The waiting is over. Our baby is here! Ben was born last Friday night at six o'clock. He weighed 8 lbs, 12 oz and was 21 and a half inches long. No wonder he took all day to come out!
John and I got to the hospital @ 7:30 in the morning and I was hooked up to the pitocin drip around 8:30. The morning was pretty slow going since the baby had not dropped and my Dr. wanted to wait until he was engaged to break my water. Around 3 in the afternoon, he checked and decided it was time. Things moved a lot more quickly after that. The contractions got tough pretty quickly and I asked for an epidural. That was really the worst part of the day. I went from having lots of pain to not having enough feeling, so they turned the epidural off, just in time for me to start pushing!
With my other two kids' births, I was less inclined to watch everything that happened-- I'm a little squeamish about that kind of stuff. But this time was different. I guess because I'd done it before and knew this would be my last time, or maybe I was just so anxious to see the baby. I really couldn't tell you. My Mom was there, along with my husband, the very mellow doctor and a room full of nurses. So I looked in the mirror on the opposite wall, in between pushes, and I saw my baby's head when it came out. There is no experience like this. It is hard to push out a baby -- they don't call it labor for nothing, but that excitement gave me one last burst of energy and a few minutes later I was holding my new, sticky, baby boy!
We've been home a week now, and things are going pretty well. We're thinking Benjamin is gonna be pretty mellow, like his Dad. Of course I'd love to get a little more sleep at night, and I'm anxious to feel more like my old self, but all in all we're very happy. Sam and Laney love to kiss and hold Ben, although we think Laney is feeling a little jealous -- understandably so.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement over the last nine months.
I've uttered so many of what I call "barely there prayers" since May of 2005. Times when I felt my faith was microscopic, but I still cried out for help and mercy. The most frequent of those prayers went something like this, "please don't let that be my last pregnancy." I sometimes think it sounds selfish, or unappreciative of our other two kids, but I think God understands. I just didn't want to "go out like that." As silly as it sounds, I wanted to make a basket before I walked off the court. I hope this doesn't sound like it's more important than the fact that we have a beautiful new addition to our family. I just want to acknowledge this gift. Ever since I found out I was pregnant last July, it's been a struggle to trust what God was telling me, that He did have a plan for this baby, and that I would have a healthy pregnancy. So many fears and questions came up, sometimes out of nowhere, and I found myself dreading what I knew would be the end of me -- having to lose another baby.
So here's where I offer my praise and thanks. My earthly eyes often see more injustice than blessing and my broken heart usually believes less in goodness and mercy than it does sorrow and pain. Are these my own shortcomings, or is that just how the road that is my life truly maps out? I don't know. The Bible gives us both David and Jeremiah. One weeps while the other dances and sings. But this week feels like victory for me, it feels like the view from above and I'm incredibly grateful. My first miscarriage was in the month of March, 5 years ago. If someone had told me my future then, I might have said, "no thanks," and of course, I would have been a fool. So, thank you Jesus, for staying with me, even when I don't want to stay with you, and for showing me your face today, a little farther up the road.