I preface this post with a couple of thoughts. It is impossible for me to put into words how much I love my son. He inspires me daily. Let me be clear I do not in any way, shape or form blame him for what happened to me. What follows is purely the result of my ego and a lifetime of bad theology.
My last posting ended with Jenn and me on the road to the hospital to have our son. We were practically giddy with excitement. This was the big day.
We got to the hospital and were put in the pre-surgical ward. Our son was breach and had to be delivered by c-section. We had to wait for a couple of hours because there were some emergencies in front of us. But finally they wheeled her back. I had to wait in the hall until she had the epidural and was prepped.
When they called me into the room, things happened very quickly but I recall them in slow motion. Jenn was draped so that she could not see the incision point. They had me sit in a chair right by her head. I had a greater vantage point, but I could not see the incision either. They started almost the second I took my seat. The first thing that caught my attention was the smell of burning flesh (as they cauterized the wound). I almost hurled because I was not expecting smells. I kind of chuckled to myself and regained my composure.
It took about a minute to free Ethan from the womb. What happened next put me in a state of panic. They silently lifted him into my field of view. I noticed that one leg had no tone and was significantly smaller than the other. He was not breathing and was pale blue. They took him to a nearby table and started CPR. Time stopped. “God let him breath. Please let him breath.” Eternity passed.
And finally he cried. The nurses and doctors examined him. They splayed his butt cheeks and gave each other knowing glances.
My mind was reeling.
They wrapped him (Jenn knew nothing at this point) and brought him for her to see. They congratulated us and said nothing. Ethan and were moved into recovery while Jenn was stitched up.
I robotically called my family. “It’s a boy. Yes, everything was fine. Gotta go.”
They wheeled Jenn back and handed her the baby.
“Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, problem. Blah blah blah blah no anus. Blah blah blah blah blah Nonnative Intensive Care. Blah blah…can’t come until she can sit in a wheel chair…Blah…sir, follow us.
Tubes…IVs…Monitors…What in the hell just happened. “Dear God, I have the faith. Heal him now…Now…NOW!!!
“Sir we need to do a procedure…come back later…call family…go to wife.”
Dial home. “Mom.” I lost it and cried uncontrollably. This was the first of many loses of composure.
The rest of the story is well documented in the rest of this blog. Fast forward…two weeks.
I met with my mentor. I lost it again. He consoled me. It would be OK. This was our last meeting before I went before the district superintendent. My mentor told me he had met with many candidates over the course of his ministry. Never had he worked with a candidate with so clear a calling. He looked forward to great things.
Fast forward…several weeks later.
I got the hospital bill. It was over $100,000. My insurance had not paid anything. Panic.
I got the bill cleared up. Insurance covered it all. I wondered what the Methodist Church’s insurance would have covered. Called my mentor. “Oh, it is a standard 80/20% policy.”
So if I was a pastor. I would be on the hook for $20,000. This is the first of many many many bills. First year, my salary would be capped at $28,000. What would have happened? What will happen? This is the first of many bills. How will I pay for this?
HOW AM I GOING TO SUPPORT MY FAMILY?
More to come…