Birth Stories in Haiku

Ladybug ~ June 29, 2007

Nervous first time mom

Labor induced feeling scared

Nine pound baby girl 

Doodlebug ~ November 14, 2008

Very cold O.R.

Tugging– baby boy is born!

Yellow fuzzy hair

Stinkbug ~ October 7, 2012

Water breaks early

The nearness of God feels good

Precious dark-haired boy

Lovebug ~ Coming Soon!

Waiting is so hard

Wondering who, where you are

Praying you come soon

I saw this idea today– birth stories in Haiku (via Making Home via Conversion Diary) and I love writing Haiku poetry, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Can you Haiku?

Is Birth Your Idol?

I have shared my birth experiences (in probably more detail than most people care to read!), so you already know I’m a C-section mama x 3. I have had to work through some undesirable emotions and feelings of guilt over the years about the ways my babies entered the world. I read this great article today by Gloria Furman about birth experiences being idols for some a lot of women. It really struck a chord with me, so I wanted to pass it along in case there is someone out there who also needs to be reminded that knowing Christ, and being good mommies after birth ultimately outweighs the way our birth experiences turn out!

One Last Bug Birth

I posted Lady and Stink’s birth stories last year, and in honor of Doodle’s first birthday (OHMYWORDHOWISTHATPOSSIBLE?), here is the story of how Doodlebug arrived.

Since my first two kids were born by C-section, another C-section was scheduled for me for October 11, 2010 at 39 weeks.  During Doodle’s pregnancy, I just had this feeling that my water was going to break, and I was going to have an “early” baby, but I was trying not to get my hopes up about getting out of the last few weeks of misery pregnancy.
All day the Wednesday before my scheduled date, I felt crampy and experienced contractions.  Nothing too major, but it was enough to make me wonder what was going on with my body.  Having never gone into labor on my own, I wasn’t sure what to think.  In the afternoon, the contractions stopped, and I figured it had all been another bout of Braxton Hicks. 
That evening, Hubby and I were watching a movie and took a break to make some caramel popcorn.  (Yum!)  I went to the bathroom and noticed I was leaking a little, but honestly I thought I was suffering from a weak bladder—I have had three kids in just over three years!  I mentioned it to Hubby, but told him I wasn’t concerned, and would just keep an eye on it.  I didn’t notice anything else unusual that night, so we went to bed and I slept SO well!  Seriously, when I opened my eyes and realized I had slept soundly for more than six hours, my thought was I am probably going to have a baby today and that will be my last good night’s sleep for awhile!
Thursday morning was pretty normal.  Ladybug went to preschool, I fed Stinkbug and myself breakfast and got us both dressed and ready for the day.  I started putting away and organizing the kids’ clothes since fall had arrived with cooler weather (Praise the Lord!  Pregnancy during the summer is awful!) 
At some point in the morning, I noticed the same wetness in my underwear, and debated back and forth about whether I should keep writing it off as nothing, or tell Hubby that he needed to come home so we could go to the doctor to have it checked out.  (At the end of my pregnancy with Lady I thought I may be leaking amniotic fluid, so we went in and it ended up being nothing, so in the back of my mind I was thinking it would be nothing this time too.)
Around noon I got lunch ready for us, and about twenty until one, I started pulling out the stroller and getting ready to walk to Lady’s school to pick her up.  All of the sudden, the stroller collapses when Stink tries to crawl up into it.  I hear the clink of metal and a screw and a plastic piece are laying on the floor underneath the stroller.  I have NO clue what happened, but my stroller is now useless and I have to pick my daughter up from preschool in twenty minutes.  Lady’s school is a ten-ish minute walk from our house, and we have to cross a busy street.  I wasn’t sure I could make it there and back with Stinkbug and Ladybug having to walk, so I panicked a little.  I called Hubby and told him I was still leaking something and the stroller was broken and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get our daughter from school. (There were probably a few tears involved in this conversation.)

I knocked on a neighbor’s door to see if they would watch Stinkbug for a few minutes while I went to get Ladybug, but no one was home.  I called my friend, Suz, who has a car, and explained what was going on and asked if she would come and get me and drive me to pick Ladybug up. 
As I was hanging up the phone with Suz (we had walked outside at this point), I glanced up just in time to see Stinkbug, who had run ahead of me to the front gate, run through the front gate and towards the busy street in front of our building!  My heart stopped beating and I screamed Stinkbug’s name.  Thankfully, we have worked hard to train our kids to obey right away and he turned around and came right back to me.  I scooped him up and started weeping.  I have never felt like that in all my life.  I absolutely, totally, completely lost it. I felt so emotional and out-of-control of every aspect of my life at that moment.  I remember thinking Watch me have a baby today when everything feels so out of my control…
Suz came and took us to Lady’s school and I asked her to call my doctor for me to explain what was happening since her language is better than mine (who am I kidding, at this point in my day, I could hardly speak English, forget trying to explain something in the local language).  The receptionist told her that I should come on in, so Hubby came home from class, we laid the kids down for a nap (Suz graciously agreed to sit at the house with the kids) and headed to the doctor’s office.  I told Suz as we were leaving that we would probably be right back because it was nothing, and I thought it was silly that Hubby wanted to put our hospital bags in the car with us.
At the doctor’s office, they collected and tested the fluid, and declared it was amniotic fluid.  A quick ultrasound showed that my water had broken and fluid was missing from around Doodlebug.  My doctor patted my hand and said, “Your baby is coming today.”  I felt out-of-control again.  I hadn’t finished putting the kids’ fall clothes away and they were in a pile on the floor.  I hadn’t prepared anything for dinner for the kids.  I didn’t even hug and kiss them extra hard when we left.  I wasn’t prepared to have a baby today!
The doctor told us to meet him at the hospital, so off we went.  Once there Hubby disappeared to fill out some forms and pay, and I was taken to a room where the poking and prodding and questioning began.  Except they were asking me questions in the local language.  And my brain was not recalling very much of the local language.  I had been told there were English speakers working a the hospital—if there were, they stayed out of sight.  

One of the nurses wanted to know my height in meters, and I told her I didn’t know it in meters and all the nurses in the room exchanged a look and a giggle.  I felt very vulnerable and alone.  Luckily Hubby appeared in the room with me pretty quickly.
We asked about Hubs coming into the OR with me and were told no.  I started crying (really I couldn’t help it at this point, my emotions were so up and down from the whole day’s events!) and I think the nurses had some pity on me when they saw my tears, and started treating me a little more gently.
I was changed and put onto a bed and kissed by Hubby and wheeled to the elevator and taken downstairs to the OR.  The OR had a funny smell, and one guy working in there had an even funnier smell.  He was supposed to hold me still while they inserted the epidural and it was not pleasant.
The only verses that I could conjure to mind were part of Psalm 23 (I had just read it a few days prior) and Psalm 73:28 The nearness of God is my good. I kept repeating those verses to myself and pleaded with the Lord to remind me of His presence.
I felt very out-of-control of everything around me (are you sensing a trend in my day?!) and as they had me lie on my back I was having trouble getting a good, deep breath.  Someone noticed, and they slipped an oxygen mask on me.  As I started breathing freely, a sense of peace washed over me.  It was like God whispered in my ear I’m here, My nearness is your good.  Don’t worry, child.
At some point a sweet nurse who knew a little English started whispering to me about what was happening… Her name was Meleck, which means “angel” in the local language—how true her name was!  I felt such a comfort from hearing her voice and reassuring words.  After Doodlebug was born she even brought him right over to me and shooed the other nurses away saying, “His mother needs to be the first to kiss him.”
Doodlebug was born at 4:43pm on October 7, 2010.  He weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and 19 2/3 inches long.
Really everything felt OK after the oxygen was flowing to me from the mask and God’s presence felt so real and near.
Doodlebug was wheeled upstairs to his daddy who was waiting in my room.  The doctors finished working on me and I was wheeled back upstairs too.
Doodlebug’s birthday was a true test in relying on the Lord’s strength and not my own, or my husband’s.  I had no control over most of the things that went on that day, and I had to face the C-section without Hubs (or anyone I even knew for that matter) by my side.  God proved Himself faithful, however, and was beside me the entire day.

I am so thankful for the experience of having Doodlebug overseas. It was scary and overwhelming at points, but the Lord was so kind and gracious to me through it all.

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Doodlebug!

Two Births, Two Bugs

I am a sucker for a birth story.  Medicated, natural, vaginal, Cesarean, at home, underwater– makes no difference to me, I love reading about that moment for a mom and dad when new life emerges and a family is changed forever.  Every single baby is a gift from the Lord, and I love reading birth stories! {sigh}  In honor of LABOR DAY, Amy is hosting a link-up of birth stories.  Truly, I can’t wait for the kids to get into bed tonight, so I can curl up with a glass of sweet tea and enjoy some of them!

In honor of the day, here are my stories of how my Bugs were born… (ooooo, it makes me all excited to think I’ll get to write another one of these soon when sweet baby Doodlebug is born!)

Ladybug {June 29, 2007}

My due date was June 16 and I was really hoping that Ladybug would come then (if not a little earlier!), but I had no such luck.  I should have been prepared for her to arrive late since my mother was overdue with all three of her babies, and I am not the most punctual person on the planet.  My due date came and went as well as almost two extra weeks.  I had my membranes stripped, drank castor oil, walked about ten bazillion miles, but my daughter takes after her stubborn mother and did not budge from her sanctuary.  Every morning I would wake up and think, this would make a nice sounding birthday.  It sounds silly but I almost felt like Ladybug was never going to come.  I guess in the hormone induced craze that nine-plus months of pregnancy can cause that doesn’t sound too crazy.

My doctors finally set an induction date for Thursday June 28.  That sounds like a great birthday!  I was so pumped!  Oddly enough I was able to sleep wonderfully on Wednesday night and woke early Thursday morning in a cautious state of mind.  Everything was the last.  This is the last time I’ll shower without a baby in the next room.  This is the last time I’ll eat breakfast before I become a mommy.  This is the last time…

I thought the ride to the hospital was going to take forever, but alas it flew!  We were there and it was time!  Now it seems that on such an important day I should have been greeted with a rolled out red carpet and a fanfare of tooting horns reminding me that this was the last… but it was pretty anticlimactic to sit in a small squished cubicle answering insurance questions to a woman who didn’t seem impressed that I was about to push a baby out of a very small place!

I would have preferred not to be rolled in a wheelchair to the labor and delivery room, but I’m not sure my legs would have made it on their own, so it was probably for the best.  Two sweet nurses hooked up all the tubes and belts and monitors and they started the drip of pitocin.  This clear liquid was going to get my baby out of me?  Weird.

The morning flew by as hubby and I watched the ABC Family– plenty of episodes of Family Matters, Full House, and Step by Step.  Shows that remind me of my childhood.  Of Friday nights on the living room floor with my sisters.  Of falling asleep in my “snuggie” and drinking from a red elephant cup.  It seemed appropriate that my last day on that side of childhood be filled with reminders of what was behind me as I looked forward to meeting my daughter!

The contractions started coming and I felt very strong as I breathed through them.  I knew that I was probably going to have an epidural, but I purposed that I would hold out as long as I could on my own.  At 1:15pm the doctor broke my water.  Not uncomfortable.  The contractions really kicked themselves up in the next few hours and I asked for the epidural about 4pm.  My sisters were in to visit, as well as my parents, and my mother in law.  I felt sorry for them having to wait it out in the waiting room.

ABC Family continued to entertain Andrew and me and I was a bit disappointed when his parents brought him dinner because I was HUNGRY and women in labor only get offered the liquid dinner special.  Bleh!  All afternoon I didn’t make much progress from the 4cm I was dilated when the doctor broke my water.

At 9pm, I told the midwife I was having a lot of downward pressure and when she checked me, lo and behold I was fully dilated!  It had happened rather quickly and I remember feeling a stab of panic.   I could handle the contractions (especially thanks to my epidural), but I was not ready to push this baby out!  The midwife told me I could let the baby labor down a bit if I wanted and I agreed since I did not want to push for two hours or more!

At 11pm a new midwife came on duty and she was Irish.  Now, I’m Irish, but I mean she had the accent and everything.  This was a small detail, but I enjoyed listening to her and didn’t get as mad when she made me push because she sounded neat saying it.  She wanted me to try and few pushes and see where we were.  She told me she really thought it wouldn’t take too much pushing to get a baby in my arms.  I wasn’t sure I was ready, but listened to all the pushing instructions and agreed to try.

Pushing is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  She eased up my epidural drugs so it hurt too.  I felt the strong contractions and pushed with every ounce of strength I could muster while the midwife held my right leg and poor Andrew held my left.

I have to take a tangent here and brag that I have the most amazing husband ever.  He knew I was squeamish about labor and delivery and was with me every step of the way.  He supported my decisions and helped me stay comfortable.  I know it was probably not easy to be with me seeing me hurt so badly, but he was so strong for me.

I pushed for an hour and a half.  No baby.  I was really feeling like I could not push again.  I had no strength.  None.  The midwife said she needed to chat with my doctor for a minute.  They both came back in and he did a check on the baby to see where she was and what was going on.  I don’t remember everything he said, but the gist was that a number of things were happening to stop the progress of my pushing.  Ladybug was turned funny and was not swiveling properly when I pushed.  She was stuck in my pelvis.  Her heart rate was remaining very high which was a cause of concern.  The doctor said he thought the best option was a C-section.  At this point I had no strength and my eyes started leaking just from the exhaustion of the day and a relief at knowing the end was near.

The midwife prepped me for surgery and she was absolutely fantastic.  I was majorly feeling the contractions now and had to just wait them out even though I had no strength.  At one point I really felt like I was about to blow chunks which made me feel even worse because I despise throwing up.  Luckily the feeling passed.

A lot of moments in here are really fuzzy.  Somehow I got to the operating room and heard everyone buzzing about getting everything ready.  I am glad it was an emergent surgery instead of emergency because everyone’s calm manner kept me calm.  I was without Andrew while they took me to surgery, but soon he was there dressed to impress in his scrubs.  (You know you married a hot man if he can make scrubs look good!)  The doctor also okayed my mom being present.  I had invited her to attend Ladybug’s birth because my mother is very dear to me and I knew it would mean the world to her.  I am glad she still got to be there.

All of the sudden the moment was there!  I felt my tummy being tugged at (a very weird sensation) and before I knew what was happening the doctors held a HUGE baby up over the curtain.  All I could think was that baby is gigantic.  And I was really surprised because everyone has predicted that I would have a petite baby.  (Pregnancy really taught me not to hang anything on other people’s predictions, they don’t know jack!)  She weighed exactly nine pounds and was twenty-two inches long.

My mom and Andrew went over while they did whatever they do to babies and I was so proud to hear my baby scored a perfect ten on her APGAR!  I knew we had a healthy baby and that’s all I had asked of God when I found out I was pregnant.

Fast forward a bit and I had a few complications in recovery and had to be there a while.  My blood pressure dipped pretty low, I was super cold and shivery, and I felt like rubber.  This is my only regret in the whole process because I could not hold my baby.  Andrew laid her beside me but I was having so many problems I couldn’t hold her or even enjoy her until I was better.  I did enjoy seeing my mom, dad, and sisters hold and enjoy her while they were trying to get me back to normal.

By the time we got wheeled to a room I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, and everything was in that dream-like fuzzy quality when you know you’ve been awake too long.  It was after 5am before we were left alone to sleep.  Andrew fell asleep quickly, but I had some itchiness because of the epidural and couldn’t sleep very deeply.

I am still amazed at the blessing God has given me and Andrew in Ladybug.  She is our sweet pea and I know I’ll never forget the long, arduous process of getting her into my arms!  I could not have asked for a better support team in Andrew, my family, and the doctors, nurses, and midwives.  I know many people might not envy my birth story since I had many interventions, but it was perfect for me and I am thankful for how smoothly the whole thing went!

Stinkbug {November 14, 2008}

Since I had an emergent C-section with Ladybug, I wasn’t sure what I should do about Stinkbug’s birth—should I try for VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean)? Or schedule another C-section?  I really struggled with the decision all throughout my pregnancy.  I desired to deliver him vaginally (even though I am still afraid of pushing a baby out!), but with my due date being so close to Thanksgiving, and his size looking pretty big, I decided to schedule a C-section for my due date (November 20, 2008), and hope that I went into labor naturally before that.  I figured that if he could bake longer than his due date, we would have issues with his size (just like with Olivia) and the chances of him getting stuck during labor would be higher, so that was my “back up plan”.

When I spoke with my doctor about scheduling the C-section as a “back up plan”, the only dates available for me to schedule were November 14 and November 24.  I did not want to wait until the 24th, since that would mean I would still be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, and let’s face it—who wants to be pregnant past their due date? So I scheduled a C-section for November 14, 2008—39 weeks and one day into my pregnancy.

The morning of the 14th, we were supposed to be at the hospital at 8am.  I slept surprisingly well!  I figured that it would be difficult to sleep because I’d be so excited about meeting my son!  I had gone to the hospital on the 13th to have blood work done and complete all the hospital forms and registration, so we were ushered almost right up to the fourth floor on the 14th!  They put me in a L&D room, hooked me up to the baby monitor belt, took my blood pressure, gave me an IV and began running fluids into me.  People came in and out introducing themselves, having me sign papers, and going over the procedures for the day.  It was weird to know I was going to meet Stinkbug very soon, and I wasn’t even “in labor”!  I asked if my mom could be in the OR, since she had been present when Olivia was born.  The decision was left to the anesthesiologist, and it ended up being OK.

My mom, dad, and sisters all snuck in to see me and Andrew and pray with us.  A little later, Liz (Andrew’s mom) came in with Ladybug to see me too.  They all were waiting in the L&D waiting room.

10:30am was when I was scheduled to go into surgery, but we were still chillin’ in the hospital room (watching Rachael Ray) when 10:30am came and went.  It wasn’t long after that though, when a nurse (or two?) came and robed me up and walked me down the hallway to the OR.  (I hate walking around in just a hospital gown—EWWWW!)

It was FREEZING in the OR!  There was some poking to get the spinal block started, I just remember having to lean over and hold really still (just like getting an epidural with Ladybug).  It was seriously so cold in there.  I loved the nurse who brought in warm blankets to lay on top me!  Much better!  There were nurses bustling around checking things, and calling out to each other about equipment and other things… it was very busy!  Pretty soon my doctor was there with her midwife assistant and the medical student who was observing the C-section, and it was time!  They even started the incision before Andrew and my mom came in.

During the C-section, I just remember my arms being strapped down (I hate that!) and seeing Andrew watching over the blue curtain.  It felt like awhile before there was a lot of pressure and they were pushing Stinkbug out of my abdomen.  (He was born at 11:34am.)  I heard a cry and they held a little blond baby up over the curtain!  My first thought was that he looked just like Ladybug did as a newborn—it was a sweet moment.  Everyone was talking about how big he looked and they thought for sure he would weigh over nine pounds—nope!  He was 8 pounds 2.9 ounces and 20 ½ inches long.  He scored two 9s on his APGAR, but one of the nurses swore that he was the pinkest baby she’d ever seen, and she said (numerous times) that if she had been the nurse in charge in the OR, he would have gotten a 10 on his second APGAR—way to go, Stinkbug!

While I was being stitched back together, Stinkbug was taken up to the nursery and Andrew went with him.  I remember feeling slightly itchy and they gave me some Benadryl to help stop the itching.  (I had itched after having Ladybug, but didn’t get anything—Benadryl is miraculous!)  One of the nurses was wondering what he had ended up weighing (since everyone thought he looked so big!) so she called up to the nursery to find out, and that’s when I heard his official measurements for the first time.

When I was back together again, I was wheeled to a recovery room (also very cold!) and Andrew came in there and Stinkbug was wheeled in too.  It was so sweet to hold him and kiss him for the first time!

The time in recovery is a wee bit fuzzy (understandably so!), the nurses were checking my vitals, I was snuggling my baby, Andrew was sitting with me… our families went to eat, but soon they were back.  They took turns holding Stinkbug (Ladybug had fallen asleep on the way back from lunch), and took way too many pictures of him (I started to get a little annoyed with the flashes!)

Ladybug did wake up eventually and I just remember feeling really neat when she was sitting up on the bed—my first time with both kids!  I don’t think she really knew what to think of Stinkbug!

Having a scheduled C-section this time around was very smooth.  I slightly regret not having the experience of birthing either of my children vaginally, but God was sovereign in the way each of them came into the world.  I have had to give my disappointments with my birthing experiences over to Him more than once.  Ultimately, I feel honored to be entrusted with the special task of raising them for the glory of God!

And in six weeks or so, I’ll have a new story, Doodlebug’s birth story, to share!