God is present and His hand protective. This is always true. However there have been different points in my life where this truth has been significantly clear. Delivering our little Charlie is one of those moments.
I was a week late. Definitely expected! Beverly was 10 days late and so I suspected that baby #2 would be past due as well. However when Beverly was born my placenta showed signs of being at its end. I didn’t want to risk getting that close again so Elih and I decided that induction at 41 weeks was best for our baby.
We got the call from my midwife to go into the hospital for a Natal Stress Test and hopefully get induced! After a “textbook perfect” NST, we were told that I wasn’t dilated enough for Oxytocin so Cervidil was our only option. The maternity ward was quite busy at that point so we were sent home with no induction, but with the knowledge that we could get a call later on to come back and have the Cervidil put in.
By that evening we were back at the hospital to have the Cervidil. From the best of my knowledge, Cervidil is what looks like a teeeeeeeny tampon with a string attached. They place this behind the cervix and the gel on it causes the cervix to soften and ripen, encouraging the body into labor. Often time women need multiple doses of this over the span of a few days before labor starts. In other cases, it works immediately. Regardless, once the Cervidil is put in, you have to wait for an hour to make sure that both you and baby are reacting safely to the gel.
I figured I would be one of the cases where I would be waiting for days before meeting our little babe! But during that hour I had a few contractions so that made me feel hopeful! The hour showed that we were both safely reacting to the gel and were sent home to “rest” incase it worked.
We were home by 8:45pm. Contractions were regular at 9:00pm.
Some side effects of Cervidil include diarrhea and constant cramping. Both of these were very mean to me. As all Mama’s know, once a contraction ends, the pain ends with it. Of course as labor progresses we don’t really notice these breaks because we are exhausted and uncomfortable – but they are there. Because of the Cervidil I had NO BREAKS. I would be contracting for around a minute and a half to two minutes with a minute “break” that wasn’t a break at all. The cramping was so painful that it felt like a contraction itself! I only knew when I was a having a contraction because it was a bit more painful than what I was constantly feeling.
Unsure if this was normal Elih called the midwife and she told us to come back to the hospital so that they could asses me.
– As a side note. . . Yes it sucked being in labor at night since I didn’t have a full night’s sleep of rest behind me, but I actually think I prefer it. We were the only ones roaming the halls and elevators by that time. No witnesses. No one staring and smiling while I grit my teeth. It feels more private and relaxed.
When we arrived in Triage I was unable to speak through my contractions. This seemed abnormal to me as I was only in labor for almost two hours, but the pain was so much more intense than it was when I was that far progressed with Bev. A quick assessment showed I was 3-4 centimetres dilated.
They had to conduct another NST so I had to stay on my back for almost an hour. That seriously SUCKED! I was dealing with back labor and the need to use the bathroom (thanks diarrhea) while stuck laying on a bed.
I didn’t understand why there was so much pain. The contractions I was experiencing at almost three hours into labor and only 3-4cm dilation was comparable to the contractions I had with Beverly 10 hours into labor and 9cm dilated.
I assumed this was all because I was on my back for so long. If I could just get into a room and a hot tub with Elih pressing against my back to help with the pain, it wouldn’t be as hard to deal with every contraction! And I needed gas. . . Let’s not forget the gas. . .
After another assessment they saw that I was 5cm dilated. Time for a room (with a tub).
I NEEDED to use the bathroom. Thankfully they let me use the closest one, but were rushing me. Honestly I don’t think I had ever felt that helpless before. The nurses needed me to get into a bed asap but I sat there – exhausted – begging them to give me just a minute to clean myself up. Once I was in the room I knew my dignity and privacy would vacate for some time. And all I wanted was to hold onto a smidge of that dignity and privacy for just a moment longer. This was also when I had Elih text my sister, Sar, to head over to the hospital.
– We didn’t figure it out till later, but this is where my water broke! Quite convenient for the clean up, eh? I just thought I REALLY peed!
I managed to keep my last shred of privacy before being wheeled to my room.
Once we got there I saw that BEA-UTIFUL tub being filled to the top with HOT water. But again, I felt helpless as the midwife and nurses told me that I had to lay on the bed so they could check my cervix and baby. Pretty sure I begged them to let me go in the tub. . . But they were doing their jobs and I just had to deal with it. Definitely debated on challenging them to a duel but remembered I was too weak for that. . .
My midwife went to check baby’s heartbeat.
I still remember squeezing Elih’s hands tight when I looked at the midwife’s face as she very seriously looked to the nurse and called a code I couldn’t make out. Next thing I knew, the room was FULL. Nurses were running in and the midwife called an Obstetrician.
|Unaware of it at the time, but our little babe’s heart dropped and then they couldn’t find it again.|
This was honestly the most terrifying experience I have ever had. I was mentally out of it – trying to cope with the pain – and couldn’t really hear anything anyone was saying. I understood that clearly something was wrong with the baby. Phone calls were happening. Preparations of some sort were being made. I could hear the OB say “. . . one more centimetre. . .” and assumed that I had only progressed another cm, putting me at 6cm dilated |In actual fact, I was 9cm dilated with one more to go|. Then I made out a “. . . cervix is done. . .” and guessed that my cervix for whatever reason was not going to get further than 6cm |The OB had actually decided to push the rest of my cervix over baby’s head putting me at 10cm dilated| .
I prayed. I continued to ask the Lord to “Please protect him.” over and over again. Something was wrong and it was completely out of my control. I was mentally ready to endure whatever the doctors were going to put me through in order to get this baby out. C-section? Do it. Episiotomy? Do it. Whatever they had to do, I was ready for. I didn’t care how much it would hurt or how long the recovery would be. I didn’t even care if I made it. If I was going to die so that they could get my baby out safely – then so be it. I know EXACTLY where I’m going.
I continued to pray – trusting in God.
I wasn’t aware of much going on around me except for what I already thought I knew. The urge to push was so strong but made no sense to me since as far as I knew, I was only 6cm dilated and not getting any further. The doctors, nurses and Elih were trying to get my attention but I couldn’t hear them. Thankfully a nurse got me some gas and I managed to stop screaming – yes, screaming – and tried to focus on what people were saying. The OB was trying to tell me something but I felt like I was in a tunnel and everyone in the room was on the phone but kept breaking in and out due to bad service!
I “got out of the tunnel” and heard pretty much everyone yelling at me to push. To push as hard as I could. I became very aware that this was my only chance to deliver naturally. If I couldn’t push the baby out, they would evict the babe for me. So I started to push and couldn’t help but scream.
Elih’s calm voice broke through the others and he told me to “growl like a bear”. So with all the strength I had left, I growled and pushed that baby out (thinking that I had for sure shredded myself).
A warm, fragile little person was suddenly on my chest. I opened my eyes and saw a head full of hair. Heard the sweetest little cry.
I looked up at Elih, totally in shock.
It didn’t make any sense to me that I was finished already. Unless my concept of time was messed up, we had only been in the room for a short time. Sarah wasn’t there. I pushed a baby out at 6cm dilated. None of it really made any sense.
But I didn’t care. Our baby was here! And to my complete shock . . . NOT a boy!
Charlotte Eliza Alitheia
August 6, 2019 at 12:04am
Charlotte – her own vintage name.
Eliza – after her incredible Papa, Elih.
Alitheia – “ἀλήθεια” Ancient Greek for “truth”. It is the Biblical word for when Jesus refers to Himself as “Truth”. Everything is compared to “ἀλήθεια” (the ultimate form of truth) to see whether or not it is actually true.
God was in control. He gave me peace in the midst of utter panic and fear that He would keep Charlotte safe. His strong hand of protection was on both of us the whole time. He provided the medical staff with wisdom (I later found out that the OB is a strong Christian as well) and He gave us another beautiful daughter to LOVE on! We couldn’t be more grateful.
The room began to empty as it became clear that Charlotte was healthy. The OB went to check if I had torn to which I told him that I definitely did. To my surprise, again, there wasn’t a single tear! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!
Sar arrived around 5 minutes after Charlie was born. I told her it was payback for when I missed her daughter, Elizabeth’s, birth by 5 minutes as well just 8 months previous!
We spent the early morning and day sleeping, cuddling our new daughter, taking pictures, and growing entirely new hearts full of love for our Charlotte.
By that evening we were back home.
Our little Charlie. . . She is beautiful. Blue eyes and a head full of blonde hair. Fingers identical to mine and a face resembling her Papa’s. She has given us so much joy and stolen our hearts. So very dainty and petite, I think she will have a quiet side like Elih but be able to confidently bust a dance move or two in the middle of a crowd. I can’t wait to watch her personality shine as the weeks and months pass by (hopefully not too quickly).
I pray that as her Mama, I only ever inspire and encourage her to embrace who God created her to be. That she will have a beautiful heart, a soft but fierce voice, and a wise mind. And that she will know her worth.
Welcome to the world, my little Charlotte. It’s so much brighter with you in it.