There I was, sitting at my 42 week appointment and talking about scheduling an induction.
I’ll be perfectly honest and share that I saw the sense in the decision. But this was not the way I had planned it. Little did I know birth was yet another thing to add to the list of Things One Has Zero Control Over In Life.
You see inductions change every aspect of birth. Once induced : drug free isn’t an option, the fresh, clean start to life for my baby girl that my heart had ached for her to have wasn’t an option. As soon as there is any intervention I am no longer trustworthy, my body’s cues are crap. Once you head down the path you don’t get to turn back.
So with an induction date of December 30th, I prayed for baby to come soon. Very soon. I found articles of ways to be induced and read them and checked off each suggestion with no avail. Finally the contractions started on a Saturday evening where I found myself snuggled on the couch with a sore throat, nasal congestion and stomach ache. PERFECT TIMING. A sleepless night, phone in hand with the contraction counter app on followed. Nothing was consistent and they were not getting any closer.
By mid-Sunday the contractions had stopped. I called the nurse in hopes she would tell me to come in. She, in a stern voice, said it was false labor and probably brought on due to dehydrated from my cold. “Drink water and rest” she said.
I cried. I was so tired. I grabbed a heating pad, a fresh box of Kleenex and an exercise ball before heading to the bedroom. To my joy, contractions started again 2 hours later and another sleepless night followed. I breathed through every contraction and slept in between. At 5 o’clock I called in for our induction. As soon as I got off the phone I had the most extreme contraction yet. It overwhelmed all my senses and I knew in that moment I would not make it through the day. I was sick, dehydrated, and sleep deprived.
B and I got in the car, bags packed, car seat ready. We arrived at the hospital, got into my own gown and got IV’d up. Throughout the next few hours I went through four bags of fluid, which was a sign of extreme dehydration, and a bag of penicillin for the GBS which I had tested positive for. I was checked and was already at 5. My heart sang. When the nurse offered me an epidural, I knew my answer was yes. At this time I felt that if I tried on my own it would end in a C-section. I did not have much physical strength left. And so my fear stopped me from trying.
I slept. They tried to start a little bit of pitocin but baby’s heart beat went up. After several hours my temperature rose and concern grew for me and the baby. Tylenol was given, temperature went back down… I fell asleep again. I woke to feeling pressure then labored down, and started a tiny bit of pitocin again, in hopes of seeing little miss soon.
At eight o’clock I started to push.
I pushed on my side, on my back, then on my side again.
Suddenly baby’s heart beat went up and we could sense the concern.
My fever came back and oxygen was given.
Forty five minutes in, during a push, baby’s heart beat hit 200.
The nurse told me to relax. She left the room.
“The doctor will be here soon and he will either do a vacuum or a C section.” I was determined to get this baby out before they could do either of those. I gathered every bit of energy I had and pushed. The doctor finally arrived, he decided we would be using the vacuum.
I felt defeated.
My heart broke, I was shaking and I couldn’t stop the tears.
I had come so far, and I was thankful (even in that moment) that I wouldn’t be going into surgery, but this was too much for me to handle.
B held me.
He told me it would be okay.
We were so close, she was almost here.
This was going to be it.
I was moments away, and I held onto the hope I would see her soon.
The next few minutes went by so quickly. I had no idea what was going on around me.
I felt the moment she left me.
Then I saw her in all her perfect beauty.
Tears of overwhelming joy… like nothing I’d felt before.
I took in every inch of her in those few moments.
I stole one glance at B and saw him beaming.
I have no words that fully express how I felt. I know that at that moment it did not matter one bit how we had gotten there.
I would have done it again for this little life that I held.
I would do anything because she was our new everything.
Minutes passed and the room began to spin.
I couldn’t see straight and I felt as if my insides were going to come up and out.
Everything inside me wanted to hold her longer and I told myself to calm down, but I couldn’t shake the feeling and lost focus.
I frantically searched for B and begrudgingly handed her off.
Seeing him hold her stilled my heart. A beautiful a view I had dreamt of.
I tried to relax. I would be able to hold her as soon as I calmed my body down. Or so I had thought.
But only confusion and chaos followed.
New nurses came in and spoke of taking her off to the NICU. Nothing could have prepared me for this.
We had agreed, the nurses and myself, that she wouldn’t leave the room, that I would get to have her, that I could watch her, feed her, even give her a bath.
The first time in 9 months this little life wouldn’t be near me.
Apart of me was missing.
They waited for me to be stitched up, weighed her cute chubby body at 9lb. 9oz. and then let B take her out as I watched from the bed.
Grandma’s and grandpa’s were in love and amazed at her beauty and perfection.
As quickly as it had all unfolded B handed her over to the nurses and she was gone.
Whisked her away. My little lovie. To sit in a bassinet alone, without a momma or a dada near.
She had a fever and they were concerned she was infected. Her tiny body would be connected to IV’s and she would get four doses over 48 hours until test results came back clear.
I felt so broken,
and so helpless.
Why had this happened? Why did I get sick, why couldn’t I have been strong enough…
I didn’t have enough strength to get out of bed until early the next morning. I got to hold her, feed her and take in her scent.
She filled me up, and I realized that as I held her I healed.
The feelings of not being good enough and not trying hard enough and the anger at God and my surroundings that things didn’t go my way were fading because of her presence.
To hold her again was to complete me.
And every time after I felt more complete.
The next 36 hours were spent sleeping, eating, and holding her in the NICU, right across the hallway. The next day she came into our room, finally there to stay. B held her and we lived in that moment.
It was perfection.
I still remember every detail, every feeling and every moment of the birth. Standing away from it and looking back I see it a little differently each and every new day. God shows me again and again what it is that He can teach me through this storm if only I rest in him.
He is good.
And this will show His glory my friends.
Tears begin to flow when I think of how much I blamed Him instead of drew from His strength during that time. He was there, He was and always is my strength, my fortress, my cornerstone. Instead of reading that labor book or the blogs on birth I know now that I should have been in His word and presence.
There is no peace or rest in worry.
Trusting in Him is greater then any birth plan.
I have been reading a new book called Restless by the amazing Jennie Allen. Three chapters in God spoke through her straight to my heart, and as I read tears streamed down my face. She writes this as she is sitting next to her best friend, in the hospital. Her best friend is a mother to three, in the midst of a divorce and now so close to death from a recent stroke. In the midst of this Jenny cries out,
“God, evil bows to you and yet it seems to be flooding us. And this darkness bends to somehow reflect your glory, but oh, the cost feels so high.” And in the midst of this storm, in the midst of my storm and yours this is God’s reply:
“I have forgotten nothing. And I am not passive about my approach to this problem.
I deal. I deal with this sickness and pain and death.
I do not forget. I bleed out for this.
So as you walk past me on that cross, into a room that feels out of control and full of suffering, don’t see a weak, distant, forgetful God.
You see a God who tells oceans where to stop and a God who tells evil where to stop.
You see a God who bleeds out for those you hurt for.
You see a God who suffered first. I AM with you.And I have a plan here.“
And I was floored, tears streaming down my face I felt His amazing grace and His unending, undeserving love flood me.
I believe, my friends, when we sit in front of our God and we are filled with so many questions to ask He will reveal how His hand was holding us up during our struggles, our trials, and our storms. We will stand in awe and amazement at his pure and perfect love for us.
I was reading my blog post announcing the conception of our Evelyn, and I re-read this:
“As I sat in the shower one morning praying over my belly, over a 6 week old baby, tears ran down my face as I told God that above all I want His glory to be shown through this little life. That no matter what that meant for me as a mom or B as a dad we are here to show His glory. We simply can not understand a God so big, mighty and wonderful. We give up our rights to control every moment of this little life, and will guide it in the ways that our parents guided us.“
I asked for it, prayed for it, and I know that our God is faithful even when I am not.
He has already and will continue to write our story into one that will show His glory.
“So might He pour our lives out in difficult ways? Yes. But He is the God of planets and my soul. He gave everything for us.
So I will entrust my entire life to no one else.“