“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Today I have learned that my Almighty Father has a great plan for my life. It is not the plan I thought he had but one that is far better.
At 8:41am (Monday March 9th), I gave birth to my 4th child- a son we joyfully named Sterling Marshall. Sterling was 8lbs 9oz, 22” long, with a large 15” head. His hands are huge and his feet are long and gangly!
Sterling was not an easy birth. As a matter of fact my pregnancy with him was filled with difficulties as well.
Here are the generalities of Sterling’s birth. There are specific terms about his position I can’t remember but you’ll get the picture.
Labor “officially” began in my mind at 10:50pm on Sunday March 8th. I was watching 27 Dresses while sitting on the birth ball. As I stood up I had one of those “this is it” contractions.
I called the midwives and because they are so awesome they were already on their way! We all thought that baby would come fast after the water broke so they told me to keep my water intact lol. My body had done an awesome job of effacing and dilating which is why we all thought things would go fast.
When the midwives arrived they checked my cervix and Stacy commented that I was a 12…Michael said, “I thought it only goes to 10cm?” Hehe, that’s how stretchy I was.
I began pushing at about 1:30am.
My precious Sterling has already proven to us that he is an independent, determined-to-do-things-my-way child.
To back track, on March 4th I had a cervical check and Stacy found him to have his hands above his head. She moved them and I did things (butt in the air, Pulsatilla, etc) to get baby in a good birthing position. Fortunately, he moved his hands but during labor we found that he went into a series of bad positions from brow, to foot by head, to ear first, to military presentation. That’s what I remember hearing them discuss through the horrible pain I was in. Basically, he was refusing to settle into a good position.
After pushing for 3 hours with no progress I knew something was wrong. The pain was severe and baby would not go under my pubic bone. I pushed for another 1 ½ hours and knew I needed to get to the hospital.
The midwives were great and explained everything. Joy called ahead to the hospital and literally they greeted us with open arms (well everyone except the ER nurse who was an idiot…”oh, she’s pregnant?” No, duh! Lady.)
Driving to the hospital was unbearable. At this point contractions were coming right on top of each other with no relief anywhere. I prayed I would pass out, I prayed for mercy. I honestly felt that God had left me alone. However, in hindsight, like the poem Footprints I know He was carrying me at this time.
When we arrived at the hospital about 5:45 they started me on Phentanyl.
“Supposedly” it was going to take the edge off but because my body metabolizes toxins superfast I got NO relief. I was ticked and was thinking “what the heck?? I’m in a freaking hospital someone make this pain go away!!
Finally, they called the nurse anesthetist and told me he was on his way in. Good Lord, that was at about 6:30 and he did not arrive until almost 7:30! The contractions were still coming fast and furious and I was at the end of my sanity. I was literally writhing on the bed in pain just trying to get through the contractions. At this point I had been pushing for 6 hours.
When Rob the epidural nurse arrived I wanted to cry. I still endured 3 more contractions from his prep to the time it took effect but knowing it would soon end got me through.
The entire staff was amazing. My nurse Jodie is an angel sent by God. The OB on duty, Dr. Wampler, was a steady, calm, sweet woman who supported ALL of our decisions. After pushing for another 45+ minutes with no progress passed the pubic bone we opted to use the “suction cup”. I call it that instead of the vacuum extraction because nothing like what I imagined. Once that was in place I pushed him out in one contraction. His birth presentation was a military or face presentation.
I cried tears of joy at the finality of it and the announcement by Michael that we had a boy. We knew all along.
Since moving to Kerrville, we have been blessed in every single action we have taken. This hospital was amazing! The babies never leave mom’s room and each and everything we wanted was honored. Most were assumed since they all knew we had had 3 previously successful homebirths.
Dr. Wampler knew we wanted to be at home so released us right away. Of course the whole peeing after you give birth thing is always hard for me and you can’t leave until you do that. I finally peed at 12 and we were off!
Although Sterling arrived at the hospital I am not at all disappointed. The pain was unbearable and everyone involved agreed that getting him passed my pubic bones was not going to happen. This is what hospitals are for! No it wasn’t an emergency in the sense that baby or I were in danger but it was a necessity.
I was baffled at why he wasn’t coming out with the strength of my pushes. I mean I had done this 3 other times. Just goes to show you, every birth is different!
The 7 hours and 15 minutes of pushing took a big toll on my body. I am extremely swollen and sore. My neck and arms are sorer than when I used to lift weights for college track workouts! Prayers for a quick healing are appreciated!
At the end of all this I want to share with you one of my most favorite Bible passages:
James 1: 2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.