One Year Ago

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One year ago I was 1 week and 5 days "overdue." (Can I just say how much I hate due dates and the unnecessary pressure they put on pregnant mama's?! I think if we have another baby I will just give people a due month instead of date...especially since my babies seem to turn their noses up at their due date and find my uterus quite comfortable.)

Anyway, back to a year ago. In spite of my feelings about due dates we were still feeling the pressure of having to be transferred to a hospital if he didn't arrive in the next 48 hours. I had delivered Riley at the birthing center and really did not want to have to go to a hospital with Matthias. Towards the end of my pregnancy with him I felt a lot of surrender. I longed and prayed for a peaceful, calm birth experience with him begging God to be present in it. Not only for our health and safety but desperately (as weird as it might sound) wanting this little boy's birth to be a worshipful experience. As we faced the reality of how close we were getting to a possible transfer that would likely result in an induction I heard God telling me to surrender. I remember that Saturday, after having tried numerous natural things to try to get things going and nothing working and feeling so discouraged, having an emotional breakdown. Through the love and leadership of my sweet husband I remember praying a prayer of surrender. As desperately as I wanted this birth to look a certain way and be worshipful I found myself trusting that God had this and even if his plan was different than mine, it could still be worshipful. 

(Here I am at 41 weeks in all my pregnant glory!)

After that point, I feel like Matthew and I just worked together to do what we could to ensure what we believed to be the healthiest birth possible but continued to remind each other (okay, mostly Matthew had to remind me) to trust God. 

For those of you that like the details even though I hadn't gotten into active labor I had been having decent contractions, they just weren't consistent. But luckily they were dilating me ( I was at a 7 without any consistent contractions) and Matthias was super low and in a great position (good news but made for a very uncomfortable weekend!) so even though there was some concern that things weren't really starting we knew once it did it would be fast. By Sunday afternoon we decided the best call was to go in and have the midwife break my water. I was pretty uneasy about it but we decided that it was a better option than a medicated induction which is what I would have been facing the next day. So we went in at 2:00, they broke my water at 2:30, contractions started at 3:00 and went from 0-100 in their intensity. He came at 5:04pm after only 9 minutes of pushing! 

We were at the birthing center. The midwife left the room after breaking my water and came in periodically to check on us. The lights were dimmed, I had a playlist I had made on, Matthew was an amazing support. I don't remember timing well but after a while of laboring on the birthing ball I asked to get in the tub. The midwife got that ready for us and it was amazingly relaxing and pain relieving. I wasn't planning either way as far as a water birth but things went so fast at that point that it just kind of happened. 

It was fast and furious so I definitely didn't sound peaceful (ha!) but I feel like it was such a beautiful environment. Matthew was behind me, my dear friend Jen was "next to me" via facetime on my ipad and the midwife and her assistant were there and encouraging but minimally intrusive (only as needed). The moment of his birth was so surreal and beautiful and I still remember pulling him up into my arms and feeling incredible joy and relief. As well as thinking "OMG he is huge!" which was later confirmed when he weighed in at 9lbs 12oz. 

(My sweet boy, moments after birth, in all his giant glory!)

God gave me the beautiful, worshipful birth I had hoped and prayed for. But thankfully he brought me to a place of surrender first which made it all the better. 

As I have encountered the mommy emotions of realizing that I cannot cancel tomorrow... although I would like to try... and my little boy is turning one I have struggled with some mommy guilt over his first year of life. We have had quite a year and faced a lot of challenges. 

I realized early this year that I struggled with PPD in the fall in addition to having some personal/family struggles I was working through. There were a lot of emotions and loneliness. It was a tense time in our marriage because of all that, especially since we hadn't really realized what was happening. Additionally Matthew has faced the most challenging year at work and has had to balance a lot between home and work during this time. Thankfully there has been good growth and I feel like we are very much out of the worst of it. But I have struggled as I think about the fact that those struggles have, for me, defined the first year of my sweet son's life. 

Today though as I watch this much too big boy quietly reading books in the playroom I am reminded of what God was teaching me a year ago. 

My plan for this year was much different than what, clearly, God's was. But today He is reminding me of his goodness in his plans. My doubt has made me question why "shit hit the fan" so to speak all at the same time as we faced work challenges, depression and a newborn. But today I reflect on it all and believe that God has in this last year made me a better mom through those struggles I also believe that it was for my good, Matthias' good, and His glory that the timing lined up like it did. 

So I am still feeling all the mommy feelings about not wanting to believe that tomorrow I will be singing my baby boy Happy Birthday but I also feel a lot of joy that we not only get to celebrate the growth in him over the last year but also the growth in me.
(No picture could capture him better! He is such a joy!)