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Alec Josiah: A Birth Story

In the spirit of my friend Judy Kay, I'll start this post by saying this:

For any guy readers out there, here's the boy version--I had a baby. He was born on Saturday, July 11th at 1:23 pm. He was completely healthy and totally adorable. He weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz, was 20 1/4 inches long and we named him Alec Josiah. The End.

Now for all my girl readers...who (as Tara said) want all the "gory details"...

Ahem. Let's begin, shall we?

The last time I had a baby, I experienced prodromal labor for nearly a full month. I started having contractions that kept me up at night when I was only 38 weeks. This continued until Levi was finally born at almost 42 weeks. Sigh. Are you tired yet? I was trying to mentally prepare myself for this same possibility this time around. I'd had contractions for a few days--contractions that, once again, were enough to wake me and make me think about timing them.

But they didn't really go anywhere. I'd eat a bowl of Cheerios, post something silly on Facebook, and head back to bed to try to get some more sleep.

Last Friday (the 10th), things felt a little more intense. I'd felt the urge to put things in the house in order and decided I should probably head to the grocery store to stock up for the coming week. Baby was quite low and contractions were coming, however sporadically. It took me forever in the grocery store--and I'm pretty sure I was walking like an old woman.

That night was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A. Dress like a cow, get free chicken. Yes, yes indeed, me and my big pregnant self dressed like a cow along with the other bovines in my family, and headed over to Chick-fil-A to make some memories and eat free chicken. The call of free chicken is a strong one.

Sitting there with Keith while the boys played, the contractions continued--seeming to come more regularly. "I think this might be the real deal," I remember saying to Keith. But I was still feeling somewhat hesitant remembering last time around when Levi had tricked me over and over.

We headed home, put the boys to bed and got into bed ourselves. That night about 12:30, I woke up and asked Keith to time my contractions. Much to my dismay, they still weren't regular at all--coming between 5 and 12 minutes apart. Finally, they seemed to settle all together and I fell asleep again.

The next morning, Keith was supposed to head to work to complete a Saturday job--a rare happening. My contractions were still not at all regular, though still coming, but I felt completely desperate at the thought of Keith leaving me. I knew I couldn't handle the two boys by myself, but more than that I just couldn't bear the thought of being alone.

Keith finally called into work and said that he felt he should probably stay with me--at least until his mom could come over and be with me while he went in to work.

I got out of bed shortly after and started walking around. I didn't feel at all hungry and hadn't eaten since very early that morning (about 4). I was still feeling so hesitant and full of self-doubt. Was this going to be the real thing or not? Did I even know?

I decided to call a friend who is a midwife and speak with her a bit about prodromal labor. She was very encouraging, gave me a few tips about resting and getting contractions to stop and also a few tips on how to get things moving along if this was the real thing. While I was talking to her, I had to breathe through several contractions.

Shortly after getting off the phone with my friend, I found myself walking constantly through the house. Just walking in circles. Then grabbing my birth ball. Then begging the children to "please, don't touch me!" Then calling my mother and starting to cry and saying I really couldn't do this.

Hello. Signs of transition, anyone?

It finally clicked into my brain. My contractions were so intense that I couldn't talk through them and I had to focus fully on my breathing. They were coming every three minutes. I was a full hour away from the hospital.

Panic set in.

I was never going to make it to the hospital.

Keith, seeing the swift change in circumstances, called his mom and asked her to come, now. He started throwing our stuff in the car. I could tell he was a bit panicked because he was getting frustrated over the littlest things. Things like not being able to find the only set of keys for our car.

Keith's mom finally arrived. I say finally, and it probably wasn't that long, but every minute was feeling like an eternity to me at this point. She was very concerned when she saw me and asked if I was going to make it. I'm sure she was even more concerned when I responded with a grimace. Which meant...I'm really not sure...

The last thing I wanted to do was climb into the seat of that car. To get into a seated position and be held captive inside an automobile for an hour was not my idea of a good time at this point. The thought of it made me crazy, in fact. But Keith got me inside and off we started.

We had only driven for a few minutes when I looked over at Keith.

"Keith. I am not going to make it."

Now, there is indeed a hospital closer than an hour away. In fact, there is a hospital about seven minutes from our house. But. (And please don't be offended if you've delivered there and you love the hospital, the doctors, and the nurses...) But I really didn't want to give birth there. After having the experience of natural birth at a birth center and then at home, there was no way I wanted to set foot in that hospital. The hospital in Warner Robins was waiting for me with a caring midwife who understood my desires for childbirth and was on my team.

I still didn't think I was going to make it.

I called my midwife, Carlene, to tell her so. She reassured me that I could probably make it, but that it was a decision I'd have to make myself.

We decided to go for it.

Later Keith told me that the fastest he drove was 105. Miles. An. Hour.

I'm so glad I didn't know that at the time.

I don't think I've ever prayed so hard or recited so many Scripture verses. My prayers sounded mostly like this, "Oh, Jesus. Sweet Jesus. Help me." And, "Please don't let this baby be born on the side of the road."

A drive that normally takes at least 60 minutes took less than 45. Carlene met us on the way, and we drove in a crazy caravan with lights flashing.

As we pulled into the hospital, I don't think I've ever been so relieved in my livelong life.

We were met at the door by Carlene and a nurse with a wheelchair. They wheeled me upstairs and into a birthing room. Carlene checked me. I was nine centimeters dilated.

Continuing to breath through contractions (I think I was the calmest with this birth at this point), I climbed into the tub to let the warm water spray on my back. Heaven. The lab tech came to draw my blood. I'm sure I gave the most evil eyed look ever and refused. Were they freaking kidding me?

Carlene, seeing that I was probably about to deliver, asked me to get out of the tub so she could check me again. She noted that baby's heartones were dropping quite a bit with contractions and began to move swiftly. She looked me in the eye and said, "This baby needs to come out now. You need to push him out now. Do you understand me, Brianna? When I tell you to push, you need to push, OK?"

With Keith on one side and a nurse on the other, I started pushing. Up till now, I'd been almost completely silent. No more. Maybe someday I'll get through the pushing without yelling my head off, but today was not the day. In less than ten minutes, Alec had been born. Face up. Every time I think about that, I feel like giving myself a good old "HooRAH!" and patting myself on the back.

There is absolutely no joy, relief, ecstasy like having my baby put into my arms. (And perhaps the added benefit of being amazed to have lived through the pushing...)

He was perfect. So beautiful. So very beautiful. And he looked just like his brothers. With one notable exception. He had perfect straight feet. So tiny, narrow and straight. Amazing.

The emotions swelled over and the tears and sobs of happiness and relief came pouring out.

Alec Josiah. A blessing from the hand of my Heavenly Father.

Lord, make us parents after your own heart. May we remember that our boys are only given in trust to us. May we shape their hearts for eternity and direct their eyes toward your character and love. May they know you as their Lord and Savior early in their lives and grow to be men of godliness and integrity.


Anonymous said...

than k you for sharing your story- i loved it! my littlest is 11 months old and a lot of your story brought back memories ~smile~
congratulations and many blessings to you.

Audra said...

Beautifully written! I was on the edge of my chair waiting to see if you delivered on the side of the road! I love your prayer at the end. It should be the prayer of all parents! Congratulations on a beautiful baby!

Anonymous said...

Oh I just love birth stories. That was incredible, Brianna!! Isn't birthing amazing?! Many people don't understand why I LIKE giving birth, but there is no experience on earth like it! I'm looking forward to my next one! I really am.

And I'm really excited because the hospital I go to just finished the new postpartum wing - and.....well....I just GOTTA try it out! :)

Babies are such a huge blessing and I'm looking forward to the next one!

Congrat's again! He is absolutely perfect! Cute in every way!

Good work! :)

Erin said...

oh WOW!!! what a story! i totally cried. welcome sweet Alec :)

steadymom said...

Wonderful story - amazing! Congratulations.


Cherishing My Days said...

welcome, baby boy! what a great story, brianna!

FishMama said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful story. Glad you made it. I had two of those deliveries. My heart was racing as I read.

Was wondering where you'd been, so I dug through my archives to find that hamburger post that made me laugh. And I see you've been busy. Blessings to you all!

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