Gina’s mom and Norm came that morning to be with us. We spent some time that morning just cuddling Max and letting close people to us know. I didn’t get calls from those I called the night before until 7 in the morning, which was also odd, since they couldn’t believe they hadn’t noticed the late night calls at all. It proved to be the Lord’s will though, that we had Max with us and only connected with Bishop to come. Already prayers were coming our way.
I called my Mom and she was very very sad. We said goodbye kind of abruptly and I realized I hadn’t asked to talk to Dad or anything. I kind of figured he was at work. I got a call from him not too much later and he said he was already in Spokane and would come see us if we wanted. Of course we did. Another tender mercy, Dad had come to Spokane to get his custom work boots fitted by prescription from his doctor. It just so happened that his appointment had ended just as we were calling others to tell them the news. We were able to hug him and tell him everything in person. It was just a sign to us that Heavenly Father was going to be very involved in helping us through this experience and was already orchestrating little miracles so that we will never doubt his comfort and hand in it all.
Another mercy, or “divine signature” as I like to call it thanks to beginning a book by G. Lund just a week before our sad news, is beginning that book itself. It is immensely helpful. I got through the first 3-5 chapters before that fateful Thursday, and had made various notes about “divine signatures” in my life, or experiences that I’ve had that were so well orchestrated that only God could have them happen and I recognized it that way. Remembering the ways that the Lord has helped me, helps me continuously know that he is real and loving. My faith was growing reading this book, yet I didn’t have much to write after reading the chapter about divine signatures in times of extremity. How quickly that was to change.
We are both so, so grateful for the words of prophets and inspired people who have been able to grow in faith and testimony through the most challenging times of life. Sadness comes to us in waves, but in between those moments we are VERY comforted and hugged by the prayers and spiritual understanding we receive moment by moment. We can literally feel the love of others in the air around us each moment of every day right now.
So, Friday was a day just us MV and Norm. We talked, ate, and went to spend some time at Bowl and Pitcher in Riverside state park. We wanted to get out in nature kind of away from others and it was the perfect place to go spend an afternoon that could have been just full of dread and sorrow. Max was super stoked being outside and able to throw rocks in the river.
Getting home food was brought to us by a group of friends, (3 couples) and another couple came over just to visit and see how we were doing. Other people stopped by throughout the day as well, bringing flowers, cards and other things. It was nice to see that we are loved and thought about.
We felt very loved, though at the end of the day we knew it was time to just be sad together and get ready for the unknown day ahead of us on the morrow. It seemed unreal that we would start labor in the morning without the hope of a beautiful child at the end of it. Grieving, we mercifully fell asleep quickly and didn’t wake till morning.
July 20th. Saturday.
We woke up pretty early since our induction appointment was to be at 8 am. Max was up and playing with his Gma and Gpa Norm already, and our hearts were heavy as we packed the car and headed out.
Paperwork and things took forever and Gina didn’t take a Misoprostol until 10 am. We were very blessed though to have the perfect midwife and nurse there with us. They were perfectly appropriate at all times and truly helped us through everything.
The stress of the day and all was getting to me quite a bit, and my stomach became a tense nauseous knot of pain. Nothing I seemed to do helped. After an hour or so my legs would ache when we would walk and I would even feel feverish. I was silently praying for relief to be able to devote my whole attention to Gina who was about to go through pain and anguish many times greater than I. I tried moving around quickly and drinking water to divert my attention from it all, but that only led to me vomiting more than I ever have before, or at least it seemed that way. I felt better and thought that my trouble was over, but then the pain, discomfort, and sickness returned worse than before. Now, I knew this was rough, but nothing compared to what Gina was currently and would be facing at an ever increasing level soon. Nevertheless, she took some time, while having mild contractions, to rub my back and help me too.
It was a sweet moment I will always look fondly on and it truly is a symbol of how James will make us stronger as husband and wife. Even if we are in intense pain, trial, anguish, or uncertainty, we can still look outside ourselves and rest a loving and caring hand upon the equally burdened back of our amazing spouse. Only a heart full of Christ-like love could do such a thing, and be granted the power to do it with so much grace.
Grace is the word to describe what attended us as we prepared to birth James. MV came and brought some more things for us and offered the suggestion that I breathe through a straw to calm my insides down. It was exactly what I needed coupled with prayer to have my full strength and clarity of mind return just as contractions became more intense for Gina. Now I could have just started to feel a little better by coincidence, though the stress or the proximate cause of my symptoms was actually increasing, the miracle was in the timing, because right when Gina began to need my full mental and physical attention, I was able to give it.