Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Every birth experience, like every child is so different and unique.

I love being able to read back on my previous birthing experience and remember God's goodness. I forget so many little details, so it is wonderful to have it recorded down. Here I am, holding my third child, with a third, unique story to tell.

Unlike my first two which were born the day before and the day of their due dates, this little guy decided he liked it inside mommy best of all. My mom had arrived, the midwife thought it could happen any minute, we did lots and lots of walking, but he wasn't convinced. I had planned a homebirth again, but instead found myself at 9:00 AM, Monday, June 6th headed to the hospital for an induction after being 12 days "overdue". While I was happy to take this route because my mom only had one week left, I was emotional and a bit nervous the day before. It was such a blessing to talk to several women at church who had been through induction before and realize that here in the UK they try to keep things as natural and un-medicated as possible.

Sure enough at 10:30 that morning, after being monitored and assessed, the midwife recommended the first, most natural stage of induction - a pessary. This is a "pill" placed on the cervix that releases a hormone to cause it to soften and dilate, hopefully bringing on contractions. If that didn't work in 24 hours, then the next stage would be to break my waters.

Right away, however, the pessary did its job. My husband and I walked around the BIG hospital one time and monitored my contractions starting at 4-5 minutes apart and ending up around 2-3 minutes apart. It was nearly lunch time, so I lay down briefly before we got into the lunch line. While we were standing and waiting for our food, a long, strong, double-over and pant contraction hit. As soon as I was able, we headed back to my bed. Another one hit and after it finally passed, I sent my husband after the midwife. It felt like things wouldn't be much longer and I was pretty sure I should be heading to the delivery room. The midwife came in and felt my tummy to assess the strength of the contractions and the time between. Of course she sat there for what felt like ages and I only had one contraction. They encouraged me to walk around some more and they would assess me again after a little while. I knew I was not going to get out of that bed! This baby was not far off. Another contraction hit. I felt desperate to be in the delivery room, free of my clothes and ready to push. I sent dear husband after the midwife again to ask for an internal assessment of the situation. Sure enough, I was at 7 cm and she said I could move to the delivery room. Thank you!!

They wheeled me down the hall, to a room that had just experienced another birth which they were quickly trying to clean up for me. At this point, I had turned inward to deal with the pain of the contractions which were long and hard. I wasn't overly aware of what was going on around me except that there is a lot more hustle and bustle, banging and clattering in a hospital. I was missing my quiet, homebirth experience. However, it was a huge relief to be in the delivery bed and let my body start bearing down with the contractions. Finally the only people in the room were my husband, the midwife and a student nurse. It didn't take long. The midwife could see my waters bulging, so she asked if she could break them with the next contraction. I said, Yes, please!!, but the baby didn't let her get that far. Suddenly, another contraction came on and my body totally took over, pushing mightily. The waters broke everywhere and baby was heading out. The midwife was saying, "Take it easy. Go slowly. Pant." "I was saying, "I'm tearing, I'm tearing!" "No you're not. You are fine." Another push, maybe two, and there were the head... shoulders... baby! We were all a bit shocked. I had expected at least another 30 minutes with waters breaking, head descending, the 'ring of fire', etc... Yet, there I was, at 1: 42 PM, less than an hour from entering the room, already holding a crying little, blue baby. We were all looking at each other saying, "That was fast!" I could hardly believe that it was over. I had my baby! I sat holding him to me for a while before we thought to confirm the gender. Yup, most definitely a boy!

We waited about 20 minutes for the placenta to show up. Meanwhile, baby took to nursing like a champ. I ended up needing only 3 superficial stitches. Then the equally long part of the experience started.... the paperwork. Daddy was able to bond with his son while I took a shower. Then he took off to get Oma and the older siblings. I enjoyed a quiet time alone with my second son - praying for him and feeling the love swell.

This baby is proving to be the easiest one on me yet (physically). I have been amazed at how quickly I have been able to get up and going compared to the other two. I see God answering my prayers because with my mom leaving soon, I need to be able to get up and going. Having my mom gone will probably be a much harder adjustment for the kids than welcoming a new baby home. They are fascinated by their little brother and are doing great at being gentle and helpful.

5 years of marriage and here we are, a family of 5!

Dear Ruben Petrus,

Just as I write letters to your siblings on their birthdays, so I wanted to write to you for your BIRTH day. You have been loved and eagerly anticipated far before you made your appearance. All of us have been excited to meet our newest family member - and you definitely tested our patience. But, you are here now and you are perfect.

We chose the name Ruben because we liked it and Petrus to name you after Petrus Berakati in Taliabo. He was like a brother to me and, therefore, an uncle to you. He loved the Lord, loved his people and served them as an evangelist for the sake of the gospel until his tragic death.

We got a very thoughtful card from Prof. and Mrs. D after your birth. He took some time to talk about the meaning of your name. Reuben - "Behold, a son" - was the firstborn and leader among his brothers. He stood up to them to save Joseph's life. Petrus - or Peter - likewise, was a passionate man and a leader - the rock on whom the church was built. These words meant a lot to me because while I sat alone with you in the hospital room a few days before, I prayed for you. I prayed first and foremost that you would be a follower.... a passionate follower of Christ. And, I prayed that you would become a leader - one who leads others to their Maker and Savior. One who stands firm in his convictions against the tide of godlessness and points others to Truth. May God give your father and I wisdom and strength to parent you towards these two desires we have for you. God bless you, my son. We are so glad you are with us and we look forward to knowing you more as you grow this year.

your Mama

Comments (2)

On June 12, 2011 at 8:48 PM , The Røsviks said...

Staci, this was such a beautiful post. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your precious Ruben. I loved reading his birth story and the letter you wrote to him. We are so happy for your family, and will be praying for you guys as your mom will soon be leaving... Much love from Norway...

On June 13, 2011 at 3:06 AM , mattnbec said...

Great to hear the story! Thanks for sharing. Glad all is going well. Will pray for you all as your Mum leaves. I remember it so well my eyes are welling up for you and the kids.

Loving the photo of all 5 of you like crazy. Thinking I might print it off for the kids.