… Contractions had been coming for almost two hours, and it was time to wake Jonathan. I nudged him (with no response), then nudged him again and said “Jon… I think we need to start timing contractions.” He was instantly wide awake. A few days before, we had downloaded an app called “Full Term – Labor Contraction Timer” (you need it, if you’re expecting), and J started timing. After laying (writhing) in bed for about 30 minutes with consistent pains, we decided to start getting ready for the hospital.
J got up and changed pants three times. I washed my face and put makeup on. All the while, contractions got more consistent, stronger, and crazy-intense. What’s a contraction feel like, you ask? Well. While contracting, breathing becomes the single focus of your entire existence. Everything else in the entire world ceases to matter. By 4am, we knew it was time to start heading to the hospital. Our bag was fully packed, and I loaded my big old self into the car, questioning the entire time if it was really “time” to go meet our son. We made the round of calls – Moms, Dads, etc., and my parents were immediately in “go-mode”. They were close behind us.
I often wondered what the drive to the hospital would be like… if we would be racing through town, if we would quietly chat, or if we might pretend like it was just another normal drive through town. J remained calm and drove normally, I continued to breathe and time contractions. We arrived at the hospital, parked, and started our walk into the L&D ward. They told us at our tour what to do if we had to enter the hospital “after hours”… I was curious if the system would actually work. (It did.) In the 100-yard walk to the check in desk, we stopped four times so I could breathe through contractions.
We walked up to the front desk to check in, and I was at a loss at first… what does one say? “I’m here to give birth to a tiny human being”, or “Hi, just wanted to see if you need some coffee”, or perhaps “How’s it goin?!” ? But the nurses got the hint after I couldn’t answer a couple basic questions, due to contractions. J handled all the check in things. We headed to the triage room, where they establish whether or not you are in labor and decide if it is, indeed, time. After a quick round of more questions, they examined me and determined that I was over halfway there… We would be meeting our son that day.
They officially checked us in at 5am, and wheeled me to the room that I would Labor in. As the contractions intensified and became closer together, I focused even harder. Going in to this whole childbirth thing, I decided I would like to go as long as I could naturally… the idea of an epidural freaked me out. But I also decided that I wasn’t going to count myself a failure if I decided to go ahead and get the drugs. Contractions were soon rightontop of each other, with little time to recover in between. My water still hadn’t broken. Brooks was coming.
After stalling out at about halfway, I knew it was time for the epidural. I needed to be able to focus, push, and breathe, and that wasn’t going to happen au natural. After the epidural was administered, things immediately started happening. Within the hour, the doctor had broken my water, my body was fully ready, and Brooks had quickly descended lower in the birth canal. Mom and Dad left the room… it was time to push.
J was on one side, a nurse on the other, and one helping Brooks. After a solid hour of pushing, the Doctor knew that Brooks was stuck. Little buddy was trying his hardest to come meet us, and my body was holding him up. The Doctor knew our best option was to cut, allowing for Brooks to make his way out. Less than 15 minutes after that cut was made, I pushed my very hardest and was met with the strangest, most gratifying sensation. Our Son had entered the world.
Rather than congratulations and cheers, we were met with quiet determination, and a deafening silence. Brooks wasn’t crying, was barely breathing, and his coloring was off. One of the nurses called for the NEO staff, and in a rush, a team of people entered the room to help Brooks.
Jonathan and I clung to each other, clung to Jesus, and cried out to Him to help our son breathe. We waited so hard for him to make a sound — any sound — while the Doctors worked on him. My Doctor and Nurses reassured us that he would be okay. And between minutes Five and Ten, Brooks let us know with quiet squeaks that he was, indeed, going to be just fine. Those were undoubtedly the longest minutes of our lives, with the most urgent prayers we have ever prayed.
Four hours later, an X-Ray confirmed that Brooks’ lungs were clear, and he was fine. Because he descended in the birth canal so quickly, his little body didn’t have time to absorb the extra fluids that babies live in while in the womb, which caused fluid to remain in his lungs and keep him from breathing properly. Although he was determined to be okay, the NICU kept him overnight to be certain and monitor him.
Later, a conversation between J and I:
Me: Do you believe in Angels? Like, that they exist to help those that love Jesus?
Me: Do you think they were in the delivery room with us, helping Brooks?
At 11:33am, our tiny human entered the world at 7lb, 5 oz, and 20.5″ long. He is our beautiful miracle. We are so entirely grateful to the Nurses and Doctors that helped little buddy enter the world. We are grateful for the time they have dedicated to learning, practicing, and honing their skills in order to safely deliver and help us raise our babies.