Just like Grace, Georgia was born four weeks early, on the exact same gestational day as her big sis, down to the same day of the week and within an hour of her birth time.
And much like her older siblings, all of the details of Georgia's birth were so clearly orchestrated by God and thankfully -- not me! After a series of events, we decided to not travel to an air force base in Italy, and to instead deliver at the private hospital in Zagreb, only five minutes from our home. My parents booked their flights to Croatia for much earlier than we'd originally decided. I quietly felt in my heart that she was going to come early, and as the weeks went on, so did my Mom. I was having strong Braxton Hicks contractions already at 34 weeks, waking me up in the middle of the night. I'd also been nesting like a mad woman... I'd wake up feeling desperate to clean and prepare everything. (Oh how I wish I could rediscover that crazy energy when not pregnant!) Cam couldn't help but laugh at me and order me repeatedly to stop scrubbing everything and go put my feet up.
My parents arrived two days before I hit 36 weeks and unbeknownst to us, what would be Georgia's birth day.
Before I had a chance to say anything on the phone, Cam already knew. He was literally walking into his final when he saw me calling. He got there soon after, hugged and kissed me, reminded me that we had been praying for God's perfect timing and protection for months, so to trust Him, and that we were about to meet our baby girl! The nurses waited while he prayed with me before heading into the OR. My husband is my rock in this life!
The surgery was almost identical to Grace's in Monterey, except that the Croatian doctors joked with me throughout. I'm chuckling again just thinking of it. One of the things we love about living here is this is not a politically correct culture. Humor is freely injected into everything. I think it's awesome and if I'm being honest, a relief! Delivering at the private hospital here in Zagreb was the best and most thorough medical experience I've ever had... I'm writing a separate post about it that I'll share soon:)
Once they were all ready to start in the OR, Cam came in and stayed right by my side. He watched again and was great about not giving me details (THANK YOU MY LOVE) except to say that it looked perfect and they couldn't be doing a better or more clean job.
I kept waiting and asking if he saw her yet? Finally. I heard the doctors oooh and then her cry! Our sweet Georgia was born! Cam brought her to me, her little face to mine while she let out her beautiful cry and I cried tears of joy. There is truly nothing in this world like meeting your child for the first time. The anesthesiologist took a video on my phone and I don't think I'll ever be able to watch it without crying. The moments when our three children were born are the most heavenly I have, second only to marrying my husband.
|Who is that hairy man!? ;)|
Georgia was baptized two weeks later in Croatian and English. What our Pastor said to us is still at the front of my mind. As he lit the baptismal candle, he gave us a charge to remember that we are always parents. To remember that the lit candle needs to be a symbol of us as parents: giving light and warmth to our children in a very dark and fallen world. As the candle burns, it melts. In the same way, we continually die to ourselves to shine for our children. What a beautiful metaphor we are invited into as parents... of Christ dying to give us life.
I don't think I ever understand this so much as right after giving birth. No matter how a birth goes down, a mother's body is broken to give life to her child. And as we see in our own parents, that never ends this side of eternity.