Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Son "The Bear"

Those who have viewed my blog have seen that my son has been called to be a missionary. He has been called to take the Messiah to Mali. 23 years ago I knew that God had a special plan for him. I found out I was pregnant when I was 5 1/2 months along. All seemed to be going well until my 7 month visit when the doctor wasn't getting heart tones and I had not yet felt him move. I had to return to my OB doc 2 weeks later. If no heart tones or movement, they were going to do an emergency sonogram.
Praise God the doctor picked up good strong heart tones. I spent the whole nine months never feeling him move. The doctor said it was probably because he implanted in the wrong location in the womb and would probably only be about 5-6 pounds. My husband and I tried to figure out when we had time to get pregnant. He was in the Navy then and the squadron was switching to civilian contractors. The skipper did not want any work to be left for the switch over so he worked the guys 18-20 hours a day. So, David got up, went to work, came home, showered, ate supper and went to bed for about 4-5 hours and repeated. Days off were few and far in between, but somewhere we had time to get pregnant.

When we counted back to the most likely time of conception, at the time the embryo would have implanted we had a wreck. We T-boned a sports car that turned in front of us. My seat belt pulled hard across my abdomen as I tried to sling forward. We figured that is what caused him to implant in the wrong spot. 

Bear then decided to be 4 days late, which for me was good since we were having revival with an awesome Cajun preacher that week. We headed to the hospital on Thanksgiving morning in labor further along than doctor wanted (we lived a hour from the hospital). At the hospital labor progressed well until the last 19 minutes. I had a contraction that would not quit, which cuts off the babies oxygen. Baby re-oxygenates when contraction stops. Pain was all in my back and so bad that I stood up in the stirrups 3 times. David had to become the straps to keep me in the bed. The doctor told us that the baby was face up instead of face down and too far in the birth canal to turn. After 19 minutes of non-stop contraction, Bear's head came out. I remember the doctor sliding across the room (well maybe not that far, but it was back away from me for sure) and commenting that this was a BIG baby probably 10 pounds. WHAT HAPPEN TO 5 POUNDS!

Bear was finally born at 11:53 Thanksgiving morning. But far from thanksgiving at the time. He did not cry, they rushed him to the isolate and he was limp and as blue as blue jeans. While the doctor continued to work with me the nurses worked on Bear. I just knew my baby was dead and it was my fault for requesting pain medication in the  end (epidurals weren't readily used then). He had a heart rate but no respirations. After a few minutes that seemed like hours they rushed him and David to the back room where they aggressively worked on getting him to breathe. David finally after an hour came to tell me that Bear was ok and weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces. 

When they brought Bear to me to finally get to hold him, they carried him like a 3 month old on their hip, he was that big. I had a hard time believing he was mine, but I was thankful that he was okay. They had to take him back to the nursery after letting me hold him for 30 minutes because he still wasn't breathing like he should, but they told me I could have him in my room when I got there. So, I called the nursery to bring me my baby, 7 hours after he was born and I had only seen him 2x's and held him only on 1 of those times. The nurse came to the room without Bear to inform me there were complications and the doctor will be in to talk to me. I was alone at this time because David had gone to get his mom and our daughter. He got back as the doctor came in. We were informed that Bear had a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) on the right and the left lung was 1/2 filled with fluid. We were also informed that his left clavicle had been fractured. All complications of his size in being born naturally. I told David that as soon as he got home to call the prayer chain and get Bear on it, if his lungs didn't clear, he was going to have to have 2 chest tubes. 

Ok now slight side to how he got his name. When he finally was brought to us, my mother in law held him and asked what were we going to call him. We said Benjamin Wesley Yarbrough, which means "Son of my right hand from the west meadow quick to serve the King". Bear was covered in black hair. Mom looked at him and said "What a gentle Ben". Both David & I thought immediately of the bear Gentle Ben. And Bear stuck.

The Good Lord answered our prayers and Bear's lungs were healed the next morning. The doctor was amazed. Six weeks later his shoulder healed. Bear had a few minor problems with eating, he couldn't keep formula down and had to have it thickened to get his nourishment. I wasn't able to breastfeed, because he was never satisfied and once I supplemented he preferred the bottle. 

When he was 3 months old, we were at our church's time of fellowship and dinner. I had laid him on a blanket face up, he still wasn't allowed face down due to his shoulder even though it was probably healed. The pastor's daughter and other girls of my youth department asked if they could hold Bear. I was grateful for someone else to hold a 3 month old the size of a 1 year old. The pastor's daughter had no sooner turned her back on Bear's blanket, after picking him up, that the fluorescent light above the blanket shattered. It was at that moment that I knew that God had something special planned for Bear and the enemy was trying to stop it. 

Bear informed us in the ninth grade that he was giving up sports to go full time in the ministry. The 110% he gave to wrestling and football, he put into learning about Jesus and God's will for his life. He turned to 2 special men in our church who mentored Bear. These men have gone to be with our Lord and are watching from above the fruit of their labor with Bear. Bear's dad and I thought he was going to become a youth minister, he is great with the youth. 

But God had other plans, bigger plans, plans that will take Bear across the ocean to a country in West Africa called Mali. And who would ever think that this 10 pound 22 inch long child would grow up to be 6 foot 5 inches and the brain that absorbs anything you put in front of him. 

I truly experienced Thanksgiving on that November day in 1985 and have been thanking God everyday for the work that He is doing in my son.