Monday afternoon my parents arrived to keep Eleanora at our house. After such an up and down 12 days, I was so glad to finally see their faces. Bags packed, again, we kissed Elle goodbye and told her she could come meet us at the hospital to hopefully see her new baby sister the next day. I guzzled my last meal of Chickfila as we arrived at the ER. It was so strange to be wheeled up to our room without being in tremendous pain. We pulled out the essential oils, diffuser, our pillows, playlist and Bible to make it feel more homey. We knew it would be a while.
The nurses prepped us for the night and we expected to get ready for a night of having Cervadil in preparation for induction. (Cervadil is a softening medication used to get your body ready for induction – and it is very rare it will cause more contractions.) We alerted the doctor on call and the nurses of our last experience on Cervadil, and also on ambien. Apparently I’m the 1% of people that went into active labor while on the medication. It was quite an interesting experience while also totally out of it on ambien – and I had no idea where I was and could only scream! It’s funny now. Well, after that explanation the doctor checked me and said I didn’t need the Cervadil. We questioned her call, but didn’t want to push back too much. After all, they are the doctor and we are obviously not. (Spoiler: I should have gotten the meds and it seemed – not that we can know for certain – that the doctor just didn’t want to deal with a 3 am delivery.) A little perturbed about having to come in the night before for nothing, we slept.
I got up around 4 am to try to progress the contractions and have some time alone in the Word. I felt such peace light up my heart, like the sun that was starting to break through the clouds. My heart dwelled on Psalm 16 & 37 and I let the words anchor me to the peace God had given…I wanted to start the day and finish it, regardless of what happened, from the right place. I read, listened to Shane & Shane’s Psalms II album (straight scripture put to music – so beautiful!) and asked God to show me Himself above all else. As much as I longed to see my sweet baby’s face I prayed my heart would stay in the place of wanting to see HIS beauty more.
“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him my right hand, I will not be shaken…You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…those who wait for the LORD will inherit the land…and delight themselves in abundant peace…the LORD upholds the righteous…the LORD knows the days of the blameless…the steps of a man are established by the LORD…I have not seen the righteous forsaken…He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing…the LORD helps them and delivers them…he saves them because they take refuge in him.”
Isaiah 26:3: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 30:15-16, 18: “In returning and rest you will be saved; in quietness and trust will be your strength…The LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion…blessed are all who wait for him!” Psalm 23:”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…You restore my soul…You are with me…my cup overflows…surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 25: “None who wait for you will be put to shame…He leads the humble…he teaches the humble his way.” Psalm 31: “Oh, how abundant is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you…Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” Psalm 34, Psalm 84, Psalm 139…so many passages met me and helped me battle the fear and pain.
My doctor came in around 8am to check on me, and was surprised to find out I did not get the cervadil as he expected. (It probably would have sped up our day considerably. Oh well. We we’re not that happy about it, and neither was our doctor it seemed…) Still 1 1/2 cm. The plan was to break my water and let me labor on my own…but little lady was too wiggly and small and my water wouldn’t break. They started me on a low does of pitocin and let me labor on my own. Things were going pretty well. I was working with the contractions, staying in a peaceful place and enjoying the pitter patter of the rain coming down outside. Elle came to visit us around 10am. She had a hard time with me not being able to hold her and be with her like before. As much as I tried not to let it stress me at all, it totally messed up my contraction rhythm. They upped my dose a bit more after that and things progressed again. In my heart, I was afraid of not progressing at all and needing a c-section. I also really wanted to be able to labor on my own without the epidural. Labor has so many unknowns. What if my water would never break? It was hard not to let a million other worries enter my mind. Around that time the Lord spoke so clearly to my heart and reminded me of 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”
I knew the day was already a gift, regardless of its end. God, so gracious and so full of mercy, was pouring Himself out into my heart. He was next to me. He was speaking to me. I won’t forget it as long as I live. All the pain, fear, wounds from pruning and attacks from the enemy on my heart I had faced in the past few weeks melted into his peace, peace that passes all understanding. I truly didn’t deserve it. What a gift.
Around 2pm (I can’t quite remember) our doctor came in to check me again. Still about the same. Maybe 2cm. But after trying several times, he was able to break my water! I was so thankful. Finally, we could hopefully get things going. And they did. I started feeling the more intense pain like I did the times we came to the hospital in the previous days. But pitocin contractions make them come much closer together. I wasn’t able to read much by this point without breaks, so I sang through the contractions to the beautiful scripture-lyrics of Shane & Shane. It felt beautiful, peaceful, somewhat out-of-body to put my mind on the Word instead of being consumed by each wave of pain. In my mind God gave me the imagery of a boat, gently rocked by the waves. He was in my boat. I looked at Him and the sea didn’t seem so tumultuous. I felt His nearness like I have only felt during my years of unexplainable illness in college. I couldn’t describe exactly what the Spirit of God spoke to my heart, but all His Word He had given washed over me…”I know you. I know her. I love you both more than you can know. I know her life, from start to finish. Rest in my purpose and my plan. I know what I’m birthing in you next. I’m not done. Let your heart have quiet trust. Settle into my power, love and self-control. Put your mind on me and you will see my work. Wait on me. Trust in me. I am giving you something beautiful from my hand.” For 2 hours I sang when every contraction hit and found such a special place of peace in the Lord. And I saw His beauty in a new way.
Around 4 they checked me again. 4 cm. The pitocin would need to be upped from 8. As much as I wanted to labor on my own, I knew I needed the epidural. I knew that it could still be a long time until push, and was already starting to lose feeling in my legs from the pain and shakes. I wanted to be able to feel to push my baby out and also didn’t want to slow my labor by getting the meds, but my body was already so exhausted. I felt peace in the decision. In the next hour it took to get the anesthesiologist to the room, the pain doubled and the contractions came less than a minute a part. My voice was too horse to sing anymore. I thanked God for making that call so easy and giving me the strength to make it that far on my own. This is the part I feel like was a gift upon a gift from the Lord. One of the reasons I didn’t want an epidural was that I couldn’t feel ANYTHING when I got it with Elle. Well, this time I could still feel my legs, and move the left one. I could feel the contractions more than the last time as well. It hurt, but wasn’t scream-my-head-off-painful. Some made me stop and breathe through until they passed. I was so glad to be able to feel some. All I could do was thank God for that gift! I don’t remember much from 6-8pm besides letting my body rest and enjoying the few visits from my sister and doing a FaceTime chat with Elle. The rain kept gently coming down. Everything was peaceful.
They checked me around 8 pm and we were up to 6cm. We all guessed how long it would take to make it to baby time. All the staff and doctor guessed 10pm or later. The doctor joked that 8:30 would be fine too. The new nurse had me lay on my side for 30 minutes and by time she came to switch me to the other, I felt different. She left saying, “If you feel the urge to push, let me know.” The next contraction hit and I said, “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! That is lots of pressure!” Jonathan asked if I needed the nurse and I told him we’d see what the next few did. He went to the bathroom and just as he closed the door the next one hit. “OH MY GOODNESS! OH MY GOODNESS! GET THE NURSE! SHE IS COMING!” All of the sudden I FELT her. I FELT the urge to push. My sister ran out to the desk, and as soon as the nurse looked she said, “There she is! She’s coming now!” It felt a little like a circus as everyone wheeled in and the doctor suited up and arranged his tools. It was about 8:35 pm. It felt like an eternity before they were ready for me to start pushing. I felt every contraction. I could feel my legs when pushing. I felt all the pressure. I felt her head leave my body and my head hit the pillow in relief! By 8:41 pm, our girl was BORN! The moment I saw her, I still felt everything. She looked like Jonathan and I cried a little. It was OVER. She was HERE. She was BEAUTIFUL. And I felt it. It She is such gift.
We waited until we saw her to decide her name for sure. As soon as I saw all her dark hair, I knew. Genevieve Morgan. She has part of both our names. Jennifer and Genevieve have the same root and Morgan is Jonathan’s middle name. Perfect. I dreamt she’s look just like she does, with dark hair and completion and deep blue eyes. (Her eyes are still not quite for certain yet, but I just know they’ll be deep blue like the peaceful depths of the ocean. And Morgan means “by the sea.”)
My beautiful, beautiful girl!
Elle came in and her reaction was better than any dream. I hope the link works below, because I could watch it a million times.
We had everyone come in before they moved us to our room and it was so beautifully joyous and calm. What a sweet night. Elle was born on a bright and sunny afternoon, and Genevieve on a peaceful, rainy evening. God knew the reality of who they were and even the day they were born spoke of who He was crafting them to be. I have never felt more peace in my entire life than I have since the moment of her birth. Even our stay at the hospital was calm and peaceful for the next few days. With Elle it was a rush and a blur and we didn’t get much rest. With Genevieve nothing felt stressful and we actually napped some! She was immediately so different from Elle, calm and easygoing.
Genevieve, you have such a special purpose – formed in the heart of God before your days came to be. One day I’ll tell you this story and all that God did on the day you were born. And that is just the very beginning of how He’ll use your sweet life! You have been prayed for, longed for and loved in my heart for a long time. Now that you’re here we are smitten! We pray over you that your life will be one of peace, that you will bring peace wherever you go and that God will allow you to be a woman of strength as you settle into a life of resting in God’s power and love.
Taking our precious gift home…and life will never be the same.