Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hudson's Birth Story

Dear Hudson,

I have been feeling quit guilty for not sitting down sooner to write this, but I just looked back at Sully's birth story and I waited six weeks to write his.  Considering I'm chasing your brother all day and taking care of you, my sweet boy, the fact that it's only been seven weeks makes me feel pretty darn good.

My pregnant belly three days before you came into this world
So, Hudson John, this is your story.  I love every part of it.  Not because it was easy. But because it was worth it.

You were due on July 7th and for two months I had been praying that you would come early for three reasons. The first was that Dr. Falkner was worried about how big you would be, despite the fact that I assured her these hips were made for birthing babies.  The second was that I was feeling incredibly miserable.  I felt like my belly just couldn't get any bigger.  My maternity shirts were beginning to not cover my belly and my waddle just got worse every day. And the third reason was that I really wanted your Aunt Kristie to be there for your birth.  I had wanted her to be there when Sully was born, too, but she was out of town.  Her summers are incredibly busy and she was scheduled to start chemo on Wednesday, June 25th.

Saturday, June 21 was a hot and humid day.  I was especially miserable and grouchy.  After dinner I told your dad that we needed to take a walk because I just couldn't sit any more and I needed to get out of the house.  So we walked.  We walked two miles (well, he walked.  I waddled).  I felt better after that.  That night we watched two episodes of our favorite show this summer, Longmire and it was around midnight when we went to bed.  As I laid down that night I had only one thought, I knew exactly what I would wear to church the next day.  I remember thinking that I have no idea what we will do tomorrow but I am sure of what I will wear.

That night around 2:30 am I woke up and I rolled over my water broke.  A huge gush.  I JUMPED out of bed and yelled to your dad that my water broke.  In a sleepy daze he jumped out of bed as I waddled to the bathroom and asked me if I was sure.  I was definitely sure.  It was the strangest feeling.

We called the doctor's office and spoke with the answering service.  The woman was so kind that we talked with and congratulated me.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I anxiously waited for the midwife to call me back.  I got in the shower and just started laughing.  Your dad came in the bathroom and thought I was losing it.  I was giddy!  I stood in that shower laughing while tears streamed down my face at the realization that not only did God hear the cries of my heart but He so graciously answered.  I prayed, and sang and thanked God and my heart burst knowing I would meet you soon.

Standing in that shower I thought I would meet you soon.  I thought that contractions would start and we would hurry to the hospital and that you would be born that day.  But, my little love, you were not ready.

The midwife called back and said if I was comfortable I could labor at home for a while and if nothing happened by 7am to head in.  She said I could sit in the bathtub and labor in there.  So, that is what I did.  I even painted my toe nails.  And I kept waiting for the contractions to start.  But they never did.

It's funny how I went to bed just hours before thinking that for certain I knew one thing- that I would wear the pretty blue dress I wore for our family pictures to church.  I never got to wear that dress and Sunday looked much different than I envisioned.

By 4:30 am after a bath, a pedicure and trying to sleep I decided there was too much to do.  I got up, got dressed, did laundry, put dishes away and packed Sully's overnight bag.  Around 6 am Grandpa came over to watch Sully and by 8 am your dad and I left for the hospital.  We stopped at Tim Horton's and got an iced tea and a breakfast sandwich.  We checked in to the hospital and when the nurse started hooking me up to the monitors she didn't seem to believe me that my water broke.
Eileen, the best labor and delivery nurse!
That was when I learned that you were still very high.  Once the midwife came in (a very sweet and lovely woman named Elaine) she affirmed that my water did break but I was not dilated or thinned out at all and yes, you still were very high.  Enter Pitocin.  The dreaded Pit Drip.

Contractions started.  They progressively got worse. No back labor (woo hoo!).  I used the big exercise ball to labor on (loved it).  Aunt Kristie came because she had two days open and I happened to be in labor during them!  And what seemed like at first would be a Sunday delivery was quickly turning into the realization that you would not be born on Sunday.

I had the sweetest nurse during the day.  Her name is Jaime and she could not have been any cuter. She was pregnant and adorable and did I mention sweet?  I adored her!  She held my hand through the epidural (the epidural that was meant for an elephant because it made me go numb from the neck down) and she even sat by my side while I slept and she filled out paperwork.

The epidural was not the best experience but I'm grateful for the rest I had while I had it (despite the fact that I could feel NOTHING and I couldn't even help turn myself over so I was propped up with pillows).  I got the epidural around 6:30pm.  I slept.  Aunt Kristie slept. Your dad watched the World Cup on his tiny little Ipod.

Around 7pm the nurses switch shifts and do you know who walked in that door?  Eileen.  The same nurse who helped deliver your brother.  Hudson, that was an incredible gift from God.  She is just the best.  God's hand prints were all over this day. Your birthday.  Eileen and I got to talking. We got to sharing about our lives. We got to talking about God and His goodness and His grace and how He redeems all things and makes all things new.  And we got to see the good Lord wrap His arms around Eileen and remind her how much He cares for her.  We invited her to come to The Chapel.  We shared pictures of your brother and Eileen showed us her favorite picture of one of her sons.  Tears welled up in our eyes and our hearts were filled because, Hudson John, as you were getting ready to make your way into this world, God was reminding us that life is best lived for Him.  Life is so much about sharing our story and giving credit to the author.  Yes, this is your birth story, my sweet boy, but there is an Author, and He gets All. The. Glory.

Around 12:05 am it was time to push.  I felt nothing so Eileen coached me through when to push. I am grateful for her beyond words.  Dad held one leg, Eileen the other.  Aunt Kristie spoke sweet and encouraging words, sprinkled with excitement. I was frustrated I couldn't feel anything.  I felt out of control because I couldn't feel anything. How could I be doing any work to help you out when I couldn't feel anything?  But you came.  You came. You made your way and my boy, I'm so in love.

Dr. Smith was on call and delivered you at 12:35 am (turns out He is Emilie's softball coach so Aunt Kristie knew him- small world, right?).  You weighed 7lbs 12oz and were 20 1/4 inches long. Shortly after they put you in my arms I felt incredibly nauseous and had to hand you back.  I got horrible shakes and they had to give me anti-nausea medicine and pile warm blankets on me.  Eileen sat by my side and held my hand.  In that moment I felt scared and I felt loved. Loved by this sweet nurse who took such incredible, tender care of me and loved by God, who so sweetly answered my prayers and was faithful to calm my anxious heart.

Hudson, I don't know what your life will hold.  I don't know the number of days you will walk this Earth.  But I know this- the start to your story has God's hand prints all over it.  The prelude to you entering it is filled with the faithfulness and grace of a very loving, very mighty God who has taken great care to knit you together, to know your innermost being and to orchestrate your story. May you, Hudson John, live out the story He writes. May you be bold in loving, tender with your words, and bring peace wherever your feet walk. May you take leaps of faith knowing and believing that God is who He says He is and that He has the power to do what He has promised and when given opportunity may you give Him every ounce of credit as the Author to your story. May your story be great. Because the Author is great.  And may you walk every step this side of heaven knowing that you, my boy, are loved.
Ready to go home from the hospital!

As I sit and write this I hear your little whimpers upstairs as your dad gets you ready for bed. And I sit here before this computer, tears welling in my eyes, thinking how I can't believe this is my story. I never asked for it.  God graciously wrote it out. I'm walking it. The mom of two boys. The wife of a man who loves me so sweetly, the daughter of a King whose throne endures forever. I don't deserve it and I sure have done nothing to earn it.

I love that I am your mama. I love that you are my son. I love that you are Sully's brother and that already you resemble him. He loves you.  He wants to hold you every day.  He gives you endless kisses. Such a gift to watch you together even now.  Welcome to our family.  We waited so patiently for you.  I'm so glad you are here.

Love you forever,