Category Archives: Life

Dillon’s story

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Well, Dillon is almost 2, so I thought I would finish typing out his birth story! My first two sons were c-sections, unplanned and planned, respectively. As I wrote about before here, it was not the way I wanted, or even necessarily needed to go.

Fast forward to November 2013, I find out I’m pregnant. I’ve read a lot more, I feel a lot more informed and I’m determined to at least be given the chance to let my body just do its thing. Enter OBGYN North in Austin, TX, oh my goodness, I love love love all of the Doctors, midwives, nurses, all of the staff there. So lovely, so encouraging. They do VBA2C on a case by case basis. I knew it would be a long shot, but I just wanted a chance. And they were with me and for me the whole way. I made sure I didn’t gain too much weight, I took the supplements, drank the teas, learned more, kept telling myself I could do it, did all I could in my power to ensure a successful VBA2C. With only one small issue of high blood pressure around 37 weeks, things were looking good.

I went in for a check up at 40 weeks, 4 days to see that things were looking good to go, ya know, at some point. 🙂 She swept my membranes to try to get things going and bless the Lord, it worked. I woke up at some point in the middle of the night with a sharp pain and went back to sleep, not thinking anything of it. Around 7am, I woke with the boys and felt the same pain. It was so low, short and stabbing, I honestly thought it was gas for a minute! When the next few came the same way, lasting about 30 seconds, I had that “OMG, wait, these are contractions!” moment, immediately followed by the “Sweet Jesus, am I actually about to do this?!” moment. My water broke slowly over the course of the morning, so for a few minutes I didn’t even realize that’s what it actually was.

I had Justin take the boys to Home Depot for the kids building workshop cause contractions were about 10 minutes apart, lasting about 30-40 seconds with short little ones in between. I took the time to pack my bag, finally, fix my hair and try to ignore them for a little while. Around 1230, I called the Dr for the second time, told her that my water had broken & contractions were 7 min apart, lasting 40-60 seconds. (Attempting a VBA2C, they wanted me to call in earlier than you normally would.) She told me not to rush, but I needed to get my stuff together and make my way to the hospital. By 330pm we had finally gotten the boys squared away and I was all checked in and settled. I had to be hooked up to the monitors, but was still able to move around freely, I even snacked and drank. Very different from my first birth experience of lying on my side and being fussed at when I got up to go to the bathroom. Dr. Sebastyn told me to put the exercise ball to the side and just sit and watch tv for a bit since we were probably looking at things picking up around 10pm or so, based on my contractions. She didn’t want to check me since my water had already broken, for fear of infection. So I watched tv until it annoyed me. I think I turned it off and slammed the remote down, poor remote, it wasn’t its fault I was having strong contractions! I thought I would listen to some music. After one song from the mix I made, Bloodstream by Stateless, I just had to get up and walk around. As soon as I did, I knew we were getting close.

The pain intensified and I couldn’t stand up straight during the contractions. It was right before 7pm and I wasn’t sure I could take this pain for 3 more hours and then go through delivery. Epidural was an option that I wasn’t sure I was going to go with, since their side effects mimic symptoms of uterine rupture, which is a serious risk with a VBAC. They will stop and perform and emergency c-section if it looks like your uterus is in distress. The option was on the table, though, if I needed it. When I asked the Nurse to get Dr. Sebastyn to check me, I could hear in her voice that she thought I was asking too early. But, she got her and I was 9cm and 85% effaced! That poor Nurse started prepping the room so fast!

By 805, the pushing was underway! I had my eyes closed for probably 95% of the delivery, it was calming and definitely helped me focus. I switched positions and few times and was given oxygen to help breathe more effectively. Somewhere close to 10pm, Dr. Sebastyn was out of the room and the Nurse told me to stop pushing because the last two times I did, Dill’s heart rate dropped some. Side note, not pushing through a contraction hurts WAY worse than pushing through it. When they told Dr. Sebastyn, she started talking to us about vacuums and such, which honestly scare me due to a friend losing her son due in large part to misuse of a vacuum. Justin told her as much and she assured us that they use them safely and sparingly. She checked me before making the call and when she did, she excitedly told us that we would not need any interventions and he was going to be here in the next few minutes! Those last pushes were rough and the last two? Sweet. Lord. Ow. But, when he made his debut at 1010pm, all was right with the world. He was 8lbs. 5oz, 21 1/2in and perfectly adorable and snuggled up to me without even crying. He gave them the cutest little cry, so they would know everything was right with his lungs and he just snuggled, stared and nursed for the next hour or so while the Nurses and Dr. Sebastyn gave me hugs and high fives for a natural delivery after two c-sections. I knew that it could have ended in a c-section and if it did, that was fine. I don’t feel like superwoman or anything, I was just determined to let my body decide which way to deliver Dillon. So, hey, if you’ve had a c-section, but feel like you can try for a VBAC, talk to your Doctor or midwife about how to increase your chances. It’s definitely possible and I’m so thankful for the encouraging staff at OBGYN North and Seton Northwest Hospital for getting me there!

MomandDill

12pm, between contractions

Dill1

Some 10hrs later, holding Daddy’s finger

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Haiti: Day 7

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Day 7

Sunday was a beautiful, windy day! We spent the morning in Spirit of Truth Church in Guibert. (Sounds like Gee-Bear) Pastor Jean-Alix Paul translated for our Pastor, Jacob Vanhorn, for a really good word on adoption, physical and spiritual. Before speaking they introduced each one us. We stood, took a little applause and sat. Except me, I stood, took a little applause, sat, was told to stand back up as I understood the words “pitit fi” and “CJ Rich.” He was saying I was CJ’s daughter-in-law. CJ worked for Hope for the Hungry and with Jean-Alix for years, and is the one who introduced HELP to Jean-Alix. There was much applause for that!

Before that though was a time worship. I found myself praying through the time as it was obviously in a foreign language and it was easy to let my mind wander since I could not understand anything. I found myself overwhelmed by God’s sweet presence and couldn’t do much but sink to my knees, pray, but mostly weep. I couldn’t – and still can’t – fully articulate what was happening at that time. I do know a big part of it was God doing some things in my heart I had been praying for. It felt almost as though he was freeing up some space in my heart for things He wanted to put there.

Let’s back up some. About a month or so before we left for Haiti, I woke up on a Sunday morning not feeling so hot, it was more emotional than physical, but I summed it up as, “I don’t feel well” and stayed home from church that day. I got up and thought I would get some cleaning done or anything that didn’t require thinking. I turned Spotify on and All Sons and Daughters’ “Reason to Sing” came on. Well, goodness. Here’s a little excerpt…

When I’m overcome by fear
And I hate everything I know
If this waiting lasts forever
I’m afraid I might let go
I’m afraid I might let go

I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing

If there be a victory
Will you sing it over me now
Your peace is the melody
Will you sing it over me now
If there be a victory
Will you sing it over me now
Oh Lord, your peace is the melody
Will you sing it over me now

Well, not much cleaning got done that morning. I sat in front of my computer and played the song over and over until I knew all the words and was all stuffy from weeping through them. I’d like to say that I had been seeking God everyday and was waiting on Him for answers or something like that. Well, that’s just not the case. For as long as I can remember I’d been working under the ridiculous assumption that I could get where I am going on my own. Of course I’m thankful for the cross, but I viewed it as a jumping off point for me. No me and God, me and Jesus, me and community, just me. So, inevitably, I felt claustrophobic by the walls I put up around myself. I couldn’t see/hear/feel God, or maybe I just couldn’t recognize Him. I couldn’t see where I needed or even wanted to go from there. I felt alone and I’m the one who put myself there. I prayed and wept more and asked God to forgive me for being so silly and selfish.

I had the realization that I had crossed some things off my life list that I knew I could not accomplish by myself. Adopting was one of them. I hadn’t admitted that to anyone, not even fully to myself. I talked about it like it was happening, with no real driving force behind it to make it happen. So I was carrying around this pain of letting something go that didn’t even need to be. I never consciously thought, “I can only do this with God, so I won’t even try,” it just kind of slipped in and took hold. Adoption hurts, its long and drawn out and messy. I admitted just the night before how I don’t like to get into the mess of life. But, like I said the night before, that’s not where life happens, that’s not where true beauty is, where Jesus is. And come on, trying to stay out of the mess of life is not possible, by even trying you just create other messes.

After the weeping, there was some peace, some hope. Fast forward back to Haiti. I had been fighting to stay truly present as it is a defense mechanism of mine to hide and not let the pain in. By God’s grace, I stayed fully present and took it all in and was overwhelmed. But it was okay, because I wasn’t trying to deal with it on my own. I wasn’t trying to handle Jacky’s swollen belly, or the little baby turned away from the hospital to later die of dehydration. We’re not equipped to handle it all, we’re equipped to lean into a loving Heavenly Father for comfort, strength and grace. We’re equipped to work towards a solution for these things. We’re equipped to seek Him, follow Him, in whatever hard or easy situation He deems us worthy of.