Monday, October 21, 2019

Bryant Jack Burns

It still baffles me that I am actually, finally a mom. For this season of life, I have prayed numerous times over, I have dreamt about, and have even planned for (I read parenting books far before I was ever pregnant. I have a problem). All those years, and now we are here. My little Bryant. The son Kevin and I had named long before babies were really a serious conversation, is finally here. I am so thankful. God has given us such an answered prayer through this boy. There have been some hard moments, nights, and days even, but when I see that little boy's face look up at mine I know this is just who I was meant to be, mommy to this boy.

This is his birth story.

Thursday, August 16th We had our final doctor's appointment before our due date, but I was hardly dilated. Unsurprisingly as I had experienced no contractions or any type of early labor. An ultrasound that day told us the amniotic fluid was concerningly low and he was potentially a large baby. We talked about our options and landed on coming back Monday to re-visit the amniotic fluid level and likely proceed to be induced that night. I cried in the parking lot. I had tried to have very little expectations or any kind of "birth plan" but I had so hoped to not be induced. On our drive home, the doctor called us again and changed the Monday appointment to Friday.

Friday, August 17th We got up per our normal morning routine and did a pre-natal approved workout with our favorite, Nancy, then we both went to work. I updated my office with the latest information, worked hard to tidy all loose ends up, and left fully anticipating that I'd be working from home that afternoon and on Monday.

Our doctor looked at me in the ultrasound room and said, how about we go have a baby? I didn't fully register what she had said. I'd accepted that we were going to probably be induced, but in my head that was still not happening till Monday night. I looked back and said, so then is Monday still an option. My sweet doctor, in the most gentle way told me no. We were sent home with instructions to eat, pack up and go to the hospital. One moment, we thought we were still waiting and had a whole weekend ahead of us, the next we were in our home for the definitive last time as just the two of us.

It was so weird to be back at home. We were both quiet as we tidied up, finalized the bags for the hospital, and ate a big lunch. The planner-type-a in each of us was freaking out. To be honest, there was a part of us that was disappointed. As strange as that sounds. This wasn't how we pictured all of this happening. Our main doctor was not on the call over the weekend, she was on Tuesday. So this played into our disappointment as well. As we drove through a full-on thunderstorm to the hospital we talked and prayed and our frustration began to turn. This wasn't what we had imagined but God always knew how it would play out. Like it or not, we were going to the hospital early, but this also meant we would meet our little boy even sooner than we thought. That called for praise and joy. We committed to be more joyful through the rest of whatever would lie ahead for us in the induction process.

At the hospital, we didn't wait too long until we were walked into the room where we would meet our baby. I was instructed to go change in the classic hospital gown. I hope I always remember standing in the bathroom for a moment and looking at my rounded belly in the mirror. I'd been uncomfortable in the last month, but suddenly I felt like I was very much going to miss that baby belly.

At about 4:30pm, I was set up on attempt number one to get my body into labor gear. This was a 12 hour process and was intended to soften my cervix to hopefully get me on the road to dilation. Those 12 hours were weird. It's strange to be in a hospital and feel pretty much just like normal. We just hung out. We watched Hard Knocks on Kevin's laptop, my sister and her husband came to see us (brought Kevin Chik-Fil-A), we read, and eventually, I fell asleep.

Saturday, August 17th  I was woken up by the nurse who was ready to check my progress at 4:30am. While the nurses were encouraged, we were disappointed. We were officially at only 1cm. I remember wondering just how long this process would take. The doctor shift was changing at the hospital at 7am, so in the meantime, we were just to relax, and eat a breakfast, again hang out feeling relatively normal. We took a walk around the hospital floor and did another Nancy workout in the room. Close to 9am, the doctor came in ( a gift from the Lord! It turned out that of the group I saw we got one of our top favorites on call that weekend) to talk about options. The best option was a medication that went in my mouth to bring on contractions and a balloon method that went up inside of me. She told us this would be hard but effective, and my goodness she wasn't kidding. It was definitely painful but sure enough, I started to feel contractions almost immediately. I labored through them for about 4 hours then opted for the epidural.

After about another 2 hours, we removed the balloon method and got me started on pitocin. The day was starting to feel long and I drifted in and out of sleep, shifting from one side of the bed to the other with the peanut ball in between my legs. Kevin delivered two hand-drawn Bible verses to encourage me as the dulled contraction pain came in waves. We began to wonder if our baby would actually be born on his due date.

Sunday, August 18th Sure enough, around midnight I was checked and to our surprise, I was 9.5! I got permission to prepare to push as soon as I was ready. With the moment finally here, I began to get nervous. Kevin handed me the final verse he had prepared for me and I cried. We prayed and cried some more. Here were were, 33 hours into this and it was time. It was the last time it was going to be just Kevin and I. We were so close to meeting our boy.

Two hours went by before I finally decided it was time to get moving. Kevin turned on the music playlist he had prepared and more tears started to swell up in my eyes. They prepped the room, turning on the light above the bassinet. Everything felt so surreal.

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when a baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21

Pushing was nothing like I expected. I guess the epidural helped quite a bit, but I had very little discomfort and really enjoyed the whole process. Kevin kept encouraging me sweetly and holding my hand. When I wasn't actually pushing, my husband and I were casually chatting with our nurse/realtor/all-around-great-friend and our doctor. Our conversation weaved between a variety of topics and even had me laughing occasionally. It was fun and joyful and I loved every moment.

Kevin watched, I felt our baby's head and before I knew it, I was helping lift my little baby up to myself. I fully anticipated I would cry but I was just so bewildered and excited, no tears came. I looked over at Kevin who had the most amazing smile on and just beamed at him. Our Bryant Jack Burns was born at 3:02 am on Sunday, August 18th. His due date. He was 7 pounds, 5 ounces. Kevin and I were overwhelmingly happy and content all at the same time. Our baby was here and he was absolutely beautiful.

As we stared at him and enjoyed the moment some miscommunication out in the lobby led to my sister, her husband, my brother, and his fiance walking into the room not too long after we had baby cleaned. My sister was the first in the room and I'll never forget seeing her face. She didn't realize they were seeing the baby. She nearly fell to her knees, gasped and threw her hand to her mouth, tears welling up in her eyes. Them coming in so soon was not quite what we had intended, but what fun it was to share our little baby with their weary eyes. They'd waited for a couple of hours in the waiting room and were just about to leave and give up before they walked in.

My sister prayed the first prayer over our boy. Then, it was just us and one nurse. It was quiet. The baby fell asleep in Kevin's arms as I got a little more cleaned up. The nurse helped us pack up and we after all the times we heard the lullaby go off (signaling a new baby had been born), it was finally our turn to hit that button and announce our baby had arrived.

We stayed in the hospital until Monday, late afternoon. Our hospital time together holds some of my favorite memories. We had requested only parents or siblings be allowed to visit, which left for most of our time to be just the three of us. We often cuddled up on my bed and held our new baby. Just looking at him, so incredibly thankful for his safe arrival. We cried tears of joy. We took photos. We slept. We ate. We relished in the newness of being a family of three.

Our world now forever changed.


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