It was August 2013. My wife and I were trying to have a baby for a few months and while at a retreat with our church’s college students, her period came. Later that month, we took a pregnancy test and to our surprise, it came back positive. My wife had an appointment with the midwife and they confirmed the pregnancy as having begun prior to the retreat. *shrug*
A few weeks later we go to church, and she finds she’s bled a tiny bit but it seems to have stopped. I end up going to coach football practice for our church and after several hours, towards the end, I get a text: “I’m bleeding a lot…I don’t know what to do.” She was at Awana – a children’s Bible study club our kids LOVE. So I go to pick her and the kids up. While waiting, I alert our midwife and she says it doesn’t sound too bad and that we’ll monitor it. The bleeding’s getting worse. On our way home, we call the midwives and she tells them how much she’s bled (pretty much a pad every hour or something like that). The midwife cautioned us and told us that we should go to the hospital.
We drop the kids off at home and as we are leaving the house, she gushes more blood. We start driving towards the hospital. We were both sobbing and saying our goodbyes to this little one we never got to know. The car was quiet, but then I whisper, “I’m kind of hungry.” “Me too,” my wife replied. We figured the baby was gone anyway so may as well get some food since we have no idea how long we have to wait in the ER – I think I had a McWrap and she had a hot chocolate and apple pie. I’m not gonna lie – McCafe is McDelicious.
We get to the ER and to our surprise, it is EMPTY.
We’re admitted and told that we’ll be getting an ultrasound soon. Our nurse arrives and after some conversation, my wife tells her how we were at Awana – turns out she’s a believer and her kids went to Awana as well. “We don’t know how God works, but we know it’s for our good” she told us.
The “transporter” as I like to call them, took the brakes off of the wife’s bed and wheeled us over to the ultrasound room. We get into the dark room and tell the story to the technician. “Ok, let’s get in there and see what’s going on,” she said.
WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH
I was seated, looking down at the floor but my eyes shot up to the screen. “There’s your baby,” the technician said. “It’s alive,” my wife exclaimed. “It looks alive to me,” the tech said, as we could see the little being on the screen.
What an emotional day! Wife was diagnosed with subchorionic hematoma and she was under strict guidelines and watch for a miscarriage.
8 months later, she said she felt like Free Willy. “But you won’t be jumping into the air anytime soon,” I replied. Sometimes I say unwise things. The baby’s due date was on Friday and Monday morning, my wife (supposedly) wakes me up in the middle of the night and says she’s feeling a contraction. I have no recollection of this the next morning. She says the discomfort is really deep but it doesn’t feel like labor. For some reason, I thought it best not to go to work today.
That was around 5:30am. It’s now around 9am and she’s been feeling intermittent contractions but nothing too unbearable. We were joking and having a good old time, but we still felt it necessary to call our midwives. Since it was during office hours and my wife didn’t get a cervical exam at her last checkup they scheduled us for a labor check at 11:30am. The birth center is quite a drive away, so we decide to head there early. She has a few more contractions on the drive over but she’s laughing and the contractions are getting further apart, so we’re basically making backup plans to walk around the mall or a local park.
We get there around 10:40 and we are seen around 11. The midwife performs an exam and says, “Are you feeling these contractions?” We thought she was going to say, “Because these are what we call Braxton-Hicks, honey. What is this, your first child?” and that she would tell us to go home and she’ll see us in a week.
Instead, her next words were, “because you are at 9cm dilated.” ^_^
This past Friday, and many times before that, many ladies at our church had been praying for my wife to have an easy, peaceful labor. God definitely answered those prayers.
So we ended up staying. We got situated but the contractions were still very intermittent. The midwife offered to break the bag of waters to speed up the labor but we declined and figured it best to let her body do what it was going to do. Later, the contractions began to get more regular and more intense. The baby’s back was towards my wife’s back, which meant back labor. So she labored on her hands and knees to try and get the baby to turn. After 3 births, I’ve finally figured out how I can actually be useful during the childbirth: I squeeze my wife’s hips together, kind of like I’m playing an accordion, and the counterpressure seems to really help her relax during the contractions.
Up to this point, the labor was pretty “easy” (easy for me to say, right?). But then it got intense around 1:12. After a false alarm were she felt she had to push, she had a few more contractions, her water broke at 1:30, and after two pushes, our fourth baby was out. It was a BOY! My wife had been praying for a playmate for S#1, and God provided.
The afterbirth was shocking. When my wife delivered the placenta, the midwife said she had vasa previa – and if the bag of waters had broken any earlier, there could have been major complications. In fact, she held up the umbilical cord for 10 seconds and the cord severed from the placenta completely. Praise the Lord for His providence.
We named him, God is salvation, because for Baby #4, God truly was our salvation. From the SCH to vasa previa, every time I see him nursing and with every diaper I change, I am reminded that God is my salvation.
Thanks be to God.
My wife and I welcomed our son into the world this past weekend! Mom and baby are doing well, but naturally, no one ever asks how I’m doing. So I’ll go ahead and tell you anyway.
Contractions became regular around 10:50pm – about 10 minutes apart and 20 seconds in duration. I think for D1, I timed contractions to the tenth of a second; for ?3, I got close enough. My next note is at 12am – “starting to get more intense.” About 12:15, her contractions were now a minute in length and about 12:45, we left for the birth center. We got there an hour or so later and she was 6cm, 90%, and -1 station. Around 2:10am, she was 6.5cm. Having only progressed 0.5cm in 30 minutes, I figured we were in for a long night, so I guzzled a 16oz coffee refusing to be as sleepy as I was during D2’s birth.
30 minutes later, my wife had a crucial contraction. The midwives and nurses were attending to other mothers in the birth center and I had a more than a mild freakout thinking that the baby would be born right then and there. Thankfully, only her water broke and the midwives entered the room. 4 minutes later, ?3 was crowning, and 2 minutes and 2 pushes after that, my son was born.
My wife told the midwives she didn’t want them to announce the sex of the child and she wanted to look for herself. Amusingly, she took her glasses off during the pushing and my wife, God bless her, is pretty blind without her glasses. So when ?3 initially emerged, she was inching closer and closer to his/her crotch to figure out what the sex was, exclaiming, “I…can’t see….what is it???”….”I think….it’s a boy? Is it a boy?!?!”
He weighed 7lbs14oz and was 21″ in length. He found the boob pretty quickly and had a good old time nursing. We took a nap and my mother-in-law arrived around 5:30am with food. While the midwives were making sure my wife was ok and I was packing the car, my son pooped all over my mother-in-law. Yup. A pile of meconium on her dress.
Numerous people have asked me, “So are you happy it’s a boy?” Yes, but no more happier than if it had been a girl. When I said I just wanted the baby to be healthy, I really meant it. My parents on the other hand? They were definitely happy we had a son.
Frankly, changing his diapers is a bit of a pain. Parents of sons often told me how changing a boy’s diaper is easier – that may be the case later, but right now? Not so much. You see, I too am a penis-carrying male, and as such, I’m super gentle when I wipe my son down since I know what it feels like when your testicles experience even the slightest bit of force. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked at how big his sac was. It kind of reminded me of that dog in the Van Wilder movie.
I’m definitely tired but I’m far more in love. And also, a little addicted to how he smells.
Tomorrow: how D1 & D2 reacted to their brother and how a mohel nearly made me faint
I’m finding that as I get older, I have a tougher time remembering things. I often forget where I leave my keys. My wife and I go to great lengths to pack the diaper bag only to forget it at home. I need to write things down to remember them. If my train of thought is interrupted, that train ain’t comin back. In fact, memories aren’t so much things that I have anymore; they’re things that I’m slowly losing.
And that’s why I need to get this down – while it’s still relatively fresh in my memory.
Three years ago, my life changed. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love the number 5. Five+ years ago, I made a commitment to my wife, but three years ago, my life got flipped turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the dad of a girl called D1.
I still remember the anxiety I felt leading up to D1’s due date. “I’m gonna be a dad!….will I be a good dad?…will I ever get a full night’s rest again?…will I be a good dad?” Her due date came and went and I was more anxious than ever. Each night, I went to bed imagining waking up in the middle of the night when my wife finally went into labor. On the 3rd night at 3am, the contractions began. Like any first time dad, I immediately got into “Oh! It’s on like donkey kong!” mode.
What does that phrase even mean? Am I to light a fire in a barrel drum, grab my woman, climb a series of ladders and start throwing barrels down? But I digress.
My wife had to give me a quick, “Settle down,” and she labored for about 18 hours.
I still remember how windy and cold it was at the birth center that night. I remember thinking, “I really hope the power doesn’t go out.” And then the anxiety hit me again: “I’m gonna be a dad!….will I be a good dad?…will I ever get a full night’s rest again?…will I be a good dad?”
I still remember that she was nearly born on the toilet and my wife barely made it back to the bed. I still remember the time (8:38pm). I still remember the joy and relief I felt when I heard her cry. I remember the tears that fell when the midwife shouted, “It’s a girl!” I still remember how exhausted my wife was as they put D1 on her tummy. I still remember seeing that D1 had the same birthmark as my wife and telling my wife, “She has your mark!” I still remembered how incredible it was when she desperately made her way to the boob like someone looking for an oasis in the desert. I still remember when she latched on and wouldn’t let go.
I still remember when the midwife handed me the scissors and saying a prayer before cutting the cord.
I still remember calling my sister and telling her, “I’m a dad! I’m a dad!” and both of us began sobbing. I still remember looking over at my wife and feeling so proud of her. I still remember holding her for the first time – the only way I can describe what I felt at that moment is that my heart was full.
I still remember putting on her diaper for the first time and being corrected by the midwife that I need to fasten it tighter. I remember putting her in her carseat for the first time and being corrected by the midwife that I need to fasten it tighter.
I remember driving home at 10mph below the speed limit and silently cursing anyone who sped by us, “SLOW DOWN YOU MANIAC!”
I still remember getting home and telling D1 for the very first time: “We’re home…you’re home, D1. You’re home.”
I may forget a lot of things as I get older, and I may not even remember any of the details in this post without rereading it. But I’ll never forget how full my heart felt 3 years ago.
Happy birthday, D1. I am so proud to be your dad. Life hasn’t been the same since you entered my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you.
What about you? Are you losing your memory (or mind)? Do you remember your kid’s birth story?
They put the baby on my wife’s chest and as I beheld her for the first time, I thought, “Wow…she’s perfect.” I cried uncontrollably when my first daughter was born because I was overwhelmed with joy. The joy was still the same for our second, but I didn’t shed a tear. Looking back, I think the peace God gave me when our friend said the child would be perfect was the difference. For our first, I was so worried about her health – it’s hard not to be paranoid when you read about all the things that can go wrong in development and birth. So when she came out healthy and let out a strong, healthy cry, 9-months of build up was released. For our second, I had no such worries and enjoyed the development and birth process.
As a frugal dad, I was happy it was a girl since we wouldn’t need to buy new clothes and toys.
I noticed our second daughter (from hereon, I’ll be referring to her as D2 and our first as D1 for simplicity) had a hairy back and ears. D1 has the same birthmark my wife does on her left forearm; D2 doesn’t. If we have a 3rd child and he/she has the birthmark, I imagine D2 will be teased about being adopted. D2 had really long fingers and toes, and nails, and her hair was black with light brown highlights. I rubbed her skin with the back of my hand – I’ve yet to touch anything that feels a soft as baby skin. I took a step back, looked at her and marveled at this gift God has given me; I fell in love.
The midwife clamped the cord and gave me the shears to cut it with. It takes 3 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop; it takes 2 strong snips for me to get through the umbilical cord. I said a prayer and welcomed D2 into the world.
The midwife and nurse told my wife what a wonderful job she did and said, “That was a perfect birth! We didn’t have to coach you to push or anything! Just perfect.” They insisted they weren’t just saying that, and that the methodical way my wife pushed out the baby was perfect. She did tear a bit however, as our baby girl’s elbow nicked her perineum on the way out.
D2 eventually found her way to my wife’s nipple and it’s amazing how a baby instinctively knows how to feed. The nurse looked at the latch and said, “Her latch looks perfect.”
We had a pool of names picked out and with the birth being symbolic of something being birthed in this generation, we chose a name that meant something we wanted to see for the next generation of kids.
A few hours later, our family began to arrive. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law came first. Later, my mom and my sister brought D2. It probably wasn’t the best idea to wake D2 up at 4:30 in the morning and bring her to the birth center. I gave D2 a big hug and spent some quality time with her before taking her in to meet her new sister.
I imagined their meeting would be all sweet and cuddly. Instead, the look on my daughter’s face was like the face most people make when they walk into a porta-potty and see the pile of crap that has amassed in the blue-turned-green liquid. Whenever D2 cried, we all paid attention to her and D1 picked up on this and began to cry whenever D2 did. When anyone held D2, D1 asked that person to pick her up. Imagining the emotions that D1 was experiencing, I began to cry. But I took solace in the fact that I knew they’d be best friends eventually.
I took a quick nap in the birth center. Well, maybe it wasn’t very quick because in that time, my wife was able to nurse, shower, change, and grab something to eat. Shortly after I woke up, they weighed and measured D2: 8lb5oz and 20″. While she was being measured, D2 pooped. When she was placed on the scale, D2 pooped again. Then just before we put on the diaper, she pooped again. At about 7:30, after running through a few things with the nurse, it was time to go home.
As we got to the door, D1 asks, “Daddy, is baby going to stay here alone with the doctor?” “No,” I told her, “She’s family and she’s coming home with us.” When we got home, my daughter asked, “Daddy, are we going to leave the baby in the car?” This difficulty adjusting totally caught my wife and I by surprise. At one point when we were waiting for labor to begin, my wife asked if I had any regrets for leaving the retreat early. I had none because I treasured the last days I got to spend with my family as a family of 3. And now with the range of emotions D1 was struggling with, I’m so grateful to God that I had a few days to love on my firstborn.
We took D2 and D1 to our pediatrician later that morning. The nurse examined, weighed and measured D2. Later, the pediatrician came and said, “So she’s in the 80th percentile for height…and 80th percentile for weight. She’s perfect. And for her head circumference…50th percentile. Just perfect.” Being Korean, having an average-sized head, especially when her Pop’s head is far above average, is a pretty big deal.
Over the next few days, we heard that word a lot in regards to D2. Being the dull guy I am, I didn’t really notice but my wife brought it to my attention and it will be something we both treasure in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
It’s not so much that our specific child is perfect, but a reminder that children are a perfect gift from God.
Parenting isn’t easy, as it can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining. And I’ve made so many mistakes with D1, that I’m thanking God for the mulligan He’s giving me with D2.
I’m far from a perfect parent, and my children aren’t perfect either; but they are God’s perfect gift to me. Every now and then–usually every 3 hours when D2 wakes up–I miss being married without children. But overall I’m happy to be a dad and I’m going to try to be the best dad I can be.
As I’ve reflected on D2’s birth story over the past week, it’s amazing to see how God was guiding each step. And knowing that He’ll guide each step hereafter, gives me incredible peace. I may not be perfect, but God gave me a perfect gift, and He has a perfect plan.
Thanks for reading!
As the midwife began the pelvic exam, water gushed forth. I like keeping a clean house, so I smiled quite a bit inside knowing I wouldn’t have to clean up the mess. The midwife told us my wife was at 7cm and 80% effaced so he told us to stay. Once again, for the uninitiated, cervical dilation is complete at 10cm and delivery of the infant takes place shortly thereafter, so we didn’t have very far to go. I ran out to the car and grabbed all of our bags. Yes, bags. DSLR bag, camcorder bag, bag with all the baby stuff (diapers, onesies, blankets, wipes), and my wife’s snack and drink bag (pita chips, trail mix and water). I expended quite a bit of effort to get all those bags on my person so that I could take them all in one trip and of course, my keys are in the pocket opposite my free hand. I always do this.
To give you some background, my wife and I chose to do a natural birth for both of our children. Scratch that. My wife chose to do natural birth. As the man, I believe natural birth is beneficial and doable, but that’s like the punter on a football team saying that he thinks contact in the NFL isn’t a big deal. Yes, the punter plays a role on the team, but ultimately, he doesn’t get hit and if he does, it’s a penalty. So yeah, fellas out there: share your opinion but know your role – or this could happen.
For our daughter, we went with the Bradley Method. Although our class was immensely helpful in understanding pregnancy and labor, the method ultimately didn’t do much for us as my wife despised the sound of my voice and my touch during labor. For her, she liked to enter into a zone whenever the contractions came on, so I sat by praying my butt off. For our second, we decided to try HypnoBirthing at the recommendation of a friend.
The name makes it sound like I get out a watch and say, “You are not in pain…you are going to have a baby…” or something like that. And some posts on the Web will lead you to believe the method is of the devil – but we all know only foosball is the devil. After reading the book, we were led to believe that people who posted such things likely based their conclusions on the title and a few select anecdotes. In fact, the author talks at length about birth being God’s plan and has Scripture littered throughout the book. Granted, that doesn’t mean HypnoBirthing is the work of God, but just don’t believe everything you read on the Web.
HypnoBirthing seems to have 2 key components: 1) the book works really hard to psyche you up about being able to deliver the child naturally and 2) there are several audio tracks where a woman guides you through visualization exercises. When we told our midwife we were thinking of doing HypnoBirthing, she told us that when it works, it’s great, but it’s problematic for the women who experience lots of pain and who had HypnoBirthing as their sole source of pain management.
I setup our iPod and turned on her favorite visualization exercise. The woman’s voice is incredibly relaxing and the visualizations helped my wife relax when the “surges” came – HypnoBirthing goes to great lengths to use terms that sound more positive. Her contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart. Some lasted upwards of a minute and a half, and others lasted as little as 15 seconds. We alternated between walking around and her sitting on the birth ball and going through the visualizations. Once again, it helped for me to keep completely quiet unless asked, and my hands to myself.
It’s midnight and I’m still by her side, timing contractions. You know how Apple says, “There’s an app for that”? Yup. There are numerous apps for timing contractions. I stupidly didn’t even think about downloading one of them.
It’s now 1am and we’re both fighting to stay awake. A few days prior, I thought about packing some coffee but thought better of it since I didn’t want my baby’s first impression of me to be stinky coffee breath. While my wife is doing her visualizations on the birth ball, I’m doing pushups and jumping jacks trying to stay awake. My wife’s contractions aren’t getting any closer together and the intensity has remained fairly constant. The visualizations seem to help a lot for pain management.
It’s now 2am and to be honest, I was DYING! I imagined my child being born and me snoring away, passed out on the wooden floor. And the HypnoBirthing woman’s relaxing voice wasn’t helping very much. Our birth center doesn’t really do pelvic exams unless it seems there is quite a bit of progression or we ask, but since my wife’s contractions weren’t getting any closer together, they just made sure the baby’s heartbeat was ok. At 2:05am, I ask my wife if she wants a pelvic exam just so that we can see how much she’s progressing. She agreed.
The midwife came in and he said that my wife was still at 7cm. Three hours of labor and we haven’t progressed?!?! My heart sunk and I was now kicking myself for forgoing coffee. “The good news is,” the midwife said, “that you’re now 100% effaced.” This is like getting to the theme park only to find that you’re too short to ride anything. It sucks.
For my wife’s sake, I tried really, really hard not to look disappointed, but since I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions to begin with, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t doing a good job of it at 2:05am.
The nurse suggested my wife take a shower since the water on her nipples might kick start the labor. We got my wife’s shower cap and slippers ready. And just as she was about to get in the shower, a massive surge/contraction hits. Then a few minutes later, another.
It might’ve been the pelvic exam; it might’ve been my desperate pleas to the baby to come soon. Whatever it was, the baby was coming. And fast.
Contractions started to get really intense and the HypnoBirthing was becoming increasingly ineffective. Maybe with more practice, the HypnoBirthing may have worked, but it became pretty useless so we turned on some relaxing music.
Low moans really helped my wife as did me applying counter pressure on her hips during each contraction. She found it really helpful to lean on the birth ball with her arms while resting on her knees on the bed. Time is moving incredibly fast at this point and it seems the contractions are right on top of each other. At this point, I’m glad I’ve been working out because squeezing her hips for the better part of an hour was an intense bicep/forearm workout.
Around 2:55am, the midwife and nurse came in and got their gloves on – based on my wife’s moans, they knew she was in transition. At this point, I step away from my wife because there’s a lot going on down there. So I do the fatherly thing and get my camera ready.
At 3:02am, I can see the head about to crown. There are somethings I just cannot get used to seeing: skinny jeans on guys, glitter on vampires, and a baby’s head crowning. I find the latter to be the least unnerving.
And even though it was the second time I’ve seen a birth, I still ended up thinking, “There’s NO way that’s going to fit…OMG…it’s gonna fit….OMG OMG OMG OMG.” Leave it to childbirth to reduce me to a school girl who just saw Eclipse.
Some of you may have heard of the ring of fire in childbirth. That’s when the head is about to crown and the vaginal opening is at its widest and the sensation is often described as a ring of fire. Grab a turtleneck from 15 years ago and try to fit your head through and you may have an idea what it looks like. This is the point where I think, “OMG…my wife’s vag is going to explode.”
Without any coaching, my wife slowly and methodically pushed out the baby.
*bloop* out comes the head…the baby turns a bit and
*bloop* out comes the arm and
*bloop* out comes the baby
I ran and looked and…IT’S A GIRL!!!! IT’S A GIRL!!!
Tomorrow: I conclude the Birth Story with The Perfect Child
Once I got that text from my wife, I asked my boss if I could leave. There are certain things in life that illicit a, “Say no more” from men. Two of those things are menstruation and water breaking. We don’t know all that goes on with those things and we usually don’t want to know, so do what you gotta do but say no more. So I walk into my boss’s office and said
Me: Hey boss. My wife’s water just broke so…
Boss: [interrupting me, holding up his hand as if stiff-arming a defender] Say no more. Go.
A lot has changed in childbirth over the decades. For example, men other than doctors can now be actively involved in the labor and delivery process and technology has advanced significantly. But a few things seem to remain constant: 1) that white birth blanket with blue and red/pink stripes and 2) the mystery and awe surrounding the water breaking. As I was leaving the office, I could hear my coworkers saying, “Water broke? I remember getting that call,” and “Clean up. Aisle 6. Bring a mop.”
Since contractions hadn’t begun, I wasn’t in a huge rush and said a prayer for my wife as I drove home. As involved as us dads are now, there’s nothing we do that comes close to what the moms go through in labor. So I prayed for her health and the health of Baby #2 as his or her birth was drawing near.
I get home and my wife is leisurely surfing the Web, my daughter is reading a book, and my sister is finishing up some work. For the next few hours, it was really, really hard not to ask my wife if she was having contractions yet every few minutes – I would’ve been the equivalent of a kid asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
So we wait. And wait. And wait.
June becomes July and my wife is as pregnant as ever. We go to sleep that night, fully aware that this could be the last night we get 8 straight hours of sleep in quite some time, but slightly disappointed that our new baby is not in our arms.
We wake up and of course, the first thing I say is, “Did you have any contractions?” In retrospect a “good morning,” or “I love you,” would’ve been better. Nope. None yet.
I took my daughter out that day but made sure to stay close to home. I saw a mother at Target who was either baby sitting kids or had a very fertile womb. Six kids! Some were on leashes – in 2010, parents not only take their pets but their kids out for walks. I’m not hating. If you’ve got six kids, you gotta do what you gotta do to corral them. Personally, I’d use duct tape and a flat-bed cart, but that’s just me. But seeing her kids pining for her attention made me a bit sad for my daughter. She’s still having issues sharing, but sharing your toys is one thing; sharing your parents is completely different.
At that moment, I get a phone call from my wife and my heart starts racing.
Wife: Hi you. Could you pick up some (some item we needed) while you’re there?
Me: *whomp whomp* yeah…sure.
I get home and of course, the first thing I say is, “Hi honey.” Followed immediately with a “Feel anything yet?” 😛 Nope.
It’s now early in the evening and still nothing. During dinner, my wife still had a very good appetite so we figured the baby wouldn’t come anytime soon.
Then at 8:06pm, my wife had her first mild contraction. She’d been having smaller ones before, but this was the first sustained contraction. At 8:22pm, she had another one – 16 minutes apart, so I run to the cars and double-check to see if we have everything.
It’s now 8:50 and since I’ve restrained myself from asking my wife if she felt anything no less than 8 times, I figure I’m allowed to ask. Nope. Nothing.
So we wait.
At 9:50pm, I put our daughter down for bed and I’m thinking, “If this baby comes tonight, her world is going to be completely changed when she wakes up.”
At 9:58pm, my wife has a decent contraction where she had to stop what she was doing and focus.
10:05pm, another one. That’s 7 minutes apart! We call the midwife and ask him what we should do. Seven minutes isn’t very close but because my wife was so far along (4-5cm dilated 4 days ago), he wasn’t too sure what to do. He recommended waiting a bit more to see what would happen.
She had two more contractions at 10:12 and 10:19. At that point the midwife said to come in and we left our daughter at home with my sister at 10:25pm.
On the ride over, we figured we’d get sent back home since the contractions were getting farther apart – likely due to the change in scenery. In the car, they were about 9 minutes apart and pretty short in duration. But we figured it’d give us peace of mind to have her examined.
We got to the birth center at 11:07pm and I didn’t bring any of our bags in. The midwife examined my wife.
Tomorrow: Should we stay or should we go?
Unlike the previous night, I slept pretty well and once again awoke to no missed calls or texts. I gathered the praise team together and went over some last-minute things for the rest of the retreat. We led the morning session and it was wonderful.
The Pastor friend, who prophesied before, said to the students that my wife and I were having a baby – a fact that pretty much everyone at the retreat knew. He said that not only is the birth important, but the energy and effort we expend in raising the child is important as well. In the same way, he said that this retreat was important for those in attendance but what’s important is how they will nurture and grow their faith in the next year, 5 years, decades. The parents of my daughter’s BFF were also expecting, though their due date was 5 days later than ours, and the Pastor spoke about how these births are symbolic of what is being birthed in this generation – that something new is coming forth.
The prevailing themes for me during the retreat were
- The Father heart of God – Having had a fairly distant father growing up, I never understood why God would want to be called Father as it can carry a negative connotation for certain people. But after having my own child and being unable to put into words the love I feel as a father and the lengths to which I would go to nurture and protect my child, I now understand why.
- How loud is the Gospel in my life? – And no, I don’t mean I’ll now be standing on street corners preaching about people’s need for Christ nor will I be a pushy, sleazy Christ salesman, but am I living as Christ lived? The Gospel means Good News, and everywhere Jesus went, He was good news, save for the religious establishment of the time. For the lepers, He was good news because He made them clean. For the blind He was good news because He made them see. Even for the adulterer, He was good news because He showed mercy before judgment. Am I good news to those I meet and encounter everyday?
The last bit of worship was intense!!! The only way I could describe it would be if a Rock festival of 800+ were held indoors and the music primarily followed a major chord progression. We were so loud that the University’s director had to come tell us to quiet down. It was awesome.
Afterward, my Pastor called me forward and he, along with all the students in attendance and the praise team I’ve grown to know and love, prayed for me and my family. Feeling immensely blessed, I grabbed my things and headed home.
To ensure I didn’t get lost on the way to the interstate, I asked our drummer to show me the way. If you’ve ever been in a band before, you know it’s never a good thing to be led by your drummer, but he knew the area well. I got in my car and I follow him out and WTH?!?!? The tire pressure light is on…
I call him and he pulls over and sure enough, I’ve got a nail in the right rear wheel – try saying that three times fast. It was a little after noon and the heat index was well above 100°F, but my friend tried to plug the tire to no avail because it punctured a bit into the sidewall, and put on the spare tire. Not too many people in the world as awesome–nor prepared for any roadside emergency–as he is.
So here I am – 180+ miles from home and driving on a spare on I-95. Normally, I’d be listening to music or an NPR Podcast (I love Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me) and driving pretty fast (always with the flow of traffic of course :-P) but because of the spare tire, I drove the speed limit in the right lane and had the radio off.
The contrast between the interior of my car and what was going on around me couldn’t have been greater. I drove for a little more than 3 hours having an awesome time talking with God as cars swerved around me telling me that I was #1. Sometimes, I just get used to having noise in my life, be it the radio, an iPod, the TV, or even the Internet, so three hours in relative silence and serenity was amazing, albeit uncomfortable initially.
Around 4pm, I was home. My daughter flew down the stairs and gave me a hug and kiss. I ran to my wife and gave her and Baby #2 a kiss. It was so good to be home.
I plopped down on the couch and read several books to my daughter; she couldn’t have been happier. She showed me new books she bought at the thrift store and she proudly showed me the new stickers she got on her potty chart. I sat down with my wife and we talked and talked and talked. I held her hand, massaged her swollen right foot (she called it her Fiona foot), and spent some time singing and praying over Baby #2.
I love being in God’s presence with 800+ other people, but I also love being in God’s presence, just the 3–and soon to be 4–of us.
I took my daughter on a date that night to her favorite place on earth: Chick-Fil-A – a playground and ice cream, what more can a kid ask for? I sat there enjoying all of her little mannerisms, marveling at how many of my mannerisms and sayings she knows, and just enjoying this precious gift God entrusted me with. The rest of the evening was uneventful as far as Baby #2 goes.
I woke up the next morning and went to work. At 9:25am, I get this text:
I just lost my mucous plug
I looked up my daughter’s birth story and found that it was 12 hours from the lost mucous plug until birth, so no worries there.
Then at 9:46am, I get this text:
Not sure but my water may be leaking out. Feels wet down there.
Coming Monday: WTH are you waiting for?!?! Go, Pop, Go!!!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone!