You know how memories, they can change over time, little details might get mixed up, fade or worse disappear? I recently took the Baum test as a fun little exercise in my bible study group. One of the things revealed, no surprise to me is how important detail is and how the “past influences everyday life” for me. I knew very soon after delivering Veil Eden that I would again write out the events surrounding her birthday because I have cherished reading the blog I wrote in honor of Ya’el’s birthday and wish I had the forethought to do the same with my older kids. One other aspect of her birth that was incredibly important to me was the opportunity to have my dear friend come and photograph her birth. Even though this blog is really for me, my husband, and Veil I am excited to share her story with you. Why? Because it can’t be said that God didn’t have his hand on every step, no detail was left unattended and we are still left in amazement at how perfect everything went. Some of you may have seen the birth photos that my friend shared, but I want to share the photos that my heart recalls, I love seeing the photos she picked, because that was her view and wasn’t it pretty incredible?!? So here is mine…
August 19th, I was woken up with an intense contraction, I quickly went to the restroom, fully believing it was a fluke and attempted to go back to bed. 15 minutes later I found myself with another intense contraction and had to breathe my way through it. I recall debating on turning off my alarm for the gym, thinking it might be best to wait it out and see what my body was going to do. Being my typical self I went against that thought and found myself having 2 more contractions, 10-15 minutes apart. The alarm went off and I slowly climbed out of bed and dressed for the gym.
Upon arriving at the gym a frequent attendee talked to me and watched me climb on the treadmill, I saw her eyes analyze me and looking back realize that she might have noticed I was not my normal self. First of all, she never talks to me and this morning she did, asking me how I was doing. Within a few minutes I realized I couldn’t do my normal workout, I would have to forgo lifting weights and cut my treadmill workout short. I had $5 Friday to get to at Safeway and needed to stock up on some necessities if this labor thing was really going to happen. I ran into a friend at the store and we briefly chatted and she had some encouraging words for my heart and a desire to pray that my labor would continue on.
7:30 am: The hubby had breakfast going by the time I got home and after watching me try to eat my food, carry on a conversation that was interrupted by my focused breathing, he quickly realized that timing my “I’m ok, I am sure it’s just Braxton hicks” was at the top of his priority list. I sent him on his way, told him that I would call him if the contractions picked up and headed to the shower, knowing that I had timed and watched my body go from 10-15 mins apart to now 5 minutes apart. I turned on my worship music, quieted my anxious heart and mind and focused on breathing. I felt utterly spent and unable to do much of anything. I opened the front door and encouraged the kids to play in the warm sunshine while I labored on the couch. I think Cayden was aware something was going on, he sat close by me and tried to hold Ya’el in his arms, even though the only place she wanted to be was tucked into mine.
10:30 am: I knew it was time, there was no more holding off calling my husband and mom, I sent a quick text to my friend to get her camera gear ready and waited for Richard to show up. I no longer could sit comfortably and found the most comfortable place to be was at the foot of my bed, swaying as the contractions went from lasting 20 secs to 45 secs. Richard arrived a nervous ball of energy and we soon left 4 little kids, wide-eyed and emotional needy with my mom, sorry mom, they were not prepared for seeing me in pain.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up, I kept telling myself, “you are going to show up and they are going to say that you aren’t in labor”. I hesitantly walked into the OB ward and was met by a very dear friend who just so happened to be working her sporadic shift on this day. When my eyes met her, I heard a voice say “are you ready?”. I tucked that voice away and nervously awaited to see what the staff would decide.
After checking my dilation and effacement, my friend, the nurse, soon found my water had broken with her checking my body. We all laughed and I knew without a doubt that there would be a little baby within my arms in less than a day!Richard made a quick call to my friend to head into town and get ready to document the birth of our baby girl!
After having the most peaceful birth with Ya’el, I knew that I would be making the same choice to have an epidural with this labor and we told them to let the anesthesiologist know. Both Richard and I recall having to wait quite some time for the epidural with Ya’el, mainly because I had gone into labor during the night. In fact, it was then that we realized that we had never had a daytime birth. We soon found there is a benefit to day time births, the anesthesiologist is at the hospital, not having to be called in from their warm cozy bed, everyone is bright eyed and alert and services seem to happen at an accelerated pace. I received my epidural, found myself relax and tried to soak in everything happening. The one downside of an epidural is that it can slow down labor. My 3-4 min apart contractions went to 6 min apart and it was decided after a few hours that Pitocin would be the next step. I could honestly care less, after having Pitocin with the 3 oldest and knowing how horrible it is, I was relieved I would not “feel” the Pitocin this time. During this time Richard, myself and our friend sat and chatted, I would weave in and out of the conversation with them as I still was aware of the contractions and focused on breathing and again tried to take all of the events in, filing them away for moments when I feel like I didn’t cherish the last time.The Pitocin did the trick and I soon saw the quiet little room I had shared with my hubby and friend, swarm with the hustle and bustle of other nurses, my doctor and the equipment they would need to deliver a baby.It got real, it got real fast. I saw the smiles on their faces, I looked over at my husband who was now on his feet rocking back and forth and remember his calm smile on his face. Even though he had snuck in some salecycle shopping…yes…he did…I knew that he was in Go time mode and would be there every step of the way.8 pm: I remember asking them if I could push, the fear of tearing, something I had done with 2 births was looming in my mind. I wanted to make sure we did this right. I was given the green light and could no longer fight the urge to respond to the waves of contractions my body was having.
One of the greatest gifts my OB gave us was the opportunity for Richard to help deliver our little girl. He had wanted to with Cayden and Ezzy, but we had traumatic births with them. Kyre he didn’t press the new locum doctor and Ya’el he had been told he could but it changed when she decided to come face up.
I know some women who have given strict orders to their partners to remain up by their head and to not look at what their body was doing. When Richard had voiced his desire to catch our very last baby, I told myself that I couldn’t deny him this right. He has always been a spectator, watching his wife grow life, giggle at the hiccups, bask in the movement and then do all the work to get them out breathing and safe in our arms, never being part of the action.
8:13 pm: Richard jumped right in, he was calm, and honestly, I can’t tell you that I remember the nurses or my doctor’s face during this time. I was breathing, I was pushing with everything I had, I was telling myself that the pain I felt would be over soon, I was focused on one thing, to get this little soul that grew inside of me for 38 wks out and see that she was going to be just fine. I needed all the secret worries of “what ifs” to be gone and disproved as I held her in my arms.
That little gift our doctor gave us has meant so much to me as I have looked over the pictures, as I have taken in that day. When Veil Eden took her first breath that was breathed into by her Heavenly Father, she was held in her earthly Father’s strong gentle hands. No one else existed in those quick seconds, it was just the 4 of us: Richard, Me, Veil, and God. There is something to be said about having the person who created life with you, to then be the person who hands over that life to you.
All the worries and concerns about me having gestational diabetes soon faded as she passed each sugar draw, lived on my chest, drinking all the milk her tummy could take from my body and I just held her close and kept thanking the Lord for this perfect gift.
You see, Richard and I have finally taken the measures to ensure that this would the last time we would find ourselves inside of the OB ward. We signed the paperwork many months ago, prayed, talked, prayed, talked some more, and prayed. Even though we love our children, we love the tender hard years of infancy and childhood, we also know that we want to be present for our older kids. We know that we need to start really investing in them as their years of being home are flying by. We know that this baby girl is it because the Holy Spirit pressed it on both our hearts at the same exact moment.
Did we tear up as we looked one more time in the room Veil took her first breaths as we walked out the doors to go home…yes…I would be doing a disservice to you all if I wasn’t honest. We aren’t leaving behind the baby years with a clouded view, we know that we have been living a dream that wasn’t promised to us due to our health issues, we know that we have been blessed over and over again when we thought we had said goodbye to more children.God knew, God knew when the doors kept getting slammed for Richard to have a vasectomy, had they opened, we wouldn’t have Kyrene, Ya’el or Veil. God knew that we needed these 3 bonus little ladies, we are reminded countless times of his faithfulness as we raise them.Veil Eden, in just a short week you have wrapped all our hearts tightly around you. A timer has to be set for holding you since everyone wants to hold you all day. Your forehead and cheeks are constantly met by your siblings and parents. Your little sounds and faces make Ezzy melt and tell you she is going to love you forever.
Your big brother holds you close, never wanting to let you go.Kyre sings you a song when you fuss during your diaper changes. Ya’el has claimed you as her baby. You sleep soundly in your daddy’s arms each night and will only tolerate the crib during the day if there are no arms to hold you. My prayer for you as we watch you grow is that we embrace all that you bring to our family. I have found myself asking God to keep me present, to put my phone down when nursing you, to just sit and study your tiny little hands wrapped around my finger or smile at the tiniest pinky toenail I have ever seen. May we raise you to know your Heavenly Father and always point you to him as you go through this life. We love you and are so blessed to close this chapter of our family with your sweet little soul.