I don’t think I’ve ever really written out our birth stories, though I have read many such posts from others. I suppose I’ve felt a little “out” of that club. My birth stories do not include tubs and exercise balls and my husband rubbing my back through contractions. Well, the first one did. For 30 hours. Followed by about three hours of pushing. Followed by my rings being cut off of my very swollen fingers as I signed surgery consent forms.
My birth stories include triage rooms and cold, sterile operating rooms with large lights. They include wall to wall cabinets of supplies, blue drapes, machines and computers, and teams of people in scrubs, hats, and surgical masks. They include sitting on the table, holding onto a nurse’s hands because my husband is not allowed in the room yet, while the anesthesiologist inserts a spinal block that numbs me from the ribs down.
It’s not what I had planned. Not what I had expected. Not what people usually write about. But they’re our stories. And they’re still stories of God’s faithfulness to us, and graciousness to me.
This time around, I struggled with a lot of fear at first, laying on that table. But as they began their preparations and all the buzz of activity swirled around me and I waited for Sam to be allowed to come in, the verse that my mother in law had sent to me a couple weeks prior echoed in my heart in a continual loop:
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Perfect peace. What a promise while lying in an operating room.And yet, as Sam was allowed to come in the room, the oxygen tube was placed in my nose, and things began, that is where I found myself. Perfect peace.
I’m not usually an overly emotional person, but my tears started before our baby was actually born. Awash with peace and thinking about God’s incredible faithfulness during this pregnancy, I cried as they told me: “Not long now. He’s almost here.” The tears dripped onto my hospital gown as Sam squeezed my hand and we waited to hear that telltale baby cry.
I couldn’t have been more pleased with my surgical team at Strong. Every one of them. Having only had an experience at one prior hospital, I kept comparing it to what it had been before, and this time was just so, so different. The entire team joked in the room and took bets on how big he would be. The anesthesia team, sensing Sam’s and my nerves, struck up a conversation about kids shows and which ones are too annoying to actually let our kids watch. The pediatrician pulled up a stool by my head and chatted with us while the doctors worked, and I can remember laying there, holding Sam’s hand, laughing and joking with them. Until I got all emotional and switched to crying, that is…
But, really, I’m so grateful for the team we had. Not only that, but they used a clear drape this time so that they could peel back the blue drapery, the anesthesiologist could lift my head, and I could actually see the moment he was born. I was a little nervous about this option – not knowing exactly what I’d see and NOT being the nursing/doctoring/ok with blood type – but it was basically like a normal birth. I couldn’t see anything else besides that baby, and that first glimpse was incredible.
He screamed from the second they held his head, before the rest of him was even out of me, and everyone in the room laughed out loud.
“Check that out! He’s already shouting! He isn’t even fully out yet!”
“Where in the world have you been hiding this baby?”
“I bet I’m right! He looks over 10lbs!”
“Girl, I’m seeing this, but I can’t believe that baby fit in you.”
“He has knee rolls!”
“Gosh, just look at that face!”
“So, now he’s born…what’s his name?! It’s killing me! I won’t tell your parents what it is!”
Unlike at the previous hospital, where they took the baby out of the room immediately, the pediatrician brought him over to me to do skin-to-skin right away. And, not only that, he nursed right away too – while the doctors were still sewing me up. It was so much more peaceful, so much more settling to have him there with me than to have him leave with Sam while I stayed in the room alone as we had done in the past.
And, of course, I was in awe of him from the moment I met him.
In many ways, we still are. He’s SUCH a chill baby (unless he has to have his diaper changed in the middle of the night, then he can get worked up). But, he’ll just snooze next to me while the chaos of an older brother and sister and household noise goes on around him. He sleeps in the car. He’s been sleeping 3 hour stretches at night. He actually likes to be swaddled at night…which both of our other kids have fought and wiggled out of. He smiles as he’s falling asleep or waking up. And he just stares at his siblings with these bright, wide open eyes when he’s awake. He couldn’t be any more easy going. And he’s just so incredibly cute.
We’re completely smitten.
And feeling maybe a smidgen overwhelmed but also so very, very blessed as we settle into life as a family of 5.
Clara has been obsessed with him since the moment she met him at the hospital. She told me yesterday that “Lawrence is the best, most cutest baby I ever wanted.” And, I quite agree. 🙂
I did a mini newborn photoshoot with him the other day – those pictures and the reason behind his name will be in part II, coming soon!!