the story of a boy…and this is just the beginning…

on friday morning, january 16, 2004, at about 2am, i was having rough contractions. we held out from going to the hospital until 8am. i was only 2cm at that time, so they sent me home. we went back that afternoon, and STILL no cervical change, so after walking the halls for a LONG time to see if it would help me progress, we had to be sent back home again. we went home at about midnight or so – i was in tears because i wanted him to be born so badly. the dr had asked if i’d wanted to hurry things along, but i chose not to. (why was i so stubborn? i don’t know!) note that i was in labor, it was just what my dr called ‘latant labor’.

finally i talked to the dr on saturday, told him how much pain i was in, and said that i couldn’t do it anymore. he said to take a long, relaxing bath, and to come into the hospital whenever i wanted. he said once i went to the hospital this time, i wouldn’t be leaving without jeremiah, no matter what, and i was more than willing to accept that!! 🙂

i was admitted to the hospital (one last time) saturday january 17, 2004 at 2pm. jerry and my mom were with me at the time, and my doula and friend amanda arrived at 2:30. i was in a lot of pain, and the contractions were really tough. i was already at 4 centimeters, 0 station and 80% effaced. i was put on the antibiotic immediately for the positive strep b virus.

when amanda came in, she started the ‘mozart for mothers to be’ and the room was darkened and relaxing. still, the pain was really intense. i only held out for 45 minutes before asking for some sort of pain medicine. (of course that’s 45 minutes since i had been in the hospital – i had been in pain for much longer!) they put me on nubain. it made me feel all dizzy, lightheaded, and like i might feel if i were high. i mentioned that i had never done drugs or drank alcohol, but if this is what a buzz feels like, i understand why some people do that. i also said that i felt cross-eyed. lol.

i still felt those contractions, but they weren’t quite as painful. during this time amanda gave me a foot massage, and my nurse, lisa, french-braided my hair.

the nubain started to make me feel nauseas after awhile, and at 3:15 my blood pressure dropped and jeremiah’s heartrate increased a bit. they put an oxygen mask on me, and my bp and his heartrate went back to normal (his heartrate was normal at 140).

at 5:30pm we decided walking would be beneficial. we started to walk the halls, but i got dizzy, so back to bed i went! the nurse checked me then, and i was at 5 centimeters. some progress, but not enough. i had been there for 31/2 hrs and only 1cm had progressed! let me just say, i guess my body is a slow learner. hehe.

i was feeling a bit more pain at 6:30pm, when the nurse checked me, i was at 6, and my water broke! it felt really icky – i felt so dirty and gross. amanda suggested a shower would make me feel better, so i jumped at the idea. there was a little seat in there, and i sat under the very warm water for half an hour – from 6:45 to 7:15pm. the nurse wanted me back on the monitor, or else i would have stayed in there longer. i was having very strong contractions, but everyone said i was handling them pretty well, and that i was fairly focused.

the next cervical check was at 9pm – i was still 6cm. i was having a ton of back labor at this time. amanda heated up rice packs and she, my mom and jerry put them under my abdomen, on my shoulders, and on my lower back. it just helped a little bit. i was also getting a foot massage and knuckles and roller ball massages. my back labor was still so bad, that no matter how hard they pushed against it, it still wasn’t hard enough to make it feel better. (side note – i had a big bruise there from all the pushing afterward!) jerry, mom and amanda were really wonderful in helping to try to make me as comfortable as possible through this whole thing.

i had been in labor for a long time by now. i was very tired and running out of steam. everyone had tried everything they could to make me feel better, and i was still in so much pain, and very miserable. i was just tired and wanted some rest and relief. at 11pm, i requested an epidural. amanda stayed in the room with me for it, and said a prayer to help me through it…i was just worried that something might happen and really needed the Lord’s protection at the time!! twenty minutes after my epidural i received a pitocin drip to help me progress. at 12:20am the nurse checked me and i hadn’t changed much.

we all tried to nap. mom, jerry and amanda rotated between the chair, recliner and the floor. it was a long night for all of us. i couldn’t sleep, from the pain but also because of all the strange hospital noises. i asked mom and jerry and amanda to see if they could find a fan somewhere, because i always sleep with a fan blowing at home, and thought the white noise might help me sleep in a strange place. they finally found one, and the noise really helped me, and i actually got a little bit of sleep. the next vaginal exam, at 4:15am on the 18th, i had made tons of progress. i was 9cm and 95% effaced. by 6am i was complete, and the dr said by phone that i could start pushing at 6:40am. amanda said a prayer for me and jeremiah before i started pushing. it was a wonderful, beautiful moment as gramma, jerry, amanda and i prayed to the Lord for protection and safety (and speed!).

i pushed and pushed, and also vomited throughout the time – which actually helped me push without me trying. i was using the mirror above me to try to see jeremiah come out. it was kind of strange, because i remember they kept telling me to keep my chin down, then they’d say, can you see him? and i’d look up to try to see, and they’d say, ‘keey your chin down!’….um, ok, can’t do both, folks! lol! but i DID see him come out, and i started giggling a little bit because he looked so smooshed, and i was finally going to meet him!!

after almost 2 hours of pushing, at 8:36am on Sunday, january 18, 2004, i birthed the most beautiful baby boy ever. he was so gorgeous, and everyone said so. it was a miracle. it was the moment i had waited for since i was a child…seeing my own baby for the first time. all the years of infertility, all the time jerry and i had cried and waited for a child…he was here. and he was worth every moment of life without him. because if we had become pregnant at any other time in our marriage, this little boy, this jeremiah thomas would not have been born. that is what makes me so thankful for my time of infertility. he means so much more to me because of all the waiting we did.

since my birth plan had stated i wanted immediate skin-to-skin with him, they placed him directly on my chest – goop, blood and all! and it was the most incredible moment.

i am so glad i have the video so i can remember every minute of it – i was crying and soooo happy as i looked into his sweet eyes. he started crying, and i kept kissing him, telling him it was ok, that he was with his mama now, that i was here, that i would take care of him. jerry and i both talked to him and cood at him, and kissed him, then jerry cut the cord.

after we all guessed jeremiah’s weight (my guess was 7lbs 8oz and jerry’s was 8lbs 6oz) the nurse weighed him, and he weighed 8lbs 1 1/2 oz and was 21 inches long. his apgar cores were 8 and then 9. he was very healthy. about 30-60 minutes later, jeremiah had his first snack. he knew right where to go at my breast, and seemed to instictively know how to latch on. it was a magical moment (even though it hurt!). jerry was there right by my side, and we were the perfect family. we finally had our precious little boy to raise as a man of God, just as i’d always dreamed of.

everything afterwards went normally. the dr congratulated me and said i did such a great job, and said again how beautiful jeremiah was. after jeremiah got his first bath, which he seemed to enjoy, the nurses and everyone were gone, and i got to call people and tell them about my baby, as my family came in. my dad and sister were the first to come, then my brother and sister in law came. they fell in love with him instantly (who can help it?!).

i will never forget this experience, even though the pain of it has already disappeared, replaced by pure love for my precious little boy. i truly became a mother when i held him in my arms and looked into his eyes. my life was changed forever when he looked back at me.

i love you so much jeremiah thomas!! you are mama’s perfect baby boy, my first child, and i will always love you. i know in the future i will let you down, i will make you mad or upset, and vice versa, but may we both never forget how deeply and truly i love you, my sweet, sweet son.

thank You, Lord, for this precious gift. i am forever grateful for him.

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