Thursday, September 22, 2016
It has taken me far too long to get Malachi's birth story shared. With him being 1 month today, I thought it was finally time.
I don't even know where to begin with this story. This one is just different. We thought we were taking a break, but for Christmas we got a surprise gift: finding out our family would be growing again. Our children had been asking for another sibling since we brought Nehemiah home and God answered their prayers, just like He did for Britney and me 23+ years ago. And as always God knows best and He has a plan.
On the whole the pregnancy was not bad. In fact in many ways it was the easiest. But in other ways it was very difficult. As it got closer to the end it got increasingly difficult to do many things and in the last 4 weeks I couldn't drive our van. The baby was big and I had a LOT of fluid which added to the overall discomfort. And I was HOT ALL THE TIME!
During the pregnancy we were helping my sister plan her wedding, which was a month after the due date, so with that going on I really wanted the baby to come early so we had time to adjust before that.
Enter all of the emotional hormonal mess that is increased with pregnancy. Dealing with the unexpected, dealing with the hearts of the kids expressing their desires and opinions, dealing with marriage, dealing with sin, dealing with my own expectations of the pregnancy and seeking control instead of relinquishing to God. I wrestled day and night with God and trusting Him and His plans for us.
The due date drew closer with no increase in contractions. I was anxious. I was fearful. I did NOT want to be induced again. But my due date came and went. A week later still no baby. Induction was scheduled for Monday if no labor over the weekend. Not at all what I wanted and I had everyone I knew praying. But I knew it was inevitable. I knew my body and like with Sam, this baby was going to need some coaxing to make its appearance.
I woke at 5 am Monday August 22 to call and make sure they had a bed for me. I tried to go back to sleep for an hour but to no avail. After 10 minutes of praying to go to sleep and my mind going a mile a minute I decided to get up and spend some time reading Psalms and praying. I was already so anxious, I needed as much prayer time as I could get. God calmed my spirit. I ate a sausage biscuit so I would at least have a little energy and got ready to go. I kissed the kids who were up and Jim and I headed to the hospital.
We got to the hospital and checked in. Due to a miscommunication I had no nurse for over an hour so Jim and I hung out in the room and I walked as much as I could to try and get something going, but still the same. The nurse came in to tell me what the plan was. An IV was started after 2 sticks (MY WORST NIGHTMARE IN LABOR!) The plan was to then break my water, but the baby was still way to high for it to be safe for her to manually break it. Dr. Girard couldn't even feel the head so they got an ultrasound and the baby was slightly transverse. They ordered a maternal fetal ultrasound and I walked while I waited because the baby moved according to how I was positioned.
I prayed the baby would move so that I would not need to be sectioned and walked. By the time the next ultrasound was done (maybe 10 minutes) the baby was in the right position! God came through!
So pitocin was started, I was hooked up to a mobile monitor and continued walking. Our friend and Jim's coworker Emily Ewing was working that day so we talked to her for a bit while she waited for the next delivery. There were a few more contractions and they got a touch stronger, but after 3 hours they were still not in a good labor pattern.
Dr. Girard decided to check to see if she could break my water. The baby was in place but still a bit high. Jim and our nurse, Jennifer, held him in place and she began trying to break my water. The membrane was tough and it took about 10 attempts for her to break the bag. When she finally got it the flood gates poured! My fluid had been VERY high. Dr, G said it was the most water she had ever seen!
Once the flood stopped Dr. G checked to make sure everything was good and the baby was in an odd position again. She said she could feel fingers so she attempted to move it back. The baby also felt like it had moved back to a transverse position. We prayed again for the baby to get in the right place. I turned on my left side to see if it would help. Fairly quickly God moved the baby back into the correct vertex position and she could no longer feel fingers! God answered positively again!
It took about 30 minutes to really get contractions going. By 1 pm they were excruciating! I have never had labor pains like that before. The baby was probably still not in the best position for birth because it had never felt like that. Most likely he was side ways or even backwards. I attempted to turn to my right side, but the first contraction I had there the heart rate dropped and I had to go back to the left. I stayed in a semi left position for the rest of the time.
Around 2 I started to lose it. I was only 7-8 cm and the pain was worse than any labor I had ever had before. In fact, for me, it was really the first time I'd experienced true pain. It was weird and I was struggling to hold on. I told Jim I couldn't do it and he was right there telling me I could. I prayed for strength.
Finally the baby started to turn and get into the right position. About 2:30 the urge to push was irresistible and I was allowed to push! I could tell the baby was big and tall. Dr. G told me to look down and at 2:35 our newest babe was born. I asked Jim what it was. He laughed and said, "It's a boy!" "Really!?" "Yes!"
We have another son! I couldn't believe it but I was happy. They quickly put him on my chest. My first thought when I saw him was, "He looks exactly like Nehemiah only bigger, but I can't name him Nehemiah too." (We hadn't settled on a boys name yet.) Emily was right there checking him out. Everything looked good. As I looked at him my gut said, Malachi, but I wanted to get a better look at him after they were done cleaning me up.
Emily took him and measured him. 9 lbs 13 oz and 21 1/2 inches! He was a BIG BOY!
As I was looking at Malachi later I heard that still small voice say to me, "He is my messenger to you that I will not leave you or forsake you." I really wrestled with trusting God during this pregnancy, especially at the beginning and the last 6 weeks of it. God has reminded with this little boy that He is always there and looking out for my best even when it's not happening the way I want. My biggest request was please not a c-section and every time we thought it could be heading that way, God came through and kept it from happening and got me through without an epidural when I didn't think I could make it. He still gave me the birth that is the basic of my desire and never left my side.
Thank You, Father, for Malachi and for getting me through labor one more time. Thank You for never leaving me and never forsaking me even in the midst of my doubts and fears. Thank You for having mercy on such a weak and lowly vessel. Continue to grow my faith as I seek to follow You where ever You lead.
Please save Malachi by Your great grace and make him a mighty messenger for Your Gospel, Your Truth. I pray he will be a prosperous friend to all he meets because he knows You. Let him be Your beloved son and friend. Let Your riches pour out of him and over to those he meets. Use this precious boy for Your Kingdom!