Last time my wife Cathren had a kid, I wrote a blog about it. My life had been changed in ways that only another father could understand. It was a unique experience that would never happen again. I mean, it would never happen exactly that way with exactly that child ever again. I would not have thought there would be to much excitement in writing out another birthing story but God saw to it that Cathren and I had another completely unique experience that we did not deserve at all!
Cathren’s original due date was October 28th, but by her first sonogram the doctors declared that it was changed to November 5th. Oh wait! Disclaimer: This is written almost completely from a males perspective. Anything you think I should have included or not included is your own opinion. This message has been approved by my wife. So anyway, Cathren had a superb pregnancy. From the outside, her body barely changed at all and by the time she was full term she looks about 6 months pregnant (she is currently writing a book on how she did it titles “Be Awesome”. Don’t look for it in stores). Seriously though I praised God for how smooth these 9 months went. Totally undeserving and amazed at how God designed the human body to work a certain way. This brings us right up to October 29th. But first I should mention that at Cathren’s 38 week checkup she had been 4 cm dilated so she was ahead of the game. Cathren had also been experiencing contractions for a couple days leading to the 29th. This is all normal. We had plans on the 29th to go to my parents house early in the day and let my parents watch Iesley while we drove to Baltimore to go to an Apple Store. We had even talked before we left the house (half sarcastically) about what we would do if she went into labor while we were an hour away from our hospital. That would be scary. However, when we got to my parents house we decided to do our Apple shopping online. So that left us with some extra time to just visit with the family.
One thing we like to do when we are with my family is go for walks. My folks have a dog and live in a beautiful area to take strolls. On this day we got in the car and took a short drive to a different place to take a walk. We got going and started putting some trail behind us when I noticed Cathren rubbing her baby bump and making a very uncomfortable face. She’s a tough girl so she wasn’t going to say anything, so I asked her if she was ok. She informed me that she was having pretty regular contractions that were more painful then the usual ones. She took my phone and used it as a timer to keep track of the contractions. They were steadily at 2 minutes apart but she was still able to walk through them. So that’s what we did. For a little bit. Cathren’s pace was slowing and her discomfort was increasing and my dad was wise enough to say hey why don’t we turn around for Cathren’s sake. I rolled by eyes and was ready to hear Cathren say, “No, no we can keep going. I’m fine”. But instead she had no hesitation and said, “Okay”. We made our way back to the car while continuing to time the contractions. Still 2 minutes apart. At one point Cathren did have to stop for a moment to let the pain pass.
On the way back to my parents house they began to slow down but were still painful. We got to
the house and Cathren drank some water. Everone was kinda just looking around the room at everyone else with a look of wonder, as if we were all asking, “is this really it?”. Cathren’s due date was still a week away. My little brother was getting ready to leave the house to go to work. He is a flight paramedic so we were joking that if he stayed a little longer he might be able to deliver a baby. He looked very uncomfortable and got ready a little faster.
We decided it would be best if we cut our visit short and head home incase this was the real deal. So we left the house for the hour ride home at 5:15 PM.For the first half of the drive things slowed down a good bit and Cathren was afriad that it was not the real deal. So we talked about getting home and going out for another walk. Suddenly the contractions picked back up. This time the pain was noticeable to me. By the time we got into town we were making our game plan for getting in the house, calling the hospital, calling Cathren’s sister who would be taking care of Iesley, and gathering our pre-packed bags. We did all of these things and had the hospital’s approval to come in.
Our plan was to drive to Cathren’s sisters house and drop Iesley off on the way to the hospital.
We were half way to the hospital and I was looking at Cathren as we were sitting at a red light. I could tell she was in a world of pain and it didn’t seem to be giving her any breaks. I told her that I think we should ask her sister to just meet us at the hospital. She agreed, so I called and her sister was willing and able to get right on the road.
Now, the last time we had a baby and we were driving into the hospital I asked Cathren if she wanted me to pull right up to the doors and she said, “No, park it”. and then I asked if she wanted a wheelchair when we got inside and she said, “No, I will walk”. So With all this in mind, I told Cathren as we pulled in to the hospital at around 6:45 that I was going to Pull up to the doors. She said, “OK”. So then when I parked I said I am going to get you a wheelchair. She said, “OK”. It was at this point I knew this was going to be very different then the last time. In the process of getting Iesley and her bags out of the car and get the wheelchair and then begin working on getting Cathren out of the car, a hospital employee came out to help me. He was very kind but we had to wait for a break in the contraction for cathren to be able to stand up out of the car. We got Cathren to registration and her sister showed up to get Iesley. I was then able to get the rest of the stuff out of the car and switch out Iesley’s car seat while her sister was with her in registration. Saying bye to Iesley was hard but we were on our way quickly. We got through security very fast this time too. Last time was about 10 mins so we were happy.
We got Cathren into her room were it was time to go through the whole routine of changing into the gown, peeing in a cup, getting hooked up to everything and filling out more paperwork. None of those things happened. I wheeled cathren over to the bathroom but she couldn’t get out of the chair because of the pain. so I helped her take some stuff off like a necklace, shoes and a cardigan sweater. She started saying she feels like pushing. So the nurse told another nurse and she said “ok skip that lets get you on the bed”. So I wheeled her over to the bed and we waited for even the smallest break in the contraction. As soon as we had one the nurse and I took Cathren’s pants off. She began to get onto the bed on all fours and she froze and said “I have to push!!” There was only two nurses in the room and one told her that she can’t push yet they have to “check her”. As if we were two practical jokers trying to pull a quick one on them. Everyone was wondering where the doctor was so the nurse took a peek at Cathren or I guess “checked her” and said “whoa She’s crowning”. She only had been given enough time to get one glove on so she started shouting for someone to get her another glove. And then something else happened and all I will say is I have gotten less wet in the splash zone at the dolphin show at the aquarium. So the nurse took another glance and said the head is out. as soon as she said that 2 nurse swooped in with a blanket and caught the baby and wrapped her up. I felt like one of those crazy winners on the Price is Right going nuts while crying saying ‘YOU DID IT, YOU DID IT!!!” Meanwhile cathren was still on all fours just sighing saying “ah thats better”. It was like winning a prize! It happened so fast and we got to skip over so many unpleasant things. Emery was born at 7:03 PM weighing 6 lb. 6 oz. and was 19 and a half inches long. Cathren did an amazing Job and as mentioned earlier, I was just in aw at how God created her body to do exactly what it did. We didn’t even have a doctor. But of course we are super grateful to have trained specialists to look everyone over and know that everything is good. Cathren had a speedy recovery with no complications. Having Iesley come in and letting them meet and having us as a family together for the first time was such a special moment.
So many people have been supportive of us since we have been home, So a BIG shout out to them. But now we ask for prayer. Even with a new baby, we are willing to move to the country of Senegal if God opens those doors. It is the direction we are moving in but we do not know if it will be this January or this coming July. Right now its a matter of raising support but even if it came down to us having to simply make the choice based off of convictions we have about parenting, pray that we have His wisdom and discernment. I wish I could say where we are in our support raising but I don’t know. We have had a recent surge in financial support interest and we praise the Lord for that. However we need to be able to see it on our account statements to be able to count up and total our monthly support level. With us needing to know if we are going to move in January by early december, now is a good time to give if you have ever thought about it.
It has been stressful not knowing where we will be or what we are doing in the next few months but the Lord has blessed us by allowing us to enjoy these first moments as a family without being overburdened by useless and frantic worrying. Thank you for your interest and your prayers mean so much to us.