Our baby turns one today (June 22) and as we celebrate his birth it was incredible to look back and see how the Lord carried us through that difficultly of getting him here healthy and how we had no idea what was around the corner for us. In honor of his day I thought I would share his story. This post was from July of last year. I hope you enjoy!
I wanted to write the story of our little one’s arrival and the journey to get there, because I want to remember all that God did and I want to proclaim His faithfulness!
On my birthday we were delighted to find out at 15 weeks that we were having another boy! We were thrilled to have the three boys close in age & same gender for a lifetime of friendship! I was so sick with “morning sickness”–more than with any of my other pregnancies–and would continue to be sick until 31 weeks this time.
At 17 weeks I started to have some bad cramping. Patrick came home one night from his discipleship group and I was in the fetal position, crying and unable to move because the pain was so sharp. We had an emergency ultrasound and were so thankful to hear that my cervix wasn’t opening yet, but I was told that I needed to rest and that my body was screaming for it. So I wasn’t able to do simple chores like laundry and cooking in the same day because it would cause the painful cramping. The Lord had given me this season for a reason, and my sweet husband reminded me that it wasn’t about me and what I could and couldn’t do, but about being a good steward of the life the Lord had given us. So rest I did, which was hard with 2 kids aged 2 and under. It was a season of learning to let go and finding my true identity in Christ and not what I looked like or felt like or could do for others.
For my 20-week ultrasound I went alone since we already knew the gender. That’s when the tech discovered that he had a “marginal cord,” meaning his umbilical cord was in the wrong spot. It’s supposed to be dead in the center of the placenta for the prime amount of nutrition flow. Ours was on the side and in a vulnerable spot, creating a risk of detachment and possible hemorrhage. Babies who have this condition tend to be on the small side and typically the doctors take the baby early because they do better nutritionally outside the womb then inside, especially towards the end of the pregnancy. So we were told that we would have to have the baby early and would have frequent ultrasounds to monitor his growth and nutrition.
That’s when we started praying fervently that the Lord would watch over our baby and that He would strengthen the cord, because it wouldn’t be able correct itself or move to the right spot on its own. We prayed consistently for a big baby that beat the odds and that the Lord would grow him strong; that it would be a quick delivery so he wouldn’t be in distress long; and that the cord would stay put. Bottom line, I told Patrick one night that all I desired was for us to be able to say “healthy mama and healthy baby” when he comes. We weren’t consumed with worry but were believing and praying.
Towards the end of the pregnancy we got the great news that because he was measuring good in the ultrasounds that he was going to be allowed to come on his own since he was thriving in the womb. We were so excited! Such a big answer to prayer! We began praying that he would make it to 40 weeks so his lungs would be fully developed and he would be ready.
My last baby had come at 36 weeks and 6 days, so we were prepared just in case he came early like his brother.
So we waited. A fun fact, my sister-in-law was due a day before me with her third boy as well, so it was so fun to walk this pregnancy with her. She ended up having her baby 4 days before our little one arrived.
It was getting closer to our due date and still no sign of him. I went to the doctor on Friday after having painful cramps off and on for a couple weeks and discovered I was already dilated to a 4, which was such a blessing, but my body was still not ready. She told me not to delay coming in to the hospital because she thought he would come fast and we didn’t want to nearly have him in the car like his older brother.
Saturday late afternoon I came down with what felt like food poisoning. It lasted for almost 24 hours, and I spent the whole night in our bathroom. By Sunday night I was completely drained. I got to rock both boys before bed and had a sweet time with each of them, then we decided to do a “date night in” and watch a movie together. It was a sweet night. Throughout the night I had some pain but nothing consistent. The next morning, June 22 (his due date), at 7:50 AM I had a contraction and it was painful. I looked at the clock and timed it, thinking this could be it. They began coming at 10 minutes apart, but I was still thinking they could stop any second. I told my husband after a little while and we called our moms. Then the contractions jumped to 5 minutes apart. My mother-in-law arrived and we headed to the hospital about an hour after the contractions had started. In the car they slowed down some but were still painful. We had a sweet time of prayer together and had hearts full of excitement and thankfulness that he was coming today!My husband wanted to drop me off at the front but I refused and wanted to walk from the parking lot so I could continue to make progress and I was quite determined. So we finally found a parking spot and walked in. The lady at the front could see I was in labor and said she was going to get me a wheel chair but I told her “no thank you,” I wanted to walk.
We got to labor and delivery and my doctor and Mom met us there. She told the ladies at the front desk that she needed to get me in a room fast because I was already 4 cm dilated on Friday. She checked me and said I was almost at an 8. This was an hour and half at least after my first contraction. As we were walking to the labor room my water broke in the hall way. From that time on the contractions were SO SO painful and frequent. Transition started and we started our “push music” Christy Nockels’ new album. I shut down at this point and couldn’t talk or anything because of the pain.
Then my doctor walked in to check on me right about the time I felt I couldn’t stand it any longer. I asked if I could push and she said I could. At this point “Everything is mine in You” was playing in the background, to this day I cry when I hear that song. Everyone rustled about very quickly and after 2 pushes he came out facing sideways (which explains his bruising!). They immediately put him on my chest. He was crying and I was so relieved he was here but still in such pain. I was trying to calm him down by singing “Jesus Jesus Jesus, Sweetest Name I Know…..” and he eventually calmed down.
My doctor then showed us the umbilical cord and how marginal it was. When I saw the cord and how weak it was and how tiny it was compared to my others, and the opposite location it was, it was as if the Lord was just showing me His faithfulness and goodness. I was filled with relief and praise for the Lord’s goodness, which we don’t deserve.
As I was holding my baby he felt SO tiny. I thought he was about 7.5 pounds! Then he went to the bathroom all over me and I thought to myself, “there goes 6 ounces of his birth weight!” They weighed him after letting me snuggle him for about an hour and a half and to our surprise he was 9 pounds and 2.4 ounces. Another incredible answer to prayer!
His name, Nathan Jude, means a gift of praise and we want to make sure that we use our lives and story to bring praise to the Lord! We are grateful for his faithfulness in hearing our prayers and answering them. To God be the glory great things He has done!
My heart breaks today as I know my baby doesn’t have any memories with his daddy. But he had the BEST daddy in the world who loved him with everything he had. What an incredible legacy Patrick has given us because of his faithfulness to the Lord and our family. We are forever blessed because of him. I imagine Patrick cheering us on in the great clouds of witnesses and praying for us to run this race WELL for God’s glory. Thank you for supporting and encouraging our family along this hard journey that God has called us too.
Brittany and boysbirt