A miraculous thing happened on June 3, 2014. A precious new life entered this world! His name is Ezekiel Francis Drennen. My eighth sibling and fifth little brother!
My day started with a 6am alarm clock. I had to make sure I was up right when it went off because I needed to complete a cupcake order and get ready for my mama’s 9am non stress test at the hospital – a routine appointment during the latter part of her pregnancy – all in the time span of 2 hours… yikes! Cutting it close on time! But I went to bed the previous night with a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to do the order at any other time because my grandparents were due at our house the following day at lunchtime and my mom was going to “pop” at any time.
So I got up that morning, started a pot of coffee and got to work on my Sesame Street themed cupcakes for a neighbor. I did this in about 1 ½ hours. I was cutting it close on time. I raced from the horribly disastrous kitchen (from all of my baking supplies everywhere) to my bedroom to get ready to leave and pack up my hospital bag just in case it was needed! I woke up my brother, Isaac, and asked him if he would be kind and clean up my horrible mess because I had no time to do it myself. I felt so bad, though, that I left him half a bag of jelly beans and half a container of cookies as a reward. Yeah, my aunt, who was watching my siblings that day, probably didn’t like me for all the sugar I left with him!
8am rolled around and my parents and I left for the appointment a bit early so we could stop for some breakfast at McDonald’s, which I was more thankful for than usual because I hadn’t had any breakfast before then. I am a breakfast-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of girl. Off to the hospital we went, and got there a little early, too. My parents and I prayed for God’s will that day as we were anxious for the baby to come, but wanted God’s timing for things. I’m sure everyone thought about the likelihood (or even the lack thereof) of my mom having the baby that day, but to be honest, we tried not to talk of it too much.
We sat down in the waiting room until we were called back into the room where my mom would be hooked up to the monitor to watch the baby’s heartbeat for about twenty minutes, then we’d be able to go home. All three of us sat in there and talked with the nurse for a bit whom we had come to know and love…then my mom had a few long, sharp contractions. Looking back, I cannot remember if she made it all twenty minutes of her non-stress test before the nurse decided to tell the doctor on call and ask if she wanted to check my mom’s cervix. So we went straight into the room and waited.
*A little side note: my mom wanted to do a vaginal delivery, however, she had had two previous cesareans; BUT they weren’t back to back. I was breech and a cesarean delivery, then my mom had six successful vaginal deliveries, and Sammy, the eighth baby, was also breech and therefore a cesarean delivery. The hospital she was going to deliver at had one doctor who believed my mom could and even should have a vaginal delivery. But it was only one doctor who supported my mom’s desire. He wasn’t on call that day, but he did say he was going to be at the hospital.
While we waited for the doctor to come in we talked with the nurse (same one as earlier, her name is Shannon) about my mom’s desire for a VBAC and that there was a doctor who wanted her to do that. So the nurse said she would try to get a hold of him and let him know about my mom, should she go into labor that day. Well, sure enough, when my mom was checked her cervix was paper thin and at 4cm. The doctor on call that day wanted to go straight to Labor and Delivery and do a C-section, however, remember how I said we had stopped for breakfast before the appointment? She had eaten a little after 8am, so they had to wait 8 hours before doing a C-section on my mom – at 4pm. So Shannon wheeled my mom, as my daddy and I followed, over to Labor and Delivery where my mom would get hooked up again to a monitor to watch contractions and baby’s heartbeat, as well as get some blood drawn and get an IV – and where we were to wait for 7 hours.
So we waited…
I had told my mom about two months before that I wanted to be there for the birth. She was excited about that and we talked about what to expect and such. I also did some reading on how to encourage and different ways to comfort a woman in labor. The closer it got to the time of the delivery, the more excited I got! So while in the waiting process I did a lot of praying for different things: comfort for my mom, healthy baby, and that she’d be able to have a VBAC.
We waited some more…
And prayed some more…
My dad called/texted his, as he calls it, “prayer circle” of friends, including the pastor of our amazing church, asking if he could come to the hospital and pray with us.
I sent a text to a few of my friends who wanted to be updated on my mom’s progress. May I just take a moment to say I have been blessed with some very caring people in my life! I asked them all for prayer as well.
My dad and I went to the hospital’s restaurant for lunch.
Then we waited and prayed some more…
A bit after 2pm my mom’s contractions really picked up, coming to about three minutes apart and lasting about that long, too. It hadn’t been a full eight hours yet, but the doctor didn’t want to wait that long. At 3pm they started getting things ready to roll her into the operating room to do a cesarean. We hadn’t heard from the one doctor who would do a vaginal delivery for my mom.
Now, most women wouldn’t have handled not getting what they wanted in a pregnancy, especially when it came to the time for labor and – most importantly – the delivery. But my mom isn’t “most women.” She had been praying since the beginning of the pregnancy that the Lord’s will would be done. She made her desire known for a vaginal birth, but she was more concerned about 1) the baby’s health and what’s best for him, and 2) God’s plan for this.
She saw this situation of not hearing from the one doctor who would give her what she wanted as God’s way of saying, “This isn’t My plan for you.”
God’s plan is always better, even when it doesn’t look like you are going to get what you want. God is more concerned about what is best for you. I was trying very hard not to be disappointed with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to be there in the room when my mom gave birth to my brother. But, I was really trying to see it the way my mom was, that this was God’s will. Nothing happens without God’s “go ahead”. This was happening for a purpose.
As it turned out, during one of her contractions, my mom experienced an extreme burning pain that lasted a good minute or two. When she explained to the nurse what she was feeling, the nurse told her it was scar tissue from a previous incision. My mom said that it was very painful and scary and didn’t want to feel that again. Another confirmation that God’s will is best… a cesarean was the way this pregnancy was heading.
While everything was being prepared, the pastor of our church arrived and prayed with us 15 minutes before my mom was rolled away for the cesarean.
Thy will be done, O Lord!
While I could not be in the room while my brother came into the world, I was sitting in the waiting room right outside of it with my pastor.
I sat there.
And then, I hear a cry.
Ezekiel Francis Drennen had taken his first breath.
My baby brother had made his entrance into this world at 3:51pm!
My daddy sent me a picture text just minutes later (I try not to be too much of a “tech” lover, but right then I was very grateful for cell phones and text messaging). He was beautiful! And big!
I showed the picture to my pastor and then laughingly said, “He looks really big, I wonder if he will compete with his older brother for my mom’s biggest baby.” At the time, the title of “Biggest Drennen Baby” was held by my brother, Noah (fifth child), at 10 pounds 11 ½ ounces.
About five minutes later my daddy, nurse, and my new baby brother came through the doors and were heading to the nursery. My daddy said they were going to weigh him – my curiosity as to how big he was was growing.
Well, folks, he weighed in at 11 pounds 7.5 ounces! Can you say, “Big baby!”
My daddy came out to get me after the weighing and we went to get our belongings and go get situated in our new room while my mama went into recovery.
He was a very healthy baby, except for slightly low blood sugar which didn’t last too long, thank the Lord!
My aunt drove my seven other siblings to the hospital at about 6pm where we all waited for the baby to be rolled in to meet us!
It wasn’t until 8pm that night that Ezekiel was finally able to come into the room – the nurses wanted to feed him and watch that blood sugar for a little while. They also bathed him and it just so happened that when all of that was done they were going through change of nurses, so we had to wait a bit longer while the night staff was updated.
Then, at about 8:15pm, we all got to meet our precious little Ezekiel, or Zeke, as we would call him!
Oh, how beautiful he was! And to be honest, he didn’t look like he weighed over 11 pounds. But that’s just my opinion!
Both mama and Zeke were doing beautifully, and were able to go home Thursday at lunchtime.
And here we are, home and all blissfully enjoying the newest little addition to the Drennen clan.
The Lord is truly so good! I am so happy and blessed by my big, loud, crazy family.