Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Small update that turned into my birthing story. Read with caution.

Lastt week I had a baby. Wait, not last week.....2 1/2 months ago.  That was fast!!  As I write this, it's the middle of the night, my family is all asleep and we are getting on a plane in t-really soon.  (I'm too tired to actually calculate what that would be).  But I thought since I've written essentially nothing since we arrived in the States to have our little bundle of joy, I'd give a quick little update.  What, you say? You want to hear my birthing story, you say?  Well alright, I can give you a quick snapshot.

I had a doctor's appointment on the morning of the big day.  Like most pregnant women, when the time came, I was ready for this little one to get OUT!  I'd been having timeable contractions for months and now that it was time for her to come she was being really stubborn! After months of heading to bed anytime I started doing too much physical activity to get my inevitable contractions to go away, I went for a strenuous walk and all I got was severely short of breath. After basically no physical activity for the past 9 months (and by that I mean probably more like six years.....running in ridiculous heat/humidity with people staring at me yelling "white, white" is not my favorite).  No contractions. Nothing.

So the morning of my contractions I started doing all the old wivesy things to get her out.  Walking, bouncing, etc. I had a feeling today was the day.  I started doing laps in my parents' neighborhood and as I did, started getting some contractions. Then they started getting stronger.  They got to the point that I had to stop walking when I would get one. Pretty quickly they started coming about 1-2 minutes apart.  But I'd been having contractions for so many months, I still wasn't sure if they were real.  So I kept doing laps.  I guess my dad came home from work during this time because while I was pretty far from the house, he drove up to me in his car.  He rolled down the window and asked what the heck I was doing. I explained the contractions situation and he convinced me that if I was having contractions that were difficult to walk through and were 1-2 minutes might be time to go to the hospital instead of having a baby in the middle of the street.  Ok, I see your point.

Peter and I headed to the hospital and I was pretty sure this was the real thing. I'd been having contractions for awhile but these definitely felt different.  These were not fun.  Now I live in Oregon.  I have a lot of crunchy/hippie/all natural labor loving friends (you know who you are). I love these girls!  I admire these girls!  I am not one of those girls.  I did the "natural" labor thing with Ben (to be honest, it was not my choice) so this time I was all about the epidural!  And I had a great one.  They put that thing in and in 30 minutes I was feeling no pain!

There were a few reasons for the epidural.  One, was to not feel pain. That seems pretty obvious.  Although I did threaten Peter at various times in my pregnancy that I may forgo the epidural just so he could see how much I suffered and feel bad for me for at least 10 years.  Natural labor is worth at least 10 years of sympathy i.e. foot massages every evening right?  But who was I kidding? When those contractions came all thoughts of eternal foot massages went out the window and I was all about the epidural.

The other reason I was thankful for the epidural was Marie.  Marie had been asking to be in the delivery room for months.  My answer was always "No" but in my mind I was leaving it open as a possibility.  Because of the way my labor went with Ben, I knew I knew I wouldn't want her there if things got crazy.  I also knew that if I was in a lot of pain, it would be scary for her and I wouldn't want her there then either.  That's why, when I got my awesome epidural and was feeling no pain, I called my mom to bring her on down.  She was very, very excited.  When she started living with me, I had no childcare so I took her to work with me every day, delivering babies..  She's been around her share of birthing mamas, although she's never actually been in the room.  When they arrived, Marie got on her Ipad, my mom read her book and Peter and I watched "Survivor" with our nurse.  That was pretty much as exciting as it got until it was time to push.  Two pushes and she was out. Peter, my "want to vomit at the sight of blood husband" surprised me and cut the cord.  It was a perfect labor, exactly the way I would have wanted it.  I was SO thankful for our excellent medical care here.

Marie's favorite part was giving the bath. :) 
Two and a half months later, here we are.  We're getting on a plane tomorrow to head back to Sierra Leone.  As always, my emotions are mixed.  I think the older my kids get, the more difficult it is to leave my family.  But God.  But God is so faithful.  Every time I want to dwell on the pain of leaving our friends and family here, I remember heaven.  Even if we stay in Sierra Leone for the rest of our lives, in the grand scheme of eternity, the time is so short.  When I think about that, and I think about God's ability to bless us with strength to do His work, joy in the midst of that work and the privilege of having a job to do for and with Him, I just get so excited!!  We have also been blessed with an amazing team in Salone, which makes it even easier to return.

Coming back as a family of five!!
So thank you so much to those of you who have loved on us and blessed us while we've been here.  We've been overwhelmed by the grace of God flowing through people while we've been here.

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