"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
On Friday morning, August 16, 2002, I went to my regular weekly appointment at my OB's office. I was 38 weeks along and everything was going well up to that point. (Well, except for a couple little kidney stones, some swelling in my ankles and my massive belly - seriously.)
The doctor listened to the baby's heartbeat and it got a little sporadic, so he kept me there for about an hour for monitoring. The baby's heartbeat only got worse, so my doctor told me to head to the hospital immediately so he could induce me at 2pm that day. We hurried home and threw stuff together, then headed straight to the hospital. There wasn't time to think about anything - especially the fact that I was having a baby!
I got hooked up to IV's, the nurses induced me right away. My labor intensified as the night wore on. I didn't sleep, but the epidural gave me some relief. It seemed to take forever for my body to progress to a full 10 centimeters, but finally - sometime the next morning - I got fully dilated. The nurses hurried around and got everything ready for me to start pushing. I was so tired, so thirsty, so worn out at this point, but I gave it my all. I pushed for three hours. The baby's head wouldn't budge. I got in all kinds of different positions. It didn't work. The nurses gave me a bed sheet to pull and use that for leverage as I pushed. It didn't work. As a last resort, my doctor even used the vacuum a few times. It didn't work. We literally tried everything, but that baby wasn't going anywhere.
By this point, one of the nurses told me, "Honey, you've been pushing for over five hours. I've never seen someone so determined to push for this long, but we're going to have to do a C-section and get that baby out of there." The doctor reiterated the same thing. He didn't want the baby to be in serious distress, so he prepped me for surgery.
I was heartbroken. I didn't want to have surgery. I was determined to do this thing on my own, but God had other plans. He knew my body. He knew my strength. He knew my limitations. He guided this little one's birth from the start. And He gave me a boy! Jacob Matthew entered the world by C-section on Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 1:09pm, weighing 9 lbs. 3 oz. and measuring 21.5 inches long. He was big and healthy - with a head full of dark hair. I was so happy to finally become a mother.
The 23 hours of labor and pain and exhaustion were worth it. Just to see his sweet face. And all the love and happiness and purpose he instantly brought to my life. My sweet boy. My first-born son.
I love you, Jacob. And I'm so glad you're mine.