A time to be born, a time to die

On my daughter’s birthday:  (April 29)
39 years ago today I prepared my bag to head to the hospital for the delivery of our second child, Charlotte Ann. It had been an anxious pregnancy. I remember her birth as clearly as if it were just last week……the doctor, the nurses, the coldness of the room, their quiet voices, Bill in the waiting room ……until she began to have difficulty with the umbilical cord around her neck…and her heart rate began to decline. The doctor said, “Stat, heart rate going.” Then there were quick, efficient actions and sharp commands.

I observed this from a place that seemed to not even be a part of the process. I didn’t realize what was happening. I thought I was dying. I thought to myself, “This is what it is like to die.” I wasn’t alarmed or afraid. I said nothing. I just watched and waited.

Then, as Charlotte Ann emerged, blue, still, and quiet, I realized it wasn’t me that was near death, it was her. I waited for what seemed like ages until I heard her cry. The nurses bundled her up and took her away. It would be nearly 24 hours before Bill and I would hold her. We spent 5 days together in the hospital, both of us traumatized by what was almost her first and last day on earth.

I am grateful for her life and what she has become…..a lovely Christian wife and mother and so much more. I am thankful for Dr. Felix Tankersley and the skilled delivery nurses of Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery 39 years ago.

Happy Birthday, Charlotte Ann. God has been with you from your very conception, was certainly present at your birth, and has held you in His hand for all this time. I pray that you may always know how much you are loved. Mom