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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Birth Story

On February 3rd before falling to sleep, I prayed that God would allow Emily to arrive without being induced, and that I'd be able to give birth as naturally as possible, if possible. I declared my prayer in faith, knowing that He could do all things, and would do this too. I just didn't expect it to be answered before the night was up!

I woke at 3am to a damp snoogle pillow. Oh man, I didn't make it to the bathroom in time. That was a first. I heard of pregnant moms having bladder trouble, but this was my first encounter. I used the restroom and went back to bed, throwing my snoogle on the floor and trying to snuggle with a flattened pillow. My tummy kept tightening, as though someone were hugging my waist, but the feeling was so faint that I assumed I was overthinking things. They wouldn't let up, so I woke my husband and told him I might be having contractions and that my water might've broken. I walked downstairs, drank a glass of water, and began timing them.

8 minutes.
5 minutes.
7 minutes.
9 minutes.
4 minutes. 
7 minutes.
5 minutes.
4 minutes. 

If I wasn't in labor, my stopwatch thought differently. We called the hospital, telling them that I might be in labor. Might. I find that hilarious now. It's so hard to know what to expect when you're a first time mom. I was convinced that this wasn't the real thing. They told us to come in. I swallowed down some cheerios, orange sherbet, and two glasses of water before we left, knowing they wouldn't allow me to have anything but ice chips. 

I didn't have a birth plan, and was a little worried. We'll go with the flow. Wes knows what I want and if I can't tell them, he will. We made it to the maternity ward where they placed those crazy straps around my stretch-marked tummy. After monitoring, they let us know that this was indeed the day, so with that, we called our parents. 

They asked us what our plans were. 

"Natural, if possible," I quickly answered. Fast forward to 3pm. I was 6 centimeters dilated and certain that I would need an epidural. I wasn't sure how much worse it could get. Wes and I had begun the short quick breaths through those contractions. While I thought I'd need the epidural, I still didn't want it, so I asked for my mom. She had three of us naturally. She will know what to say. 

"I don't think I can do this mom. You're stronger than me." She listened, reminding me that it was okay if I got an epidural, but also reminding me that I could do it naturally too. The nurse came in and asked if I wanted to watch the video on epidurals. I said yes and after watching it, I was certain of what I wanted to do. Mom left the room and I whispered a prayer. You've got to help me through this Lord. There is absolutely no way I can do this without you. I looked up at Wes and told him I didn't want an epidural with complete certainty. 

A few minutes later, a contraction hit, and a verse of scripture that I had learned a very long time ago flooded my mind, bringing me to tears, and speaking truth into the situation. I wish I could remember what it was. I'd love nothing more than to share it with you. I'd love nothing more than to write it in her baby book. However, I don't remember what it was. Hopefully I will remember one of these days. I'm sure I'll know when I see it.

God answered another prayer. He was going to be there and help me through contractions one verse at a time. Each time a contraction hit, I'd breath with Wesley, and when the contraction was almost too hard to handle, I'd quote a verse. It was almost like a game. Let's see how many verses you've memorized over the years. 

Around 8pm, there was little rest between contractions. My hands were squeezed tight and it was all I could do to focus on my husband, who was entirely committed to helping me through this process. I prayed silently for hours. This prayer was certainly nothing fancy, most of my prayers aren't. In fact, most of the prayer consisted of me simply repeating "Oh God, help me" about a thousand times. 

Finally, I couldn't wait any longer, and I told the nurse. She determined that I was ready to push. All of the waiting with contractions had finally come to a halt. I could actually do something beneficial! I'm not sure how it is with an epidural, but the delivery part was the best and most painless part of the whole day. After it was over, I told Wes how easy it was and that I was glad it only lasted a half hour to which he responded, "That was an hour and a half!" 

I saw her, all 8 pounds and 11 ounces of her, head full of hair, and a cry that sounded like a lamb. No, not kidding. No, not just some weird mother/baby bond. Nurses, family, and friends made the comment before I ever said a word about it. 

As the doctor finished up, I watched the nurses clean her and watched Wesley. I've never seen someone so happy before. They finally gave her to him and he brought her over to me. I become speechless at this point, completely unable to describe the joy of meeting our daughter for the first time. I just remember crying and the smiling at the same time, the whole fiber of my being focused on her. It's difficult to explain, but I felt such a closeness to God then. I could imagine Him looking in that hospital room smiling while thinking "I know the plans I have for you." But that's another story for another time. 

Many, many thanks for those of you who went out of your way to offer encouragement or to let me know you were praying for us. We love each and every one of you! 

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