Where did I leave off?
Read PART ONE HERE. Oh ya. I was about ready to push out the baby!
The last hour that I spent progressing in the delivery room went very quickly. While hooked up to the monitors, it was discovered that Owen wasn't handling the super-fast labor very well. With each contraction, his heart rate went way down.
I kept looking at the nurse to see if her face would tell me anything more than the monitors could.
After a few minutes passed, they attempted to ease the stress on little Owen by putting me on oxygen.
Then, I had to lay on my right side.
Then, I had to lay on my left side.
Then, I had to get up on all fours in the bed.
Then, it was back to the right side.
And then back on all fours.
I sort of felt like I was playing Twister, trying to find the position that was best for little Owen. But the fact-of-the-matter was it was all happening so fast, he just didn't have time to adjust. And at less than five pounds, he just wasn't able to handle it all that well.
At this point, with my oxygen mask on, I remember looking up at Stuart with tears running down my face and mouthing ‘Pray.'
I was so anxious. So excited. So afraid.
I was happy when our Doctor arrived – he has a presence about him that brings me peace. I could hear him arrive in the delivery room (his cowboy boots give him away) and was very relieved when he started nibbling on a Laffy Taffy.
He chuckled and assured me that if he didn't think everything was okay, he wouldn't be eating candy.
This made me smile.
Within a few more minutes, it was time to push. At this point, we all had the same objective: get Owen out as soon as possible. We knew that he wasn't happy in there and getting him out as quickly as possible was of the greatest importance.
Our operating room was on standby.
Perhaps I should have Stuart write this part of the story, though I'm not sure he'd want to. Bless his heart. A lot was happening that was just so surreal.
For one, having a giant flouresent light shining on your…ya know…parts.
For two, having a Doctor all up in that business.
What I distinctly remember is watching every ones faces. Did they look nervous? Was something the matter? How concerned should I be about his heart rate? Would we be rushed into surgery?
Mind you, because of the nature of our situation, we had no less than six nurses, our Doctor, and two Pediatricians in the room with us. It was….intimate.
I tried to keep my eyes on Stuart. He was so wonderful. Offering me sweet words of encouragement and holding my hand. I knew he was scared too.
I could feel the need to push all of a sudden. The pressure came over me like a wave. So with that contraction, I pushed. And I know it isn't glamorous or nice to talk about this in public (hello, world wide web) but I could tell that my pushes were held back somewhat. I know that if I reallly pushed, I would probably poo. And I really didn't want to poo under florescent lighting with my husband standing right there.
I'm sorry, but it's true. And the truth must be spoken.
For two pushes, I sort of held myself back. Oh man. This is what the meant when they talked about loosing all sense of dignity when you give birth. But then, I knew I'd just have to bite the bullet and give it hell. So that's what I did.
I pushed like nobody's business. I even made that funny, squished, puffy face while I did it.
And ten minutes later, Owen arrived.
The cord was wrapped around his neck twice, but he was perfect. The Doctor immediately layed him on my chest. And the funny part was, I totally forgot to even check if it was a boy or a girl! Even after a mere four hours, I was just so happy it was over.
I looked over at Stuart. It's a boy! He was beaming.
I was happy. I was so, so happy. I must have prayed a thousand prayers during those few crazy hours- thank you, Lord! It's over and he's here – safe and sound.
Can I also just say that this point how happy I was to have had an epidural? Turns out, when Owen came down through the birth canal, he tore the septum that separates my two cervix (you can read more about my crazy reproductive anomaly HERE). Y'all – there was a lot of blood involved.
Thank God I didn't feel it happen. But it did take quite a few stitches to repair.
As with most high-risk births like Owen's, he was whisked away for testing and monitoring. I'd like to say I was a good and obedient patient during these few hours, but I was anything but. I was angry. I wanted my baby so badly, my heart physically ached.
But, as we all know, hospitals have their ways – and I had no choice. I had to wait. Stuart stayed beside me while I was cleaned up and then we just sat. Staring at the clock. Wondering how much longer it would take.
Any of you parents who have experienced this know what a challenge it is.
The only highlight of the next few hours was when I went to the bathroom and totally passed out on the nurse who was assisting me. It took me ten minutes, multiple nurses, Stuart, and smelling salts to wake me up. Ha. Stuart said I just kept smiling at him and snoring like I was in a deep sleep. Guess I needed a little power nap – but it sure scared him good! Not cool, he kept saying after I'd woken up. It made me chuckle. Poor guy – he'd already seen a lot that night.
Alas, the time did pass and we were reunited with our beautiful baby. He was perfect. All 4 lbs. and 14 oz. and 18 3/4 inches of him.
Yes, he was a little peanut. But he was as healthy as an ox. And after our reuniting, he instantly latched on successfully to both sides and ate for over an hour with ease. I am so grateful for that.
And he hasn't stopped eating since! What a champ!
We named him Owen for John Owen, one of Stuart's favorite theologians. His middle name, Shawn, is my Dad's name. Owen Shawn. I think it's beautiful.
As with all new babies, the next few days were also a blur. We were so blessed by all the visitors that brought us food and coffee and treats and even premmie clothes while we were at the hospital. There was so much joy being shared by us all – what a wonderful gift it was to be surrounded by such wonderful people. My heart ached for my family that couldn't be there with us. My heart ached for all our loved ones back in Washington that we so much wanted to share in that joy with. But the Lord was so faithful in providing us with love and support – I was very humbled by the amount of fellowship that came in and out of that room over those few days. People who care for us and prayed with us. What a blessing.
I still can't believe we were able to do it. Through all those obstacles, we were still able to have a successful VBAC. I am beyond grateful for our Doctor. I know the Lord provided us with the exact person we needed for this. He was incredible. A true ‘cowboy' and a total rock star. I will forever be thankful for this experience and for the work he put into making it happen for us.
It just couldn't be more wonderful.
I'm sure I'll continue to recount the details of it all as time goes on, but for now, I am thankful that we not only survived it all – but thrived through it all. I felt completely held together by God's grace through the experience – what a beautiful design he has created for child birth.
And thank you all for your prayers. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to know that our readers were out there all over the world lifting us up during this crazy, beautiful time.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!