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  • Writer's pictureJana

Rivers of Hope

Nathan and I have been married for almost 17 years. We have one daughter - Nuriah who is almost 10. It took us 4 years to have her. We had been trying for a second for 9-1/2 years. We have an incredible testimony about how God promised us three children. You can read about it here...

I’m going to jump back a little to give a bit of a back story…In January of 2020, I guess you would say I became a little impatient…At almost 39 years old, I had started to give up hope... my faith is deep, but I had a moment of weakness. I tried a medication (clomid) to force ovulation. It worked! I became pregnant. Sadly, 5 short days after finding out, in the middle of the night, I started cramping and bleeding. As I laid in bed, with fear at my side, Holy Spirit wrapped himself around me and sang “Waymaker” over me the rest of the night. While I prayed and believed for the little life inside me to live, it ended up being ectopic and the pregnancy ended.

While I do not believe God caused the miscarriage, what lesson I learned for myself is to not grow impatient or force things to happen...HE IS THE WAYMAKER, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light In the Darkness! And so, I gave up, let it go, rested in Him.

Fast forward about 8 months. I received a text message from a co-worker/friend apologizing…Another co-worker was asking about me - how many kids I have, etc. My friend said I had a 10-year-old and had been trying for another, but I’m getting close to 40 and you know how difficult it is to get pregnant…She apologized for speaking that over me. My response was complete forgiveness…besides, I told her she wasn’t talking about me, she was talking about her own lack of faith. Speak life, not death. Speak faith, not doubt…we are clinging to our promise.

That morning, as I was getting ready for the day, Holy Spirit whispered, “Go get a pregnancy test.”

Sigh…I have taken hundreds of pregnancy tests over the years. I was tired of wasting my money on them and being disappointed each time it was negative. But He repeated, “Go get a test.” So I headed to the drugstore and had to make the decision - have big faith and get a single test or get a pack of three and save a little money in the long run…cause you know…what are the chances?

So I met myself in the middle and grabbed the box of 2, went home and shoved the box in the same place I always hide my tests.

The next morning, I woke up from a dream that I was in Africa and went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and saw myself dressed in this beautiful African garb that exposed my beautifully huge pregnant belly. I immediately woke up and asked God what that was. He said, “Go take that pregnancy test.”

I made my way to the bathroom and took the test. It IMMEDIATELY showed 2 pink lines! I was in shock and awe! I ran into our bedroom and showed Nate. We laughed and cried in absolute wonder and amazement (and a little disbelief).

So there we were, enjoying my growing belly and feeling the baby kick…I had the most amazing pregnancy - no morning sickness, just some pelvic pain that I had to work through. As soon as the third trimester hit, I felt great! But then…sometime between 28-29 weeks my water started leaking. I didn’t even realize it at first…I just thought I had lost all bladder control.

It wasn’t until I was 30 weeks that I realized it certainly was not just pee…I indeed had sprung a leak. I went to the hospital and they started a series of tests that determined it definitely was amniotic fluid that I was leaking. I was admitted to the hospital on bed rest and was started on steroids (to help the baby’s lungs develop) and magnesium sulfate (a neuroprotector). We were going to try to keep her in there until 34 weeks, then the plan would be to induce labor.

After 4 days, the doctor ordered a blood thinner to prevent blood clots since I was not up moving around much. But, if I were to take it and then either need an epidural or have a c-section, I would need to be off this medication for 12 hours, otherwise, I would need to be put under general anesthesia. For the next several hours, I felt in my spirit that I was not suppose to take this medication. I had also started spotting, but they brushed it off as possible placenta detachment or the baby kicked something. But in my spirit, I knew something was up. So later that evening before they planned to inject me with the first dose of the medication, I told the nurse that I really felt that I did not want to start the medication and said I would start it the next night.

I went to bed feeling completely at peace.

But then…1am rolled around and I started experiencing some cramping. Contractions usually come in waves, but this almost seemed continuous. I also didn’t feel like I was experiencing any tightening of the uterus. I kept going back and forth wondering if I was in labor, but then talking myself out if it - I tend to have an overactive imagination…I mentioned to my nurse, who came in around 2am that I had been cramping. She said, “Ok!” And walked out the door as if nothing to worry about.

Around 5am, the baby started to kick vigorously. She was feet first and was kicking my bladder and who knows what else down there. I got up to go to the bathroom and suddenly felt something come out of my cervix and go back in. I was like, “Jana, that is just your imagination! That did NOT just happen.” I went back to bed, but 30 minutes later got up again to use the restroom and sure enough, it happened again. This time whatever came out of the cervix stayed out and was hanging out in my vagina!!!! I used the restroom and prayed that this baby would not fall out into the toilet. I went back to my bed and called for the nurse. I told her it felt like there was a hand or a foot sticking out of my cervix. She checked me out, but didn’t see anything, then decided to go get the midwife. Within a few minutes, a team of 4 women were in my room ready to check me out. I told the midwife that I had been cramping since 1am. She was not very happy that she had not been informed. She proceeded to insert a scope to check things out and sure enough…she saw either a hand or foot sticking out of the cervix! They immediately inverted my bed so my feet were elevated in order to prevent the umbilical cord from slipping out and cutting off oxygen supply to the baby. They then informed me that I would be having a c-section. I asked if they were sure it was necessary…they assured me there was no way to safely deliver naturally at this point. They couldn’t even tell how dilated I was. I called Nathan and told him he needed to come immediately. They started to prep me for surgery. I laid there and suddenly it hit me…there is a foot hanging out in my vagina! I just started laughing. Everyone looked at me with disbelief and kept commenting how well I was doing. I had absolute peace. No pain…I was just in amazement that my little girl was making her own way into this world!

They wheeled me down to the OR and by the time we were there, her foot, along with her wiggling toes, was literally sicking out of my va-jay-jay. I enthusiastically yelled, “Someone, get a picture!” The student midwife grabbed my phone and snapped the most incredible photo! It won’t be showing up on social media, but if you want to see it, I will gladly show you! It’s National Geographic worthy!

When my doctor arrived, they started talking about general anesthesia, I asked, “I didn’t take that blood thinner, can’t we just do a spinal?” My doctor got in my face and said, “You have one chance.” (Sometimes it takes multiple tries to hit the right spot and there was not enough time to try more than once.)

Just then, the senior anesthesiologist walked into the room and said he would do it. He got it on the first try and I was able to be awake thorough the whole thing. Midway through, I held up my fist to the anesthesiologist and said, “Fist bump for a great spinal. THANK YOU!”

My surgeon said this is the one time patient defiance (refusing the blood thinner) paid off…

A few minutes later, while watching the procedure, the anesthesiologist said, “Wow! I’m glad that was a c-section.” I immediately started picturing a ginormous head or some deformity. I questioned if everything was ok and he patted me on the head and assured me everything was fine.

Later I had the chance to ask the attending nurse to tell me everything about the procedure. She said both feet were out of the cervix and that the baby had her arms up around her head and had wedged herself in the top of my uterus. Due to the lack of amniotic fluid and the immaturity of the uterus she was literally stuck and the doctor had to work pretty hard to get her out. There would have been no way for me to have delivered her naturally. I asked if they knew how dilated I was, she said, “Oh, about two feet.” Ha!

The baby was immediately taken and was being worked on to be stabilized. Nathan came in shortly after and sat with me while they stitched me up. We only got a brief glimpse of our baby as they wheeled her by to head to the NICU.

A couple hours after my surgery, my midwife came trotting into my room and handed me a slip of paper with her email address on it. She asked if I would please send her the picture of the baby’s foot. I was happy to oblige.

The next day, one of the other midwives made her rounds and said to me, “I hear you had an interesting delivery!”

I said, “Yep! Do you want to see the picture?”

She said, “Oh, I’ve already seen it! The other midwife sent it to all of us…Hopelyn is a legend around here.” I just laughed. How awesome! For the next few days, every nurse, aid and staff member who I came in contact with, once they discovered who I was would say, “Was that you? Can I see the picture?” Absolutely…

We named our baby girl Hopelyn Song. Hopelyn means “rivers of hope” and I believe her birth prophetically speaks of who she is and will become. She will be the very hands and feet of Jesus. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” - Isaiah 52:7

She will spread HOPE wherever she goes. She will make her own way in this world. She is a force that will not be stopped. There will be nothing that will be able to hold her back - her faith will literally part waters. She is and will be a legend!

The first song I sang over her the night of her birth was “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. I could barely make it through these words - so fitting for this tiny little force!

You unravel me with a melody

You surround me with a song

Of deliverance from my enemies

'Til all my fears are gone

From my mother's womb

You have chosen me

Love has called my name

I've been born again into Your family

Your blood flows through my veins

I'm no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

I'm no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

You split the sea

So I could walk right through it

My fears are drowned in perfect love

You rescued me

And I will stand and sing

I am a child of God

I'm no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

I'm no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

PS...on the evening of her birth, there was a down pour across Lancaster County, followed by a double rainbow...our neighbor snapped a pic of the rainbows over our family farm. A God-wink for our rainbow baby!

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