pause the business, my baby turned one.
Your birth story, sweet Luna, is one to be told. All birth stories are powerful, and the pure amazingness that God created life through the womb of a mother is powerful in and of itself! Truly. Yours; Luna, was extra special to your dad and I. It was painful, scary, breathtaking, traumatizing and beautiful. It was a weekend we will never ever forget, for as long as we are on this earth.
It was Thursday morning and I had woken up from a night full of minute contracting that left me sleepless. I even had some obvious signs that labor had started. Alas, around 6 in the morning I was finally able to rest my eyes, and when I woke up 3 hours later all of the pain was gone. I was already a week late at this point, so the disappointment of a restless night that led to an uneventful morning was quite evident. Tears were shed, because that’s what you do when you’re 41 weeks pregnant and still see no end in sight. My mom came over in the morning to check and see if any progress was made. She was a labor and delivery nurse for 25 years, so although this might sound strange to the outsider, to the super pregnant self it was not strange at all. She was our built in doula, a constant support and dictionary of information and guidance. The day continued and I chose to devote the day to resting. You see, I am not very good at this topic and rarely devote myself to watching a whole movie or sitting still. Joe and I stayed in our sweatpants all day and watched some movies or something. Come to think of it, we might have gone somewhere that day (this part is a blur). I do remember that we cozied up to the movie Goodwill Hunting and I surprisingly enjoyed it.
The night continued, and my sleep was often interrupted by contractions- painful, but bearable, nothing too noticeable at this point. Again, I woke up in the morning and they were completely gone. In order to cope with the frustration of not being in labor like I thought, Joe and I took a healing trip to target. I love target a lot, like a lot, so at this point Target was the only thing making me happy! Filled up my diet coke, picked out a cart, and we went for a stroll. Perusing the isles, looking through baby clothes, aweing at all the premature Christmas decorations. It was during our stroll that I started to notice some pain again. About every 10 minutes I would have to stop walking, take a deep breath, and hold on to the cart a little bit tighter. We started timing them and headed to my parents house down the street to pass the time. While I was there things became a little more exciting…and painful. The contractions were intensifying and stopping me in my tracks. Around seven in the evening we went over to my sisters for dinner. At this point I wanted to do anything to pass the time, we were tired of sitting around and looking at the clock at home. While my sister was making chili, I was getting a little overwhelmed by the pain I was experiencing. The contractions were a close five minutes apart. We made the decision to call the doctor but unfortunately my doctor was out of town for the week. I was desperate and wanted to have this baby soon. The doctor told us to come into the hospital but wouldn’t induce me if there was no progress made. Surely I had made progress. This was labor. This wasn’t the kind of pain you can just ignore! We went into the hospital and the nurse checked me, and to no avail I had not made any progress. I immediately burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying. They suggested that we take a 45 minute walk around the unit and come back to get checked. I was so so so frustrated.. What was a stupid walk around the unit going to do? How are you supposed to walk when every 4 minutes you have to squat on the floor and rock because you can’t stand up? Why wouldn’t the doctor just induce the 41 week, miserably pregnant lady? All of these questions rushed through my head and I couldn’t handle it. I cried my way through that unit for 45 minutes, walking in circles, avoiding the eye contact of others, I was so upset! When we returned to the triage no progress had been made. We sunk our heads, walked to the car, and I cried the whole way home. It was around 11:00 pm at this point.
Once we got home, things got really intense for me. The contractions were very painful and very close together. Joe and I couldn’t handle it alone so I called my mom and asked her to come over and help. It was midnight at this point. Although looking back at this time the pain was intense, I look back at these moments fondly. I labored with my best friend and mother by my side in the comfort of our home. We created a calming environment. I sat in the rocking chair with one person on each side. Each time a contraction came I visualized myself floating up a wave and then back down. Breathing deep breaths. Over and over again, rocking back and forth. I am so blessed to have the support of my husband and mother there to help me. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
Around 3:30 in the morning, after intense labor pains for about 4 hours, I couldn’t take it any longer. The thought of doing this for another 3 hours until morning was terrifying to me. We called the doctor and decided to go to the hospital…again. I walked back into the room I had weepily walked out of 5 hours earlier, was checked by the same nurse, and had progressed to 5 cm! This was huge! I went from nothing to half way there in a matter of 4 hours, no wonder it hurt so bad! This is the moment I will say to all the mama’s out there that do this naturally, you are amazing! I kept thinking of you at this time and how I couldn’t even think of going through another hour. They set me up for our hospital stay and called for the epidural right away. We got to our room and settled in, my legs became numb and I got the best couple of hours of sleep I had had in about two or three days! This time was really sweet for Joe and I. We woke up in the hospital room together and prayed, cried, listened to worship music and just meditated in the presence of the Lord! It truly is the most moving experience, sitting and feeling the intensity of how much your life will change in the matter of hours. I’m so glad I was able to be present physically during this time. It was so peaceful. We informed our families of the exciting news so they could head our way and rested through the rest of labor (lol- rested/labor). Around 12:30 on that Saturday the best and sweetest nurse who had been helping me throughout the morning told me that I was ready to start pushing. Peacefully, the sweet nurse, my husband, mother and I started the process of pushing…me doing most of the work of course. The pushing went on for some time, an hour passed and not very much progress was made. Around hour two I started to feel a lot of pressure and pain with each push/contraction. I had been so relaxed that this pain was very powerful and kind of took over my body. It was a lot of pressure. It continued till about 3:00 when I had become very exhausted at this point and asked the nurse if they could up the epidural. A very nice man came in and upped my epidural and I ended up taking a 45 minute nap. Joe took a nap with me, and when we woke up, I started pushing again.
This is when things became a little scary. After an hour of pushing again, Luna’s heart rate dropped rapidly. All of a sudden there was a doctor in the room and a team of NICU nurses surrounding me. I looked up at Joe and we both had no clue what was going on. My mom kept telling me to keep breathing, but the last thing you can do when something like this is happening is focus on your breathing. Tears filled our eyes as the sweet nurse leaned over to tell us what was going on. She calmly told me that I had to focus on my breathing, for my baby. So that’s what I did. I did everything I could to keep breathing, calmly, slowly, deeply. The doctor told me that she would be using a vacuum to try to get Luna out, but she was worried that the baby wasn’t far enough down in the birth canal to make any sort of progress. At this point, the epidural seemed to not be working any longer. With each contraction my body grew weaker and weaker. The team of people in the room kept telling me to push, and would follow with “you’re so close”. At one point I became so frustrated that I yelled “no, I’m not!”. I mean could you blame me, I had pushed for 4.5 hours and my baby was no closer to being in my arms. The pain was unbearable and the doctor told me that she wanted to try using forceps. The thought of this was awful and did not sit well in my stomach. I looked at my husband and told him I couldn’t do it any more, and my mom knew that a decision had to be made. I think that the doctor desperately wanted for me to experience this birth naturally because she knew my mom well and knew this was important, but the risk was too scary at this point. The doctor looked at my mom and asked her what she thought was best. I trusted her decision. You know, I think it is so sweet that in some ways my mother was able to guide this process. I was very hesitant about hospital births and being in the care of strangers, and it gave me and Joe so much comfort knowing that she knew what was best. I am so blessed by this.
Once the decision was made, they prepared to take me into surgery for a c-section. We couldn’t stop crying. I don’t know exactly why we cried. It might have been exhaustion, or fear. It wasn’t disappointment. My three sisters and dad came into the room at this point and we all cried and prayed and allowed the Lord to be present. It all becomes a blur to me at this point. I remember tears. I remember shaking, a lot. I remember fear. I remember this sweet lady, who prepared me for surgery, rolling me down the hallway telling me about her c-section with her two babies and that it was all going to be ok. I really don’t think anything prepares you for surgery. Nothing prepares you to loose the feeling in your body. To trust others completely with your life, with a knife and some medication. Entering into surgery wasn’t so bad. There were tugs and pulls and chatter going on between doctors and nurses and people. Yet, at one point during the surgery the doctor made an announcement to call another doctor into the operating room “stat”. The word “stat” holds a lot of meaning in this setting. It means that something has happened and there is an immidate need for assistance. I was a little out of it and wasn’t aware of this, I then looked up through glazed eyes at my husband and mother and they both had tears streaming down their faces. This whole time my mom had been my support system, reminding me that every pull and pain was normal. She had seen it a million times through and knew it was all going to be ok. But, seeing her cry was a sign to me that it might not be ok. She told me it would be ok, but I knew it might not. I was informed that the baby was stuck. The baby was stuck in my birth canal and the doctor could not pull her out. She instructed a nurse to gently push on my babies head forcing her up into the birth canal and out through the incision that was created. It felt like minutes, but in reality they only had seconds. Luna eventually emerged into this world. Quietly. Calmly. She wasn’t rushed to my chest but rather placed on the table to assure that she was in fact breathing. I remember saying “is she ok, is she ok?” and I don’t know who said it but the words “yes” echoed through the room. She was ok. Praise the Father from whom all blessings flow. He is a good good Father.
He is a good good Father for many reason. For giving Luna life. For breathing air in her lungs. For giving me her Daddy to love for the rest of my life. For giving me a husband who doesn’t leave his wife’s side until they bring the baby over to him. He was told he could go to the table but he desperately wanted us to meet her together. Oh such a sweet sweet reflection of his selfless soul. Luna was born on October 24th 2015 at 7:09pm. After 41 weeks of waiting, 24 hours of labor, 6 hours of pushing, 45 minutes of resting, and 30 minutes preparing and enduring surgery. Our beautiful sweet Luna was born. She truly is our sweet and beautiful moon, bringing light into the dark parts of life. Joy surrounds her. From the second she entered this world our lives forever and will forever be changed.
God is good, all of the time all of the time, God is so so good.
We love you Luna Mae Huff,
Your mommy and daddy.