A journey of hope and healing after a decade of infertility and two maternal near-misses.

Our Story Part 14: The Birth

"Along came this little miracle and no day was ever ordinary again."

On September 29th 2015, those pelvic labor pains started in earnest!  I was convinced our boy was coming within the next 24-48 hours but during my appointment later that day, Dr. Field's said I was only dilated 4 centimeters but progressing.  Only 4 centimeters??!?  I felt defeated.  I thought I was going to be whisked away to the Labor and Delivery floor right then and there, calling my husband at work to say "It's time!"  But a day later, the contractions I was feeling every 15-20 minutes stopped entirely.  When you are bursting at the seams in anxious anticipating of the arrival of your little one, especially a miracle baby, I can't even describe to you what a letdown this was.  The weeks before my due date were filled with sleeplessness and discomfort.  As much as I loved being pregnant, I was very ready for him to come out!

Then on October 3rd, I woke up around 6:30am with a contraction and they continued every 10 minutes!  I called Dr. Fields to let her know that I discontinued my blood thinner injection that morning like we had discussed in case this was the day of delivery.  I had to be off the blood thinner for 12 hours to minimize my risk of bleeding during vaginal delivery or a c-section, if I needed it.  My husband took one last silhouette picture of my baby bump at 39 weeks, 3 days and then off we went to see Dr. Fields again.  The contractions were getting closer and I was sure this was it but once again I heard I was only four centimeters.  Sigh.  What's a girl gotta do to move things along?  She told me that I could be admitted to the Labor and Delivery floor but that if I didn't progress much in the next few hours they would push to induce me.  Knowing my birth plan was to go un-medicated for as long as possible, Dr. Fields advised me to wait at home where I would be more comfortable and I could rest.  So back home we went.  I bounced on my exercise ball, napped a bit and around 7pm, the contractions started getting closer and more intense.  I had been texting Dr. Fields about my progress, or lack thereof, for most of the day but this time she said it was go time!  YAY!!  We were finally going to meet this little one!

I was admitted to Labor and Delivery at 9pm and at that time I was five centimeters and my contractions were two minutes apart.  I used my hypnobirthing techniques and was doing great without medication.  Dr. Fields checked me around 1am and I was eight centimeters now, less than two minutes apart but my water had not fully broken yet.  I wanted to try the hot tub to see if that helped relax me with the contractions.  It felt great at first but then I began to overheat.  The jets were jostling me around and I started getting nauseous.  I remember looking up at my husband and saying "find a garbage can!" and I was heaving a few seconds later.  God bless my husband because I know he is not one to handle vomit well!  But he did!  He held himself together enough to hold my hair back and a trash can in front of my face without throwing up all over both of us too.  Talk about for better or worse!  Thanks, honey!  You are a lot stronger than you think.  :)

Once I was back in my room, Dr. Fields suggested manually breaking my water because I was still only eight centimeters and now exhausted from laboring for over twenty hours.  Even though the contractions were coming around one minute apart with little break between them, there wasn't any indication of progress from a positional standpoint.  If my water broke fully, my son's head would be able to descend into my pelvis and hopefully get this show on the road.  This wasn't part of my birth plan but I accepted Dr. Fields recommendations knowing full well she understood my medical history and the current state of affairs.  She also suggested a pain medication because breaking my water meant that the contractions would come fast and furiously; the medication would take the edge off a bit.  She wasn't joking about those contractions!  The medication lasted for less than an hour though and had me feeling loopy and very out of it.  I did not like it!  And the pain?  It was the worst I have ever felt in my entire life!  It was like endometriosis on steroids!  I kept telling my husband that I would prefer to be stabbed or shot repeatedly!  At least the initial pain would be over but those prangs of childbirth just kept coming wave after wave.  It wasn't long before there was no break between the contractions at all.  They just kept coming and coming but I never got the urge to push.  This went on for another five hours.  I vividly remember praying to God to just make it stop.  I closed my eyes and tried to use my hypnobirthing techniques but by this time, I was too far gone to mentally get back there.  I just closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and tensely prayed for those five hours!  I sang to myself, specifically hymns about deliverance... literal deliverance!  For me and this baby!  I will never again be able to sing "You Are My Hiding Place" and "As the Deer" the same way again.

Dr. Fields came in to check on me again around 8am.  I was still only eight centimeters after more than seven hours of transitional labor and the baby still wasn't descending into my pelvis.  When I heard this, I knew what was coming and I was finally on board with it.  I gave an un-medicated vaginal delivery everything I had but this abuse had to end.  If I was close to pushing or had any sort of progress since the last check five hours ago, I am certain I could have mustered up strength and determination to continue on but without that glimmer of hope that the natural end was near, I relinquished my birth plans and just said "we need to get him out!".  Dr. Fields was convinced my boy was stuck and it was clear that a c-section was medically necessary.  My husband was worried and we both started crying and holding hands knowing that a surgery could further complicate my already complicated pregnancy and delivery.  In the brief moments when I could breathe between contractions, I tearfully prayed for protection for our son and me.  I prayed that the Lord would hold us both close and bring us through yet another hurdle in our path to becoming a family.

Moments later, I was being prepped for surgery in the operating room.  I was still in a tremendous amount of pain and the anesthesiologist had to wait until the peak of my contractions were over before attempting to give me the spinal.  This is when Dr. Fields placed my hands on her shoulders and wrapped her arms around to hug me for physical support and encouragement as the needle slipped in.  It was exactly what this weary and battered mother-to-be needed.  I can't say enough wonderful things about Dr. Fields!  Truly, God handpicked her to be my doctor knowing she would be there to cheer me on and support me during my most trying days.  The spinal immediately gave me relief!  And I mean, the greatest, fullest and quickest relief I have ever felt in my life!

Once I was down and the curtain was up over me, my husband was allowed to come in and sit near my head.  I could feel pressure and some pushing on my belly as he squeezed my hand the way he does when he's silently telling me he loves me.  The last moments of our era as a party of two breathed their last and gently yielded to our new, wonderful, hard fought season of three as our baby's cry filled the air.  The next thing I knew Dr. Fields said "Here he is!"  I couldn't see him because of the curtain but I could hear his sweet little voice crying for his warm home and immediately my eyes filled with tears and I sobbed!  Like hard core ugly cry sobbing!  We made it!  He's here!  He's healthy!  He has all of his little fingers and toes!  I still couldn't see him though and this was starting to upset me.  The nurses were busy cleaning our boy up and taking his vitals while my husband took pictures.  Then they brought him over to me and when my eyes gazed at this tiny human who I knew so well but had never seen, I fell in love with my son all over again.  He was perfect, just perfect!  And he was mine!  It was like my heart grew a thousand times larger in those seconds and it felt like it would just burst out of my chest!  With tears still flowing from my eyes, I kissed his precious, little face and my soul just kind of went "There you are!  I have been waiting forever for you!"

Stay Tuned for Part 15: God Has Given
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