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Birth Stories...My Little Man's Birthday

 Thursday, February 7, 2013

After rereading this and my daughters' birth stories, I am realizing that I add every little detail and they are rather long, but I love that-to relive the day again is such a blessing. Now that I am entering the third trimester and am feeling Annabelle grow and get stronger, I am so looking forward to her arrival. Birth is such an amazing gift from the Lord. I think it will always amaze me.

To our sweet boy, Thomas...

It was the end of January when we found out we were expecting another little blessing. We were so happy. In the following weeks we were brought to our knees many times. I had begun to bleed heavily and have major cramping one night when I was about six and a half weeks along. When we went into the doctor the next morning we were so surprised to see your little heart beating! Yet, the doctor didn't seem too hopeful. Being that we had just lost Asher just a couple months prior, we tried to remain hopeful but were preparing our hearts if the Lord decided to take you home early as well. Amazingly, you just started growing and your heart rate picked up. There was still blood in my uterus, but we just continued to lay it at the Father's feet. When we had our 17 week ultrasound, we were overjoyed to find out that you were a boy, AND the blood in my uterus was gone! We thank the Lord that He kept you healthy and thriving.

As the months grew I got bigger and bigger and it got hotter and hotter! By September we were so ready to meet you! The morning before I reached 36 weeks, I woke up and realized I was contracting pretty consistently, every 3-5 minutes. This continued throughout the day and we started thinking that day or the next was going to be your birthday as it was just how your sisters' labors started out. We even had Miriam and Grandma Bear come over just incase things picked up. Well, that lasted for 14 hours and then the contractions just sort of dwindled down. The next morning when I went to my midwife appointment, we found out that I dilated to 2 cm, was 50% effaced, and your head was at a -1 station. I was thankful to know that even though it wasn't it, we had gotten some work done.

A week later, in the middle of the night, I started contracting consistently again, this time every 3 minutes. I knew that I was Group B Strep positive at this point, and they were somewhat more intense, so we decided to go in to the hospital. We called Grandma Bear and she met us at the hospital. Susan Nickel was on call and when she checked me I was 4 cm dilated and 80 % effaced. It looked like this might be it again, so we were admitted and they started the first dose of antibiotics. We had Miriam come to the hospital as she was going to be part of our labor support team. Well, we walked, and talked, and I grew somewhat frustrated as the contractions remained the same all night long. At around eight in the morning Stephanie DeVane Johnson was the new midwife on call. She came in to check me and found that I had made no progress and my cervix was very posterior. She kindly explained that although I was having consistent contractions, I was not in active labor. She gave us our choices: stay and have them break my water, start pitocin or head home and wait for active labor to start. We thought and talked about this for a bit, I cried like a baby, and we decided the safest option would be to just go home and wait. We didn't want to risk it by starting labor if you weren't ready to come out and end up with lots of unwanted interventions.

It was hard coming home as we really thought we were going to be meeting you. I kept thinking of all the babies we heard crying as they were being delivered when we were in the hospital. Not only did I really want to meet you and hold you, but by this point, I was pretty uncomfortable. Also, your mommy has this problem with wanting to have everything all figured out, and waiting isn't my most favorite thing to do. But looking back, this was so good for me. I was once again brought to my knees as I brought my frustrations and anxieties to the Lord in that following week. God is so faithful. I think of the verse that says, “He keeps him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon you.” There were times when I was tired and all I could think about was when is this going to happen, but more so there were times of total peace and contentment as I waited and enjoyed those last days with your sisters. One morning was so sweet as we went to the park and had a picnic breakfast. The girls played on the playground and then we fed the ducks and geese. Even though I was uncomfortable, I still did enjoy feeling your little feet stretch out in my womb. It amazes me every time.
The morning of September 23rd, I was now 38 weeks along, and the night before my sleep was not too great at all. I went to my midwife appointment in my sleep deprived state, and although I had planned on not even having her check me, when she offered to strip my membranes and check my cervix, I said-sure, let's do it! She explained that pretty much the only risk of doing so would be that I might start contracting again and not move into active labor. I decided I could handle that. When she checked me I was 3-4 cm, 80% effaced, at 0 station and my cervix was now anterior. She explained that everything looked great and I was ready to go-all I needed was to have some good consistent contractions.

I was slightly excited that this might mean your birthday would be any day, but after two false alarms, tried to keep my cool. The girls and I went to Trader Joes, had lunch and we all took a nap. When we woke up I decided to go for a walk to see if that might help things along. It ended up being a pretty vigorous walk. By this time I was just so desperate to do anything I could to help labor come along. In the back of my mind I knew that if it wasn't God's timing, none of this would help, so again I needed to just keep trusting in the Lord and His perfect timing.

Well, thankfully, His timing is perfect and it was very quick there after. I had inconsisitent contractions for the rest of the day and evening. Daddy decided to work from home that night, just incase anything were to happen. Around 11:15 or so I realized that not only were my contractions consistent at 3 minutes apart, but they were growing in intensity. I waited about an hour to see what would happen, and they grew more and more intense. At 12:30 or so I paged the midwife. Nancy Mathias was the midwife on call and she told me to come on in. I then called Grandma Bear and asked her to come over to be with the girls. We decided we would wait for her at the house rather than meeting her at the hospital again as to not disrupt the girls' sleep. Each contraction came on with more intensity that I started getting nervous about that decision. I called Grandma Bear a couple times wondering how far away she was. She said she could tell in my voice that this was the real thing and tried to get here as fast as she could. We cleaned up a bit while we waited, and Daddy got the car all ready to go so that when Grandma Bear arrived, we left very quickly.

When we arrived at the hospital, I was monitored in triage for a bit. Nancy checked me at 3:00 and thankfully I was now 6 cm dilated and fully effaced, and 0 to +1 station. Now it really looked like we were going to meet you! We were so excited! We called Miriam and told her this is really it and she said she was on her way.

They got the antibiotics started again and I labored in bed as they monitored your heart rate. After that, we went for a couple laps in the hallway, but I no longer wanted to do that. I labored on the birthing ball for a bit and went to the bathroom a couple of times but just started growing rather antsy. I was feeling really warm and sort of like I was going through transition. Somewhere in there Miriam arrived as I was breathing through a contraction. She said she took one look at me and thought, We're having a baby tonight!

Daddy was going to move the car and get our bags, but Nancy didn't think that was such a great idea, that Daddy should stick around. I was excited to hear that! I guess she had a feeling things were going to move rather quickly.

The contractions were getting really intense really quick, so I had Nancy check me again at around 4:00. I was so excited to hear that I was 8 cm! From that point on I remained sitting in the tailor position in the bed. I didn't really want to move. I was thankful to have Daddy and Miriam by my side, encouraging me as I breathed through each contraction. I remember trying to relax, and not be afraid of the intensity of the contraction, but focus on the fact that the intense contractions meant I would be holding you in my arms very shortly! I remember visualizing you being born and that was so helpful. Daddy and Miriam were so helpful, feeding me ice chips, keeping me cool and praying for me. I felt so loved through it all, which was so comforting and helpful.

Almost an hour later, the contractions were very intense, so I wanted Nancy to check me again. I was now 10 cm. Wow!!! This was so exciting as your sisters' labors were very long and drawn out. I then knelt on the bed which was in the sitting position, and leaned over the top of it. I didn't want to push until I felt the urge, so I did my best to relax through the next few contractions. Well in the middle of the next contraction I had that overwhelming urge to push. I remember thinking, “I can't believe this! I'm pushing already!” I pushed through a few more contractions, and then Nancy asked if she could break my water. I let out a tired, “Sure”, and as soon as she broke my water and I pushed I felt your head pushing through. I pushed with all my might and was so thankful when I felt your head pop through and the rest of your body come out. I am pretty sure that I cried out, “Thank you, Lord!!!”

It's amazing how you can go from such intensity to such calmness and happiness in a matter of a mere second.You were born at 5:16 am. I kept looking back as I just wanted to see your sweet little face! We heard a little cry, but you were a bit slow to give us a real good cry. Daddy cut the cord, and the nurses took you over and suctioned you out a bit. The midwife then explained that I would have to be careful and turn around to sit so I could birth the placenta. Well, this is a rather funny part because after they helped me to turn around, I began to sit and the placenta just sort of plopped out of me with no effort whatsover. I remember saying, “And there it is”. Nancy said that was the easiest delivery of a placenta that she had ever seen. She said to take a look at the placenta as it was so nice and healthy. I told her I'll pass-I'd rather just look at my sweet little baby! :-) The placenta was birthed at 5:20 and then they brought you over to me.

I will always remember when I first held you and how soft your skin was. I kissed your adorable little head and was just so thankful to be holding you! We massaged you a bit and you began to cry a nice healthy cry. Your face was a bit bruised from the delivery, but that cleared up in the next day or so. You were marvelous and we were so happy. You started nursing and it was as if you had done it for years!

They weighed you and you were 8 lb. 8 oz, and 21 inches long! I had suspected that you were a bit of a bigger baby as it really seemed that you were running out of room. :-) We are so thankful to have you as a part of our family and we love you so very much. You are eleven days old as I write this. We have enjoyed snuggling with you and seeing all of your different faces and hearing all of the different noises you make! Your sisters adore you and are often asking to hold you, see you and kiss you. We look forward to spending the rest of our lives loving you, sweet little one! May God bless you and keep you always, and would you come to know Him and worship Him with all your heart, mind and soul.

Love you always,


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