What an experience. I can't even begin to describe the emotions in that 48 hour period. But let me try:
Thursday evening, we got a call from Mike that Sarah was being induced 9 days before her due date due to slight hypertension. Even though she new that this would make labor harder and possibly ruin her ability to go natural, she agreed. In part because she knew that would guarantee me a chance to be at the birth. For that sacrifice, I am forever grateful.
We had planned to get some sleep and go to the hospital on Friday morning, but I was restless, couldn't sleep, and couldn't shake the feeling that I just needed to be there with her. So off we went to the hospital just after midnight on Thursday evening. The drive was amazing - 12-14 inches of packed snow and ice - the beauty was abundant and the drive was easy --- we arrived calm and excited!
After a quick check in with Sarah & Mike, we all tried to sleep knowing that the next day would come with lots of exhaustion. Everyone catnapped except me --- to many things running through my brain. Friday morning arrived quickly.
Sarah was doing great - still able to chat through the contractions, 3 cm dilated, and the oxytocin was continually being increased. By 9am, the drug was at full strength and active labor had started. Jordan, Erin, Mike & I were her team and we quickly fell into a smooth routine. Sarah was amazing!
By 12pm, Sarah's water had broken and contractions were intense. Things continued to get harder. She is at 5cm.
By 2pm, she was still fighting through every contraction and was at 6cm, almost. They tapper off the oxytocin because normal labor has taken over. Fighting to go natural.
Fast forward till about 5pm...exhaustion has set in --- still at only 6cm. Still fighting to go natural.
Fast forward till about 8pm...constant pain --- still at only 6cm. Disappointment ---- time to start thinking about an epidural, but no one is talking about it yet.
At 9pm, I take a break and go to the bistro with David for soup and coffee. Tell David how strong his baby girl is. Tell David I couldn't be more proud of her. Tell David that she needs help. Tell David that I don't know how to bring up the subject of an epidural because she is so determined. Tell David that Mike is amazing and the love in the room is intense. Tell David that I am scared for her.
Head back up to the room after a few prayers, still trying to figure out how to help my daughter. Because after 24 hours, she can barely stand or hold her head up. But the Lord intervenes. I am greeted at the elevator by Jordan who tells me to get in the room. Erin meets me in the hall and tells me to get in the room. Why are they out here and not with Sarah? I get to the room and the midwife and nurse are outside the door waiting for me. What is going on?
The midwife tells me that after 9 hours of hard labor, she has only progressed 1cm. She tells me that Sarah need to rest and that she recommended an epidural for her. Mike & Sarah are alone talking about it. Sarah is distraught, she wants to go natural and doesn't want to give up even though she is not really able to labor any more. She tells me to get labor progressing, she would have to up the oxytocin again and that Sarah would never be able to handle that. The midwife tells me that I need to go in the room and convince them. She tells me she doesn't recommend it lightly, that she believes it is the only thing to do.
As I enter the room, tears are flowing and Mike is telling her how proud he is of her and how much he loves her. Through tears, I tell her how proud I am of her and that she is amazing. That she needs to do this for her baby -- and that she has given it every possible chance to work. That it isn't her fault, that the induction made it impossible for her. She reluctantly agrees and the midwife makes the order.
By 10pm, Sarah is resting and out of pain. She has already jumped to 7cm. Mike is smiling again.
By 11pm, Sarah is at 10cm, and they put her in a position to "labor down". They make her sleep until she feels the pressure to push. We all try to get some rest. Okay, not all --- again, I am unable to sleep.
At 1:30, we all go back to the room, because she is ready. She starts to push - she is amazing, excited, and strong. She has renewed energy and within the hour, William joins the family.
Meet William Seamus Britt - 7lbs, 8.9 oz, 19.25 inches long:
So thankful for Cindy for the above photos! Of course, I brought my camera to the hospital without the flash card in it and by the time I realized it, there was nothing I could do about it!
After 6 hours of sleep and a fresh shower (boy did I need that - just check out my hair in that photo!), we were back at the hospital.
That is one loved little man!
Mike & Sarah are already amazing parents and I learned a lot about their love in that 30 hour period. Abundant, is all I can say. The tears are flowing again as I type this - I am so thankful for being able to share this with them, so very thankful. I am so thankful for the Lord and his faithfulness. He is always there when we need him, and wow, did we need him.
Thank you to everyone who prayed, encouraged and thought of them!