September 21, 2020 was our actual due date, but we got to meet him 11 days early!

This was the week! If all went according to plan, Thursday, Sept. 10th would be the day I’d be induced, and hopefully would be our baby boy’s birthday. I was so excited. Everything felt like a complete blur. I was anxious, excited, exhausted, and very uncomfortable. These last eight weeks had been tough physically, but God had given me the strength I needed to get through each day. It was hard to believe we had made it to this point. I thought back to week 6 and 8 of pregnancy—the huge uncertainties, the scary times, but also God’s faithfulness. My body had been through some weird things this pregnancy, but now our baby was full-term and my body was holding out ok. I enjoyed the last few days of time with just my first son. It was wonderful. We played piano, sang songs, ran around in the yard (why not, if it started labor so what?), had a snack and movie date, and read lots of books. I was so thankful God had given me this little boy to raise.

With all the excitement of a new baby on the way, I was also pretty nervous. I had so many what if’s going through my head, so many emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Like I did early on in the pregnancy, I made the choice to not dwell on them, but instead talk to God about it all. It was again so much more calming and refreshing for my heart. It also saved me a lot of unnecessary stress and loss of sleep.

My prayers:

  • For Rylan’s transition as a big brother, no longer an only-child
  • For the transition from 1-2 kids
  • To avoid preeclampsia this time
  • For my epidural to work this time
  • For my blood pressure to stay under control during labor and delivery
  • For no high fever or kidney stone after delivery
  • For my doctor to be there for delivery
  • For wisdom for the doctors and nurses
  • For me to be able to handle wearing a mask
  • For Zach’s strength and health
  • To keep my focus on the Lord and his goodness during hormonal changes and recovery
  • For a smooth recovery if possible
  • For my baby to be unaffected by my high blood pressure throughout pregnancy
  • For my body to make it past the 36-37 week point

I had a lot I could have worried about, however it was so much better to know that God had heard my prayers, would be by my side no matter what, and that even if he answered each of these with a no, that things would still be ok.

We checked into the hospital at 10:00 after dropping off Rylan to our good friend. My labor/delivery nurse was my first answer to prayer—she was incredible. She was funny and threw sarcasm and jokes out as fast as I did throughout the day. Like my mindset for many things, if it can be fun, make the most of it and get through it. She was right on board. She was caring, wise, and my cheerleader the whole way. Everytime I said something that she thought was funny or something she didn’t know about, she’d dramatically give me a, “Shut UP girl!” which just added to the fun. She was hilarious.

By 11:00, they had me going on pitocen, and by 11:40 my doctor had come to break my water. I figured I may as well do some walking while I felt good, so Zach and I took many laps around the labor/delivery floor. The hallways were pretty empty and quiet, but it was nice. Hand in hand, we walked. What a champ for Zach walking around in a mask with me looking like a whale with my sweet hospital gown. At one point I joked (somewhat) about starting to jog or something. He said maybe that wasn’t a good idea, and just in time for some tougher contractions to start. Ok, I decided not to get carried away. I remembered how much I had wanted to walk during my labor with Rylan, but was unable to. There were a lot of complications that day, and ones I didn’t see coming. I was thankful to be able to do this now.

At 1:30 I got the epidural. Ouch—that may have been the most painful part of the process. I was really nervous about this, and had gone back and forth about getting one. With my first delivery, the epidural had not worked, and had really messed some things up. I was nervous, but wanted to give it a shot (no pun intended) again. I had prayed, and I specifically asked God to let this crazy thing work.

Shortly after that, I realized that the epidural was working. Wow! Whoever invented this thing was brilliant. So far my blood pressure was ok. I was feeling ok. My baby was doing ok too. And another answered prayer—this wearing a mask thing wasn’t so bad! We got some breaks here and there, but it wasn’t horrible. I had been worried about it. My head was as clear as it could be, but in between conversations with the nurse, spent a lot of time praying and thanking God for this whole process. I prayed for my little boy to be healthy and that when it was time to deliver, we would be safe. I prayed for the doctor’s and nurses’ wisdom, and was so thankful that God had given me to them as their patient that day.

Around 4:00 the nurse started to notice that with my contractions, the baby’s heartrate was decreasing. It didn’t get better over time, and after the second phone call from the nurse to Dr. Hill, I began to feel a twinge of fear creep up into my throat. What was going on? Was my baby going to be ok? What was my body doing? “Oh shut up, look at that contraction!” the nurse exclaimed. I just laughed. I needed a good, “Shut up, Christine” that moment. Worrying would do nothing for me or for the baby. I just kept praying. These people knew what they were doing, and they would do everything possible for my little guy to be ok and arrive safely.

Dr. Hill got there close to 5:00, and I was glad she did. Little guy’s heart rate continued to drop, and my nurse stopped with her sarcasm. She was worried, I could tell. The cord might be wrapped around, and our baby got the name, “Stinker” pretty quickly. He had gone from head-down to completely transverse. Not helpful. I could feel the stress increase throughout the room, as the doctor mentioned a possible c-section if he didn’t turn downward soon. Well shoot. Not what I wanted to hear, but I trusted her. My doctor could sense the tension too, and finally said, “Ok. Let’s turn on music or something. We can’t just sit and worry.” Smart lady—she was right. I pulled out my phone and we started looking through Rylan’s 2nd birthday album. Good ol’ Mickey Mouse. It was fun. We were able to just talk about life, kids, school, etc. and it was so helpful. Again, this epidural was awesome. I wasn’t feeling much of anything. At 5:30 my doctor said, “Ok we need to just pray this kid drops. Start gowning up for a c-section.” I was about to get sick. No. I mean if she made the call, then sure. But I was so scared. I closed my eyes and silently pleaded with God to turn this baby, make him drop, something. Just please keep him safe.” “Alright, it’s time to go,” she said. I didn’t even know what that meant. All of the sudden, I felt a weight shift in my body. It didn’t hurt, but something had happened. “It’s time to push, Christine, he’s ready!” HE HAD DROPPED!! I quickly thanked the Lord, and then asked for strength. Within minutes, our little boy was born. Oh he was beautiful. My head was spinning, and I’m not sure what all went on after that. All I knew was, wow! God just answered so many prayers, and He brought this little life into the world safely for us. What a miracle! My nurse, Michelle, gave me a big hug and a “You’re so awesome” at the end. What a champ for sticking with me through all of that.

Over the course of the next few hours and days, there seemed to be many ups and downs, but looking back, it was all a lot of ups. Our little boy spent some time in the NICU to regulate breathing, but he was able to bounce back pretty quickly. Our nurses and doctors were wonderful. I was already recovering so quickly, did not have a nasty fever, preeclampsia, or high blood pressure like before, and I overall felt good. I was so thankful. This was a night and day difference from my first delivery. I was even able to enjoy the great hospital food this time.

On Monday night, September 14th, we were released to come home. We were so happy. I was overwhelmed with emotion on the drive home from Methodist. It was a beautiful evening, and the sun was beginning to set. I was so excited to come home, however saying goodbye to the people who helped us so much these last few days was a little tough. The NICU doctors and nurses were wonderful. They took such good care of our son and us. All of my nurses on the mom floor were so helpful and caring. My labor/delivery nurse, Michelle, and my OBGYN, Dr. Hill, I really think are angels. I can’t imagine even an hour in their jobs, but without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. My little boys were safely delivered, and my pregnancies were closely monitored under their care. I will never be able to thank them enough. Tonight, on my baby’s due date, I got the hand-written card in the mail from them all—I will treasure it forever.

It’s 11 days that we’ve had our second son with us, and we are so happy. Our adjustment as a family of four has been much smoother than I anticipated. I wouldn’t call it super easy, but it hasn’t been difficult at this point. God is good. He heard countless prayers from my heart throughout this pregnancy, as well as prayers of so many others. He answered yes to so many, none of which I deserved. He has once again amazed us with his power, creativity, and his merciful love. So happy to be home as a family of four!