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In Good Hands

Having my baby in a big, impersonal hospital was the last thing I’d planned on.

A photograph of a large hospital

A friend of mine cautioned me about giving birth at the health center near my home. “They don’t have a neonatal unit,” she said. “If anything goes wrong they’ll have to rush the baby to Oklahoma City while you stay behind.” I knew pregnancy at age 40 could be risky, but I’d done everything I was supposed to: ate healthy, read all the books, went to childbirth classes. My doctor said I was doing fine. And the health center was smaller; I’d get more personalized attention there. So I ignored my friend’s advice.

Meanwhile, my husband, Michael, and I thought about names. We knew we were having a girl; we decided to name her Micah. My husband liked it because the name was so close to his own. I liked it because of a verse in the Book of Micah: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” We’d be blessed to have a daughter who embraced those qualities.
Throughout my term, I kept that verse in mind.

Four weeks before my due date, I began leaking fluid. Fearing the worst, I dialed my doctor immediately. “Call the health center and tell them you’re coming in,” she said. “I’ll meet you there.” But when I phoned the health center, they told me they were completely full.

“Looks like it’s Oklahoma City after all,” Michael said. The whole drive there I worried. I did everything right, I thought. Why is this happening to me? Will my daughter be okay?

Michael dropped me off in front of the hospital and then went to park the car. I walked into the atrium to wait for him. This place was so big, so impersonal. I put my hands on my belly and wondered what would happen next. Just then I noticed the sun coming through the skylight. I looked up and something caught my eye.

There, painted up near the ceiling, were words that soothed all my fears. I knew my daughter would be fine. The words? Micah 6:8, the same verse I’d held tight to throughout my pregnancy.

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