Thursday, June 16, 2011

On the Day You Were Born

He's only been here for 6 days and already it feels like a lifetime ago that we were on our way to the hospital to meet him.
I looked through all the pictures again tonight to remember and relive all the sweet, sweet memories of that night.  
I have cried.  
And cried.
But only the best kind of tears.  
I am so glad to remember it all.

I have always said that I started this blog as a record of these days with my family.
It has been wonderful to have readers who want to share life with us, and I am so glad to have you here with us.
But above all, this will always be our family blog.  
And so, I'll share this chapter here, David's chapter, for Aaron and I, for David and all the rest of our family that will follow.  
There won't be too many embarrasing details.  
So, come along for the ride.  It was a wild one.

(a word of warning: this is a crazy long post--you can just skip to the pictures.  But I want to remember all the details of how we got there)

The day started out exactly the opposite of how I would have planned it.
I was up most of the night before listening to James not breathe.
Over a year and a half ago James had an episode of sleep apnea. 
That's where you stop breathing in your sleep.
Of course it had to come back days before I was due to deliver.

Let me tell you, I got a lot of sympathy at the dr.'s office that day.
They are always nice, but there I was, with my 3 kids, one of whom stops breathing in his sleep, and me, looking ready to pop.
When our dr. walked in the room, he said, "oh my gosh!  Whatever is wrong let's fix it right away so you can go home and have that baby."
At first he wanted to put James in the hospital because his breathing was so bad, but after watching him a bit, he determined it was really only a problem at night.  He decided to give him a large dose of prednisone to bring down the swelling and check him the next day.
But it was critical to get that swelling down so that James could breathe through the night and I could sleep, and so we would not have to admit James to the hospital for observation.
"We just can't mess around with breathing things," dr. W said.
He also checked James and William for strep.  Which they both had.

I hurried off to the pharmacy, called Aaron to come home and watch the kids because I couldn't leave them anywhere and then rushed to my own dr.s appointment.
The dr. checked my progress and I was at a 4.
Guess all those labor pains from the week before had done the trick.
She gave me strict instructions not to wait too long before going to the hospital once I started feeling contractions.
"This is your 4th.  Your body knows what to do and it might happen fast."
My contractions started on the way home.

When I got home, I walked into the kitchen to find James sitting at the table in his underwear, a bowl of yogurt and an empty bowl in front of him.
The air smelled of vomit.
Aaron looked ready to jump out the window.  Or push James out one.
Apparently that medicine James had to take tasted pretty darn bad.
He threw up every time we tried to get him to take it.

We tried everything.
Ice cream.  Peanut butter.  Chocolate syrup.
No matter how we tried to disguise the taste of those pills, he could taste it and he just kept throwing it up.
After the 4th time I made him go outside.
I was frustrated beyond any frustration I have ever felt with any of my kids.
It was one of my lowest points in parenting.
There I was, pretty sure I was in labor, knowing that if James didn't take that medicine he'd be in the hospital that night, and watching him throw it up over and over again.
He threw up 6 times.
My contractions were not going away.
They were creeping around to my back.
I started moving furniture off the patio and hosing off all the barf.
Aaron asked me, "Greta, can you please let me do that.  You're going into labor."
"I just have to do this right now.  I have to do something."
I was slightly insane.
And Aaron was extremely patient.
He went back to the pharmacy to find out if there were any alternatives to the pills.

As much as I knew I was going into labor, I was trying to will it not to happen.
What would we do?
Who would be at the hospital with James?  Who would be with me?
The dr. called to check in and I started crying as I explained what was happening.
She was so encouraging and helpful and assured me that James had just psyched himself out (ya think?) and that he would take the liquid medicine that we were getting instead.  
It would start working right away and he would not go to the hospital.
She was right.

Don't ask me why he took it.
Except that Aaron and I prayed like mad that he would.
According to Aaron, it tasted awful.  And there was no way to mask the taste.
But he drank it right down and trotted off cheerfully to the bath to wash the barf off himself.

That was when I finally sat down and tried to decide if I was really in labor.
The contractions didn't stop with sitting, or laying, or a hot shower.
So I blew dry my hair, made some phone calls,had a snack, made sure we had everything packed, listened to James breathe and wrote a quick post.
My friend Jana came to stay with the kids and when Aaron convinced me to stop folding the towels, we were off.
That was when the real fun began.

We arrived at the hospital around 10:30 pm.  
My nurse checked me and I was already at 5!  I've never started already half way done.
Pretty soon, my crew began to arrive.
Yes, my crew.

They have all been at one, some or all of my births.
I love having these ladies with me when I have babies.
Well, for one thing, they're fun!

And also, they are some of the dearest women in my life and I love sharing this most amazing experience with them.  We talk and laugh in the beginning, and then, when it starts to get hard, I know they are all there, loving me, praying for me, holding hands, and waiting with great anticipation for the birth of my new babe.
I would not want to give birth without them.

Especially Cathy.
She's my right hand lady.
Cathy has been at each of my births--except the c-section.
And she would have been there too, but they only let in one guest and we figured it should be Aaron.

Cathy knows just where to rub, or massage me.
She knows how to encourage me, when to ask the nurse to check me again, how to help my labor progress and she stays calm and steady as a rock through it all.
Cathy is the best.
I love her like my second mom.
We named Lilly after her: Lillian Catherine.
Thanks for being with me again, Cathy.

After about 3 hours of labor that wasn't too terribly painful, it finally started to get hard.
That was when I really wanted, and needed, Aaron.

In those moments where I moaned through each contraction, willing myself to relax through the pain, his presence filled me with strength.
He prayed for me, held me, told me he loved me, that I was doing a great job, and said all the things a husband should say as his wife labors to deliver their baby.

With past deliveries, Aaron hardly made it through.  (and he has the easy job!)
His head was between his knees when James was born and he was white as a ghost and just managed to stay upright when Lilly was born.
But this time he was a champ.
I will never forget those moments with him as we waited together for the birth of our miracle.

Because I was having back labor, I laid down again on my side, asking for pressure to be applied to my lower back through contractions.
Suddenly, with no waring whatsoever, my contraction turned into pushing the baby out.
"The baby's coming!" I yelled.
And everything went crazy for a few minutes.

My nurse rushed to my bed, the doctor ran in pulling on her scrubs, and everyone was yelling instructions to me at the same time.
"Push Greta!"
"Hold your breath!"
"Get down on the bed!"
"Get on your back!"
"Put your legs up!"
"Slow down!"
"Push, Greta, PUUUUUUSH!!!"
That was the only time I got a little mad at everyone.
"I'm trying!" I yelled back.

And then, in an instant, the burning ring of fire ended, and the baby was out.
"What is it?  What is it?"  I yelled.
And someone, Aaron said it was him but I honestly don't remember, shouted, 
and the room erupted in cheers and tears and laughter.
They put him on my chest and we wept.
Our David.
And he is.

It was perfect.  
4 hours of labor--my shortest one ever. (except for the part when I was at home, hosing barf off the back patio)
Sharing it all with the people I love best.
I would not have traded one thing about it.  (except the back labor--not a fan)
Oh how grateful I am that I get to do this amazing thing of giving birth.

After we cuddled a while, inspecting hands and fingers, eyes, nose and little toes, they took him to weigh him and hold him up like a prize fish.

8 pounds 15 ounces!  
"I finally got an 8 pound baby!" I explained.
"I think he was 9 pounds and pooped out an ounce on the way out," my dr. said.
She had to wrestle David's shoulders out so I think she wanted credit for the 9 pound delivery.
He checked out just fine so they bundled him up and gave him to his Daddy.

And after everyone else had a chance to hold him, ooh and ahh over him, make happy phone calls and shed more tears of joy, Aaron brought him to me.

There is just no joy like the joy of a newborn babe.
We are so very happy.
And grateful.
So very, very grateful for this gift from God.

After a bit, everyone left to get some sleep or go out to breakfast, as per tradition.
And David and I were left alone.

We sat there together in the dim light, and I sang to him.
"God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me."
Because He is.
God is SO good.

Welcome to the world, Baby David.
We love you more than we could ever tell you.
Love from,


Pam... said...

A holy moment where time stops. Awesome. Praise God. Love the name, course I am partial. Our 8th and youngest son is David.

Lillian said...

David...your granny Lillian says this about the night and morning you were born...It was scarey Fun! I am so happy I was there to meet you. I loved you instantly!!

Sheila said...

Congratulations to you both! I'm so happy for you!

katie said...

Such a joyful post. He's perfect in every way.

Betsi* said...

A little man after God's heart. Welcome David, welcome with such joy! Of course you've got me crying now, Greta. My turn's coming! <3

The Extra Ordinary Bree said...

He's gorgeous and you are positively glowing!

Simply Brookes: said...

all i can say is you make it look so easy. you are gorgeous. love your words.
congratulations, sweet momma.

Debbie said...

What a great, HAPPY, amazing birth! Congratulations!

Naomi said...

Oh Greta, He is so good indeed. So very, very good. It's amazing every time. I hope our little boys can be friends someday!

hannah singer said...

beautiful!! thanks for sharing.
praying all is well-happy weekend!

ps i sang "god is so good" to elijah the day he was born!