Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Birth Story: Nathan, Our Gift from God

Our sweet Nathan made his debut on Sunday June 7th, 2015 at 2:17pm. He weighed 6lbs 7oz, and measured 19inches, perfect in every way.

But lets back up to my not so perfect labor! Or at least not the way I had planned for it to go but the way the Lord intended it for me. Here it goes...

It started Friday night, I felt some pain in my back but didn't think much of it. This was my most painful and achy pregnancy so I was used to being uncomfortable and in pain. Went to bed and then woke up from the pain in my back, it instantly brought back memories of the pain I felt when I was in labor with Luke, I knew then these were contractions for sure and baby was coming!

The contractions subsided and I was able to go back to sleep but the pain would occasionally wake me up. That Saturday morning I told Fred I was in labor, he was slightly freaked out but mostly in denial.

Throughout the day the contractions continued but they weren't steady. Labor wasn't moving along so we did as we always do, went to the mall to do some walking and hopefully get labor going! I really enjoyed the mall, we went to all the kid stores with the boys and I was trying to soak up every minute with them before their baby brother arrived. We headed home and contractions started to get stronger!

And then they subsided, once again.

By night time I was starting to get very frustrated, I had felt contractions all day but nothing strong enough to head to the hospital. It was 11pm, I took another walk around the block with my mom in hopes to really get labor going but contractions remained the same, we got home and went to bed. Fred's parents decided to spend the night in case we had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night, good thing they did!

I laid in bed awake and uncomfortable, I started to feel my contractions get more painful and close together! I began to time them, by 3am they were 1 minute long, every 5 minutes, the suggested time the doctor tells you to head to the hospital. I woke up Fred and my mom and said, "It's go time, vamonos!"

We did a quick stop at Whataburger! I knew once I was at the hospital I wouldn't be allowed to eat so I wanted to make sure I ate. I'd take bites in between my contractions and somehow I was able to finish a whole A1 Thick & Hearty by the time we arrived at the hospital! I waddled in, tummy full and ready to have this baby!

Thankfully I was 4cm dilated when they checked me but they still wanted to make sure I was progressing so they made Fred and I walk around the hospital for an hour to see if I would continue to dilate. I had already been walking all day! But I was a good patient and did what I was told.

It actually ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day. It was 5am, the hallways in the hospital were empty and quiet, Fred and I held hands and walked around pretending we were on a date stopping every so soften to get through a contraction, he'd rub my back make me laugh and then we'd continue strolling. I got checked again and I was 5cm! The nurse said I was really having this baby, and all I was thinking was, yes lady, I knew that yesterday morning! Let's do this!

By 11am I was about 6 or 7cm dilated, exhausted, hadn't slept in over 24 hours, my contractions had began to get extremely painful and intense so I requested my epidural. The nurse was impressed at how well I was managing pain on my own, she said she bet I could go without an epidural...

I should have knocked on wood.

I've been complimented in the past by nurses at how well I manage pain, keep calm and have a high pain tolerance but this was my third rodeo! I like epidurals, I'm pro-epidurals, I've gotten them in the past and did fine, I wasn't just going to go without one now! The anesthesiologist walked in to start my epidural.

And that's when everything went down hill.

Fred had to leave the room, this was the first time he's ever had to step out for the procedure, we thought, that stinks but fine, he'll step out, no big deal... Wrong!!!

The needle went in my back fine but a little more painful than what I remember with my others, the doctor started pumping the anesthesia in and instantly I felt like I was going to pass out, the room started spinning, my ears were ringing, it was getting hard to breath and my blood pressure was either spiking or plummeting, I couldn't tell but I could hear the nurse panicking a little as she counted the numbers really fast out loud to the doctor. I think I told him I was going to pass out so he stopped pumping the anesthesia and within seconds I felt fine. Not sure of why I my body was responding that way he took the needle out to adjust it and then the needle went in again. As soon as he started pumping I felt the exact symptoms once again! I think he told me the needle might be hitting a blood vessel, I don't even know what that means! The nurse said I probably had a bloody spine, I don't even know what that means either!

Unsure of what was happening we decided to give it a third try, if it didn't take I made my mind up that I'd just go without an epidural. We took a little break and by this time I was scared, freaked out not sure why my body was reacting this way to the epidural, I asked if Fred could please be in the room with me because I was so nervous so they brought him in.

The needle went in my back for the third time! He started pumping the anesthesia in and I felt fine, didn't feel like I was going to pass out this time! I thought it finally worked! They reclined me on the bed and I asked Fred to pray for me, I felt scared, I didn't feel like passing out but I didn't feel right. As the doctor continued with the procedure pumping the anesthesia in all of a sudden my ears began to ring, the room started to look really bright and all the symptoms I had felt came back again like a ton of bricks. I thought I was passing out for sure.

All I was thinking was, Fred is in the room, he's going to freak out when he sees me pass out, and then what's going to happen, how is this baby going to come out if I'm passed out? Before it got any worse I made them sit me up immediately and asked to get that darn needle out! It wasn't working, I was done! I didn't want to put myself or the baby at risk so I decided that was enough!

As the little anesthesia that had gone in began to wear off my toes I slowly began to process that I was going to have this baby with no epidural. I had not planned for this, I wasn't prepared,  I didn't know what was going to happen next! I nervously began asking the nurse what I could expect from here, I had never felt birth pain passed 7cm, my pain was already pretty unbearable, how was I going to make it to 10cm and push out this baby on my own?

I lost it. I was in tears. Terrified.

The sweet nurse along with Fred tried to encourage me and calm me down. I felt so out of control of the situation.

And this is where the Lord met me.

I do this too often, I sustain myself try to get through situations all on my own with out relying on the Lord then he lovingly brings me to a place where my only option is to trust in him.

God spoke to me, I was reminded of Jesus, in Matthew 26 it says Jesus was troubled and sorrowful knowing the pain of the cross was before him and the wrath of God that we deserve for our sins he was going to partake for us, he asked God three times to let the cup pass from him if it was his will, yet in Hebrews 12:2 we also read, "For the joy set before Him he endured the cross." Despite of the agony, Jesus was willing to die for us because he loved us and that brought him joy!

I know childbearing compares nothing to the sacrifice Jesus endured, but I was reminded that I too had physical pain before me but ultimately joy of a new life coming into the world! God had never abandoned me, he wasn't going to abandon me now.

Those thoughts calmed me spiritually but physically I was becoming a wreck... I knew there was joy set before me but the thing about having a high pain tolerance went straight out the window!

Honestly its all kind of a blur from here. But this is what I'm told happened...

I got checked and was dilated to about 9cm, my cervix was more on one side so they wanted me to change positions and flip me on my side so it would move. As they were trying to flip me I felt paralyzed, I could not physically move from the pain. I ended up on a strange sideways position, started screaming bloody murder at the top of my lungs and I instantly felt the urge to push. So I instinctively began pushing!

No one is ready for this baby to come out at this point, they didn't expect for me to actually begin pushing! Nothing is prepared, my nurse is on her lunch break, the doctor hasn't been called and I'm pushing this baby out now, all this while I'm uncontrollably screaming. Fred says he was freaked out, I literally had no control over myself or my screaming, I was hysterical. The doctor rushed in got in her scrubs and my nurse came back, they didn't even pull out the foot stand, there was a nurse at each side holding my feet up! They asked me to settle down and breath but I couldn't process what they were saying, Fred said it seemed like I was in shock and had mentally checked out.

I remember at some point thinking how crazy the situation was, how absurd I must look and sound but how happy I felt that I was so close to meeting my baby, it was almost over so I began laughing! I asked Fred later if he remembered me laughing at some point, he said, "oh is that what you were doing, you just sounded creepy." Ha!!!

So I'm frantically screaming and kinda laughing and the doctor yells "NANCY! LISTEN TO ME!" Apparently she sounded super rude but at that moment it's exactly what I needed. It was like a slap on the face to wake me up! I was able to gain a little control, settle down to push and...

Out comes my baby boy! My sweet Nathan. My gift from God.

His name means gift from God and we purposely chose this name for him because we felt from the moment I found out I was pregnant that the Lord had given us a gift, we were not trying, we weren't even sure if we wanted a third, but the Lord had other plans.

The pain, the screaming, the hysteria, instantly left the second I saw him and held him in my arms. I had never felt better after having a baby, emotionally, mentally, physically, I felt amazing! I tore a little and I didn't even feel her stitching me up! I was on cloud nine, completely overjoyed, ecstatic, and head over heels for my baby.

I got to bond and do skin to skin right away and Nathan latched like a little champ. My recovery was so fast that we were able to go home the next day.

While this has been my craziest birth story and I am extremely disappointed the epidural didn't work I wouldn't change this experience for the world. This is definitely our last baby and I'm grateful I got to experience raw, messy, screaming, drug-free child birth! Grateful God got us through and that the joy of it all outweighed the craziness.

A little sad to write my last and final birth story. I'm grateful my mom stood by my side at every single birth along with my best friend Selina who is more like my sister. She's been the person behind the lens and also captured Luke and Noah's births. Grateful for Fred, the love of my life, there since day one of every pregnancy, taking care of me and helping me get through labor while I squeeze the crap out of his hand! He's an amazing father. My journey into motherhood has been such a gift from God, I'm so grateful for the three amazing little boys who have changed my life forever. I never knew I could love someone head to toe, inside and out, unconditionally and more. I love you Luke, Noah and Nathan!

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