Life On the Other Side: Baby #3

Oswald ChambersI was staring up at huge spotlights. And wires. Bob Seeger’s Running on Empty was playing in the background and I’m barely registering the doctor’s question, “Is there something you want to listen to instead?…” All I know is I’m laying on the table…my mind spinning – everything was happening so fast. Somehow a whole day had “raced” by from the morning when we first got there at 6 am and they started me on the Pitocin to the moment I was losing the last bit of feeling in my legs as they upped the epidural and prepped me for a c-section. The last half hour was a blur – all of a sudden the OB and nurses came in and said the baby’s heart was decelerating and it was strongly recommended we do a c-section.

Right now, I can’t/won’t get into all the turmoil and disappointment –
in a business-of-being-born kind of way – I felt about that moment. I am still thinking about the ways medicalized language and procedure – even with good intention – can be so anxiety-producing for something supposedly so natural. More on that much later … but I started out hopeful even after only a couple of hours of sleep – excited and ready to deliver the baby. Although preeclampsia would be the main impetus for an early delivery again I felt good about doing a VBAC. But, I tried to keep an open mind and flexible spirit because who knew what might change in a moment? The goal – as a nurse wrote on the dry erase board – was “baby.”

I was aware going in that I would have to try to endure as long as possible before asking for the epidural because it did seem like from what I’d heard and read was that once labor started and contractions came regularly the epidural had a tendency to slow it down again. I just had no idea how intense the Pitocin would be on my body as I tried to hold off.

Thankfully, both Andy and Kate were there to support and encourage me with words and backrubs through every wave of pain – some so awful I thought that I would break Andy’s hand as he held mine. I kept thinking if I can just make it to 5 cm…About 10 hours later when they were coming closer together and so incredibly strong, I asked for the epidural, and thankfully found out we were about 5.5 cm. I felt like it was a good sign. I thought that the next few cm would come a little quicker. But progress slowed and once that heart rate became questionable everyone felt it was better to be on the safe side.

I’m still amazed at how quickly they were able to get me ready for surgery. I felt overwhelmed with sadness that I wouldn’t be able to deliver in the way I had envisioned but elated at the thought of meeting #3 soon. When the OB finally lifted the baby up for us to see and said, “It’s a boy!” I started to bawl. This was all that ultimately mattered. It still hadn’t totally hit me that we were going to have a third child. And there he was wailing loudly, and whisked over to the warming bed for a quick clean up and wrap. Andy brought him over and I was in awe. He was actually here. But agh, we still hadn’t decided on a name for a boy…

As I lay there I kept thinking about one of our choices – Oswald. I remember a quote – by the person who inspired the name – someone had posted on Facebook, and it kept echoing over and over in my mind.

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading. -Oswald Chambers

And I felt that it spoke so heart-wrenchingly beautifully and truthfully about our whole journey from the moment we took those unbelievably surprising pregnancy tests (4 to be exact) to my lying on the operating table for an unwanted c-section to deliver this baby. How amazing … The way God graciously disrupts our lives, our preparations, our days with this kind of love. It feels illogical and insane and yet it resonates more deeply with me than anything … Because it’s about surrender. I wouldn’t trade or change anything for where we are now despite the new chaos that now inhabits every second of our days. This is the road no matter what I see or figure out or plan and it’s gorgeous. I just can’t believe Little Os is already teaching me about faith and trusting the One who is present with me throughout. What a gift …


Baby O born on February 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM
8 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches
Bloomington Hospital

6 thoughts on “Life On the Other Side: Baby #3

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

    What a beautiful reflection! Thank you for sharing!

    • March 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you Emily!

  • March 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Your story so closely resembles the experience of our son’s birth. It brought back memories of excitement, anticipation, worry and awe. Congratulations to you and your family on the new addition.

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Gorgeous, goosebumps, tearing up here at my desk. What a beautiful boy, name, and story to boot. Blessings abound in such surprises.

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    So happy for you and Andy that baby O is here safe and sound and beautiful!!! He was born on our Caitlin’s 2nd birthday and if he is half as happy as she is, he will be a total delight! Know these next few weeks will be a blurr with three babies, but you will make it!! Our daughter, Nancy, has twins and then Caitlin and after 2 years things are busy, but happy around her house!!

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