an unexpected birth story.
It’s that time again! I still have some fabulous birth stories tucked away, and am happy to share them. The following birth story sent from a sweet friend, is unbelievably beautiful to me. It has an unexpected ending, but the strength, wisdom, courage and faith this mama shows is a true inspiration.
Telsey Friesen: First baby, hospital birth
My due date came and went, and I was getting very impatient. One night I began having contractions. They were very uncomfortable, but I felt like this was “it.” I decided to try and get some sleep, and hopefully wake up in full blown labor. Morning came, and the contractions were gone. Little did I know, I had to wait seven more days to meet our baby. We hadn’t found out the sex of the baby, so to find that out just added to my anxiousness. I tried so many different things to try and initiate labor. I ate tons of pineapple, drank weird drinks, took a tablespoon of hot sauce (then ran to the bathroom to puke), and had a lot of sex. Nothing was happening, and sometimes I would just cry. I longed to meet my baby. On top of being emotional, I was HUGE, and it seemed that every day I would get a new stretch mark. I had to keep reminding myself that God had picked the perfect birthday for our baby, and I needed to just rest in Him, knowing that in His perfect timing I would give birth to our son or daughter.
After being overdue nine days my doctor decided to have me come in early the next morning to have Cervidil placed in my cervix to help soften it and hopefully get things moving along. Before going to bed I asked God if He would just let me go into labor on my own, and that I would wake up with contractions. I was hoping to not have to be induced. I felt such peace, and was excited by the possibility of getting to meet our baby the next day. Sure enough, I woke up in the morning with steady contractions! We went to the hospital for our appointment, and they put me on a monitor. Lo and behold, it was real labor this time!
Monitoring the baby’s heart rate revealed signs of distress. His heart rate was not steady at all, so they kept me on the monitor for about an hour. Things were moving slowly. I was only 3 cm. dilated, but still having steady and even painful contractions. My doctor broke my water to hopefully help speed things up. When she broke my water there was a lot of meconium mixed in with the amniotic fluid. We decided to keep monitoring the baby’s heart rate and hoped my labor would speed up, because we didn’t want our baby hanging out in its own meconium for too long. After another hour, our baby’s heart rate was plummeting. It came back up, but still sounded distressed. It was actually quite frightening to hear. It was clear that the baby was in distress, and things were progressing slowly and not very smoothly. After talking with my doctor about the meconium, the heart rate, and the fact that I was still only dilated to 3 cm, we decided to go in for a cesarean section.
I didn’t want a C-section. I wanted to give birth naturally. I wanted to give birth like God originally created us women to do. But, hearing our baby’s heart plummet had me more concerned about the safety of our child than my desire to have a natural birth. I wanted our baby safe, and I was going to do anything I could to make sure that was the case. I was nervous. I had never had a major surgery before. While they prepped me for surgery, I was shaking all over and very cold. I just kept saying the name of Jesus over and over again. Within the hour I was in the surgery room receiving my spinal block. I had a really wonderful nurse who was with me the entire time. She carried such peace, and held my hand until my husband, Caleb, could join me in the operating room. During surgery I was so nervous. I asked Caleb to keep talking to me in order to keep me preoccupied and distracted. I didn’t want him to stop talking. It helped keep my mind off of the surgery. He was so sweet and encouraging. Having him with me was such a blessing. The doctor announced that they were about to pull the baby out, and asked if Caleb would like to announce whether it was a boy or girl. The entire operating team thought it was great that we decided not to find out the sex in our ultrasound. Caleb stood up, looked over the blue curtain and yelled out with great enthusiasm, “Telsey! We have a son!” We both burst into tears of joy, and watched as they held up our son so I could see him for the very first time. We named him Elijah Joshua Friesen. I watched as Caleb cut the cord, and they weighed Elijah and checked his vital signs. Then my two loves came and sat next to me while the surgeon finished sewing me up.
After surgery Caleb and I were told that the umbilical cord was wrapped very tightly around Elijah’s neck twice. This was why he was in such distress, and why I was not progressing smoothly in labor. The cord was so tight that he was not able to continue descending into the birth canal. Also, if I had delivered him vaginally, the chances of having him getting brain damage would have been quite high. My doctor told me that it was a very good decision to go with the C-section. I did and still do agree with her.
After a few days, I had time to really think about Elijah’s birth. I was sad that I didn’t get to deliver him vaginally, yet utterly thankful about the fact that I had a healthy son. I concluded that I had no reason to be ungrateful. The reality is that God did design us to give birth vaginally, yet things happen that don’t allow all of us to end up with that experience. I had to choose to let go of the disappointment I felt, and the feeling that I had failed as I woman. The truth is I didn’t fail. I gave birth. It just didn’t go how I had pictured it would. But, it had the same outcome I had desired – me, my husband and our healthy baby – pure bliss.