I met my son.
It was the day after Labor day (my due date) when I went in for my weekly checkup with the doctor. She started off by saying, "He's not here YET?!" And then assured me that many women are now going at least a week past their due date and to be prepared for that. I was patient. Ready for her to check me and send me home again to wait.
But, not this time.
She checked me, eyes wide saying, "Have you been having contractions today?" I had. But I had been for weeks by then -- and I told her that. She told me she wasn't sure that I wasn't in labor "RIGHT NOW," that I was 5-6cm, completely effaced with a bulging water and needed to head to the hospital. I wasn't hurting too bad before we walked in for the appointment, but walking out I began to have pain. Josh's parents were already with us, our bags had been packed for a couple weeks, so we drove straight to the hospital while I called my family and got the news out that we would be having a baby soon!
We arrived at the hospital around 3:30pm. I was hooked up to a bunch of IV's and given the instruction that I would be waiting on my doctor to come over and break my water for me - if it didn't break before then on it's own. We sat and waited, took some pictures and Josh started the playlist of music we prepared for my labor. Around 5:30pm, the doctor came in and broke my water (weirdest thing ever!) and since my "contractions" weren't progressing me any, they gave me some Pitocin to get things going. I didn't notice much of a difference between the "Pitocin contractions" and my "contractions" at first. When the nurse asked me for a number on the pain scale "if and when" I would want an epidural -- I told her 7 (our room number, which also happens to be the number for completion according to Scripture, seemed perfect). At this point, my pain level was a 3 - so she turned up the Pitocin dosage.
And THEN I got to 7 real fast!
Literally. I was 7-8cm next time she checked me and the pain was definitely at least a 7!! I was handling the contractions internally, humming and trying to concentrate on the music to help soothe me. But it was definitely the worst pain I've ever experienced. And all of a sudden I understood what nurses and doctors meant when they told me that I wouldn't be able to "walk or talk" through active labor contractions. Josh looked at me and asked if I wanted an epidural - I told him, "Don't ask me that! Of course, I am going to say YES!" Haha. He knew I was hurting and couldn't bear to see it. I hesitated having an epidural because I wanted to experience labor pains for myself and I didn't want to slow down the progress I had already made. But one more contraction hit and Josh was out the door asking for the nurse to get it ready. I love him for that.
The epidural was a breeze. I was scared of the needle - but by the time it came, I was having a contraction anyway and didn't even feel it! Talk about relief. The contractions with the epidural were exactly like the ones I had been having for weeks - painless tightening and nothing more. The best part is I only had the epidural in my system for about 30 minutes before I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push!
Pushing started a little after 9pm. I expected no pain, but unfortunately this was the most painful part of the whole experience for me. Mostly exhausting. I pushed for an hour and 20 minutes before receiving the best gift I could ever ask for! Micah.
10:33pm, 8.1lbs and 20.5 inches long.
He was just beautiful. And perfect. I was shaking all over and feeling tremendous pain, but I didn't care. Micah was the best pain medicine ever. His eyes were wide open and he was gazing at me and Josh like he already knew us. Oh, the love.
My recovery took quite a bit of time - and I held my baby boy for most of it. When they finally took him from me, I had a few moments alone in the delivery room to just thank God for this precious gift. He was the child I had prayed for.
The night went on as the outpouring of love from our family flooded our room. It was a beautiful sight. (Me, on the other hand, not so much! ha) I couldn't sleep and just stayed awake until around 3am looking at him. They finally came to take him back to the nursery to do some routine check ups, and I rested about an hour.
So many nurses were in and out that night/day... whatever it was... telling me so many things. About my personal recovery and about Micah's health. They said he appeared absolutely healthy! It wasn't until the following day that we were told that they heard a heart murmur. But even then, they brushed it aside saying this was very common and he had no other signs of problems. On the day of our discharge, they could still hear the murmur and recommended that we see a cardiologist to follow up with it. We were, of course, worried -- but so reassured by how healthy and perfect he appeared that we couldn't possibly believe this was a murmur that would affect him.
Yesterday we had our appointment at Shands and were told that Micah has two holes in his heart. One is very small and will not be a problem for him, but the other is a VSD and is medium to large and can cause problems over time, starting in as little as four weeks. They said he’s going to need open heart surgery to fix it and they want him to grow as much as possible before then. The ideal time for surgery would be 3-6 months, but they could do it now if it was necessary.
I won't lie to you. I am a wreck over this. Emotional, can't even describe how I'm feeling. But my only hope is in my Lord who saw it fit to even bless us with this child in the first place. I know Micah is here for a reason and if this heart defect and surgery is going to be a way for God to show Himself through us - then so be it. We want to make Jesus known to this world. We desire to leave a legacy through Micah and any future children that we may have.
One thing, the doctor said he's never seen a VSD hole Micah's size close on it's own. So right now, that's my prayer - God, show them a miracle.