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.