It’s easy to say that it was all in God’s plan and that, in the end, it really doesn’t matter how he got here, both of which are completely true. But, in that moment, I needed to feel the disappointment. I needed to feel the loss of what I had imagined to be the picture perfect moment that defined the beginning of this chapter of my life. It was okay that I felt what I felt, as long as I knew deep down that, all along, it wasn’t really up to me.
I planned for the moment he was placed immediately on my bare chest, those first breaths of his mixed with the huge sigh of relief of mine. I wanted the first thing he felt in this brand new world to be the tender kisses I’d been so anxious to give him for 9 long months. I couldn’t wait to strengthen our bond by offering my breast as soon as we met. I didn’t want any bathing, weighing, or poking and prodding until I got to study every inch of his tiny body and imprint that moment in my mind for the rest of my life. It was going to be beautiful and powerful, the most important moment in my life right along side the day I said, “I do”.
So, at about 4 o’clock in the evening, (after being at the hospital since 10pm the night before) when the nurse said it was time to push, I was ready. It was time to meet our son, and I was more anxious than ever. About 20 minutes in, I learned that my little boy had tons of hair, which as a hairdresser, was very welcomed news! I couldn’t believe it. This was really happening, I was finally about to meet my baby boy!
Then it was 5 o’clock. Then 6 o’clock. Then 7. I had literally pushed and pushed every, single time I contracted for 3 hours straight. My Doctor said he had passed his limit, and that it was time for a c-section. I, on the other hand, had not. Even while nearly falling asleep between contractions due to overwhelming exhaustion, I wasn’t giving up. WHAT ABOUT MY PLAN?! I was then given about 45 minutes to an hour more to “rest” because it just so happened that the OR had just been filled with another c-section. But, instead of resting, (as advised by my Doc) I pushed. And pushed. And pushed harder than I ever had. It wasn’t until my sweet little (or not so little) baby boy started showing distress on the heart monitor that I gave in… but I didn’t give in easily.
I had never felt so disappointed in my life. I can’t even put into words how completely helpless and heartbroken I felt that I wasn’t able to do the only thing I was supposed to do in that moment. Even as I sit here and type through blurry, tear-filled eyes, I remember the guilt and aching in my heart. I cried for the remaining few minutes I had left before I would be wheeled into the OR. My husband, mother, and mother-in-law were all so wonderful, they were so encouraging even when their hearts hurt for me because they knew how much I wanted it. I could feel the love and support radiating from the waiting room, where the rest of my family anxiously awaited his arrival.
Then, I was swept into the OR, where the change in energy was strange. The lights were brighter and there were what seemed like 50 people hustling and bustling around me as I stared at a blue paper sheet in front of my face, shielding me from what was about to happen. After what seemed like a life time passed, the moment came when my life changed forever. The moment I heard that strong yet tiny little cry coming from the most precious baby in the world. I caught glimpses from afar as they wiped him down, Brendan cut the cord, and he was wrapped tightly in a blanket. Then, at last, we met. For just a few glorious minutes, I looked my whole world in the eyes and kissed his soft little cheeks. He wasn’t crying anymore, in fact, the moment he heard his Daddy’s voice, he was calm and still. It was, hands down, the most beautiful moment of my life.
They then took him to the nursery with Daddy right beside him, to bathe and weigh him while they finished my surgery and took me to recovery. In recovery, they brought him for a few moments to breastfeed, then took him away again until I was well enough to be taken to our room and be reunited with my husband and little baby boy.
It really was all in God’s hands. Baby J was not only a 9lb 5oz baby, but he was also in a bad position for delivery. In fact, at that angle it was possible that he could have really been hurt even if I had been able to push him out. After all was said and done, we more than made up for those few moments of bonding that we missed in the very beginning. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, regardless of what plan I thought I had. I thank God every, single day for the beautiful, healthy baby boy He gave me. It was the first lesson learned, that there are very few things you can actually plan for in this crazy adventure called parenting. I am acutely aware that there will be many surprises and changes along the way, and I couldn’t be less prepared or more excited for each and every one of them.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5