6 years ago today, I suddenly woke up at 5:00 a.m. I thought, “Something woke me up.” I got out of bed and went across the hall to the bedroom where 21-month-old Little Andrew was sweetly sleeping. I went back to bed but could NOT go back to sleep. Why had I suddenly woken up? Not able to go back to sleep, I got into the shower at 6:00.
It was then I felt a twinge of pain. I realized I had started my labor!
Because my husband was working in a village 3 hours away, Philip and Liz (my brother and sister-in-law) had come to stay with me so I wouldn’t be alone.
The electricity went out while I was in the shower. After my shower, I went outside to check the breaker and saw two young men come out of the church across the driveway. (They had come to have a devotional time together.) “Could you please be praying for me today? I have started my labor.” They assured me they would be praying.
I called the phone in the closest little town to the village where my husband was working and asked if they could get word to my husband that I was in labor. (The sleepy voice on the other end of the line caused me to doubt whether they would indeed give the message to my husband in time!)
I went into the bedroom where Philip was now reading his Bible. “Phil,” I said, “I have started my labor. The contractions are not very close together. I’m sure it will be a while yet.” He told me that he’d take his shower and take me in to see the doctor. Liz came into the living room and we chatted for a bit, and then I went back to bed to see if I could rest. It was now 7:00.
While I was lying there, I began timing the contractions. Just about at 5 minutes between contractions. Hmmm. I knocked on Philip’s door. “Philip, I think we’d better get going. The contractions are pretty close together now.”Liz and I quickly got our boys’ things together (her Little Joshua was 19 months old then) and woke them up (between now much harder contractions!) and as soon as Philip got out of the shower, we left the house.
We left the boys at a sweet lady’s house at 8:00. Liz was timing my contractions: they were less than 3 minutes apart. We made it to the clinic by 8:20. (Traffic was heavy at that time, with parents taking their children to school!)
Liz helped me into the waiting room. We waited and waited! Dr. Bonilla was in with another patient. Liz patiently helped me through each contraction, her gentle, soothing voice assuring me all would be fine. “WHERE IS HE?!” I nearly screamed! Finally, at 8:30, the doctor led me into his examining room. After checking me, he told the nurse, “She’s fully dilated. Take her immediately to the delivery room!” The nurse helped me to the delivery room and helped me into a hospital gown. The contractions were unbearable.
At 8:45, I was on the delivery table. I was so relieved to see the doctor! As he got into his scrubs, he said, “Don’t push! That baby is coming!” Liz was right there with me, smoothing my hair away from my forehead, saying “You’re doing a great job!” I looked up at her and said, “I am sorry if I said something ugly to you out there!” She said, “Anna, you ARE in labor!”
Three easy pushes later, at exactly 9:00, the sweetest cry was heard as Beautiful Little Deborah Jolene Lopez was born. I looked up at Liz, who had tears in her eyes, and said, “Andrew didn’t make it.” She said, “You did just fine!”
Philip was waiting right outside of the delivery room, and called Andrew, who was still nearly 2 hours away. (The sleepy man who answered the telephone earlier that morning gave Andrew my message at 7:30. That was not enough time to make the three-hour-trip in time to be there for the birth of his daughter.) “No need to rush now,” Phil told Andrew. “Anna has had the baby.”
Andrew finally got to the clinic at 11:00. He said, “I am so sorry I didn’t make it in time.”
It was a sweet sight to see Daddy meet daughter for the first time. From that moment, it has been a wonderful thing to see them together. He loves her, and she adores him! Such a sweet relationship, isn’t it?
Little Debbie is quite unique: She is a little talker; she never meets a stranger; she loves competition, even if it is with the boys; she loves her baby dolls and her stuffed animals, caring for them with such gentleness. She loves horses and dreams of having one of her own someday. She loves her Bible and her Sunday School class (and teacher…her much loved Aunt Liz!). She loves to color, making pictures of animals mostly. She is a good student, taking her work seriously and writing her numbers and letters with such care! She has the endearing habit of making notes for me and leaving them on the ironing board or taped to my door for me to see in the morning. She loves to sing. Her sweet voice singing “Do You Know My Jesus” to the top of her lungs brings a smile to her Mommy’s face.
So many stories I could tell you about this little Debbie-girl. But you would just have to meet her to appreciate just HOW special she is! I do want to share just one story with you, though.
Two months ago, through tears, Debbie called me to my room where she was lying on the bed. “Mommy, I don’t have ANY girls to play with!” (Her cousins who live here are boys; most of the children her age in the church are boys.) She cried her heart out. “Sophie lives too far away to come play with me! You just need to have another baby girl so I can have someone to play with!” I said, “Debbie, let’s pray and ask God to bring a girl playmate for you to play with.”
From that night on, we began to pray together for a girl playmate for Debbie. When she became frustrated at the fact that there are no girls to play with, I would remind her that we were praying for God to bring a girl playmate for her.
Three weeks ago, God brought a family to our church which has two young daughters, Ana and Eva (ages 7 and 9). (They live just across the street from us!) Two days ago, Andrew and I took our children and that family’s children to play at the park. I looked over at Debbie on the swing next to Ana and Eva. She was reading a book to them and they were intently listening to the story. I thought, “God answered a little girl’s prayer.”