This post has been a year in the making. I’ve started to write it so many times, but could never seem to get it done. It’s something I want to both shout about from the rooftops, and yet also hide away in the secret places of my heart. It’s tough to put a thing as beautiful and spiritual as birth to words, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I figured that since it’s your first birthday, what better way to celebrate it than to relive the beautiful moment that you came into the world.
First, I want you to know that your Daddy and I prayed about you before you were ever in my belly. Dad wasn’t so sure about having another baby (really, I think he was just nervous about how he was going to pay for all of those diapers!), so when he could see that my heart ached to have a “you” in my life, he did what he always does when we aren’t on the same page – he took it to the Lord in prayer. Do you know how blessed we are that your Daddy is always seeking God’s heart on important family matters? Even when he doesn’t understand, he’s always seeking out God’s will. I’m so thankful for him, and you will be too. Anyway… after just a few days of praying about it, Daddy knew immediately that God’s plan for us was to have another baby. Five weeks later, I called him at work when I picked up the pregnancy test and read the word “positive”. Neither one of us could believe the news. Together….on the phone…we wept. WE were having a baby!!!
The first three months of my pregnancy were the same as with your brothers – awful. I was plagued with the worst morning sickness EVER, in addition to a host of other unpleasant symptoms that none of my blog readers will care to read about. This time, however, I had a supportive husband to help me through it. Your dad became the heart and soul of our house. He did everything for me and your siblings while I spent most of my time in bed. He always brought me a cold rag for my neck when I’d be doubled over the toilet; he made sure to close the door to the bedroom when cooking anything that might smell strong enough to make me sick; and he even changed his deodorant to one whose odor wasn’t offensive to my sensitive stomach. Unfortunately for him, the only one I could tolerate smelled like baby powder. But for ten months, he proudly wore that new baby smell like any real man would. 😉
Once I was over the horrible nausea, I began to document the pregnancy. I don’t have many pictures of my first two pregnancies, and with the high probability that this would be my last, I decided to take as many pictures as possible, so that I’d remember as many details as possible.
I tried to really enjoy every moment of my pregnancy. I’m older now than I was with your brothers, so it took a toll on my body that I wasn’t expecting, but it was just another opportunity to continually lean on Jesus to get me through it. Little did I know, He was preparing me for your birth…
About halfway through my pregnancy, I began researching natural childbirth. Your grandma gave birth to me naturally and has been telling me for years what a great experience it was. I don’t have a very high tolerance for pain, however, so the thought of giving birth without the use of pain relief scared the you-know-what out of me. I had an epidural for the birth of your brother, Jackson, as well as for Timmy. Jackson’s birth was fairly uneventful. 15 hours of labor, more than half of which I couldn’t feel from the waist down. He had some issues nursing, which I was never able to do, but I never made a connection between my inability to breastfeed and the epidural. By the time I was 39 weeks pregnant with Timmy, I was (like all moms) very ready to not be pregnant any more. I had been having very manageable contractions at work, so I decided to go to the hospital to check and see if there was anything happening. They decided to just admit me and put me on Pitocin since I was 39 weeks and uncomfortable (“uncomfortable” seems to be a common medical condition these days. Sad, but that’s for another post entirely). What followed for the next day was truly a nightmare. After 25 hours of labor, some very touch-and-go moments with his heartbeat, and a near brush with having to get a c-section, I finally delivered Timmy. Just moments after they cut the cord, I was too exhausted to even hold my baby. I spent the first 8 hours of his life asleep. It was a horrible, terrifying experience, and one that I was not keen to relive.
All of my research pointed to an adverse reaction to the epidural, by both myself and my baby. His heart couldn’t handle the combination of the Pitocin and epidural, and my body couldn’t keep up with the cocktail of medications. When I got pregnant with you, I was determined to do it differently – so I told your dad that I was going to give birth to you without ANY medical intervention. He was completely supportive of my decision.
When I started to research our hospital’s protocol on natural birth, I was frustrated with what I learned. I would not be able to walk around during labor, or get into the water. I would also not be able to eat. All of the research I’d done, combined with my own labor experiences, showed me that these were things that I really valued during the labor experience. Walking around was non-negotiable, since I experienced terrible back pain the first two times. Not to mention, I became a little irritated at the fact that I had little to no control over my own body during the birthing process. This did not sit well with me. After watching the documentary The Business of Being Born, I was convinced that home birth was for me – but I had to convince your dad. Once I gave him all of the research I’d compiled on home birth, and had him watch the documentary with me, we both felt a huge peace about having a home birth. We interviewed a highly recommended midwife and the decision was made as soon as we walked out of her office. A week later, at my last OB appointment, I knew I’d made the right decision when they tried to bully me for refusing the flu shot (something I was – and am – very dead set against). I had my records transferred and began preparing for what I expected to be a wonderful, natural birth in the comfort of my very own home…