We are in Kijabe, Kenya at the moment, awaiting the arrival of our second born. I’m 39.5 weeks pregnant, so really- any day now. We are thankful for all of the prenatal care we received in Burundi by our excellent OB, Rachel, but due to limited medical resources available there in the case of an emergency, the team recommended, and we agreed, to go to Kenya for the birth. Not to mention, the same OB who delivered our first born, Liam, at Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago - one of the most prestigious women’s hospitals in the world - is now practicing at Kijabe Medical Center in Kenya. And if all goes as planned, Dr Catherine Chen will hopefully be the one to deliver our second born as well. I know many women have had the privilege of having the same doctor deliver their children, but how many can say that they’ve had this privilege on two different continents?! It’s a pretty miraculous story that we wanted to share with you about God’s calling and faithfulness to each of us.
When I was pregnant with Liam, I was followed by an awesome group of Midwives through Northwestern. Liam must have known how brutally cold the Chicago winter was, and he refused to come out, so I was finally induced at 42 weeks on December 13, 2013. Towards the end of my 12-hour labor, there were some complications. So, right around change-of-shift, my midwives felt the need to recruit the on-call OB to perform a forceps delivery. Dr Chen instilled so much confidence in us when she walked into a somewhat crazy situation (for us), looked us in the eye, and told us exactly what we needed to do. By God’s grace, Liam was brought safely into this world with no further complications. A gift.
|December 2013: Liam at one week old|
My mom had flown in from Kenya for the birth and she came in to the room while Dr Chen was finishing up. Somehow the conversation unfolded about my parents living and working in Kenya. It turned out that the Chens had been praying about an opportunity to move to Kenya with AIM where Dr Chen could work at Kijabe Medical Center (KMC), but they had been questioning whether it would be the best move for their kids- especially in regards to their schooling. Caleb and I were able to reassure her of our wonderful experiences at Rift Valley Academy, the school where her children would attend if they moved. And Caleb was able to give some encouraging insight as the child of parents who lived and worked at KMC for 16 years. You can read Dr Chen’s side of the story about that memorable night here: Kenya: Exactly 4 months from now
A year later, as Caleb and I were pursuing our own calling of moving to Burundi and trying to make some family planning decisions (When would we want to have another child? Where would that child be born if we moved now? Etc…) I decided to see if the Chen’s plans to move to Kenya had progressed. Somehow, the thought of Dr Chen being in Africa, even if it didn’t logistically work out for her to deliver our next child, gave me peace. If God could bring this highly qualified OB from one of the top hospitals in Chicago to work in Kijabe, then surely He could provide all of the expertise and resources we needed for a safe delivery, anywhere in the world. Honestly, this fear of having a child overseas (after the complications with Liam’s delivery) was my biggest hurdle in moving forward with our plans. So, I scheduled a check-up appointment with Dr Chen who was still working at Northwestern at that time. What a gift it was to see her again and to hear that they were, indeed, moving to Kenya just a few months later!
I can’t help but feel that God used this divine meeting between two of his children, to grant each of us His peace moving forward in our individual callings and to reassure us of His faithfulness despite all the unknowns. This story will always remind me how God truly cares about our hearts and our fears. I know that it’s no guarantee that this baby, due any day now, will have no complications- but I can confidently say that we will walk this path in peace, knowing that our Father cares for us- deeply.