Friday, May 06, 2011

Jack's Birth Story!

When I recall this time in my life, there are two things I hope I never forget.  Two things that have played a significant behind the scenes role in the last four months of my life.  The first is Audrey Assad's CD, and the second is Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 Gifts.  Audrey's CD has played in my home almost constantly since late December.  So many of her words have spoken what my heart often wants to say.  Hearing her music years from now will bring me back to my Jack's birth and the happy months prior to it.

The week before Jack's birth Erik went with me to my 34 week ob appointment, which because I am 35, included a routine sonogram.  Unfortunately the sonogram showed that my amniotic fluid level was low.  It was still in normal range but was at the bottom end of normal.  My doctor asked that I drink a lot of water over the next week and return for another sonogram at my 35 week appointment.  Now, I have been pregnant four other times, and all had always been normal, so I wasn't really too concerned about this low fluid thing.

I scheduled a prenatal massage (thank you, Deana B) for the hour prior to my 35 week appointment.  So, when I showed up at the doctor's office I was relaxed and peaceful!!  The sun was shining and all was well.  The sonogram went fine, and at the end I asked the tech if my fluid level was okay?  Her answer:

"Well... I'd have to call it low."

So, I went to subwaiting thinking I must be a little lower than last week ~ on the verge of "low" or just at the top end of "low."  I sent a text to my mom and Erik and a few others saying all was well and letting them know that my phone was about to die ~ so not to worry if they didn't hear from me for a while.  I pulled out 1000 Gifts and began reading.  This was my second time through it, and I was just soaking it in ~ reading each word slowly.  Until, my doctor's nurse came to get me.  But, she didn't want to take me to an exam room.  She said the doctor wanted to put me on a monitor for a little while.


As she strapped me to the machine, I finally got up the nerve to ask. . . "Is something wrong?"

She answered, "He'll talk to you about it when he sees you."

That is nurse-speak for, "Yes, something is wrong."

So, I sat there on the monitor, afraid to use my phone because I knew it was about to die at any second.  I didn't feel like reading or watching the TV in front of me.  So, I just stared at the cover of Ann's book and talked to God.  Ann's book is about her wrestle with the Almighty, learning to accept not just the good but the hard things, as well.  As I looked as the sweet picture of robin eggs held in open hands, I held my hands out to God and prayed, "I don't know what this is, but give me the courage and grace to accept what You give with open hands ~ whatever the situation might be."  I think I spent most of that 30 minutes just breathing, slowly, deeply, prayerfully.

My doctor came in and told me that the baby was doing great!  Just what he wanted to see!!  "Oh, goodie!" I thought to myself.  I took a deep breath and relaxed.  But, then he got very serious, looked me in the eyes in a way he never has before in the ten years we've known each other, and said...

"I want you to go to one of the exam rooms and wait for me. We need to have a come to Jesus talk in a few minutes."

What is this about?  I thought the baby was doing great?  So I gave him my "what did you just say look."  And, he answered. . .

"Well, I'm polling my colleagues about what I should do with you, and the first one I asked said I should put you in and take the baby tonight."


Not at all what I expected. Not at all.  So, I took a deep breath and gave him my "what did you just say" look again.  And, he expounded, "Your fluid level is as low as if your water has already broken.  You only have 2 pockets of fluid left, and that isn't enough for the baby."


Later, as I sat in one of the exam rooms waiting for my doctor to finish polling the other doctors in his group, I used the last of my battery to call Erik and tell him what the doctor said.  He was as shocked as I was, and I heard him yell down the hall to Sean, "Hey, Brother, we may have a baby tonight!!!"

So, I spent the next hour or so driving around waiting for Erik.  And, Erik spent the hour getting our stuff together at home and driving to me.  We met in a parking lot.  It was night by this time, dark, and I was scared, shaking.  I got in my car and followed him to the hospital.  I don't think I'll ever forget that drive.  I didn't want to have a baby that night.  I love being pregnant, and I wasn't ready to not be.  It most likely will never happen again, and I wanted to savor my last few weeks of feeling the baby move inside me.  I was tired.  I didn't feel up to laboring all night ~ especially not laboring with Pitocin.  But, I did my best to hold my hands open to Him.  And, as I drove staring at those familiar tail lights shining in front of me, I prayed and listened to Audrey sing "Restless."  And, I did my best to listen to her words and to rest in the peace they offered.  I took deep breaths.  It was all so confusing.  What were we doing?  What was happening?  I was supposed to be home putting my boys to bed.

We got to the hospital and a sweet friend of ours was the nurse manager that night, and she so kindly labored with me along with a sweet red-headed RN who looked more like she should have been in a Jane Austen book rather than in scrubs placing my IV.

We had a great turn out for our little labor party!  (My mom always says my labors are more like a party than labor!).  My mom made it in time as did my sweet friend Sara who drove from Nashville.  And, of course, my sister-woman, Deana B was there with camera in hand!  But, this labor was not a party.  NO, sir.  Pitocin crashed my sweet labor party.  I didn't have much fun.  I was quite unhappy.  All my sweet friends just lined up with their backs against the wall afraid to speak to me!  Ha!

The room was full of people, but as far as I was concerned there was only one other person there.

My Erik.

We've done this labor thing a few times.  He is my husband, my doctor, and my best friend.  Yes, I have a doctor, but Erik labors with me, and he delivers our sweet boys into this world.  And, he does it so sweetly, so gently, so perfectly.  What a wonderful welcome the boys get ~ their Daddy's strong hands right there to catch their sweet naked little bodies.  Erik and I are a team, and I love it.  He knows me like no one else.  And, when I told him after a couple hours of Pitocin, that I wanted an epidural ~ that I just couldn't do it any longer.  He looked me in the eyes and said, "No, you don't.  You don't want an epidural. You'll be mad at yourself tomorrow.  I know you. You don't mean it.  I know you better than you know yourself. You can do this, Erin.  You. can. do. this."  And, I looked him in the eyes and said...

"I'm so mad at you!!!!"

And, I meant it with every fiber of my being.  I. meant. it.  I was mad, fighting mad.  If only the pain hadn't been so bad, I'd have told him all the awful things that I was thinking.  But, thankfully, I was hurting so badly that all I could do was bite my tongue and keep on keeping on.

He is strength and courage for me when I don't have the will to muster it up myself.  When I labor his attention is fixed on me, fiercely fixed.  He looks through me when I am pushing.  He tells me how to push and how close I am to delivering.  I learned a long time ago how to read Erik's cues, and I know when the baby is really close.  Everyone else can say, "I see the head, and it is right there. One more push, and he'll be here."  But, I don't believe it until I hear Erik say it.  I take my cues from him.  When I am in that bed, pushing, there is one face I see, standing right in front of me.  There is one voice I listen for, and it is his.  He has my trust.  He is my leader and my love, and I am so thankful for these memories.

Jack came very quickly and very easily at the end, a wee little thing, he popped right out into Daddy's hands!  Erik says he gets more emotional each time!  And, this little man had a knot in his cord.  My doctor called it a "true knot" whatever that means!  It is a scary sight to see ~ your cord all tangled like that.  After a few moments, Erik put Jack on my chest, and I fell in love again. :-)  Then they took that sweet vernix covered love of mine and cleaned him, wrapped him, and gave him back to me to love.  He smelled that freshly born scent that I love.  He was a sweet little bundle, and I held him close.  Sweet Jack here with us 5 weeks early, our biggest surprise yet and born on April Fools Day, too!!!


picturesofhisgrace said...

Ok, I have had my cry for the sweet! You have a beautiful family, Erin, and we love you guys!

I live IN Jesus said...

Erin, I have lurked on your blog since before Elijah was born....I don't remember if I have ever commented before, but I LOVE your sweet sweet spirit and love for Jesus Christ! I had to delurk to tell you what a touching testimony Jack's birth is!

You are an amazing lady! I look forward to reading about your journey with our savior everyday that you write!! God bless you and your sweet family!

Sarah T

Jessica said...

What a beautiful & touching story, Erin. Thank you so much for sharing.

Amy said...

Lovely post, Erin! Thank you so much for sharing your sweet world with us, unknown friends. I always feel happy and peaceful when I read your posts.

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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