Welcome, sweet William--a birth story.

1:39 PM

Welcome to our world, sweet William.

   Birth stories are always a little bit hard for me to write about....there is something so real and raw and brutal and beautiful about them.  It is the intersection of agony and joy, pain and relief, sorrow and celebration.   There is never a moment in your life more intense, vulnerable, and transforming as the moment when your child is born from your body, and I can't believe I have been blessed enough to experience it three times.

   And so I find it hard to write about my births, because it is difficult to assign mere words to something so profoundly....sacred.  But I also really enjoy capturing them on paper, because memories fade, and I want to remember as much of these moments as I can for the rest of my life.

The other reason it is hard for me to write about my birth stories is because I feel like in our culture today they have become so defining for some reason.  A long time ago, women just gave birth.  In different ways, in different settings, but we just gave birth.

   Today, you fall into all sorts of different categories according to how/where/in what way you give birth.  Natural birth, C-section, home birth, hospital birth...labels are handed out and placed on women when really, we all still just give birth.  No matter how or in what manner or way a new life comes to this earth, the fact still remains....a child is born.  And that is powerful and miraculous and special and deserves to be celebrated!

And so no matter what your story is, it is worth telling.

   I always hope for a natural, intervention-free birth, but I don't write a "birth plan" because I know that births can't really be "planned" as there are many things that are out of our control.  I was induced with Charlotte and although it wasn't my preference, I was OK with that, because it needed to happen for her safety.

   And this time around, it was looking like it would be the same story, with each day drawing me closer to the 42 week mark.  I had been feeling contractions on and off for a week and a half, but they never amounted to anything.  Being overdue wasn't even the hardest part....knowing that each day just took me closer to an induction WAS.

 The induction was scheduled for Thursday morning, June 25th, on my 11th day of being overdue.  Wednesday came, and I was still pregnant.  I was so discouraged, but tried not to lose sight of the fact that I would soon meet my son.  My SON.  That was my pot of gold at the end of this very long, uncomfortable, elephant-sized rainbow.  Perspective, people.

   I refused to sit at home worrying.  So I planned a fun day for Wednesday.  I took the girls with me to town and we did a little shopping at Target, with each of them choosing a special gift for baby brother.  We filled our tummies with burgers and fries at Red Robin before heading home, and it was a beautiful day, but it wasn't perfect.  I felt my patience wearing thin with them, and I felt so tired and huge and discouraged.

   That evening Randy took Jocelyn to Bible school, and I went out for a long walk with Charlotte.  While walking, I felt contractions but didn't even know what to take notice of because like I said before, I'd been having them for a long time! I ended up turning around early because I didn't feel like I could finish the 2 miles.  That's when I first thought..."Maybe, just MAYBE he'll come tonight!"  But I didn't let myself dwell on it.  I was too afraid of being disappointed again.

   After they got home from Bible school we planned to leave right away to take the girls to Grandma's for the night, so we would be able to leave straight for the hospital early the next morning for the induction.


   My sister's family came over around 10:00 pm to have a special time of prayer for us.  They prayed for a safe delivery and prayed specifically that I would be able to go into labor on my own, and avoid being induced.  I have to admit I was so touched by their thoughtfulness, but still felt doubtful. I mean, I only had what, like, 10 hours until the induction was scheduled.  What could possibly happen before then?

   But as soon as they said "Amen", I felt another contraction come.  And something about this one was different.  It was the one that carried a message with it.  The kind that said, "Your time is near".  And so I began to let myself hope, that maybe, just maybe, William would enter the world on his own.

   We said our goodbyes and took the girls to Grandma's.  When dropping them off, I had another contraction, and on the way home, another one.  And so that is when we decided, maybe we would go in that night, instead of in the morning.  Just to be safe.

  We arrived at the hospital at 11:00.  We checked in, and the contractions were already coming hard and fast and strong.  They prepared the birthing tub, and I leaned on Randy for support through each one.  As soon as I got in the water it calmed me.  My midwife turned down the lights and I just focused, clung to the side and to Randy, and tried to endure each one.

   This was where it got intense.  Things were escalating so quickly I knew I must be getting close, but I had no idea HOW close, and that was frightening.  I couldn't bear the thought of even being a few centimeters away.  Each contraction hit me like a tidal wave and at times, literally took my breath away.  Randy said at one time I was just struggling to get air....I would say that this was easily the most painful of my three births, most likely because things went SO fast.  I brokenly cried over and over, "I can't do this, I can't do this".  But that's the most incredible part of labor....you just DO IT.  You kind of have no other choice.  By the time the inescapable feeling came to push, it was a genuine relief.  I pushed 3 or 4 times, and he was here without any tearing or complications.  

My precious child, my son, was born.

    The whole thing only lasted 2.5 hours.  All that time of being overdue and waiting, waiting, waiting was slowly but surely preparing my body for his arrival.  And he certainly entered the world on his own terms!  In a hurry and everything, all 8lbs, 11oz and 21 inches of him.

He was perfect.

 I couldn't stop sobbing once he was in my arms.  The pain, the toil, the agony was over, and only joy remained.  I wanted that moment to last forever.  No drug in the world holds a candle to that high!  It is the most euphoric feeling I have ever experienced.  Why can't we have 300 babies again?!?!

   I have longed for a son.  And he was here!  Really, truly, finally here.  With eyes like his daddy and hair like his mama, and a velvety head both softer and sweeter than dozens of roses.  I held him close and we stayed attached, cord and all, for as long as we could.

   Grandma and Grandpa were his first visitors that night, but my heart ached to introduce him to his sisters!  What a lucky boy he is to have Jocelyn and Charlotte in his life.  I can't wait to watch them all become the best of friends.

   The next morning the girls came, and any worries I had about sibling jealousy were quieted as they showered him with kisses and hugs.  Jocelyn took to her role as "the oldest" immediately and with great possessiveness. Charlotte is a true second-born.  Loving him tenderly but still needing her own space and attention.  I can identify with her, being a 2nd child myself, with an older sister and younger brother.  I remember feeling jealousy when my younger brother came home from the hospital, with his special outfit and balloons.  That seems so strange me now that a child can feel that so young, but it motivates me to remember to meet their individual needs, and not just lump them all together, no matter how small they seem.

   Even weirder still is being able to remember when my parents were in this exact stage of life.  When my mom was 30, she had Shannon, me, and baby Shawn.  I will turn 30 in August and like mom, I have two little girls, and a baby boy.  My girls are younger at 4 and 3, while hers were 6 and 4 but it is still so strange to think of being exactly where my parents were at all those years ago.  My mom went on to have babies all throughout her 30s and into her 40s (her youngest was born at 43!) and I can hardly imagine what that must have been like.  But growing up I never felt like we were a burden to her, or something she just "endured".  She loved her children and raising her family and she did a great job.

 I only hope to do the same.

Sweet William we are so very, very glad you are here.  

   What a miracle you are.  I expected to be a little less in awe this time around, it being our 3rd child.  But it has been the opposite.  I feel more in awe and wonder at this whole indescribable gift of new life than ever before.  You were knit together in my womb by the Master's hand, and you are here now.  A brand-new person.  An arrow and a light to be raised up and sent forth into the darkness, and my heart bursts to think of the plans God has for you.  

You were a million times over, worth the wait.

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  1. Lovely birth story. I agree that the worst part about going late is wishing you would start on your own. I love how your family came to pray for you. Blessings in these fun and exausting baby days!

  2. I loved reading this!! And what a beautiful thing with the prayer from your family and the way God answered it so immediately! I can't believe your labor + delivery was only 2.5 hours...I bet it feels like a big + fast blur! Those little ones are so worth the waiting and emotions and challenge of labor. Enjoy him up! :D

  3. Hooray! What a beautiful story and a beautiful boy!

  4. Geena HarringtonJuly 10, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    SO beautiful! I love that all those moments overdue were just preparing your body for this perfect deliver... And your trust in the Lords timing! Just beautiful. Congratulations! Please share your tips on how you look so absolutely gorgeous giving birth!

  5. Ohhh I got chills at the part where you got another contraction right after the prayer. And that euphoric feeling? Yes, yes, YES! There is something so completely awesome about giving birth. It's a feeling like none other! And congrats on the little man. So sweet!

  6. I absolutely love birth stories & the uniqueness of each one! What a beautiful way to begin his for-real labor...family & prayer. Blessings as you continue to adjust!

  7. What a crazy, wonderful story! I love it. :)


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