This is a story of a boy named Kale Link. A small little child who was only physically with us for a short, short time, but will forever be in our hearts and minds.
The day he was born was a day full of tender mercies from the Lord. He was born on a Tuesday--July 16th, 2013. The day I was going to meet with my group of midwives about inducing, the Lord blessed me with him coming on his own. You see, I was scared to make a choice regarding his arrival, I had told myself that it wasn't my place to act as God and pick when my baby comes because he would surely die the same day. I didn't want to be the one to pick the day he left this life. But what it really came down to, as I have been reminded many times the past few weeks, is I was making a choice that involved no effort on my part, I was picking the easy path purely because I didn't want to make a hard decision.
Finally, after much prayer and tears, I made the decision to schedule an induction. I poured my heart out to the Lord and He heard my prayers. I took the knowledge I had about our baby's condition--Potter's Syndrome, poor heart condition. And then made the best decision I could. We knew the outcome would be the same, our baby wasn't going to live very long, if born alive even. But I had such a strong desire to meet this little one alive, it was very important to me.
I had started having contractions early early Saturday morning. They woke me up at about 2-3am. But I didn't think anything of it, because although they were consistently 5 minutes apart, I could handle them. They were only slightly uncomfortable but they weren't coming closer together, so I just kinda dozed and tried to ignore them. They lasted for about 3 hours. When i realized that these were probably the real thing, I started fighting it. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my baby, I wasn't ready to let go. I wanted this baby so bad, and it took a lot of faith for us to have another after the difficulties we had with Martin. It took a lot of prayer for me that night to help me come to terms emotionally to feel ready for this. So when the contractions stopped, I was actually a bit disappointed.
The same thing occurred the next night, only I had a few painful ones I had to work to breath through. They only lasted a few hours again. Nothing during the day. Rinse and repeat early Monday morning. I had convinced myself that these couldn't really be contractions, I had indigestion or something else going on. Not contractions. Tuesday morning was a bit of a different story, where they were more painful, I had to stop what I was doing and focus on getting through them. I still didn't think our baby would be born anytime soon. I called my parents though, and my mom left right away for the 12 hour drive up here. We decided to go to the hospital and just check everything. I was fully expecting to be sent home. After all, I was able to manage the contractions, and they weren't consistent at all. While Matt packed things I sat on the couch for 20 minutes and had maybe 2 contractions. Walking to the car I had 3-4. They were totally all over the place, which is why I was sure I wasn't in real labor.
An hour and half later at about 11:45am, we arrived at the hospital, after dropping the kids (and dog) off at Matt's parents. By the time they checked me, which was probably just before noon, I was at a 7 and moving fast.
Kale Link was born at 12:05pm. Fast enough that they weren't able to hook up ANYTHING to me--no monitors, no IV, no pain meds, nothing. My midwife barely made it. She showed up, checked me, confirmed that baby was still breech (after all, with no fluid, it's kinda hard to turn around), and said "whenever you're ready!" Less than a minute later I was holding my baby Kale, who was alive, and even gave me a little tiny cry. He was little, only 3lb 4oz. After all, he was born at 30 weeks gestation. But he was perfect. So perfect looking, it's hard to believe that his insides couldn't be perfect as well.
You may not be able to tell just from reading that, but there are multiple tender mercies from the Lord. You see, this is what I wanted. Exactly. This is what I prayed for. Exactly, to the letter. The Lord needed me to make a decision on my own and be firm in my choice. To not waver. And then He blessed me with the desires of my heart. Kale came on his own, I had a natural labor that was fast and probably didn't even have time to stress his heart out like I feared an induction would. The midwife I wanted to deliver was on call and able to be there for us. My sweet baby was born alive and stayed with us for almost 40 minutes. He got to meet his older sister and brother, even if they were indifferent and a little freaked out by everything. And the Lord surprised us by giving us a boy when we thought we were going to have a girl. But even that is a tender mercy, because the day before I finished making a few baby boy things to go with the baby girl things I had made, just in case. I surely was prompted to do that.
Paved with tender mercies from the Lord.
Kale was showered with love his whole time on earth, and Matt was able to give him a blessing as per our church, giving him his name. Kale Link. He passed into the next life in my arms, for which I was so grateful to be able to be the one holding him, and telling him how much I love him.