Many have asked about labor and how Nathan came so I will attempt to jot it down now.
Everything began Tuesday evening, April 12. My day was a normal one. I picked up the house and rested a lot throughout the day. At around 6 p.m. my water broke. At the time, however, I wasn't so sure. It wasn't like I had expected it to be. I called my Mom. I called my Doctor. Both said the same thing - "watch it closely for a while." So I did. Grant and I got ready and headed to a revival service in a nearby town. It was hard to concentrate throughout the singing and preaching and by the end of the service, I was pretty sure my water had, indeed, broken! So I called my Doctor again and explained everything I had experienced in the past two hours. I was told to come in for a check, but it sounded like I was beginning the labor process. So Grant and I grabbed our bags and headed to Little Rock.
Once we got to the hospital, I was checked and found out - to my surprise (even though I somewhat expected it) - that my water was broken and that I was dilated to 3 cm. Contractions started immediately and began coming at 3-6 minutes apart, each one not lasting very long. By then it was 10:30 p.m. and so we settled in for a long night.....and a long night it was! I was up all night in active labor with contractions, which soon began getting very intense and causing extreme pain in my lower back. For hours we tried different positions to relieve the pain, we tried a warm bath, hot towels, etc. Though it helped for a time, after a while the contractions were too intense. At 5 a.m. I was dilated to 5 cm and my back pains were almost unbearable. By 7 a.m. I decided that I needed an Epidural. I found out, later, that I would have had to have had one eventually anyway due to small complications. After I was given pain meds, my contractions were less intense and my back pain was gone, which gave me some time to rest a little.
It was estimated by the nurses that at the rate I was going, I would probably deliver around noon. This excited me! Unfortunately, though, I wouldn't.
By 10 a.m. I was dilated to 8 cm and Grant's and my family were there, anxiously waiting with us.
Then at 11:45 a.m. I was told that I dilated to 10 and should begin pushing. So push I did. Nathan's head was seen but he moved so slowly that, after a little while, I was told to sit up, allowing gravity to move him down more. We would push again later. At 12:30 p.m. I began pushing again and pushed for over an hour with little progress. Rinse and repeat.
By 2:30 I was getting tired and frustrated. I couldn't understand what was holding him up inside or why my pushing wasn't making that big of a difference. Just when I felt too tired to stay awake, I felt a surge of energy and adrenaline shoot through my body. I know, without a doubt, that someone was praying for me at that time. So we kept pushing and, funny as it sounds, we were able to laugh in between contractions. Though I was still frustrated and confused, I was still able to enjoy the process and laugh...even though it was painful and exhausting.
By 4 p.m. it was beginning to get very intense. We were approaching the 24 hour mark since my water had broken and Nathan needed to come out. The problem was that he was moving too slowly down the birth canal, and we couldn't figure out why. We tried to turn him, putting myself in as many positions we could think of. After exhausting nearly all our options, my doctor told me she would try one more thing to get him out. If it didn't work, I would need surgery. I remember the moment when she getting ready to use the last option on the list before a c-section became vital. I was scared, exhausted, and a part of me felt defeated. But right before she began, my husband called for prayer. My doctor, my amazing nurse who had spent all day by side, my mom, and myself all bowed our heads and he prayed for Nathan to come out healthy, whole, and naturally with no surgery needed. As a contraction began, I pushed with, literally, a supernatural strength....and he was born! After 23 hours of labor, I heard my son cry and I felt something well up inside me that I still can't explain. He was here! We found out that the umbilical chord had been wrapped around his neck, making his way out unbelievably slow. It explained why it took all day to move him down the birth canal. But, praise be to God, it was not wrapped tight and he was born in perfect condition!
I had some mild complications, but I am healing and doing well. I am just thankful that little Nathan is here! He is healthy, strong, and has the sweetest disposition. He was alert right away and is very laid back and mellow. Grant and I are completely in love with him!
I want to thank everyone who was in prayer for me during labor. It was very intense and there were moments when I didn't think I could do any more. There were moments when I didn't think I would make it. But I have come to a better understanding of God's strength. It IS made perfect in weakness. He is faithful and He truly does give good and perfect gifts!
Nathan lives up to his name - "gift of God." What a gift he is!