hrs and 90% deliver within 7 days. With that stat coupled with the viability age of 23 weeks is where this journey of fear began. Our baby, at the time my water broke (or any time 7 days from then) would likely not have survived if born, according to those statistics. I distinctly remember the attending Doctor sitting down at the foot of my bed with a sincere and sober disposition. She didn’t take any extra time to beat around the bush, to lighten the delivery of the weighty content she was there to give. It was simple. Our baby was in trouble. And it seemed like she was more concerned and adamant about me being in trouble. He needed that water to grow his body and especially his lungs, and now that the bag was broken the chance of infection and a slew of other medical jargon risked my life as well. She looked at us, and said something along the lines of “the only way to keep you 100% safe from the complications and potential death, is termination.” And although the flesh is weak, our spirits were clear about our stand, about the fight we would need to endure to give this child a chance.
So, they observed my labor overnight, and the next day they sent me home. Still leaking. My water bag still ruptured. And the reality of the future still staring at us, asking us how we would move forward. I do not remember the drive home, but I do remember the bombardment of real life. It was loud and chaotic and there was laughter in the next room from our two older kids, oblivious to gravity. The TV would blare nonsense, and I remember how it angered me to flip the channels and see so many things that didn’t matter in life: make-up ads, reality tv drama, the weather. It was like I was in a zone.
Every time I stood up, more water. Every time I shifted, more water. The leaking was like a constant reminder that the baby was suffering. The leaking was a reminder that our baby was not swimming or floating, but dry and scrunched, and in my mind’s eye: parched. It made me not want to move. I was told I was to be on light bedrest, but no way. I went full on. And then the army of love and support and rescue showed up. My family, my husband, my parents and sister showed up every day, every night to do it all. The cooking, the cleaning, the caretaking, the laundry, the toilets, the hugging, and the comforting. I could not have done it without them. It was God’s grace on my broken heart.
To be home, while knowing the statistics we knew, to be asked to move forward with our lives as normal until viability at 23 weeks when we would be finally admitted into the hospital, was almost unbearable. Our two other children trotting on with their little lives as if nothing was changed. I had conversations with people about other things, normal life things, like what they had for dinner or what they saw on the news, and it was like I was holding my breath through it all. I was hearing and seeing but I felt numb and alone in my body, alone with our baby potentially dying within me. Food was bland, talk was muffled, my body ached, and the blinders I tried to put on were falling off all at the same time.
And then, the song.
I had called my mom one early morning, before she got there to help me, and I was in a panic. I was desperate for ANYTHING to take this feeling, these feelings I was battling, away. The beginning of our conversation is a blur, because although it was meant to comfort, it did not comfort, nothing and no one could comfort. But at the end of the conversation, she said this: “listen to this song. I keep playing it over and over and you need it.”
I DO remember that part of the conversation, because it was a lifeline. I furiously hung up the phone, looked up the song: “PRINCE OF PEACE,” BY HILLSONG UNITED.
I was lying on my left side, facing the window in my bedroom, under the covers, curled up in agony in fear of the future. Then, I pressed play. The lyrics rolled across the screen as they were sung to my heart. I pulled the covers over my body, my face and the phone, as if to drown out the outside, the normal life I hadn’t felt a part of since I came home. The words washed me. The build of the song broke me and cleansed me and rescued me. But, really it wasn’t the song itself, it was Jesus. It was who the song was about. This was one of the many moments of breakthrough. This is where I met Jesus, met the Prince of Peace, met my rescuer.
Every time the chaos crept in, this song and many songs thereafter, ministered to my spirit. He made a weak heart stronger, He brought clarity where chaos was in control, He held me close, whispered His goodness, even still as I didn’t know. I still just didn’t know what the outcome would be. But I wasn’t willing to wait to find out the outcome. I chose the Prince of Peace in the midst of it all, when the outcome was assumed or foreseen to be dire.
He is the only one. He is the only one who can meet you where you are. He is it. He is the answer, the Prince of Peace in your day to day and through the long dark night.
Please listen and read the lyrics. Let it wash over you