Thursday, November 08, 2007

This is How He Came

I think I should let everyone know that, when I write stories, I really write novels. I started this exerpt of my life on Tuesday and have just finished up this Thursday afternoon. Please excuse the lengthiness of this post. If you do not care for novels, skip down to the last paragraph to get to the exciting ending. It's like reading the last page in a book first, but I'll allow it this once.


That Sunday morning, I woke up to get ready for church. I pulled my white shirt over my head and looked in the mirror. I let go a cry of frustration... Even my maternity clothes didn't fit anymore! My belly was hanging out and would continue to do so throughout the day, if it wasn't for my constant tugging at the bottom hem. A tear dripped out of my eye... Ugh. Adam asked me what was wrong and I told him my complaint. That on top of very little sleep the night before. I hadn't been able to sleep until after 1:30am and was very grateful that our church had a late service. We managed to get to church on time (which is highly unusual) and we stood for the first song. My legs felt so heavy and tired. Figuring since I was now full term, I had a good excuse to sit down half-way through the song. Sitting felt nice. The service was exceptionally good that day and I left feeling encouraged by the verses that our pastor covered in Philippians chapter 3. We stopped for brunch on the way home and, as I anticipated, I was asked when I was due. "Today," was my answer, to which she replied, "What are you doing here then?" All I was doing was waiting and I was fairly sure that I'd still be waiting for a good portion of the week. Once we were home, my bed looked so comfy. I crawled in and covered me head. About an hour later, I was awoken by knocking at our back door. It was our neighbor who often comes over to visit and play with our dog. I drag myself out of the comfort of my bed, blink my eyes a few times trying to wake up, and wander off to see my neighbor. Little did I know that that hour of sleep would come to be a lifesaver. Both Adam and I ended up going to bed somewhat early that night, around 9:30. Of course, sleep was still going to evade me and I lay there till 10:30 when I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen for a snack. My tummy was rumbling with hunger. I was also having a few minor contractions but nothing to get excited about, as this had been happening all week. I made myself some toast with peanut butter and sat down at the computer to eat. I pulled up my face book account and started doing puzzles. The contractions weren't going away and as I finished my snack, I glanced at the time. 10:52. I continued putting together online puzzles for about an hour and a half. The cramping sensations in my back were slightly worse than they had been the other nights I had had them, but were very tolerable, I thought. They had been coming steadily every two - six minutes. Hmm. By now it was after twelve and I turned off the Internet and got up. Adam was in bed sleeping. He must've woke up when I walked in the room, but I don't remember exactly what I said. I didn't want to get him too excited because, after all, this had happened before and the contractions had petered out and gone away.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

Earlier in the evening, I found myself rereading Philippians chapter 3, the scripture that was covered in the message during church that morning. I had been having a bit of anxiety over the weekend and really wanted to know how to deal with it properly. I wasn't sure where to start, so I read chapter three and on through chapter four. There, in chapter four, I was struck by verse six. It was a familiar verse, but often times we just need to hear something twice (or more, in my case) in order for it to stick. In that verse, my problem was addressed. Give over my anxiety to the Lord. He can handle it for me. I don't need to stress out over silly things. Funny thing is, I wasn't stressed over giving birth or labor, but something else entirely. But now I knew, or should I say was reminded, what I had to do. I couldn't relax until I spent some time in prayer asking the Lord to handle my problems. So that's what I had done.

*I know I skipped backwards here, but I felt like it was an important part of my story and therefore should be told. You see, the Lord had it so I didn't have Joshua until I had given over this anxiety to Him. It was almost like He was waiting for me. I know that I probably would've given birth the same time even if I hadn't , but it's great to know that, by the time Josh did come, the Lord had taken care of my problems and I could be at rest with it.*

So back to just after midnight... Adam was now awake and aware that I had been having some minor contractions. He wondered if this could possibly be it, but how could I be sure? I then called my doctor who thought, since I was already four centimeters and the contractions were 2-4 minutes apart, that I should come in, but had no need to rush. At this point I'm thinking that it's probably just false labor and we shouldn't over-react. My bags were all packed anyways, so at least we didn't have to worry about that. We decide to wait a while longer and see what happens. Adam lays on one couch and after being reassured by me that he would be awoken if anything changed, he falls asleep. I, on the other hand, lay on the other couch and watch the clock for the next two hours trying to sleep. The minutes tick by and so do the contractions. They're not quite like clockwork and I can still breath and talk if I pleased, but my back is kinda sore. I explain the back pain by comparing it with the aches you get with a bad period. By 2:30 Adam wakes up and asks me how I'm doing. I was about to wake him up because 2:30 was my time till which I was waiting. I think we should go, but I'm still afraid that we'll go all the way to the hospital and then everything will stop and we'll have wasted a trip in the middle of the night for nothing. And it's 45 minutes there. So we pack up our dog and grab our things. Molly is being dropped off at a friends house and that is another reason why I am nervous. I don't want to wake them up at 3:00 in the morning if this is fake.

Anyone up for the fast version?

I get to the hospital just after 3am... I was five cm and contractions were closer together than they liked. I get admitted and we have our very own room. This is where I get the only hour of sleep that night. Adam sleeps too, but in the chair/bed across the room. I had been hooked up to a monitor so I wasn't worried anymore about timing my own contractions and I could still sleep through my contractions. At about six am, I got two new nurses to look after me. They asked me my rate of pain, which was very minimal. The one nurse, Jane, let me get up and walk around the halls with Adam. Together, we timed my contractions, which were now steadily three minutes apart. After a few laps, Adam got bored and since it was about 8 am now, and I wasn't in grave pain yet, they let me eat breakfast. Yum... I was hungry and would need the extra calories for what was ahead. At 9:00 I see the doctor who was on call, who also happened to be the doctor that I'd been seeing all along at the OBGYN. The nice Dr, not the one who made me feel fat. I was then six centimeters but the contractions I was having were not going to get me anywhere. At least they weren't anywhere near strong enough to push out a baby. So at 9:30 the Dr. broke my water and a few short moments later, I started feeling the pain. Did I want to stand up, sit down, lay back, walk, squat, do anything? I didn't know what I wanted to do or how to get comfortable. Sitting on the toilet sounded good to me. So I sat there for a while... They asked me if I was okay in there. How could I be? I could barely stand to wash my hands! Once out of the bathroom, I hung like a rag doll around Adam's neck. He rocked me back and forth and helped me to remember how to breathe. Pretty soon, I didn't feel like standing... My knees kept buckling during contractions and I was getting so hot!They let me sit on the birthing ball and I held onto Adam's waist. He kept swabbing my neck and forehead with a cold washcloth. When the contractions would start up (Adam was watching the monitor numbers), he let me know one was coming and then he would breathe through it with me. At one point, I tell him that I think I want some pain medication. My plan was to go natural, but how could I endure? He tells me, "Let me know when you want something." I repeat what I had just said. He doesn't get it, but in the end it was worth it. Somewhere around 11:00, they check me again. This time I'm 9 1/2 cm and the nurse tells us we only have a few contractions to go before I can push. By now I'm laying in the bed and the contractions are very close together and quite overwhelming. Adam continues to be by my side, helping me through every minute. He passes me my drink, swabs my forehead and breathes with me. The nurses remind me not to hyperventilate, which is very hard not to do. Everything in the room is set up and ready to go. I can't help but think, "This must really be it." Okay, finally I have reached 10 cm. The pushing begins and for the next hour and a half, I push like never before. My eyes were going to pop out, my whole body wants to give up, I am at the point of exhaustion. Adam counts to ten in my ear for each push. He's right there with me the whole time. In between contractions, my body relaxes and, if it wasn't for the next contraction, I could've fallen asleep right away. So thankful am I at that point for breakfast and that hour of sleep. The Doctor is there now... They are urging me to push harder. I try my best... Soon they tell me that they can see the baby's hair. The baby has hair? I was expecting a bald baby... "Push with everything you've got!" I thought I had been. I try harder. Adam gets real excited... He's still up by my head counting to ten. "You're doing great!" "You're almost there!" Then Adam says, "You can see him!" They urge me to continue. How can I stop now? Adam says, "There he is! He's here!"And then it's all over... They hold up the baby and tell me it's a boy. I just knew it would be a boy from the beginning. Oh wait... don't I get to hold him? But they've taken him way over to the other side of the room to clean him up. I protest and say that I want to hold him. The Dr. tells me that they're just making sure he gets the best start. I just want to look at him and touch him. The tears start to come along with stifled sobs. I'm so tired and I've worked so hard... Why can't they just let me hold him close? Adam is there next to him, stroking his little body and kissing his little face. And here I am stuck in this bed with the Dr. tending to me. It seemed like forever before I was finally able to hold our little baby. In actuality it had been about a half hour. Even once he was in my arms, the tears still came. I was overwhelmed. This was our baby. The baby we had been waiting for. God had sent him to us to take care of. God had given us little Joshua Adam. And now he was here.

16 comments:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

What a story! I am glad he is here!

Rachel said...

What a great story...and it's true! It sounds like you ave a great hubby. I still can't help but say, "Ouch" every time I think about you having that 8lb 9oz baby with NO pain meds.

Martha said...

Your stories always make me laugh somewhere along the way.

"The pushing begins and for the next hour and a half, I push like never before. My eyes were going to pop out, my whole body wants to give up, I am at the point of exhaustion... The Doctor is there now... They are urging me to push harder. I try my best... Soon they tell me that they can see the baby's hair. The baby has hair? I was expecting a bald baby... "Push with everything you've got!" I thought I had been. I try harder."

Oh my goodness! Can that ever take me back. I couldn't stop thinking about you going through labor and delivery... my little girl. I know why Gmj paced the floor while T. was in labor. I just kept praying it would be over soon and you would have a healthy baby. I was relieved when Adam's phone call came!

Heather said...

OH, Bethany, that is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Gudl said...

Thank you for sharing! I read the whole post. It brought back memories! You are a tough woman! 1 1/2 hours of pushing, that is a l o o n g time!
You did good!
How are you doing now?
Do you feel well? How is the nursing going? All the best wishes from me, even if I don't know you, I feel like I do!

Bethany said...

I'm doing pretty good now, thanks for asking! Breast feeding is such a chore... But I know that is the best for Josh and I'm willing to put up with the pain for him. I think it'll be easier when we get into a real schedule and when I toughen up. :) Hopefully that'll be soon!

Gudl said...

Yes, it will be soon! But I know what you mean with 'toughen up'.... it was painful in the beginning! But it is so worth it! It is the best for the child and lateron it is also so nice for the mom, when the child looks at you and smiles...it's all worth it! And it protects agains allergies ....but I am sure you know all this.
It will get better soon! Hang in there! I breastfed my three babies and it was great! You are doing good!

Rachel said...

I forgot all about the pain when I started breastfeeding. It will end and soon it won't be such a chore anymore!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story...rare does one remember such detail...good for you for writing it all down in such a wonderful way you have of writing. You appear to take after someone else who is good at telling great stories...seems to run in the family..I love listening to you grandpa tell stories also..and your mom...Keep it up my darlin...big hugs and lottsa love and wishing I was there...love yogramanita

Anonymous said...

adding it all up, I believe I breastfed around 12 years in all...I loved the feeling (after, as you said we toughen up) of being so close to the babies and it was hard to give it up when the time comes...Its a wonderful feeling of being so incredibly close to your baby..good memories for me.

Jessica Morris said...

Oh how beautiful! I got all teary eyed!! Your son is just gorgeous!!
And Adam sounds like such a great husband!!

Shelly said...

Loved the story! Made me cry.
It took exactly 2 weeks for BF to become less painful!! Another one of those things I wish someone had told me!! Is it any easier for you now????

Bethany said...

Today has actually been much less painful, and it will have been two weeks tomorrow. This is a very good thing.

Sarah Wilbur said...

Oh, Bethany!!! Your story was perfect!!! You did a fabulous job writing!!! And, I am so very very proud of you for I believe going totally med-free!!! Way to go, especially with such a big baby!!!:) And, he is absolutely beautiful!! Congrats again!!!

Country Blonde said...

Good job Bethy!!

Country Blonde said...

I am so glad that you shared that story with us.I just found it some how I missed reading it.I can't wait to talk to you and hear how everything is now. I can't wait till it is my turn!!