We named him Judah, which means praise. And I've been thinking a lot about his name, and thankful that I've had that reminder that we praise God for him, and we want to keep praising God through good times and bad.
The day he was born might be both the best and worse day of my life.
My water broke Tuesday at 3:30 pm. And it was meconium-stained. (This can often be a sign of distress in the baby.) Unfortunately, I wasn't really dilated and so I knew immediately there would be no laboring at home, no showers or walking the halls, and that I would almost definitely need pitocin. After your water breaks, you have about 24 hours or so before you need to get the baby out. After that, the risk of infection goes way up, both for mom and for baby.
I had started having some contractions, but they weren't very bad. I wanted to wait to start pitocin until I knew for sure I wasn't going to change with my own contractions. We ended up starting pitocin around 8pm or so. I was doing pretty well, just breathing through them. I had to stay hooked up to the monitors since I was on the pitocin, but I could still change positions. I used the birthing ball, sat up in bed, and moved around as much as I could. Around midnight they got me on the maximum dose of pit, so now I was contracting every 2-3 mins, and they were pretty strong. I still wasn't making much progress. I could tell I wasn't really relaxing very well. Around 3 or 4 am, I decided to take some IV pain meds. I was finally able to rest a little, and felt like maybe it helped me relax more. I finally dilated to 4 cm, and so thought that maybe now I'd really start to change. I was so exhausted I thought that getting the epidural might actually speed things up at this point - I've definitely seen it allow people to relax enough that they finally get their labor going. So I got it. Except it only worked on one side. And then Judah's heart rate starting going down with every contraction. They had to turn down the pitocin. And then the contractions slowed. So then I didn't change much. Every time they'd try to turn it back up, his heart would start to dip again.
Eventually, they tried to infuse some fluid back in to my uterus to see if that would help, which it did for a while, but eventually we ran into the same problems. Around 5:30 or so, my cervix was still only 6-7cm, where it had been for hours. Daphne, one of my attendings, just told me that even though she felt like I could have this baby vaginally, she didn't think the baby was going to tolerate it. It had now also been almost 27 hours since my water had broken. I hadn't really slept. And even though, more than anything, I didn't want to C-section, that was what needed to happen. I feel like even if I had been able to get to complete, pushing would have been nearly impossible considering how tired I already was.
It was a painful realization. I realize now I had a lot of pride that I wasn't going to need a C-section, that I had exercised my way through this pregnancy and tried to be healthy and so a C-section wouldn't be needed. I viewed c-section as a personal failure. Which I realize, of course, is ridiculous. Most of wednesday afternoon I was praying, pleading with God that my body would cooperate. I was also weeping because I was already feeling like we were heading for the c-section.
It still makes me sad to think about. I wish things had happened differently. But I keep learning that I do not know what is best for me. Would I ever have chosen to struggle with infertility? Of course not. Would I have opted for the miscarriage? No way. But all those experiences have allowed me to see God's goodness, have shaped my worldview, have given me greater compassion and chipped away at the sin that still is lodged so deeply into my heart. When I finally got pregnant, I decided that I was NOT going to complain about pregnancy. I would not mind the nausea, the heartburn, or the regular aches or pains because I was so thankful to finally be pregnant. I realize how blessed I am to even get to experience any of it. And I feel the same way about the delivery.
When I heard that strong, loud cry and they told me it was a boy, when my friend Karissa turned around from his initial assessment to say that he had hair, that he looked like me, when I got to hold his hand and kiss his head before they took him out to meet his daddy, that was one of the best moments of my life.
And so, I continue to praise God - for the sweet boy he gave me, for the experience of giving birth, and for continuing to work on the sin in my life.
We had our first sponge bath yesterday. I think he sort of hated it, but he was awfully cute in the ducky towel.