I want to tell you about my friend Kathy. Kathy came in to my life at a time when I was more scared than I ever had been. In July of 2014, my wife told me she was pregnant with our first child. I can’t tell you how many thoughts went through my mind in the span of about 10 seconds (what felt like 20 minutes). So much joy, so much fear. For about 8 months I had moments of excitement, anticipation, and tremendous fear. When the moment comes, and I have to be the rock that my wife needs to lean on, what will I do?
A close friend told us about someone who helped her deliver her fourth child. She told us, “you MUST CALL KATHY! After three difficult births our fourth was the greatest experience, and it was all because of Kathy.” So we called Kathy.
About 2 days before our son was born, we finally were able to coordinate our busy schedules and Kathy came over to our house to spend a few hours with us. Most of her time was spent with me. She taught me how to make sure Rachel kept a good breathing pace, relaxation techniques, good birth coaching, and so much more. Mostly, she reminded me that God is good and only he is in control.
Two days later, Rachel and I went to what would be her final doctor’s appointment before the birth of our son (his due date was one week later). Due to Rachel’s blood pressure and other medical issues, the doctor felt it wise to admit Rachel and begin inducing labor the next morning. She also informed us that she would not be on-call that weekend and that another doctor would be delivering our son. WHAT?! I just spent the last nine months attending every doctor’s appointment with Rachel, learning to trust this woman whose hands I would be putting my wife and my son’s life… and she tells me a complete stranger is going to take over?
FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! I didn’t let Rachel know… but I was scared to death! Scared that I had to trust my family’s life in a strangers hands. Scared that I knew that for the first time in eight years I was going to watch my wife go through unbearable pain and there was nothing I could do to make it go away.
Rachel and I checked in to the hospital at 10:00 that Friday night. Saturday morning at 8:00 they began inducing. Once the labor started, I began to remember everything that Kathy taught me. I was brave. I was the rock Rachel needed. When the pain started… we danced in the hospital room… I’d rub her legs… I’d breathe with her… inhale… exhale… we’d dance some more… we’d talk about the things we would do with our son… anything to keep her mind off the pain. I was calm. Because Kathy told me I could be calm. She told me I could be brave. She told me I could be the rock Rachel needed to lean on. When Kathy showed up, on her Saturday, no less, all she had to do was sit back and watch me do the things she taught me to do.
About 1:30 that Friday afternoon, Rachel was ready to deliver. Kathy prayed with us and then Rachel and I took a quick 10 minute nap before they wheeled us into the delivery room.
Most of those nurses knew Kathy, and those that didn’t know her had heard of her. I watched those nurses get behind Kathy, even though she was no longer a Labor and Delivery nurse, she stepped up, took the lead, and the nurses followed behind. Not because they needed to… because they wanted to. They weren’t threatened by Kathy, they weren’t intimidated by Kathy… they respected Kathy.
Kathy taught me so many things when it comes to bringing a precious life into the world. She reminded me that I could be calm, brave, courageous, and strong, because my source is Christ. But, the most important thing she reminded me was that the only person in control in the delivery room is Christ. She reminded me that I can trust Christ, no matter the outcome, no matter the circumstances or the results… because He is good, trustworthy, faithful, and completely in control.
Kathy went to be with Jesus on September 3, 2016. She will always be a part of my son’s story. When I think of Kathy, I think of someone who loved Jesus, and she demonstrated it in the way she served others. She loved to watch life come into the world and she loved being a part of the miracle. I look forward to seeing Kathy again.