Monday, November 12, 2012

Susanna's Birth Story - by Daniel

            I know you are all anxious to know how in the world I went to the hospital to have Elisha Neel and came home with Susanna Faith! I decided to let Daniel write her birth story as he has for our other 2 daughters. Enjoy! 

By Daniel:

During the weeks leading up to Susanna’s birth, Lindsay was increasingly becoming more anxious and in pain.  It was difficult keeping a house and homeschooling 4 children while being full term pregnant.  She would ask me, “How am I going to make it another 2 weeks” . . . or whatever the timeframe was.  I would tell her we would make it one day at a time.  Just focus on today, we’ll worry about tomorrow later. 
I was busy with a lot of things.  I’ve got a lot going on at work.  I’m in the middle of the partial basement remodel and getting our house ready to sell.  We’re full force getting out of debt.  I’m selling stuff and taking on extra work when I can.  Lindsay was a real trouper.  I helped as much as I could, but she was on her own a lot. 
We have gone through the whole gamut of plans for pregnancy and birth.  With Isaac, Lindsay had an epidural and all drugs required to ease the experience and Isaac had all the normal immunizations, vitamins and other stuff that the medical community recommends.  James was much the same, except that we cut back on many of the vaccinations.  Grace, we jumped to the complete opposite train of throught and had a home delivery, no drugs whatsoever, no immunizations or other stuff, just an all natural experience.  Mercy, we were back in the hospital, but still an all natural experience. 
After all the pain, discomfort, and hardship Lindsay had endured through the process of being pregnant she was determined that during this birth she would have an epidural.  I was hesitant at first because I really see the value in the all natural experience and I want the best for our kids.  But during our discussion Lindsay asked me, “If you were the one pregnant, would you have an epidural?”  First of all, even if I had the ability, I would not be pregnant.  I may have gotten pregnant once, but after that experience I would have wisened up and not allowed that to ever happen to me again.  All the morning sickness, throwing up, stomach pains, breast pains, delivery pains, having my rear split wide open, etc.  That may have happened to me once, but never, ever, ever, again.  So, yeah, have the epidural. 
Additionally, we decided to try something we had never tried before, an induction.  I was worried about this because I knew that it increased the chances of a C-section or other things going wrong.  But, again, it’s not me going through it so, after many discussions we decided to go through with it.  The induction was scheduled for Tuesday, November the 6th.  About a week prior to the induction, the doctor called Lindsay and informed her that another pregnant woman, who’s needs were greater than Lindsay’s was, going to take our spot on the 6th.  We would be moved to November 9th. 
How illogical, Lindsay thought.  Can they not induce two ladies during the same night?  I tried to gently explain how this would be better.  Because it would be on a Friday, I would have more time off work to be with Lindsay due to having two weekends rather than one.  My explanation did little to help Lindsay and ease her discomforts. 
November the 6th came along and I was busy working and trying to follow the election.  Lindsay called me early in the day and informed me she was having regular contractions.  But later, during a follow up phone call, informed me her contractions had almost gone away.  I came home and worked from home in the early afternoon.  Lindsay was in cleaning mood.  Still no regular contractions, but Lindsay was in pain and had enough of being pregnant.  She called her doctor's office and let them know that sh had been having contractions off and on that day and the nurse told her that she could go get checked if she wanted.  Lindsay started packing her bags for the hospital and putting the house in order for her birth.  I told Lindsay there was no need to load her bags into the suburban.  There were no contractions.  They would surely send her home.  Lindsay informed me that she was not coming home from that hospital until she had a baby.  She was going to do whatever possible to get this labor moving and get the baby out. 
Lindsay took off towards the hospital around 4:30 PM and left me home with the kids.  When she arrived, her doctor was at the nurses’ station in the hospital for another birth.  The hospital staff put Lindsay in a triage room to check her out.  Lindsay was only dilated 1 cm and was not ready to deliver.  They had no clean rooms and were about to send Lindsay home.  But, they did not know how determined Lindsay was to get that baby out of her.  Lindsay informed her doctor just how miserable she was and how miserable being at home waiting on the baby was and how difficult going through her pregnancy with 4 children under 8 was.  A few minutes later, after the doctor pulled some strings and the nurses cleaned a room, Lindsay was moved to a room and preparations for an induction were begun.  I was both surprised and not surprised to hear this news from Lindsay.  Things just miraculously fell into place.  My parents could not get to our house to watch the kids, but Coralee, a young lady who sometimes babysits for us, was at my home minutes after I called her to help with the kids.  I packed up my stuff and headed for the hospital.  Shalene Massie, our friend who is training to be a Doula and was going to observe our birth, arrived at the hospital soon after I did.  Before the induction took place, Lindsay started having regular contractions and dilated to 3 cm.  She most likely would have had the baby on her own; however, prostaglandin gel was still added to speed up the process.  Additionally, Lindsay received her epidural. 
The entire process was calm and relaxed.  We sat in the room watching election results and chatting as the night went along and Lindsay’s labor progressed.  Soon after finding out who our next president would be, we turned off the TV because Lindsay said she was ready to push.  The nurse was surprised.  She had not seen prostaglandin gel work this quickly.  After checking Lindsay, she agreed that Lindsay was fully dilated and ready to go.  Only one problem, because the process was so calm, no one had yet called the doctor and he was still at home.  Lindsay told the nurses the baby was coming, with or without a doctor.  In the next sentence she told me to wash my hands that I was going to have to catch the baby.  My only regret is that I stepped aside and let the more experienced nurses catch the baby.  What a memory it would have been to have delivered my own child! 
Lindsay did not have to push long, right at 2 minutes to be exact.  Lindsay was great!  When the baby came out the nurses exclaimed, “What a beautiful Girl!”
“A Girl?!”  Lindsay gasped.  “Are you sure?  Put her up here so I can see!”  Lindsay was not going to take anyone’s word for it.  She had to confirm for herself. 
What a surprise.  We were expecting to receive a baby boy.  Instead we were blessed with a baby girl.  We were at the hospital with blue cloths, blue blankets, blue bibs, and had not even talked about possible girl names. 
Lindsay was able to enjoy the after birth and spent quite a bit of time with our new, precious, baby girl.  She was born at 1:17 A.M. on November the 7th, and weighed 8 lbs 4.5 oz. and was 21 inches long.  This was the exact weight Isaac was when he was born. 
I did not want to go to bed until we had decided on a name.  The thought of my little girl living a day of her life without a name really bothered me.  Names mean so much to Lindsay and I.  It just felt wrong for any human being to not have a name.  Lindsay and I stayed up well into the morning debating, researching, and bouncing ideas off each other.  It could not be just any name.  It had to be a name that carried meaning for us.  Because we couldn’t decide, we agreed to pray about it and ask God to provide us with a name. 
Almost first thing after we woke up, Lindsay asked me if I liked the name Susanna.  Susanna Wesley was one of Lindsay’s hero’s.  Because of who Susanna Wesley was, her children literally became world changers.  The heritage does not have to be our own.  We claimed this Godly heritage over our little girl.  Additionally, the name Susanna means lily, rose, and joy.  We were certainly full of joy over our little girl and believe that she will bring so much joy to this world.  Some may also remember the picture that I drew for Lindsay, before we were married, for a Valentine’s Day gift.  It showed Lindsay with my arm around her and seven flowers at our feet.  Each flower was meant to symbolize one of our children.  One of those flowers must have been our joyful lily, Susanna.  Even though we did not know, God knew her before she was ever conceived in her mother’s womb.
After agreeing on the name Susanna, I suggested Faith as a middle name, partly because the two names sounded good together, Susanna Faith.  However, the middle name carries meaning to us as well.  This seems to be a period in my and Lindsay’s life that we are really having to have a lot of faith.  I believe that God has healed me of my psoriasis; however, I’m having to have faith because my body is not yet showing the evidence.  I believe that we’re going to very soon be debt free.  But this world seems to be throwing unplanned financial hurdles for our family to get through (a fire at a rental property and no insurance for Susanna’s Birth to name a few).  Additionally, we’re having to have faith that God has a farm out there just waiting for our family to move to it! 

We both quickly agreed on the name.  It had meaning.  It was given to us by God.  We were wonderfully blessed with little Susanna Faith.


Lisa Priest said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

This was wonderful! Thank you!