Part 1 of 3
It happened after the birth of my first son. I became a sucker for birth stories. It wasn’t like that before him, though. I actually felt quite excluded and not able to fully understand the birth experience. It’s something that I never thought I wanted to experience until we learned it would be a struggle to experience it. By the grace of God, I’ve birthed three babies. Pregnancy sucks (if you’ve ready many of my posts you understand it is because pregnancy is scary for me), but I love labor and delivery. It’s the best part of pregnancy. The literal fruit of my labor for the last however many months of carrying the baby and then the months or years it took to even conceive the child.
For those of you women who haven’t experienced childbirth due to infertility, miscarriage, not married yet, you are welcome in my story. Please share in my story with me. Your hearts are important to me.
It was a Tuesday night. I had most everything I needed packed and ready to go to the hospital. It was our last night as a family of four. The last night of knowing life as it had been for the past three and a half years. My two babies asleep in their beds. They knew their baby brother was going to be born the next day, but they didn’t fully grasp that they weren’t going to get to see me or him for a few days, and my heart broke.
Those babies in their beds have done everything with me. We do life together, literally. They go to the dentist with me, the OB appointments, the fertility clinic appointments; they are my lunch buddies, and when daddy works late sometimes they are my dinner buddies. These kids have been with me for everything.
They weren’t going to get to be with me for the birth of Del. Well not the birth, but afterward. They weren’t going to get to meet their brother for a few days. I wasn’t going to get to feel their warm embraces, see the pride in their faces, or laugh alongside them for a few days–all because there was a flu restriction on the hospital. Kids were not allowed to visit. I get it. I mean I do. But my heart hurt. There were people, and maybe you’re one of them, who tried to comfort me by saying, “Use this time as a break from them.” Or I also heard, “Get to know your new little one.” While I understand the intention and well-meaning behind that, it isn’t how we work in my family. We are together often and the connection physically hurts when we are apart.
I woke up early on Wednesday and took a pic of the kids sleeping before I was to leave for the hospital.
I then texted my mom. I knew she’d be awake and I knew I needed to hear some words from her that only she could say to me and only she would understand what I was feeling and needed to hear. I texted her as I was walking to the van. Said to her, “I’m in near tears walking to the car. Already miss the kids knowing I won’t see them.” Her response was, “But get your stuff together you have a lot of work today.” Now to someone that isn’t me or doesn’t think like me this may seem insensitive, but it wasn’t. It was a spur to move on and do the hard. Face the hard head on and do what only I’m able to do– give birth to my little baby boy.
You may have noticed, or maybe you didn’t, but I drove myself to the hospital at 6am. I have driven myself to the hospital for every single child including miscarriages. It’s not because my husband doesn’t want to take me, on the contrary. He wants to be and do whatever he can to support me. He also knows me well enough to know that in high-stress situations, I need to face things on my own before I can let others in. With induction, anyway, it’s just a matter of being checked into the hospital and getting all the IV meds hooked up and waiting.
I also need a well-rested husband to be able to serve our children and me well. So he slept a few more hours and dropped the kids off at a friend’s house before coming to the hospital to wait on the birth of our son with me.
I took a couple of selfies of me still pregnant before the induction started. The bottom right… is just a precursor of what’s to come in the next blog post!
After my selfies and before the nurses came in I took the time to pray. Pray that the nurse that would walk into my room would get me. You know get my sense of humor, understand what I needed from her, and be at the top of her game medically. I prayed for her energy and stamina with me, too, because nothing ever seems easy with me!
I prayed over my doctor. I prayed that he would be fully present in my situation and medical needs. I prayed that he would find rest during the day while doing the gazillion things he does every day.
And then the nurses walked in and my world, our family’s world, started to change forever…