Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To My Sweet Rhiannon...Your Birth Story

I am writing this to Rhiannon because it will be transferred to her Blurb book. Here's THE story...

A little more than five years ago, I gave birth to your big brother, Tristan. Your daddy and I prepared throughout the whole pregnancy for a natural childbirth. We practiced relaxation, we exercised, we studied the benefits and risks of the different types of childbirth. Natural childbirth was something that was very important to us, and on March 23, 2004, Tristan was born without any medications. We were so proud that we were able to accomplish our goal and to give the gift of natural childbirth to your big brother. The process wasn't easy, and I was in labor for 40 long hours. We were even sent home from the hospital at one point (after going in when contractions were three minutes apart) because I wasn't progressing fast enough. Tristan~ 8 lb 10 oz, 20 1/2 inches long

Next came Asher. He didn't want to come out. Unlike your brother who was eight days early, at eight days past my due date, Asher was showing no signs of coming. My belly was huge, and Dr. Sharp feared that our baby would be a 10 pounder. Because of the size of my frame, he recommended an induction. Reluctantly, your daddy and I agreed, and on Thursday, April 19, 2007, I went into the hospital for my induction. I tried for hours to forgo the epidural, but after eight hours, the pain was too much to bear, and I gave in. Your brother was born less than an hour later. Asher~ 9 lb, 21 inches long

So, if you'll notice from the births of your brothers, my labors were very long. My babies were in no major hurry to leave the cozy spot of my belly. Naturally, I assumed you would be the same way. Boy was I wrong! Everyone was...your daddy and Dr. Sharp, anyway. Here is your story...

Beginning Saturday, June 6, I started having contractions and major low back pain. The contractions were kind of strong and regular that night, but by the next day, they became significantly reduced and only happened once every couple of hours or so. The low back pain stuck around, though. Monday and Tuesday of that week were the same way. Contractions here and there, some back pain, but nothing major. Tuesday, June 9, things changed. I had had a great day. I felt great, no low back pain, I had lots of energy...like I said, it was a great day. Then at the end of the day, I had something happen at work that really upset me. I left work really upset and crying, and the contractions started again, much stronger and more regular this time. I prayed that it wouldn't be time yet because your doctor (the doctor who delivered both your brothers) was out of town. Fortunately, my prayers worked, and several hours later, the contractions went back to being spread out.

Wednesday, June 10 was different. All day, I was experiencing lots of pressure. I found it hard to walk and started having more regular contractions. Though they were more regular, they weren't close enough together to start timing. That night, though, as I was putting your brothers to bed and reading them a story, the contractions got really strong. At one point, I had to stop reading, put the book down, and get on the side of the bed until the pain subsided. Your sweet brothers prayed for me, and once the contraction was over, I was able to finish the story and put the boys to bed (your daddy was on a conference call at this point).

Once the boys were in bed, and I sat around experiencing these contractions for an hour or two, I decided it would be best if I started timing the separation. So, at 9:58 p.m., I started charting my contractions. For the first two hours, they were pretty much like clockwork, almost always seven minutes apart. Every now and then, I would only have two or four minutes. Though they were seven minutes apart, they were extremely painful, much moreso than with Tristan.

At around 12:30 Thursday morning, they quickly moved up, the contractions started coming every four minutes, like clockwork. The pain had intensified and I was letting your daddy know it. I just was not prepared for this type of pain, and I was thinking about that epidural that erased all the pain with Asher (though natural childbirth was a gift I really wanted to give you and had planned on for nine months). I got in the tub to help alleviate the pain, and your daddy ran upstairs to check the Bradley website (the most successful method of natural childbirth and the method we used with your brother, Tristan. Unfortunately, we did not freshening up with your pregnancy and were extremely rusty) on when we should head to the hospital. We didn't want to leave too early and risk getting sent home like we did with Tristan.

While your daddy was gone, my contractions quickly jumped to two minutes apart, and sometimes one. I was in major pain, and it was all I could do to get out of the tub and crawl to the side of the bed and hold on. I was pretty vocal because of the massive pain, which was really different for me during childbirth. Your daddy came back downstairs, found me in more pain, and finally called Dr. Sharp. He told Dr. Sharp what was going on and asked him if we should head to the hospital. Dr. Sharp said, "Well, you can go ahead in and get checked, but you know it's probably going to be a while." Then, he heard me screaming in the background and asked daddy if that was me. Daddy told him it was, and Dr. Sharp said that was very unusual because I normally don't complain (let me correct him here...I normally don't scream, never have during childbirth. Normally, I just whine). He said for us to go on in, and he would let the nurses know we were coming. He went back to bed.

So at this point, I'm holding onto the side of the bed, screaming, and your daddy is finishing his packing and getting ready to call Mrs. Ashley to come stay with your brothers. He calls her and gets no answer. When we weren't able to get Mrs. Ashley, we started getting really worried. Our neighbors were out of town, and we couldn't get in touch with our plan A. All of a sudden, I felt the need to go to the bathroom. I ran in there, and my water broke. I knew we were in trouble! I was feeling so much pressure, on top of the pain I was already experiencing. My pain was unbearable and contractions were right on top of each other. I told Daddy to call Mr. Jon. He called him, and thankfully, Mr. Jon quickly came over. By the time Mr. Jon got there (which was really fast), I was able to get myself to the car and position myself in the floorboard (I was in too much pain to get in the seat, though your daddy did get the seat laid back for me).

Your daddy peeled out of the driveway (he had already called MiMi, and she was on her way from Atlanta to keep your brothers), and began speeding through the neighborhoods trying to get to the hospital as fast as possible. I began shouting at him that we weren't going to make it, that you were going to be born in the car. This stressed your poor patient daddy out, and he told me, "Stop saying that. Yes we are. You just need to calm down." I was in so much pain and was very loud during the whole trip. By the time we got to the interstate, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of the need to push. I told your daddy I had to push and couldn't help it. He told me not to and that I could help it. Unfortunately, he was wrong. I had to push. I just had to. My body had taken over, and there was nothing I could do. So whenever the contractions would start back, my body would push, though I tried as hard as I could not to (at first, anyway). Your daddy was driving like a madman. He was going 90 mph.

At some point during the drive, I had him call the hospital to prepare the nurses for our arrival. I knew there was no way I would be able to walk out of the car and to the delivery floor and was in desperate need of a wheelchair. I wanted to make sure they were there waiting for us when we pulled in.

Again, I told your daddy we weren't going to make it, and I got the same response from him. Then I felt it...your head. I remembered from our Bradley Childbirth classes with Tristan a little thing called (and if you're a man reading this, you may want to skip a paragraph or two...it's not pleasant) "the ring of fire". That's when the baby's head first crowns, and the mother feels a painful, burning sensation. I felt that and KNEW you were coming. I told your daddy what was going on and that I HAD TO push. He kept pleading with me to wait and drove even faster. It was too late, though. I told him I had to. The next contraction, I pushed and your head came halfway out. OK, let me stop here and say that I had a mild freak out, but it was nothing compared to your daddy. I think he was probably as pale as a ghost, though it was too dark to see his face.

Let me go off on a side note here. I had a friend who almost delivered her baby in the car two years ago. She barely made it to the hospital in time and ended up having her son in the emergency room. I had another friend who was scheduled for a c-section, but had progressed so quickly, she had a natural vaginal delivery...no time for an epidural. I spent a lot of time telling these girls how jealous I was of them and how I wished that would happen to me. I mean, I wanted and planned for a natural childbirth, these girls didn't, they wanted epidurals, yet my labors lasted FOREVER, and theirs flew by. My first friend would look at me like I was crazy and tell me that I DID NOT wish that. Yeah, can I tell you, those girls did not leave my mind during this whole situation. In the car, on the ride to the hospital, I even said out loud to God, "This is NOT what I want. I THOUGHT this is what I wanted, but this is NOT what I want!" Lesson: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR...

So here I am, in the floorboard, on all fours, forearms on the edge of the seat, shorts on, and your head halfway out of my body. I immediately began tugging on my shorts and yelling for your daddy to help me get my shorts off because your head was coming out. It seemed like it took forever, but we got my shorts off, and your head popped out. I told your daddy he was going to have to pull over and pull the rest of your body out (he was really freaked out at this point. I mean, who plans on having a baby in the car?!). I'm not sure what he did because I was so lost in the moment, but I had a break between contractions, your tiny head was out, then all of a sudden, another contraction came, I pushed, and out you came.

You fell into the floorboard, but you didn't fall far. I was already in the floorboard. At this point, your daddy and I were both in shock, scared, and didn't really know what to do or to think. I was still backwards, could see and feel your body but was having a hard time picking you up because of my positioning. I asked your daddy, "What do I do?! Why isn't she making any noise?! Something must be wrong!!!" Ok, let me just say that I have seen on t.v. what to do if this type of thing were to happen (having your baby outside of hospital); however, when it actually happens to you, you just draw a blank. Your daddy told me to pick you up, and I was finally able to get myself turned around and pick you up. You were so beautiful and started crying once I picked you up.

We were still faced with what to do, though. We were about four minutes from the hospital, your cord was still attached, and I was lost as to how to handle it. I asked your daddy, and he didn't know. He just didn't want to pull the cord too much because he didn't know if it would hurt you. At first, I pinched your cord (seriously, I had NO IDEA what to do), then I just let go. I could see the hospital and knew you would be ok.
Your daddy was still driving like Jeff Treadway, and I asked him to slow down. You were here now, and I knew we could stand to drive a little slower.

As we wheeled into the hospital, we could see the nurses hanging out in front of the doors, chilling in the wheelchair. Your daddy hopped out and told them, "The baby's in the car." They said, "What?" He repeated it, "The baby's in the car." They immediately came running over. One of the nurses ran for a kit (I forget what the kit is called) and quickly came running back with sterilized scissors (and some other stuff) to cut your umbilical cord. During this, I'm sitting in the front seat, pants off, watching. They asked your daddy to take off one of his t-shirts (he has saved it for you) so they could wrap you in it. He did, and they wrapped you all up. They got me to the wheelchair and covered me up (thank goodness. Though it was 3:35 in the morning, and no one was around, I still didn't want to ride up the elevator with my privacy exposed).

They called Dr. Sharp to deliver the placenta, and when he got there, he was shocked. He apologized and said that it always takes me so long in labor. He told me he knew I didn't usually complain, and when he heard me yelling, he didn't think you were coming, he thought something was wrong, though. I'm guessing he thought you were breach. Your daddy admitted to me that he thought I was yelling and complaining so much because I just wanted to get an epidural. Boy was he wrong, and boy did he feel bad. He spent some time asking for my forgiveness in the hospital (you should have seen his face. Bless his heart, he was in total shock that entire day).

Once things slowed down, your daddy called Nana to tell her you were here. She didn't believe him. She thought 4:00 in the morning was a bad time for a joke. After some convincing, she finally believed him. As with everyone else, she was shocked.

The nurses were stunned, and we spent two days in the hospital recounting the story to every different nurse who came in and to lots of curious calling friends. I posted online that you were born in the car, and realized that many people didn't believe me and thought I was joking. It was all just very surreal, and it took a good couple of days for the shock to die down, for us and everyone else.

Because you were born in the car, and we didn't have any laboring or delivering to do in the hospital, we spent two whole days just hanging out. I must say, though, I have never felt better after a delivery. I was pretty tired because I got no sleep, but I felt fantastic. Dr. Sharp and our family all commented on how great I was doing. It was awesome!

After all was said and done, it was a pretty traumatic experience, one that I wouldn't want to relive any time soon, but all turned out well. God looked after the three of us, kept us safe, and gave us you...our beautiful, healthy baby girl. Given the choice of you having been born at home (unexpectedly) or in the car, I'm glad it happened the way it did. Had you been born at home, I feel certain an ambulance would have been in the picture at some point. The pediatrician also informed us that if your umbilical cord had been cut by unsterilized scissors, you would have had to have a tetanus shot. YUCK! God worked it all out for the best, like He always does. Rhiannon~ 8lb 4 oz, 20 inches long...our peanut

We have you and are so in love. I would go through it all again, if I had to. Your worth every bit of shock, pain,and re-telling. You are my baby girl, and I don't know how we ever survived without you. I thank God that He knows what's best and always had us in His sights:

"For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

This verse has never meant more to me. It covers so many areas of our lives right now. From the birth, and His protection and provision, to you being a girl. I was so nervous about having a girl and really had almost hoped for a boy. Am I thankful that God knows more than I?! I am SO IN LOVE with you and SO THANKFUL that I have a girl. How could I not have realized how wonderful it would be to be the mother of a little girl?! Thank you, God!

So, sweet Rhiannon, that's your story. It will probably be a story you will get tired of telling one day. However, just know that God has something very special for you. He has special plans for you, and I can't wait to see what they are. You made a special entrance, and I know your time spent here will be full of blessing and big things! I love you, my sweet baby girl!!! Your brothers and daddy do too.

32 comments:

Brandy said...

Annie! As I sit reading this in shock with tears running down my face-what a miracle!-my sweet baby girl walks in and says "Mommy, you okay? I give you sugers and make it better!" What a wonderful blessing it is to have a baby girl-they rock! I am so happy everything worked out and wish you and your family nothing but the best!

~k said...

Oh Annie! This is the best post ever!!! What an amazing story. I am so thankful that you made it to the hospital safely. What a special little girl you have.
I LOVE this picture- SO SWEET!!!!!

Ole Miss Mom said...

Oh I've been waiting for this story!! AMAZING!!!

Can't wait to meet her!

And umm...don't know how you are going to pick from all those BEAUTIFUL pictures!!

Good luck with that one! ;-)

The Greenfields said...

wow! seriously... wow! annie, you are a brave woman and you did a great job! praise god for his protection over you and sweet R.

i wish i could have seen channing's face! and i love that he was googling bradley methods!

Natalie said...

What an amazing MIRACLE this birth was! So wonderful how God protects His own...no matter the situation :) Rhiannon was just ready for that close up! Congratulations!

LeAnne said...

i can't believe this story!! WOW!! thank you for sharing it with us...rhiannon is a very lucky baby girl that you've recounted the whole experience for her to read one day! Congrats, again. i held back the tears until i saw the sweet picture:)

Elyse said...

First of all, Congratulations to ALL of you. Wow, you were very brave through all of the labor. What a miraculous story. So happy for you guys. Brian says hello. Glad everyone is healthy and happy! Oh, and the photos are beautiful, too. Just get 'em all :o)

Grethel said...

wow Annie! what an awesome story!!!.. she's so special!!

Kelly said...

Thank you for the tears! You are right Annie, God is so good to never leave us nor forsake us. Praise God for His protection and miracle. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly D.

Rachael said...

What a special story for a special baby girl! Thanks so much for sharing! God surely does have an incredible plan for sweet Rhiannon! Love you!

The Hairston's said...

WOW, Annie!! I am still amazed every time I think about Rhiannon's arrival!
Baby Rhiannon - I'm so thankful that God protected you and your mommy and that you are here and healthy!! I'm sure you have already figured this out by now but you are a blessed baby girl! You have the sweetest and most loving parents and big brothers in the world!

Ashley said...

Hi- I don't know how I found your blog but I love the story- how amazing and what a miracle of God. I do have a curiousity question. When you deliver your baby in a car, by yourself, does the hospital wave alot of the hospital/delivery fees (since technically they didn't do anything) :)
Congratulations and enjoy your newborn
Ashley

Amy said...

Amazing! I've been waiting for this post. I teared up on the part where she was wrapped in her Daddy's shirt...just precious. What a story that little one will have to tell. She definitely made her entrance. God really took care of your family.

Jeremy and Michelle said...

I mean, you can never sell this car! I teared up getting rid of our old car just because I brought both of my boys home from the hospital in it - You had your sweet Rhiannon in yours!! Amazing story and all of my girlfriends that like you, wish for a natural delivery are so jealous when I tell them the story! Such an amazing story!

Emily said...

wow..what an amazing, fantastic (and kinda crazy) story! i'm in awe of you and how brave and strong you are! congratulations again! love yall!

jenniferbernheim said...

amazing story from an amazing, Godly woman. Thanks for sharing with us.

Brandi said...

Okay, I don't even know what to say about that! As I read it I was wondering why you didn't leave sooner and then I realized that I waited longer than I should have. It is really easy to do in some cases. I have a feeling next go around I will be over cautious because of your amazing story. I'm pretty sure I would have passed out if that had happened to me. Great job! We can't wait to meet the sweet baby girl!

tarheelmom said...

wow...i mean wow

The Hoppers said...

What a story! That's amazing! Love it!!!! She is beautiful!

ATinkLife said...

So awesome, Annie! I am glad you shared your story, even if it was for the millioneth time. Rhiannon will enjoy reading this when she is older. M loves knowing she has a journal to read when she is older from mommy telling her about her life. Glad you are doing so well!

holly said...

ok! crying! wow. don't know what else to say! can't wait to meet the little angel.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Oh my word! I read this yesterday adn couldn't comment from my phone, but I came to read it again today, because it is amazing! A true miracle! I wonder what God has in store for this little Angel if this is her entrance into the world?? :) Something wonderful and special, I'm sure.
Love you all and am so proud, excited and happy for you!

Becky said...

that is just out of control. literally. i just can't wrap my brain around it. (of course, i'm still trying to wrap my brain around you being in a floor board. how does that work??) i am so glad yall are ok. you are super mama for sure!!

Shana said...

H-O-L-Y C-O-W. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! that was the funniest story i have read in a lonnnngg time. LOVED IT. thanks for sharing. SO excited that she will get to share this for years to come!

Bragans said...

Wow Annie! What a grand story and entrance for your sweet little girl. God is so good! Glad you guys are at home now. What a precious picture of your boys & little girls.

AngelGirl said...

SOOOOO amazing!! i jsut cant picture channing telling you to "calm down" haha!! amazing. just amazing. SOOOOO glad everything is good- Rhiannon is GORGEOUS! and i love all the photos! they are all beautiful (the kiddos)- luv you girl!

Lindsey said...

Annie, you never cease to amaze me! I'm still in totaly shock! What an incredible story! Just the beginning to this precious little girl's beautiful life! Congrats!

Leslie said...

Love that picture first of all. Second of all what a lovely blessing she is and yes, I think Ashley and I can say you have definitely one-uped us. ;) Lindsey, you think you can deliver a more shocking story for us all? HA!
So happy all is well. Looking forward to meeting her!

Melodye (on steve's computer) said...

AMAZING!!!!!!! I'm so glad to finally 'hear' the scoop on sweet Rhiannon's grand entrance! I also cannot wait to meet her - she's beautiful! Congrats Annie!

Anonymous said...

WOW - WOW - WOW! God does amazing work. Congrats :) I made Reid read the story and it made his heart race. What a great story to tell for years.... I might even tell it for years :) Stacy Hodges

Rachel Garcia said...

first time reading your blog.. love the birth story. You rock!! Seriously! I bet you feel like you can conquer anything. apart from the fact that natural childbirth alone gives you that sense of accomplishment.. I can only imagine how much more delivering in a car would. Good job momma!! She is a doll!!

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

Wow- God is good. What a huge experience. Thanks for the post! Very beautiful!