Saturday, February 23, 2013
Elliot David Potter
Here is the story of how my baby boy arrived in our arms... In March of 2012, Sophie was 9 months old and we were on a trip in Michigan visiting friends and family. I was exhausted the entire time and on the way home it hit me, I recognized this type of fatigue. I knew I was pregnant. We grabbed a test on the way home and took it immediately and I was in fact pregnant. At this point I was barely 4 weeks pregnant. We were so excited although I was a little nervous as Sophie was so young and I was still nursing her. I had some sickness in the first trimester and was very tired but the rest of the pregnancy proved to be amazing. I had a very different outlook this time around. I really believed that God designed pregnancy to be a beautiful thing and that our culture didn't see it that way. I chose joy this pregnancy and believed God for amazing things. This made such a difference in my pregnancy and I felt great all the way up to 40 weeks, when I STILL hadn't gone into labor. Sophie came a week early and I was sure this baby would be early and if not early at least on time. We did all of the same things to prepare as we did for Sophie, lots and lots of walking. But at 40 weeks this baby still hadn't made much noise. As the days dragged on I grew very impatient, tired, achy, nervous...etc. I went from being patient and at peace to nervous, cranky and fearful. I was worried something was wrong and at the same time certain that this baby would come when he was good an ready. I had prayed my whole pregnancy for a full term baby and God sure did answer that prayer. Each week at my appointments I wrestled with the decision on whether or not to have my membranes stripped but because I was GBS + and because I really felt like I was supposed to trust Gods timing I decided not to each time. On Wednesday December 4 (41 + 5 weeks) I had an appointment with my midwife. She was going to give me until Friday (42 weeks) to have my baby on my own and even though I had my moments of doubts I was confident that he would come by then. That morning I had lost some of my mucus plug and felt pretty crampy. I really felt like this baby was getting ready to make an appearance. That morning before the appointment I heard from God very specifically on why our baby was coming into the world in the next few dates. I realized that Gods timing was so perfect and that he had purposely held him inside this long. I was excited when I arrived at my appointment knowing that my baby would come soon and that God was in control. When she listened to my baby's heartbeat though my heart sank. The look on her face told me that what I was hearing was right. His heart beat was slow, it did not sound good at all. She said "how about today?". His heart rate was low, not seriously low but low enough that at 42 weeks it was time to get him out. So she sent me home with instructions to head to the hospital as soon as I could. I was very disappointed. I had waited this long and now I was going to have to face my biggest fear in childbirth: induction. I was bummed because I thought I would have to have an epidural with the pitocin and was afraid of all that could follow. I went home and got our stuff together, Mark was working at home and my mother in law was babysitting Sophie. So we were able to pack up and leave right away. I felt very emotional, a mix of excitement and relief that it would be over and fear and disappointment over having to be induced. We stopped and got Panera for dinner because I knew I wouldn't be eating for a while. About half way to the hospital it hit me- We are going to get to meet our baby boy very soon! Ah, the relief. It was almost over. And that's when I started thanking God and seeing this as a gift. I don't have to be pregnant any more and in just a few house I would hold my baby in my arms. Thank you Lord! We checked in and had a very slow start. It was a few hours before they would actually induce me but the good news was that I had dilated even further and was now 3 cm and 75% effaced. The nurse said I was very inducible. The hope was that I would need very little pitocin. And another funny thing, the baby's heart rate was perfect and was never low again. But at that point I was so happy to be getting ready to have my baby that I didn't even care that there was no longer a reason to induce. I FINALLY got my first dose of pitocin, along with my first dreaded bag of antibiotics (for GBS) at 7:30 pm on December 4. Contractions started right away and were about 2-3 minutes apart. They didn't hurt much at all and Mark and I found ourselves antsy in between them and not sure what to do with ourselves. They up-ed my pitocin every 30 min for the first 2 hours until they were strong enough. Although they did start making me feel a little bit yucky and uncomfortable they were never overly painful. Nothing compared to what I remembered with Sophie. I had more of a feeling of annoyance rather than pain. They were able to leave the pitocin stable for a while (I was on a VERY low dose) because my body was taking over. After about 2 hours I started feeling pressure and asked to be checked and I was 5cm and 100% effaced. Mark thought this was great, I thought it wasn't near close enough. My bag of waters was bulging so I went ahead and let them break it. With Sophie they broke my water and I pushed her out 30 minutes later so I was thinking "Yes, please break my waters so we can be done." However, it didn't quite go that way. It was still 2 hours before Elliot would actually make his entrance. Things started getting blurry at this point but what I do remember is that I was tired. I kept thinking over and over, "I want to curl up and take a nap." I was not in a ton of pain but just tired and mentally exhausted because it was work. I had them check me again because I was feeling lots of pressure and I was at a 9.5. SO close, but not close enough. And I stayed there for a LONG time. I tried getting on the ball, getting on all fours and lying on my side. I would get to a 10 for a brief minute and then go back to 9.5. It was driving me crazy. I was SO tired and SO close but not close enough. I wanted to be done. When I finally said I NEED to push and I am done, my midwife made me a deal. She said, "if you can push through some pain I will reach up and push your cervix out of the way." I said great I don't care about pain I just want to be done. So that's what we did. I pushed once to get past the cervix. Once to get his head crowning, paused to allow for stretching, one more for the head to come out and one for the body and praise Jesus it was over! Elliot David Potter was born at 12:59am on December 5,2013. He was born 5 and a half hours after being induced but only 2 of the hours was I in active labor. The hard part of labor was very short. Elliot came out very mad. It made us laugh because it was clear that he REALLY like being tucked up, all warm inside of me. No wonder he wasn't in any hurry to come into the world. He still, 11 weeks later, loves being cuddled and warm. I was given Elliot immediately while we waited to have the cord cut. He latched and nursed right away. I felt so relieved to have him in my arms. To see his sweet little face and finally meet my precious baby boy. My labor with Sophie was VERY painful, yet I was energized and in awe of giving birth. With Elliot it was mentally challenging and I was exhausted afterwards. Very different feelings following each birth. Elliot was a very healthy baby, and my placenta was healthy and didn't look like it was 42 weeks old. I think I would have had Elliot on my own in the next 48 hours but pitocin ended up not being anything to fear and I still had an amazing epidural free birth. Elliot is such a sweet little boy who has brought us so much joy. He loves cuddling and we love holding him. He sure does love his mama and I love him more than words can say. Children are such a gift and so is carrying them in my body and feeding them once they are here. What a miracle childbirth is and what joy it is to give life to precious children. Elliot David is our "freedom" baby and he has already taught us so much. God has big plans for our boy and we pray that he will always believe that the Lord is his God no matter what and that he would love and serve the Lord all the days of his life. Thank you Lord for our little Elliot David and the story you are writing with his life.