Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hadassah's Birth Story

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Darrell had to work, my dad was off to Panera for his morning bagel and reading time, and mom was working at The Porch.  So I took the morning to sleep in and putter around the house.  I spent the morning in prayer and doing my devotions ... I spent an extra long time in prayer, praying for and about Haddie - knowing she was due any day, praying about our struggle with Darrell's job, praying for my Darrell, praying for my fears about motherhood, praying that I would not be so hard on myself and that I would learn all that God wanted me to learn and become all that God wanted me to become ... I prayed about a lot of things. :)  After my quiet time, I fixed myself some lunch, walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, and then took a shower.  We had found out the day before that Darrell was scheduled to be off work on Sunday and Wednesday and Saturday of the coming week.  We also knew that he was allowed to take three "floating days" off of work when Haddie was to be born, so this specific week, he would only have to call off for one day ... if Haddie decided to show up this week.  So later that afternoon, I told God, "Well, Lord, I'm prayed up, showered up, and it's about the best schedule Darrell could have for Haddie's birth ... so if you'd be up for bringing her today, that would be awesome.  But all in your time, of course." ;)  Haha!  And guess what?  Darrell got home around 3pm that day, and my water broke around 4:20pm.  Who says God isn't cool???

It was a HUGE gush that I thought would never stop ... and I still wondered if my water really had broken.  Ha!  I guess I was in shock.  So Darrell and I kinda danced around the bedroom for a minute, trying to figure out what to do.  Darrell hopped in the shower while I called the hospital.  We packed up our (thankfully already packed) hospital bags full of way more than we needed (we came to find out later) and headed out.  Surprisingly, I was incredibly calm.  For those who know me well, this was a miracle!  But by the time I was told I was NOT gonna get to eat before we got to the hospital and some family called with some concerns they had about my lack of contractions after my water breaking, I was sobbing and trying not to let my quickly growing fears overtake me.  By the time I got checked in to the hospital and was hanging out in the triage room, I was so afraid I could barely stand it.  My tears were close to uncontrollable for quite a while, and they came and went until sometime after they got my IV in ... after THREE different sticks!  Geez, no wonder I couldn't stop crying, right? ... No, the nurses were very nice ... but can we get the specialized IV nurse for the first try instead of the third try next time?

I finally got some dinner around 8pm ... my last meal for over 24 hours.  And my contractions still hadn't started by 11pm, so they started me on a dissolvable pill to start my contractions for me.  I slept restlessly throughout the night and still had no feelable contractions by 5 or 6am, so they gave me the rest of the pill, and I started to feel some contractions by about 7am.  I got my epidural around 10am ... I only got to 4cm, and I was ready for it!  The epidural was a bit painful, but the anesthesiologist was amazing ... and I was so relaxed and didn't feel a thing over the next several hours.  Haddie must've been pretty comfortable where she was because I didn't start to push until a little after 5pm that night.  A huge wave of exhaustion hit me about 5 minutes before I started to push. I pushed for 3 hours ... sometime toward the beginning of hour two, I started to get incredibly discouraged because I felt like I was making no progress whatsoever.  And that discouragement quickly turned to fear, which then turned to panic.  And that's when Satan stepped in and had a hay day in my spirit!  For another hour, I pushed and cried and pushed and cried, and my fear was mounting.  Darrell was with me the whole time, and he was wonderful.  He kept telling me that everything was gonna be okay and that I was doing such a great job.  But I was so afraid.  Finally, I asked Darrell to have my mom and his mom come in to pray with us.  They prayed out loud while I sobbed. ... My epidural started to wear off by this point.  I had incredible pains under my belly ... contractions that I could definitely feel and gave me the urge to push like crazy!  Feeling that pain made me panic all the more.  I could deal with contraction pain, but what would it feel like to have (what I was about to find out was) an almost 9-pound baby come through that tiny hole!?  It may sound funny, but the pain of childbirth was my greatest fear of all, and that fear was paralyzing.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist gave me some more pain medicine, so I didn't feel a thing when they had to vacuum my baby out and give me a stage three of four episiotomy. ... Through all the pushing and the vacuum, Haddie was amazing.  Her blood pressure never even wavered.  Unlike mom's ... when after Haddie was out, my blood pressure plummeted for what felt like several minutes.  My family told me I could have died.  I don't know about all that, but I definitely felt like I wanted to die during that time.  I remember talking to my mom after my blood pressure was back to mostly normal ... I was crying and asking her where Jesus had been.  I felt bad for my lack of faith, but I had prayed and prayed that Jesus would be in my delivery room, and with all that I went through, I didn't think He had been there.  But my mom said that Jesus WAS there ... that Satan had been fighting hard for me and my baby ... but Jesus was there, and Jesus had won.

It's difficult to really share what I went through because it was so traumatic for me but probably doesn't sound traumatic to anyone else when they hear about it.  All I know is that there was some hardcore spiritual warfare going on in my hospital room.  It started when I stepped in to that hospital, and it didn't start to slow down until at least Tuesday morning.  Sunday night and all day Monday was the worst experience of my life.  I can't describe the fear and feelings of failure and self-condemnation and hopelessness I felt during that time.  There were glimpses of joy when I got to hold my baby girl for the first time and when Darrell came and hugged and kissed me when it was all over.  But those hours in the hospital were the hardest of my life.  But what I feel the most guilty about, looking back, is that all of the trauma was in my mind.  The fear began because I was afraid of FEELING physical pain.  I was convinced that childbirth pain would be the worst pain of my life, and I wanted nothing to do with it.  That admission made me feel so incredibly selfish because I wasn't willing to go through something difficult to get my little girl.  And feeling selfish only fueled my fear.  And being fearful about pain (that I really, barely experienced) fueled my hysteria ... and Satan knew just how to attack me in the midst of it all.  If I had just trusted God and trusted the epidural, even, I would not have gone through all that I did.  I handled a lot of things badly during my pregnancy and during Haddie's birth.  And I will always regret that.  I am learning how selfish I am.  But I am also learning that I can do NOTHING without Jesus.  I am learning that I have to let go of my failures and let God pick up the slack.  He already died on the Cross and rose again for my selfishness and failures, so I don't have to keep beating myself up for them everyday.  I still have a long way to go in learning this lesson, but God's patience never runs out, and I am so, so thankful for that.  And I have to remember that growth is a PROCESS!  I HATE THAT!  But the process is what makes us more like Jesus.  So I have to learn to accept the process.

Trusting God is gonna be my greatest lesson in this new season of parenthood.  It already has been.  And I will keep trying to learn it day after day after day.  My Hadassah is so beautiful and precious and worth all the struggle I have been through to get her here.  I can't wait to learn and grow right alongside her.  We can learn about God's grace and trusting in Him together.  And so we shall.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Haddie is One Month Old!

Well, I wanna post a picture and blurb about our beautiful Hadassah Ruth once a month around her month birthday at least for her first year, but we'll see how that goes since I'm already late with the first one.  Haha!  We'll blame it on the fact that I'm a new mom, and Haddie is wonderful but a lot of work! ;)

Haddie turned a month old this past Sunday, on May 31st.  Craziness!  Everyone told me it would go by so fast and that she would change so much on a daily basis, and both of these things have been found true for our Haddie girl! :)

Haddie is learning lots of things these days and growing all the time!  In fact, we think she's going through a growth spurt already because she sleeps for longer periods of time and wants to be fed almost every moment she's awake.  Since we brought her home from the hospital, she's pretty much always given us 3-hour stretches for sleep overnight.  Occasionally, she'll only give us two ... sometimes, she'll give us 4 ... and once or twice, she has given us 5 hours of sleep all at once!!!  Haha!  Last night, she spent her first night in her own room - soooo excited about that!  We're still gonna use the baby monitor for a bit, and I only had to get up with her once.  She started lifting her head on her own before we even left the hospital and has only gotten stronger with it since.  So we're comfortable letting her sleep on her belly.  And let me just say, praise Jesus for tummy sleep!  She loves it and sleeps so well. :)

What Haddie is learning and doing ... sleeping in her own bed in her own room ~ tummy time/tummy sleep ~ lifting her head on her own without whacking mommy and daddy in the face with it ~ working on rolling over but just gets stuck on her side ~ eating 4 ounces of formula every 2-4 hours - yeah, she's gonna be a chunker! ~ learning she can't be held every moment she's awake (but not learning it all that well yet) ~ being mesmerized by lights and bright colors ~ likes looking out the window ~ likes being rocked in our arms but not in her swing ~ loves being with daddy ... daddy is so good at calming her down and playing with her (the best you can with a one-month-old) ~ going to granny and grampy's (Darrell's parents) just about every Friday night for a sleepover ~ falling asleep during every car ride ~ seems to like walks in the park - she's either taking in all the light and sights or sleeping ... both of these things say "like" to me!

What Mommy is learning and doing ... eating cold food ~ losing sleep ~ growing in her attitude about losing sleep ~ still checking to see if Haddie is breathing from time to time ~ using a baby monitor but doesn't really need it 'cause her "mommy sense" is working well ~ trying to not be so hard on herself all the time ~ learning to just enjoy Haddie and not worry about all that "needs to be done" ~ striving to fit in QUALITY times with the Lord while Haddie naps ... this is still a work in progress ~ trying to fit in some time for reading good books and failing at it ~ learning that formula is super expensive and barely lasts two days - ha! ~ learning that trusting God is the most important thing she can do with her life and Haddie's life ~ remembering on a regular basis how she can't get too attached to her own plans ~ learning Haddie's various cries and what they mean ~ learning to be patient during midnight wailing fests and early evening fussy times ~ loving just watching Haddie sleep in her arms ~ loving the short times that she and Haddie can just look into each other's eyes ~ wondering what Haddie is thinking ~ wondering if Haddie knows how much she loves her ~ loving the bond she and her hubby are creating through Haddie's life ~ loving to watch Darrell with Haddie - he is incredible with her! ~ loving to watch Haddie with all four of her grandparents - they are all absolutely smitten with her, and we are so grateful that she will know and love them and vice versa

God is definitely using this new season of life to challenge us, delight us, and teach us!  Let the adventure continue!