Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Restoration: Presli's Birth Story

One week ago today our lives were forever changed as we welcomed our baby girl into the world.

So far, life with Presli has been a complete joy for all of us. Park is in love with her and she already has Chris completely wrapped around her sweet finger. As for me, any questions I ever had about how I would love another child as much as Park were answered the moment I layed eyes on her.

*WARNING: Below is the story of her birth, which includes words such as "dilation" and "water breaking", as well as being rather lengthy. Read ahead at your own comfort level.

At 37 weeks I was encouraged to learn I was dilated to a 2 and by the next week I was already a 4. I had many Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the pregnancy, but they began to pick up in intensity the weekend before her birth. On September 1st, I felt that heaviness that precedes labor and wondered if our baby would come within the next several days.

Although the contractions seemed to be a lot stronger, they were very sporadic. By about 6 that evening, I was extremely happy to see Chris walk through the door. I felt tired and the contractions were starting to get stronger and come every 30 minutes. We put Park to bed around 8, but I became really unsure this was "it" because they seemed to be getting further apart rather than closer together.

I tried to go to bed about 9 to rest up for the days to come, but finally got up around 10 after finding it impossible to sleep. By 10:30 I started to panic a bit. Chris was helping me manage each contraction but I began questioning how these "early" contractions could feel so intense and how on earth I would handle the stronger ones at the end.

I remembered the last contractions with Park and was I crazy or did these feel that same intensity? But, considering they were still thirty minutes apart it seemed completely ridiculous to go to the hospital at that point.

By 11:30, I was so glad we had not gone to the hospital because they stopped all together. Certain labor wouldn't start until the next day, Chris and I went to bed around midnight until I was awakened by a horribly strong contraction at 1:30. It was so intense I did not have time to wake Chris and after it passed I decided to time one more before dragging us to the hospital unnecessarily.

The next one did not happen until right before 2 and it was very rough, as well. Just as I was deciding that irrational or not, I was ready to call his mom to come stay with Park and head on to the hospital, another one hit about 2 minutes later.

At this point, I begin to have the sinking feeling that we may have waited too long to start our 20 minute drive to the hospital. With the contractions coming on top of each other, we opted to call a neighbor to come until his mom could make it and headed out the door like a tornado. Chris knew I meant business when I barked at him to forget loading the suitcases and "GET TO DRIVING ALREADY!!"

He drove with the hazards on about double the legal speed limit, all the while calmly assuring me that we had plenty of time.

Clearly, he was not the one sitting on someones head.

About 5 miles shy of the hospital I announced that I absolutely had to push.

Enter Chris' 911 phone call.

I think Chris may be the only husband in the history of roadside deliveries who remained completely calm while communicating to the operator that we were minutes from having our baby in the car and under no circumstances should the police pull us over for speeding.

And then he firmly instructed me to sit tight and not push, he would have us there before I knew it. In retrospect I appreciate his even tone, but at the time his calm demeanor may or may not have caused some mild irritation that led me to share how I really felt about his "sitting tight" idea.

And then my water broke.

Thankfully it released enough pressure to allow me to "sit tight" for the remaining two minutes until we burned rubber into the hospital parking lot. Somehow we made it up to labor and delivery in time for me to announce I was "HAVING A BABY RIGHT NOW!"

And here is where the real fun began.

The nurse at the desk asked me to give her some details so she could pull up my information, and then asked me to describe my contractions because depending on what happened after being checked, I "may or may not be sent back home for false labor."

Never mind that I could not breath, let alone talk. Or that I had water dripping down my leg.

Here is where Chris (in his overly calm voice) explains that I am about to have a baby. Clearly not convinced, the nurse asks me to walk down to triage (because every room was already filled), get a gown on and wait to be checked.

Sadly, I was not as calm as hubby when I personally assured her, "I'm ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!!"

By some miracle they decided to skip some steps and just check me and that is when everyone flew into high speed mode. "Get her doctor here NOW!!" I heard, as they rushed me into a room.

Somehow I now took precedence over the 32 other women there to give birth that same night. Seriously, 32. Is that not insane?

I was told I was a 9 1/2, but Nancy the Nurse was not fooling me that they were trying to stall, hoping to keep me from pushing until my doctor arrived.

The next 10 minutes were a blur, as everyone around me went into frenzy mode. Although my focus was on managing contractions, I vaguely remember being stuck repeatedly as they tried in vain (pun intended) to get a hep lock in my arm.

Another nurse was on the phone calling representatives from the neonatal unit to come up in preparation for an unassisted delivery. The table was being broken down and I was told to pant through the next few contractions. I told the nurse I had pushed for over 5 hours with my son and asked her to go ahead and let me at least get started for crying out loud.

As my legs went in the stirrups my doctor flew through the door, putting his scrubs on as he went. As deeply as I felt the need to push, I also felt the need to get my hair into a ponytail ASAP and a kind nurse gladly ripped the rubber band from her own hair to place around mine. Tresses firmly in place, I was ready to get down to business.

The first push brought back all the fear from Park's delivery and without meaning to, I felt myself hold back. My typically mild mannered doctor, fully aware of my previous experience and wanting to keep me from panic mode, informed me, "That was pathetic! Now bear down and push like you want to meet this baby! The head is crowning and you can do this. I give you about a 4 for effort and I need a 10. Let's do this!"

Nothing like a good pep talk to motivate a girl in pain. I pushed like I MEANT it and the next thing I knew I saw what looked to be a carbon copy of my Park being layed on my chest. I had seen the umbilical cord between her legs just moments before I heard Chris scream, "It's a GIRL!!!!"

After double checking, indeed, he was right.

He cried tears of joy and I cried tears of relief that we had made it and our baby girl was healthy and here in our arms.

And it all happened less than 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Thank you Dr. White for running the 4 red lights from your house to the hospital.

Everything from getting pregnant to facing fears from my previous labor/postpartum recovery provided me with the opportunity to lean more on Jesus. As has been true throughout my walk with Him, He has once again proven 100 percent faithful and trustworthy. When I look into Presli's eyes, I'm reminded that He is the Redeemer- full of grace, mercy, and restoration. He alone knows what we need and when we need it.

And speaking of that, my next post will pick up with big brother's reaction to meeting his new baby sister....


Heather said...

Brittani- I praise Jesus for His restoration power. I don't know you in real life, but our roads have been so similar that I am crying reading this. (And about to go kiss my sweet baby girl as she sleeps!) Thanks for posting this and sharing the details. I cracked up at your reaction to your hubby!!! Also- my water broke with Connor and I got the same "run around" from the check-in/nurses/triage. I know they get some false alarms, but for heaven's sake!!! I had a towel between my legs that was SOAKED AND DRIPPING...what more do you need people?!?!?! ha!
Thanking God for sweet Presli and can't wait for your next post!
We are so blessed with our wonderful "big brothers" and now sweet baby sisters for them...all in God's timing. Isn't He amazing?

Cindi said...

Tears are running down my face...we are blessed.

The Gardella's said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. I am so glad to hear that you had a safe and healthy delivery despite the fast pace. She is gorgeous.

Jennifer said...

I am fighting back tears sitting here at my desk. What a beautiful story! Now, you have me scared though. My first labor was so quick, I better fly to the hospital with this one!

Lindsey Smith Photography said...

Best.Birth.Story.EVER! I cried as I read it. So thankful that you and that precious baby girl are okay! LOVE the part about the ponytail too!

AnnG said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing story! It's a great testimony to God's love and grace!

~angie said...

WOW!!! Girlfriend, what a story! So exciting. God is GOOD!

Autumn and Haley said...

Love it! Can't wait to meet my sweet niece. I bet she's as pretty as me...hehehe

Anonymous said...

I have goosebumps!! You have a way of story-telling!! Good job and what a precious baby girl! I have two neices named PARKer and Presley. :)

Stephanie said...

That was great! And tastefully done. :) I think men and women alike could read it with not a lot of cringing! Not that i would cringe - I LOVE birth stories! I cry every time.

Sarah said...

From me and Bridget, in complete and total love:


And we've never been happier to be able to say that :)

I love you, girl, and as soon as we're germ-free, I'm coming over to meet your baby girl!!

chrys said...

oh, friend...tears are still streaming down my face as i write this comment. half-way through reading the post, i called mike in and started over so i could read it aloud to him. just amazing! i'm so, so thrilled for you. <3

we are both so ready to meet our little one (due tomorrow!) and reading this post was an encouragement to me. i am admittedly nervous about the delivery and have fears from t's birth, but know the LORD goes before us. thank you for sharing your story.

congratulations again on that precious baby girl. what a blessing.


Karen said...

Praise God! What an amazing birth story. Congratulations -- your family is so beautiful and blessed. I cannot believe how gorgeous Presli is. Newborns are never that gorgeous............Love the name too. Have loads of fun with her. I have a 16-month old and having little girls is just the best!


Kelli said...

Can I just tell you that I sat on the edge of my seat reading that just as I do when watching 24! While shouting out "OH my GOSH!"

What an adventurous story that is probably just the beginning of all the fun that God has in store for sweet Presli's life!

FaceforGrace said...

What an awesome story. I'm a baby story junkie- so I loved every minute of it! I especially loved the part "Clearly he was not the one sitting on someone's head" made me crack up laughing out loud. Although I got my epidural rather early in labor, I clearly remember the feeling of "sitting on someone's head". Congratulations on your little girl. There is just something so special about a little girl!

ME :) said...

Hi! I do not know if you remember me or not I used to read your blog all of the time and I had a blog called Hope & Grace - well I took my blog down and do not get to read as many blogs as I did as our homeschooling days have picked up!! I have missed your posts - the last post I read from you was how you were learning to be patient and wait on God's timing for a new baby - and then today when I read on Sarah's blog - I clicked on it and was SO joyful to see that YES it was you and YES you did have a precious new baby girl! Oh I am SO SO SO very happy for you! Bless your heart - SO glad your husband got you there and that your doctor arrived! WOOHOO for doctors that are willing to run stop lights! Sunshine
PS You have a beautiful family! Just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your beautiful daughter! We love our little girl sooo much!! And are expecting and looking forward to her having a brother or sister.

Blessings, Ginger

Ingram Gang said...

Wow! Beautiful story with an even more beautiful outcome.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness! Presli is so beautiful and I'm so excited you have a girl!! I just wish I were in Texas to see her in person! Your birth story and Park's reaction story made me both cry and laugh out loud! Bless your heart..and I thought my almost-unassisted delivery was quick :) Presli is already breaking records! I'm so happy for you and Chris! Love, Amy