Today marks 8 weeks since our miracle baby Ezekiel was born. He was right at 28 weeks, and we definitely were not expecting him to arrive so early!
We had already been through some big obstacles at the beginning of our pregnancy with Ezekiel, so we thought okay, it’s gonna be smooth sailing from here.
Boy, were we wrong.
On Monday, December 30th, I worked a super busy shift at the hospital. I had felt some cervical pressure — which I’ve felt before and was perfectly fine when my doctor examined me recently, but nothing else that was out of the ordinary or alarming to me that day. So I went about my day as usual, strapped on my Belly Bandit, and hustled my tail off like I normally would.
I got home that night, excited to kick my feet up and relax since I had the next few days off of work. But as soon as I finished eating dinner, I started to feel some weird pressure. It only took minutes until that “pressure” began to come in steady waves. And along with this new pressure, I was experiencing some thick bloody discharge. I immediately knew something wasn’t right.
Chad had me lay down and prop my feet up to see if that would help, but the waves of pressure kept coming stronger and stronger. I was pretty sure I was having contractions at that point. So I called my OBGYN, told him what was going on, and ended up having a contraction WHILE I was on the phone with him. He sent me to the hospital immediately, and called Labor & Delivery to give them a heads up that I was on my way.
It took us 30 minutes to get to our hospital, and the contractions intensified by 100 on the way there. I was squeezing my legs shut with every contraction because all my body wanted to do was PUSH! I knew it couldn’t happen in the car, so all of my energy was directed into NOT pushing the whole way there.
Once we got to the hospital, Chad wheeled me up to Labor & Delivery and they immediately sent me into a triage room. The nurses had barely been able to greet me, when I had more intense contractions and told them I really felt like I needed to push. So they rushed to notify the on call OBGYN and she came in immediately. The doctor checked my cervix and I was already fully dilated!! Keep in mind my first contraction was only a little over an hour prior to this!! The doctor looked at us and told us it was “go time”.
They brought in the ultrasound machine to check Ezekiel’s positioning, and he was head down, so I was instructed to push. I pushed with all my might, and my membranes bulged out so the doctor ruptured them. With the pressure of the amniotic fluid gushing, Ezekiel ended up flipping positions and was lodged in my birth canal. The doctor immediately reached in to try to reposition and pull him out; she was literally elbow deep in my vagina — aaandd I was 100% unmedicated. Ouch!
Ezekiel’s heart rate quickly began to drop at this point, and the doctor didn’t want to take any chances so she immediately lead me and the whole team to the OR for an emergency c-section.
Since Chad and I both worked at the hospital and they knew us, they gave him a gown and allowed him to come into the OR with me. Everything happened so fast!! And the next thing I knew, I was transferred over to the operating table, and put under general anesthesia within seconds.
I don’t even know how much time had passed by the time I woke up from anesthesia, but I found myself in a dark room and I couldn’t stop shivering. I felt so cold, but no amount of blankets could warm me up. And with each violent shiver, my abdomen and incision from the c-section hurt like crazy!! I was still groggy from the anesthesia effects, but as soon as I realized Chad was in the room with me I asked “HOW’S OUR BABY?!”
He told me Ezekiel was fine, and that he went straight to the NICU after he was born and my heart literally leaped. Oh, I was so happy and grateful to God to know that our baby boy had made it through the trauma.
Chad then recounted the details of the c-section to me. He told me that once they cut me open, they had a hard time getting Ezekiel out. They were moving things, and pulling and tugging on our poor baby. During all of this commotion, Chad dropped to his knees in the middle of the OR and prayed and pleaded to God for our baby boy to be okay. When things weren’t looking good, one of the nurses escorted Chad out of the room. Now he can definitely tell you better than I can about what all was doing through his mind in that exact moment, but I’m sure he was outside his mind thinking about his wife and child inside of the operating room and not knowing what was going to happen to either one of us.
He sat outside of the OR, waiting to hear updates, and continued to pray that we would both be okay. Right then, a nurse came out of the OR and asked Chad if she could pray over him. She laid hands on him and prayed. And as soon as she was finished praying, the door to the OR opened and Chad heard Ezekiel take his first breath and cry.
Those are the details of how our son, Ezekiel Ray Ballard, fought his way into this world on December 31st.
Our 28-weeker that has been a fighter since Day 1. Our doctor didn’t think he was going to survive this pregnancy to begin with, but he said NOPE! We were diagnosed with a 2-vessel umbilical cord, which can cause IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) but he said NOPE! He was born extremely premature and had a hard time coming out, but once again Ezekiel said NOPE! And it is all because of God.
God has been protecting this little one since the moment he was conceived, and the amount of strength and FIGHT that this kid has is all from God. We didn’t find out until weeks after Ezekiel was born, but his name means “God will strengthen” and we both know that God gave us this name for a reason.
I know that all children are miracles from God, but I do believe that especially for our little guy. Not because he’s my child and I’m biased, but because every single obstacle Ezekiel has had to overcome is proof that our God is a living God of miracles. There’s so much more to his story, that will reveal more of God’s glory.. but I will have to save that for a later post because it’s just SO much.
I’m so grateful that God has had His mighty hands swarming our little family every step of the way. And although having a baby in the NICU for so long is a tough journey, I know that God is always with us and will never leave us. And I’m thankful that I am able to see the beauty behind all of the traumatic events, and see everything through God’s eyes and not the world’s.
Ezekiel’s early arrival wasn’t in our plans, but God’s plans are greater than anything we could ever imagine. And there has been so many joyous moments in watching Ezekiel grow outside of my womb, and to see the lives of those who have been touched by this tiny but mighty warrior for God’s kingdom has been absolutely amazing.
Chad says that Ezekiel’s unexpected journey is God’s way of giving us front row seats to witness His power and His miracles, and he is 100% right about that. We have already seen so much, and every time we have had to overcome any obstacles — we just simply look at each other and say “That was all God.” 💙
For those who actually took the time to read this whole post, I thank you for following our journey. I genuinely appreciate your support and constant prayers, and I hope that the personal details of our walk with the Lord can be a blessing to you 😘
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. — 1 Peter 1:6-7