Monday, April 18, 2016

Andrew's Birth Story

This is an ENTIRELY UNEXCITING story. It's very difficult to write, because it is just so unexciting. 

1. My water broke. 
2. We went to the hospital. 
3. We had a baby. 

But it wouldn't be me telling the story, if it were less than 1,000 words, so here's some more story to go with it: 

We had twins 18 months ago, and were done, with everything. We both agreed that this was a good time to settle in and slow down. 

So naturally, in the year that followed the birth of our twins, I started a new job, we found out we were pregnant, Wally started a new job, we sold our house, lived in two households for three months, bought a house three hours away, moved all our stuff (while eight months pregnant), and had a baby, affectionately nicknamed Baby Number Five In Seven Years

Some people noticed I was a little grumpier through this pregnancy, to which I say: Yes, I absolutely was. 

Baby Number Five In Seven Years was due March 30th, but my husband only had 2 days of vacation at his new job and didn't qualify for paternity leave, my kids just started a new school, our new town didn't have friends or family who could show up on short notice and indefinitely take care of four kids six and younger, and my midwife was three hours away. 

Anytime I wonder about God's timing, I think of Andrew. He had the courtesy to arrive while we were in the same town as my midwife, while the kids were on Spring Break from school, and two days before my husband's weekend from work. And best of all, he provided just enough time after putting the kids in bed, for me to finish a cup of coffee with my dear friend, Holly, and my parents. 

Toward the end of our coffee chat, I either peed my pants, or my water broke. (Eight-and-a-half months pregnant after a day of pulling kids around in the wagon, kickboxing, and jumping on a trampoline, it could have been either.) I excused myself from the table, and jubilantly called out from the bathroom, "We're having a baby tonight!"

Seven years ago, I wouldn't have even mentioned I was going to the bathroom, much less talked loudly to other people while in the bathroom, much less about something like giving birth. I wish I could reclaim that luxurious modesty from years past of visiting the bathroom without a parade of children,  sweet children who urgently need to tell me something so important that it becomes tragically unimportant, if told two minutes prior or future. 

Holly had just stopped by to visit her god-son (one of the twins), and alleviate some of the frenzy of evening dinner and bedtime with four crazy kids, and now, here she was, just in time for Andrew's arrival! 

I gathered my thoughts, changed my pants, and asked my mom for a ride to the hospital. 

Holly offered to call Wally. Oh, right! We should tell Wally that his son is arriving! For the multiplicitous time in our friendship (and that day alone), I thanked the Lord for Holly. 

So at 8 pm on Tuesday, March 15th, my mom and I head to the hospital, and Holly calls Wally, who was three hours away, at our new home in Conroe. He was working on house projects after his shift at work. 

We checked into the hospital at 8:20 pm, my midwife arrived at 8:30, and I let her know we'd have a baby by 10 pm. Everyone agreed this would be very convenient. 

Just as paperwork and registration, introductions and IVs were completed, my contractions grew stronger, and I was no longer good company. But everything remained calm, bouncing on my pilates ball, breathing through contractions, small talk with my mom between contractions, and wondering how far along we were. 

I was surprised when my midwife said I could start pushing, whenever my body felt like it needed to push. Wow, we were already to pushing! Hooray! She anticipated my birth phases really well, because after one or two more contractions, I felt the transition to pushing labor. 

Contractions have always scared me; any kind of intense uncontrollable pain scares me. But for some reason, this time around, I could really focus. And instead of being consumed with "OH MY GOD, THIS IS SO RIDICULOUSLY PAINFUL AND AWFUL," everything was more controlled. My friend's brother had just died after a long illness, and I prayed for him as contractions intensified. It's amazing how tangible faith becomes in extreme situations. I was also really glad my mom was with me. Having been through it four times herself, she knew all the right things to say as we progressed. 

It's probably no surprise that Baby Number Five in Seven Years came crying into the world after only two pushes. And then I just got to relax and cuddle this sweet 6-pound-14-ounce little one. All I remember from those first few minutes is how much I loved baby Andrew, and how good it felt to not be pregnant anymore.

It was 10:15 pm.*

I still marvel at the timing of everything. One year ago, we didn't see any of this -- a new job in a new city, a new home, a new baby. At times it felt everything would collide into a colossal mess of poor planning. And yet, here we find ourselves, calmly and unpredictably living out this sweet life together! 

*Wally arrived from Conroe after everything calmed down, around 11:15 pm.


  1. Praise God for his goodness, infinite mercy, and healthy sense of humour. :D

    1. Yes, yes, yes! Praise God for all of it. I'm so grateful.

  2. So beautiful! We miss you so much.

    1. Oh I can't believe our Dallas RCA time was so short. I became so strong, being around such strong women! And thought we'd be there for 20 years. Life is funny, I guess. And I miss you too!

  3. I love reading your posts! Reminded me of one of my own deliveries. It really IS amazing how tangible faith becomes in those situations. I remember offering up the pain during labor over and over for souls that needed it. It was excruciating back labor. But to think what Our Lord went through for us during his Passion made it manageable. God bless little Andrew! Hope all are all doing well. xx Cathy

    1. How beautiful to offer your suffering for all souls in need. I've heard back labor is the worst, and am glad not to have experienced it!

  4. Congratulations! Baby Andrew is beautiful! I miss you guys...