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Hiatus

Wow, it’s been 9 months since I wrote my last post, but I do have a very good excuse, and his name is Will.

At the end of April, we moved back to the mainland, and 2 months later, our son Will was born. It was a whirlwind 2 months of getting settled, buying all the baby stuff and preparing the nursery; but the real life changing moment happened when we brought the little bebe home. We had NO IDEA what we were about to face. Becoming a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it’s been the most rewarding as well.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me share with you the birth story. It’s been almost 6 months, but better late than never, right?!

On Thursday, June 20th, I went to my 39 weeks checkup. My regular doctor was on vacation so I had to see someone else, which didn’t thrill me. Nothing new : “any day now” — just what I’ve been hearing for the past few weeks.

I left my appointment and went to Panera to eat lunch. I took my time because I didn’t want to drive home then drive all the way back out to pick up my husband from work. My plan was to take an hour or so at lunch, go to Baby Gap, then maybe Marshall’s and Barnes & Noble.

After I scored some clearance items at Baby Gap, I drove to Marshall’s. But after walking around for a few minutes, I started to feel uncomfortable, and it gradually got worse, and I felt the urge to sit down every few steps. At that point, I didn’t think too much of the pain, just thought it was some premature contractions. So I decided that I was gonna drive to Barnes & Noble and just have a relaxing afternoon reading magazines and sipping some coffee or tea.

As soon as I got there, I think it was around 3pm, everything kicked up a notch.

Still, I didn’t think it was “that bad.”

So I grabbed a Real Simple and sat down to read. A few minutes later, I emailed my husband and said “I don’t feel good. I don’t think I’ll be able to last out here till 5. I just need to go home to rest.” Thankfully, he was able to get off early, so I picked him up and we went home.

After we got home, I messaged some friends to let them know that I think my contractions had started. By that point, it was beyond just uncomfortable, but I didn’t think they were strong enough to go to the hospital. So we were going to grill some burgers for dinner and just see how things would progress that night.

Well, around 4pm, one of the friends I messaged replied and asked how things were going so I told her how far apart my contractions were, and she immediately responded with something like “that sounds pretty close together. You should call the doctor.” To which I responded, “oh I think it’s not close enough…” But I listened to her advice and called the hospital. When the nurse heard that my contractions were already 2-3 minutes apart, she said “what?! You need to come to the hospital right now!”

For some reason, I misunderstood or remembered wrong what the doctor told me about contractions and when to go to the hospital. I had heard so much about doctors sending first time moms home after false alarms, so I was playing safe. Maybe a little too safe.

40 minutes later, we checked in at the hospital. Everything seemed normal and uneventful. The nurse confirmed that my contractions are progressing nicely. But it was just the beginning, so she was about to unplug the monitor to let me go walk the halls to get things going. Then, a string of contractions hit, and all the sudden she got really focused.

{And now, a change in authors 🙂  Jeremiah here, A.K.A. Dad.}

The nurse went into action mode, and she started making calls. Cue “E.R.” descending onto our little triage room. Cue the scariest 15 minutes of my life. Doctors & nurses came out of the woodwork, including the ironically-named OB-GYN, Dr. Stuck. 🙂 Will’s heartbeat had dropped from its normal pitter-patter in the 140s to an eerily slow tha-thump in the 50s. Later they’d call what happened a “titanic” contraction, and Will’s little ticker was not a fan. I started praying out loud with Yiqian. They handed me a set of scrubs and dispatched me as an impromptu physician’s assistant, handing me the IV bag to hang up and an oxygen mask to put on Yiqian (probably to keep me calm).

Dr. Stuck gave an indication that this baby was changing our “plans,” and we were about to head into the O.R. for an emergency C-section when Will’s heartbeat came back up and we could hear the quick thumping again. Sighs of relief all around. An epidural later (not part of the original plan since Yiq was handling the pain very well, but the doctor advised us to get it in case Will’s heartbeat drops again and surgery becomes necessary), Yiq was feeling good and settling into a full-fledged room to wait it out and see how it would progress.

Fast-forward a while later and I was sitting in the room munching on dinner from Wawa–oh yeah by the way, we never got to grill those burgers– feeling drained but thankful we’d survived that madness. Those frenetic “E.R.” scenes happen to other people, not us. When it happens to you, it reminds you that you’re protected by an amazing God. Game 7 of the NBA Finals was on, and I pondered naming our soon-to-be-born son LeBron Barba as a tribute (okay, not really).

Dr. Stuck returned and decided to put Yiq on a small dose of pitocin since her progress had slowed down, and almost immediately Will’s heart rate plummeted again. Dr. Stuck said “I’m calling it” and next thing I knew, I was struggling to get the scrubs leg over my flip-flops, texting family members to let them know we were going in, and heading to the O.R. area. Will would be taking the express lane into the world.

Yiq was wheeled into the O.R. to be prepped, and I was sent to a small waiting room. Two chairs and a small end table with a selection of magazines spread around on top. Thinking through it later, it struck me how bizarre that was. Who would go into that waiting room and be like, “hmm, what’s going on with my favorite celeb gossip this week”? In that situation, TIME magazine isn’t exactly priority. Maybe some calming Enya music or a rock garden, but random magazines? Beats me. 🙂 I texted family members, made sure I had my phone out for pics, and then this.

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Figured I’d want to remember this moment.

Shift scenes to the O.R. as it got surreal again. I sat by Yiq’s head, leaning down and talking to her–she was very cold and was shaking uncontrollably– trying to help her calm down by transporting her to the beaches of Hawaii, and synchronizing our “breathe in, breathe out.” It’s tough to stay calm when you know what’s happening on the other side of that blue curtain, but God’s grace was palpable that whole day, and this was no exception. The whole process took about 5 minutes, and I’ll never forget hearing his first cry. One of the staff pointed up and reminded me I could look over, and there he was. My boy.

Once he was cleaned up and bundled like a little burrito, I brought Will Vincent up to meet his Mom.

2013-06-20 22.46.12

Nobody tells you how hard parenthood really is. That’s probably a good thing. But just as indescribable is the way your heart is knit to this tiny human from the first moment you see him. And the joy when you hear his first belly laugh. And the warmth you feel the first time he really looks at you.

And this moment.

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We’d just put him down in his crib for the first time. That Thursday was intense and focused, and the hospital days blurred together, but in this moment it all came flooding over me.

We love you, big guy. Welcome to the family.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: Planning a party | luminositie

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