Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When We Welcomed You to the World
{Peter's Birth Story}

My darling Peter,

You are quietly napping in your crib as I type this. Every day I am in awe of your little life, and what a miraculous gift you are. I want to write down the story of how you came into this world. I hope that one day, when you are grown up (though Momma doesn't want to think about that just yet), you will read this and smile.
March 1st was a cold, and very snowy Sunday. That evening your Dad & I had just watched the Downton Abbey season finale. (How kind of you to let us watch!) I went to bed for the night while Daddy stayed up to read, both of us completely unaware of how our life was about to change forever. A little after midnight I woke up with a start, rather surprised. I had a (very wet) feeling that my water had broken. Daddy called our doctor who told us to head in to the hospital.

Seeing as it was over two weeks before your due date (March 18), we were not exactly prepared! I had started packing a hospital bag, but by no means was it finished. Thankfully I had made a list of the other things I wanted to bring. I started trying to gather the things on the list, and to my surprise, was able to remain relatively calm. Your Daddy on the other hand, was just so excited he couldn't think clearly! We worked as a team to get out the door as quickly as possible.

Dad drove us safely through the snow to the hospital in Manhattan. We texted your grandparents, aunts, and uncle to let them know you were on your way. When we arrived, we headed straight for the sixth floor, where the Labor & Delivery Unit was located. Once we settled into a room, they checked me and I was only one centimeter dilated - I had a long way to go! They gave Momma a medicine called pitocin to move things along, and it worked. Very well. I waited several hours to get an epidural, as I was told if I got it too soon it could slow down the labor, and I didn't want that! You better believe I won't wait so long for an epidural if there is a next time. Momma was trying to be brave and tough, but when the nurse told her some patients requested their epidural after one unit of pitocin and that I had already had eighteen units, I no longer felt the need to wait. Oh, what sweet & welcome relief! For me, and for your daddy, who was an absolute champion of support for me throughout the entire labor and delivery process. He is the best - you know that, right?

Before you were born, Momma and Daddy had prayed for all the nurses and doctors we would encounter at the hospital. God answered our prayers one hundredfold. As soon as my main nurse introduced herself I knew that God had sent her. Her name was Catherine. My confirmation saint is St. Catherine of Alexandria. I just don't believe that was coincidence. Don't you love when God does that sort of thing?

After the epidural, the nurses encouraged me to try to save up my energy for pushing, as it could take a few hours they warned. I tried to mentally prepare myself for the experience. After laboring most of the day, our doctor arrived to help deliver you. When he went to examine me, your head was already so low that he could see it! Once a contraction came, I started pushing, and only one more contraction later, at 4:09 p.m. on March 2, 2015, you were in my arms! I couldn't believe it! Oh, the tears of joy and relief I cried, sweet boy. Words can't express just how happy I was to meet you. Before long your Daddy got to hold you, too. What a precious, precious moment for us.
While you were still with us in the delivery room, you weren't able to let out very many strong cries. I never imagined I would actually desire to hear you scream and scream. A pediatric doctor came to look at you a couple times, but they said you would be okay before taking you to the nursery for a bath. Your Dad and I were missing you as soon as you were swept away. A little while later our nurse Catherine came back and told us some news we never wanted to hear: you had been admitted to the NICU. Momma cried again, this time tears of fear and sadness. I wanted so badly to have you back in my arms. A very kind doctor came to talk to us and took Daddy down to visit you, since I was still recovering. I was so relieved when he came back and told me you should be okay, but that they needed to keep an extra close eye on you.

As soon as I was able, I rode in a wheelchair to visit you in the NICU. What an emotional experience to see you there, my sweet boy. You were hooked up to so many cords and they were keeping you warm in a little incubator box. Oh, how I prayed for your well-being and healing. Our NICU journey was predicted to be 48 hours, but ended up being three days long. The second day you were there, a cardiologist found your ASD - atrial septal defect. No mother ever wants to hear that their precious baby has a hole in his heart, no matter how small. I cried again (I did a lot of crying for several weeks after your birth!), but the doctors told us not to worry (impossible), and that they would check your heart again in two months. We have your checkup tomorrow. We have been praying for Jesus to heal your heart every day. My greatest comfort is that I know He loves you even more than your Daddy and I do, which is more than I even knew was possible.

When we finally got to bring you home from the hospital, I experienced so many different feelings. I felt scared of being in charge of you after you had been monitored so closely by the medical team in the NICU. I felt utterly exhausted from a complete lack of sleep, what with our middle-of-the-night and all-through-the-day feeding sessions. My emotions were absolutely all over the place with my postpartum hormones. But above all, I was happy, and I was grateful. I'll never forget standing outside our apartment wearing flip flops in the snow (because yes, there was another blizzard, and my feet were so swollen I couldn't get my feet in any other shoes), and I just wept. I thanked God over and over for keeping you safe and for allowing us the gift of bringing you home with us. Our family was finally home. The three of us together, just as we belonged.
You had quite an eventful entrance into this world, baby. In the eight short weeks you've been out here with us, you have brought us - and so many others - more joy than we ever could have imagined. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for your precious life.
We love you, Peter Matthew. So very much.
Momma & Daddy

9 comments :

  1. This is so beautiful, my friend!
    Such beautiful words to document forever that wonderful experience in your lives.
    Prayers for you tomorrow.
    Your sweet baby is simply precious!

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  2. He is so precious...such a beautiful story. I will be praying for a good report from the doc and asking Lily to pray too :)

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  3. So wonderful!! Hope your family of 3 is doing well, amid the less sleep:)

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  4. What a beautiful story <3 congrats!

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  5. He's so beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. <3

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  6. What a beautiful story! And I'm so glad he's okay!

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  7. This is so sweet and that first picture is adorable. Thanks for sharing on the blog!

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  8. Beautiful!! I love reading your sweet boy's story - and what a gift you will give him to have these words to treasure! Blessings on your baby days.

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