Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Birth Story

Andrew Luke is now 10 days old, even though we are not quite to his due date of April 17.

Are you ready for his birth story?

Last Saturday we went to Margaret's lacrosse game. I was almost 38 weeks pregnant. This picture was taken a week or so earlier, but you get the idea.

 My feet were ready to POP.

Later that night, we attended a birthday celebration for our friend who passed away in December. We headed home around 10:30 in a crazy wind storm, and I eventually went down to my twin mattress on the floor of the basement, the only place that has felt comfy for me in a while.

During one of many night-time bathroom breaks, I felt my way up the stairs in the dark and realized the electricity was out because of the wind.

Still 2 weeks from my due date, but feeling "ready" and having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, I decided it was probably a bad idea to give birth alone in a basement with no electricity. Therefore, I slowly made my way up to Tim's and my bedroom in the dark and got an hour or two of sleep.

As soon as I stood up on Sunday morning, I felt a huge gush of water, as if someone had dropped two watermelons full of liquid on the floor at my feet.

It was GO TIME.

I called out to Tim, "The baby's coming!" and made myself a makeshift diaper out of towel, trying to figure out how to get dressed with the water still pouring out. I found an adult diaper, quickly got dressed, grabbed my bag, and we headed downstairs. Little did I know I'd be wearing adult diapers for the next week, maybe longer.

Our friend Jenn showed up within 10 minutes to take care of Margaret and the dogs, and we were off!

Sunday morning traffic meant we got to the hospital in only 20 minutes. I will say that Tim backed up a tad on the exit ramp of the highway when he missed a turn. Nerves. We pulled up at the hospital and he started pulling into the parking garage. I looked down at my enormous girth and said, "Nope. Nope. Drop me off." We pulled up to the hospital entrance, got waved in by attendants who let us leave our car there, and headed to triage.

At this point we had left a message with the OB's office, and we wondered which doc would be on call on a Sunday morning. The hospital was eerily quiet and felt deserted.

We still didn't know whether the baby had gone back to breech position in the past few days, and whether I would need to have a c-section.  Because my water had broken, and the clock was ticking, it was important to see if he was breech because otherwise his cord could have come out first, which is very dangerous. The triage nurse decided to check me. It felt like she was so far up in there that she was scraping my eyeballs. Boy, did that hurt, but the baby's head was down! This would likely be a vaginal birth, and the cord was NOT hanging out!

I thanked the baby for being so obliging to stay head down, and for having my water break, which is the golden ticket into the hospital instead of laboring and waiting at home, which would have made me very nervous since we were so far from the hospital.

After a while in triage, with Cindy Crawford's gorgeous 48 year old self soundlessly hawking moisturizer on the tv on the wall, we got moved up to L&D.

Happy Face:
 Worried Face:

The adorably pregnant nurse was named Andrea, so I told her if she did a great job, we would name the baby after her. Hee Hee! Andrea...Andrew, get it?

I felt no pain or contractions at all, but was going on the belief that once things got moving, they would get moving fast, only because that's how it was with Jack and Margaret. Before long, my sister arrived from 2 hours away. I didn't ask how fast she'd driven. I worked on a crossword puzzle while Tim watched some baseball on tv.

It was not lost on us that we were having a baby on Opening Day of Baseball Season, something Jack would have LOVED.

Even though I wasn't in pain, I got my epidural as soon as the anesthesiologist was available, and I'm so glad I did! As soon as they started the pitocin, to move the labor along, things did, indeed proceed quickly. The doc checked on me and I wasn't dilated much, so she said, "See you in 2 hours." I looked at Tim and my sister and mouthed, "It's not going to be two hours."

So true.

Bam, bam, bam the contractions picked up! At some point, the nurses became concerned because the baby's heart rate kept dropping, yet I wasn't having contractions. I could feel that I really WAS having contractions, so I had Tim time them for me. Turns out the sensors on my belly were faulty and were not registering the contractions. Once they figured that out, it was less stressful because it's not unusual for a baby's heart rate to drop during a contraction.

Whew!

As I predicted, within just a few minutes of the doctor leaving, the nurse called her back to prep for delivery. I was fully dilated, in pain, and convinced I was going to poop all over the place. "This is going to be a real shit show," I said, warning Tim and my sis. I squeezed their hands hard and braced myself both for a small amount of humiliation/diarrhea and a large amount of joy.

The doc told me to push, and the good news is that the the poop was really a beautiful baby. Three quick pushes and he was out!






No longer could I be in denial about being pregnant or about having a baby at 46. It was real! My body did it! It felt as familiar as it had the first time, 17 years ago.

They put beautiful Andrew Luke on my chest.

We broke generations of tradition on both sides of the family and gave him a middle name that is not a family last name. We just knew that LUKE was perfect because of Jack's favorite Bible verse,  Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God." I love that this verse is about Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus. It put her in a very difficult position, but she met her circumstances with acceptance and grace.

I'm not saying that as long as we are "with God," He gives us what we want. Frankly,  I know too many people whose yearnings and greatest desires are not met in this lifetime. But I do know that for a family whose very survival was in doubt, this little baby is a beautiful reminder of hope out of despair and beauty from ashes. What would have seemed impossible, even a little C-RAZY to us, is indeed where we are today. And we are so grateful as we honor what was, and live into what IS and is to come.



109 comments:

Megan said...

Thank you for sharing this awesome birth story. I love how you chose his middle name. Big hugs and congratulations, Anna!

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting to hear your story! I thought that Tim and Margaret were gone to Tim's parent's anniversary party and were out of town when your water broke! I'm so glad that everything went well, Andrew is an absolutely GORGEOUS baby and his middle name Luke is absolutely perfect! Congratuations to all of you.

Mags said...

What a beautiful blessing for you and your family, Anna! Congratulations on the arrival of Andrew! Welcome to the world, kid! :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story and even more beautiful baby boy! Congratulations and blessings!

Elizabeth Ryan said...

thanks be that you have a beautiful baby boy to love <3

Alison said...

Gorgeous Andrew. You are so loved already.
Love you too Anna!xo

Anonymous said...

That sounds so much like my first birth! Water breaking, pitocin followed by mega fast delivery! Congratulations with all my heart on your seriously beautiful son đź’– Anna

Unknown said...

your story reminded me of what an Aunt told me when I was having my son. She said it was just like you were constipated for months and then pooped a watermelon!

I am so happy for all of you! I so look forward to hearing all the stories of Andrew as he grows up! Looking forward to a family portrait!

He is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I love this in so many ways. You have bolstered my faith in a way that comes along only once in a generation. May God continue to bless you, Tim, Margaret, Andrew and Jack.

Sandy Johnson said...

So excited to finally hear the details. So grateful to hear that things went generally very well. Can I come over and hold him now? I'm available 24/7. Just need to book a flight from California! :) wishing you all the very best.

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing! You look so amazing in labor and just 10 days after! Andrew is precious and you are my shero for posting that pic of your feet. You are my shero for leaving the couch with feet that swollen. I seriously can't believe they are attached to that skinny body of yours!

Veronica said...

I'm crying and laughing at the same time!! Your story is so much like my birth with Garrett. A storm was coming in and POP!!! My water burst. He's the only one who popped my water. I just love your family and am so happy for you (and might I add, just a tiny bit happy jealous!!) <3

Sue Karcher Roberts said...

Anna, Only you could tell this so perfect! You had me laughing.. I'm sure many mother's were right back there with you as we all read your story! He is beautiful!
Congratulations to you all!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! He's beautiful! So very happy for you and your family! Welcome to the world, Andrew Luke!

Jennifer said...

He is beautiful. Rejoicing with you and thankful that you bravely share your story!

Anonymous said...

You are such a wonderful Mom and writer. This job was your calling. I personally loved the pictures of the feet (mine grew a size larger and I remember them swelling). I'm so glad you didn't have to go the full 40 weeks and even the pregnant nurse Andrea shows that God does have a sense of humor. I am so happy for your family and the wonderful little miracle of Andrew Luke. I'm glad you broke from tradition and did your own thing. Many blessings and as the Irish say a thousand welcomes to your precious baby boy. Great job Momma and we all know, it ain't easy! lol Loved your worried and happy face. Rest up and enjoy!

Natty said...

You have me laughing and crying all at once. What a beautiful miracle he is. And mama, I'm so sorry about those feet. Mine do the same when I'm pregnant and are even worse the first couple of weeks after giving birth. He is so beautiful!

Erica said...

Could he be any more PERFECT!!! He is absolutely PERFECT!! The Lord was all over this from top to bottom and a very special Big Brother as well!!! God Bless Andrew Luke and your family! What a beautiful miracle and gift!! Praise the Lord!

Lynnee said...

He is absolutely beautiful! Enjoy every "little" moment. I am delighted for all of you. God is so good! Thank you for sharing your story, all of your stories.

Peggy said...

He's just perfect and beautiful! I can't wait for more pictures! Congratulations!

Nicole said...

Aw, congratulations again. :) He's adorable! I'm sure Jack is smiling and I'll bet Margaret is head over heels. My daughter has 2 very much older brothers and they adore her. It's great having the differences in ages and seeing how much love pours out of the older ones to the youngest.

Anonymous said...

My gosh that is a beautiful baby!! Congratulations to all of you!

Mary Ellen said...

I am so happy for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your life with us eager readers, your honesty is so valued. Congratulations, Andrew Luke is one lucky boy!

Joyce said...

Beautiful story, and oh, what a sweet, little boy you have! He is so much like Jack and Margaret. xo

lisa wojeski said...

Beautiful!

Sara said...

he is soooooo cute!!! so so happy for you all! the picture of you and your husband made me cry...happy tears of course

Alison Gerson said...

Congratulations! Your story is a parallel to mine, down to the birth. My 8 year old son, Owen, died in a rafting accident in 2008, and 5 years later, at 47, I found myself pregnant (surprise!). We now have a beautiful and much cherished 2 1/2 year old son (I will be 50 on Tuesday), as well as a 19 year old son. Thank you for sharing your journey. The birth of my son did not diminish my heartache, but it has brought us joy that we thought would never return.

Lola said...

What a beautiful baby, thanks for sharing your news and the story. Wishing you and praying for the absolute best for all of you!! Much love from the UK

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Absolutely beautiful! That picture of him with his arm up and the intense look from his eyes in the other picture remind me of pictures you've shared of Jack. Opening day of baseball, his middle name -- all is perfection.
Congratulations on your dearly precious miracle baby!

Greta @gfunkified said...

Sigh. It's all so perfect, just like that beautiful baby.

Ann Campbel said...

Perfection.

Gigi said...

He's absolutely beautiful! Congratulations to you and the family.

Michele from IL said...

He is BEAUTIFUL! What a blessing! Congratulations!

Jill said...

You do realize that is the most beautiful baby ever? Seriously. I love the middle name. I see Jack's verse all the time and always think of him.

Jane said...

Been wondering how all is going with you...our dear son died 6 years ago and our daughter is due with her first baby in June...There is hope and love in our lives...xoxoxxooxox


MLP said...

Big congratulations! Couldn't be happier for you and yours.

Heidi Cave said...

Sooo happy for you!! All of you. How precious and freakin adorable is he??!! Hugs to you.

Rose said...

Congratulations! An absolutely beautiful story - thank you for sharing it with us. It brought tears to me eyes! Andrew is so handsome!

Mary said...

I am so choked up reading this beautiful story and seeing photos of your gorgeous baby. Congratulations!

Judith said...

So very happy for you all!! Thanks for sharing everything through the years. I wish you, Tim, Margaret and Andrew great joy. He is a beautiful boy. And I believe that Jack met Andrew even before you did and that he is thrilled to have a brother. Blessed be, Momma!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Welcome Andrew Luke! I'm coming to see you soon! Oh yeah, and you too Anna. xoxo

Devany LeDrew said...

He's so bright eyed! Beautiful! As with everything, thanks for sharing!

Dawn said...

He is beautiful. Love the story of his name. So happy for you all.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, do you and Tim make beautiful babies!!!

Kim said...


He is adorable. Congratulations!!!

Lady Courtney said...

I don't comment often, but I have to tell you how much joy is in my heart for all of you, Jack included, his baby brother. God bless all of you!!! Andrew is absolutely adorable! And you are just glowing. (and yes I was hooked to FB to see your posts)

Jamie Reese said...

❤️❤️❤️

Ashley said...

So happy for you and your beautiful family!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna! What a beautiful boy (just like his big brother). Welcome to the world Andrew Luke.

Much love from Canada!

Janet

Anonymous said...

Beautiful birth story. Thanks so much for sharing. Anna!!! He is a gorgeous baby boy. He is definitely going to favor Jack..Dark eyes, hair, cowlick, ....Love and hugs to you all. Cindy

Anonymous said...

Are you sure he is only 10 days old? He is EXQUISITELY HANDSOME. I don't say that about every baby :) Congratulations, feeling so much love and happiness for you, Tim, Margaret and Jack.

Jessica Watson said...

Oh this is beautiful. I'm all teary eyed. I couldn't be happier for you Anna. Sending so much love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I have been checking daily for the birth story! It made me laugh and my eyes tear. I am so happy (and relieved) baby and Mommy are well. He is beautiful and so is your story. Look forward to hearing more about Andrew and what God has planned for the next chapter in your family's story!

Pat Todd said...

Most beautiful baby boy I have seen in years. Congratulations. You are going to love this part of the journey. Its your time for joy!!!!

Erin Brady said...

You had me sobbing at "opening day of baseball season." From someone who prayed for your broken heart so many quiet mornings on my drive to work....I am so happy for your GORGEOUS new addition. I will still pray for you on my drives in the morning but now, I will be praying for good rest, no colic and a speedy recovery.

Ali said...

OH MY GOODNESS. He is so so so so so so so cute!!!!! What a wonderful birth story!!! Thanks for sharing :)

Brittany..Following my Bliss said...

Congrats on your beautiful son!!

lacachet said...

He's just beautiful--so, so happy for you, your husband and daughter!

Lisa said...

So beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations.

Fiona said...

Wow...just wow! Such a beautiful baby - I can't get over that knowing little face. He is so beautiful. What an amazing way things can work out in this lifetime. Wishing you have every possible happiness. x

Anonymous said...

He is spectacular!!! What a blessing.

Amanda M. said...

Love love love yoyr story, your honesty, your realness, everything. Thank you for sharing. ❤

Michelle DeRusha said...

Sighing with joy and contentment over here. And the middle name, Luke, for Jack's verse. That is simply perfect. So, so happy for you guys. And I've never seen a more radiant pregnant woman or woman IN LABOR - what the heck is that all about?! Way to go, Anna. Love you, girl.

julie gardner said...

He is precious beyond words.
I'm so happy for you all.

Kristin said...

Amazing! If this beautiful little boy isn't proof of miracles, I don't know what is. Sending so much love to your family. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It has changed so many people's lives for the better.

Alicia said...

I loved reading this! He is beautiful! Congratulations! (I've been following your blog since I read your book in the fall. Many thanks.)

Anonymous said...

Ohmygosh, he is just soooo cute! Thanks for the story. I love birth stories and used to watch that show, was it called 'birth story' way back when I was going through pregnancies. I especially loved the 'water' part. I never had my water break prior to delivery and I am always fascinated by that--ha! So happy for you and your family! XO, NoVa Mom Jen

Kierstin said...

This made me tear up :). So beautifully said! Your precious Andrew is just gorgeously perfect and you look beautiful. Congratulations! I'm so happy for your family of 5. Xo

angela said...

Oh Anna, what a beautiful birth story! I am so glad it went well for you. I love the story of his middle name (and the Opening Day story).

Eliza said...

Bright eyed, gorgeous little thing... I'm swooning. So happy for you all... LOVE AND HUGS!!!

Corinne said...

So, I have to be honest that I'm usually the person who will tell a new Mom that her tiny, wrinkly and kind of hairy baby is "so cute!" But, seriously, in your case... MAN THAT IS A CUTE BABY! He's so handsome!!! Congratulations on a safe and quick delivery. I hope you're weathering the hormonal roller coaster of newborn-ness well.

Shellie said...

Omgoodness, you did it! God bless you, Andrew and your family.
This brings tears to my eyes with joy for you.
Amazing how through this anonymous thing that is internet that we can connect and feel the joy (and sorrows) of others.
I am sure Jack is smiling upon your family and his new little brother.
Blessings and peace to you all! Now get some sleep while you can!
xoxox

Vickie said...

He is soooo beautiful!!!! Congratulations to the entire family!!!

heather blair said...

Opening day...heart hug.
So happy for you all. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful, sweet baby!!

Allison said...

Such a darling baby! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU!

Reenie said...

Oh goodness.... he's adorable. Congrats to you all.

xo

Samantha Amidon said...

Oh my goodness, he's so perfect! Congratulations

Michele Wood said...

Congratulations! he is beautiful. Glad that all went well with the delivery too!

Julie said...

Love this! You made me laugh & cry all in 1 post. :) Wishing you all nothing but the best. Enjoy your new little blessing. xo

www.robinbotie.com said...

I love your birth story. And Andrew Luke is Beautiful! Thank you so much for bringing this beauty into the world and "sharing" him. My best wishes to you and Andrew and Tim and Margaret. And always - to Jack.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful baby. Congrats to you all.

Steph said...

Congratulations! Beautiful pictures and that last picture is unbelievably adorable. God bless your precious family.

Esther said...

BEAUTIFUL! The Luke, Mary, and the tie to Jack- I got goosebumps. How exquisite and appropriate.

P Cote said...

Congratulations! He is beautiful and a blessing! So happy for you and your family.

Ann said...

What a touching story! I am truly so happy for you and your family! He is priceless! Congratulations to all of you! God bless!


Ann Munna

Jamie Miles said...

What a little angel. God is so very good. So happy for you all.

Anonymous said...

He's precious! I love birth stories; yay for short and "easy" labors. Best wishes for a transition to a bigger family!

cynthiasolc said...

I love it! Many of God's blessings to your family!

3 Peanuts said...

He is absolutely beautiful. I rarely comment but I found your blog just when your son died. And having two boys around his age made me feel such kinship with you. I have thought of you often and prayed for your family. Andrew is simply darling and such a gift from God. I look forward to your next chapter. And I know Jack is smiling down from heaven.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful eyes!!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when you said you could no longer be in denial that you were having a baby! Yep, it's a real baby, alright, and what a beauty!

Casey Roth said...

Thinking of your family during these rough newborn days and weeks! But what an absolute blessing and I wish you all a lifetime of happiness.

Lisa Ancona-Roach said...

So, so, SO happy for you and your family! Andrew Luke is gorgeous. You are amazing. God's richest blessings to you all.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't know you, your story feels so intimate to me for some reason. I suppose it is how eloquently you have written about the tragedy that befell your family. I am so very happy for all of you to be blessed with this precious little miracle. I am sure Jack is smiling down from heaven and will forever be a guardian to his little brotherđź’™

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I loved reading your birth story. Congratulations on your beautiful baby! I'm so happy and excited for you and your little miracle. xox

Anonymous said...

He is so beautiful! And the photo of the two of you together, the complete joy on your face--what a treasure.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing his birth story. I'm so happy that it moved pretty quickly and what a sweetie pie poop you had!!!

Anonymous said...

He's beautiful. I'm so happy for you. I have a nephew named Andrew, and his only son's name is Luke.
-Long Time Lurker-

Jeanie said...

Truly a beautiful baby. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Anna! Welcome to the "old moms" club! It's a wonderful place to be! <3

the mama bird diaries said...

Just love this story. So happy for you all. xo

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad that his birthday was smooth sailing! Good job to all of you, especially you, Anna! I hope your diapers go away and your ankles go down (eek) and that your cup runneth over. He clearly got the family good looks, this little one. Wow!

love,
jbhat

Karen L. said...

That last picture of little Andrew is just too cute!! Love hearing how it went and will continue to pray for good days ahead as you move through those first weeks of nursing, etc. Love y'all.....K.

Cate said...

So happy for you! He is just adorable.

Kathleen Hall said...

Can't wait to see more photos of that sweet handsome baby boy!!! Also on update on how everyone is adjusting to a baby in the house! :) Isn't it funny how just a little baby can change the routine, life, your days...a blessing. Hope you are getting some sleep!

Kara Shepherd said...

I am in love with birth stories - and I especially love this one. Congrats on Mr. Gorgeous. Praying God's blessings on your family, and that you have space to feel all the feelings that no doubt are flooding you. Why do I have the crazy feeling that a bird will be sitting on your window sill, or chirping at an odd hour? Thank God for ALL the miracles in our lives.

Jennie Goutet said...

I am late, but how I loved reading this story. Tears!!!

Jane said...

I wish you lived next door to me.

erinlovesjolene said...

I'm just catching up! Congratulations to your beautiful family. Andrew Luke is absolutely gorgeous. That face! So much joy and love for you and yours!