The Best of the Story

I kept having this feeling like I hadn’t written Baby Gray’s birth story. A week or so ago, I went back and looked, and I did. I did write part of his birth story. I didn’t write it all, though. I didn’t write everything I needed to say. I didn’t write the part that other expectant moms needed to hear. I only wrote the pretty parts–the parts I was comfortable with at the time.

See, I had a plan (imagine that, me with a plan). I heard people’s voices telling me to be open minded. I heard them say that God had already written Baby Gray’s birth story. I heard all those things. I didn’t listen, though, because I had a plan: Mr. Gray would drive me to the hospital; we would arrive and breeze on in since we were pre-registered; I would labor for an uncertain amount of time with no medicine until the happy, healthy arrival of our (then-unnamed) son.

I don’t honestly even know why the no medicine thing was so big for me. I am not necessarily anti-medicine in any other situation, except headaches because acupuncture works better. I just had my heart set on a labor and delivery without an epidural. Mr. Gray and I read and talked beforehand and decided that maybe the IV meds would be okay, but we’d play it by ear. From all that I had read, it seemed like the best option.

From my original post: 

I woke up last Saturday (the 25th) with a few contractions, but didn’t think much of it. They were sporadic and not too intense. We went to breakfast with friends, checked out a few things at Best Buy & Sam’s, and headed home to watch t.u. get beat by UCLA. (WHOOP!) 

Even though I wasn’t sure the contractions were the “real thing” I called Annie and let her know what was going on (she’s 5+ hours away). She headed our direction, so after she got here we went to eat with T-Paw. I had been timing contractions off and on all day, and by the time we were done with dinner, they were about five minutes apart and more intense than they had been. Mr. Gray & I decided it was time to head to hospital. We got checked in about 7:30 or 8:00 Saturday evening, and spent the next 18 or 19 hours waiting for our precious arrival.

All of that is true and correct. My contractions began between 4:00 and 5:00 Saturday morning and it was quite some time before we met our sweet boy. It’s some of the in-between that I chose to leave out. I hadn’t come to peace with it yet. Times are blurry past that initial check in (which was a breeze, just like I planned) and the arrival of Baby Gray. 

Sometime in the middle of the night, Mr. Gray and I were trying to get some rest since I wasn’t progressing much. Contractions were regular and enough that they were keeping me from sleeping, but progress was almost non-existent. We knew there would still be quite a while before Baby Gray made his debut. We talked about it and decided to go with the IV meds to try and cut some of the sharpness of the contractions so I could sleep a little.

They administered the medication, and I don’t remember any real relief. I was able to walk around, change positions, breathe through contractions, and not be miserable, but that was all happening before the medicine. I still wasn’t able to sleep. I sat; I laid; I hobbled around the room. Mr. Gray slept a little. At some point, though, my contractions started coming about a minute and a half apart, and I was falling asleep in the meantime. I was sleeping in 90 second intervals. Seriously. In full-on labor. The pain was not better but that sleep was crazy. I didn’t think much of it at the time; I blamed it on being up since around four that morning (it was the wee hours of the next night/morning by now). I thought I was just exhausted. Mr. Gray watched the monitor like a hawk and prepared me each time a contraction was coming. I’d wake up, breathe through it, and then crash (we found out way later that others have been known to react to the IV drugs with that type of sleep as well). I still wasn’t progressing, though. 

We had a little incident where I needed some oxygen; I can’t remember the details.

Around 7:00 am, they began talking about breaking my water and administering Pitocin to speed things along. I knew it was time to pray through an epidural. I was exhausted. Mr. Gray was exhausted. We still had quite some while before our sweet boy would actually be arriving. We prayed and talked and decided to get the epidural. The nurse was incredibly encouraging and continued to speak life into me and encourage me to continue with my plan for a little while longer. I told her I couldn’t do it. 

I felt defeated. I felt like such a failure–a complete and utter failure. My body was made to deliver a baby. God created me that way, and I couldn’t do it. The anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. To my relief (and Mr. Gray’s dismay) he noticed Mr. Gray’s Aggie shirt and began talking football with us. It was a much-needed distraction (it scared Mr. Gray since he wasn’t sure he was paying attention to the epidural). I had relief in just a few short moments. I was able to sleep for several hours as labor continued. Mr. Gray was able to sleep. My body was able to work while we rested up for Baby Gray’s debut. Even though the rest was nice, I still felt like I had given up. I don’t know how long passed before it was time to push, but the rest of the labor and delivery was smooth and brought us a happy, healthy 9 pound, 4 ounce baby boy at 2:27 pm. 

I remember telling my friends how disappointed I was when they came in to visit at the hospital. Somehow, I had lost sight of the miracle and the story God had written and put so much weight on my plan. It took me a very long time to let go of the feeling that I had failed. Truth be told, our birth story was beautiful. We were all rested, happy, and ready to meet when the timing was right. God’s hands were all over our story, I just wasn’t letting them be. I had failed based on measures I had created, not standards He had for me. God’s already got the perfect birth story for each of us. He knows how His children will enter the world. I did not fail. Baby Gray came into peaceful, rested, loving arms, and it was perfect

And, in the words of the great Paul Harvey, that is the rest of the story. 


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