Saturday, July 29, 2017

Birth Stories: My First Born

God has blessed my husband and me with two handsome baby boys. We've been married for almost 4 ½ years, but the past 2 years have been the craziest roller coaster years of our marriage. But this post is not about my marriage struggles (and many victories!). Instead, I wanted to use this post as the first of two to describe the births of my two sons. My first was born in a hospital via C-section while I delivered my second boy naturally with the help of a midwife.

My First Born

My oldest son was born in September, 2015. Leading up to his birth, I was seeing a very nice, pleasant OBGYN. However, she in no way prepared me for labor and delivery. Every appointment I went to, she always asked if I had any questions, and was more than happy to answer them. But that was it. She did not offer very much information about how my body works while pregnant nor give any advice to prepare me for labor.

The Labor

Two days after my due date, at about 2 A.M., I started feeling a few contractions. I got out of bed and started rounding a few things together. My husband woke up hearing me fumbling around and drove me to the hospital at 4 A.M. Because I was in no way prepared to handle the pain, I made the decision to get an epidural as we were on the road. About an hour after arriving at the hospital, I got the drugs. And boy was I glad I did! I was finally able to relax.

Sometime around mid-morning (I'm not sure of the exact time), the doctor came in and told me that my baby boy's heart rate was dropping just slightly during contractions. They said it was only a minor concern and that I should be safe to deliver my baby vaginally, but they were going to continue keeping an eye on it.

Around 12:30 P.M., the nurse told me I was fully dilated and it was time to push. So for almost three hours I was pushing. I had my husband, mom and mother-in-law in the room to encourage me and hold my hand. But despite my efforts, he made no progress in the birth canal.

The Birth

So a little after 3 P.M., they decided it would be best for me to give up pushing and have a C-section. I was honestly relieved. I felt like I was wearing myself out to no avail. They upped the drugs in my epidural, and we waited. 

At around 4:15, they had my husband wait in a special waiting area while they took me away to prep for operation. Staff told him they would grab him in about 15 minutes to bring him to me for our baby's birth. Almost 45 minutes later, my poor husband was slightly nervous that they forgot about him and he was missing his son's birth.

Right before my husband joined me in the room, the anesthesiologist was drugging me up through an IV. When he would ask me if I felt his pokes, I told him yes every time for about 5 times. I could tell he was reluctant to give me much more, so I pretended to not feel the last one. That was a huge mistake!

When they finally bring my husband to the room with me, they had already started on the incision. Again, things are a little hazy at this point. All I know is I felt a LOT of pain during the procedure. My husband says I was reacting the most whenever they were pulling at skin, muscles, tissue, etc. Whatever it was...it HURT!

At 5 P.M. on the dot, I delivered my beautiful 8lb 9oz baby boy via C-section.

They handed my son to me, but I was only able to hold him for about 30 seconds before I felt like I was going to drop him due to my weakened, drug-filled body. Shortly after they took him back, I passed out for hours.


The Recovery

When I came to, I was very woozy. I remember being in the C-section recovery lab for thirty minutes, but my family tells me we were actually there for several hours. (Apparently that was a big ordeal because others who came into recovery after us were given post partum rooms before, and my family was very eager to see me and baby). But we eventually got a post-partum room around midnight, only thanks to both of our very generous parents who split the cost of an upgraded "suit" room.

The next day, I desperately wanted a shower because I felt so sweaty and gross. However, the staff said it was unsafe for me to shower with the epidural still in my back. Despite my pleading for them to remove the epidural, they kept insisting I should leave it in. This went on for easily 24 hours (although it felt like much longer), before they finally removed it. The three days total in the hospital are total blur to me even to this day.

It took me weeks to fully recover from my C-section. I couldn't even stand up straight for almost a week, and it took a solid two weeks for me to even walk properly.

Circumstances: Deeper Struggles Affecting the Labor

This season of life was the toughest season of my marriage. I struggle to find the words to describe it, except that it was an intense spiritual battle that begin shortly before our son was born. Many of our issues that were lying dormant suddenly awoke with a furious rage.  Satan was fighting hard to tear us apart, tempting both of us to give up. But neither of us wanted our son to grow up in a broken home, nor did we want him to grow up with parents in an unhealthy marriage. And the Lord worked His wonder on our hearts, convicting us both to fight and labor for this sacred covenant. 

I believe this spiritual battle had just as much of an impact on my first born's delivery as my lack of mental and physical preparation did. I had a ballsy friend tell me that, had I chosen not to get an epidural, my body probably would have naturally pushed my baby out. For a long time, up until the birth of my second, I totally believed her. (Although I did deliver him naturally, the laboring for both babies was very similar).

Looking back, I do not believe that what my friend said is true. I was in such a weak state mentally and emotionally that I do not believe I had what it takes physically to push a baby out. I am confident that had I even attempted to deliver him naturally, I still would have pushed for hours with no progress, resulting in a C-section anyway. (I believe my body's bone structure is a major factor in this as well).

In a season of deep struggle and heartache, my son was a profound joy for both my husband and me. And suddenly having to take care of a new life (although I believe life begins at conception) presented a huge opportunity for me to learn a lot about myself, my husband, and my God. But that's a story for another time. 😊

The birth story of second son is in the works as you read this. Stay tuned!