The last time we published a blog was about 2 weeks before baby girl made her debut. Now she’s 4 1/2 months old and I’m finally ready to share the story of her arrival and how I became a mother.
As with most births, the process begins long before the baby is actually delivered, they call this labor. For me, labor was completely different than I expected. I went in for my 38 week appointment and I felt terrible: exhausted and woozy and I was already dilated pretty well. For the first time ever, my blood pressure was high so they sent me over to the hospital for observation, my blood pressure was up, down, up and all around so my OB decided it would be best to admit me and see if we could get things going as natural as possible. Even though I wasn’t really prepared to stay at the hospital, we were excited that the process had started.
I was hooked up to all kinds of monitors, and Cory had his couch bed all ready to go as we tried to rest for the work we knew would be coming soon. I didn’t sleep at all that night and by the next morning they checked me and said, you’re progressing fast! I naively thought to myself, we’re going to have this baby by lunch time. Our amazing, kind, generous, faithful, hardworking, irreplaceable Doula, Becky joined us at the hospital and we began the walking, rocking and encouraging labor to really kick in. So here’s the part that most women will want to punch me in the face for, my contractions weren’t bad at all, I don’t think the nurses believed me. Maybe it’s that I was singing along to All Sons & Daughters and Jourdan Johnson (this is seriously my favorite) the whole time and that kept me in the zone, who knows. So after 24 hrs of labor, I was still stuck at the same place I had been when they told me I was progressing fast :/. By this time they figured out that our sweet daughter that had been head down, face down every. single. ultrasound. was now face up and hadn’t moved down at all. So, we began pitocin and all kinds of positions to get her to turn and move down. It was a no go and I was exhausted, even through all the pitocin and blood pressure monitoring the contractions were manageable but I was sooooo tired. So, holding on to hope that I could still have our girl without surgery, we got an epidural and I rested for about 30 minutes.
I can not go any further without stopping to say, my husband is amazing. Most people that know him well know that he is tender hearted and we were both unsure how he would do seeing me in pain. Cory was so awesome not only just holding my hand, but breathing with me, applying counter pressure, affirming me and looking at me with love filled eyes. He was perfect.
They came back to check me and at this point we had been laboring for 36 hours, and they were very concerned about my blood pressure that was rising. The last option to get our daughter here safely was to have a c-section. A c-section was the last thing I wanted but there was nothing else left to do. I was at peace until right before they took me back to surgery and I had to just trust the Lord’s sovereignty & rest that whatever happened would be in his hands, like it always is.
The moment our daughter entered the outside world I calmed down. Our darling girl had been stuck sideways and face up! The first thing I heard was the doctor exclaim with a surprised tone, “Oh she’s beautiful!” followed by her cry, but she only cried until they got her warmed and wrapped up. Cory brought her over to me and I said, “Hi Rylie” and she looked at me with her big soulful eyes, put her head on my cheek and sighed.
I thought my heart would burst. This was THE moment I became a mother and I hope I never, ever forget her content sigh. She knew me, knew the sound of my voice and the beat of my heart, never have I experienced someone knowing me so intimately immediately upon meeting. From that moment on, I have been profoundly changed.
So much of our experience becoming parents has driven Cory & I closer to each other and the feet of Jesus. Being a mother is wonderful, scary, exciting, exhausting, joy-filled and refining. God gave us the best gift in our daughter, she is better than I ever could have dreamed up and because of her Father is shinning a bright light on the corners of my selfish, prideful heart. The only things more transformative for me than becoming a mother has been becoming a wife and follower of Jesus. We had some intense, scary moments in the hours, days and weeks following Rylie’s birth with my health and in every moment I am certain that we were being held by the Holy Spirit and prayers from dear friends & family.
What I want our daughter to know about her birth is that she is worth every minute of labor, delivery and postpartum, and we love her more than our own breaths, but we will never love her as much as Jesus does. “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”- 1 John 4:9-10