Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Month To Remember

Ohhhh what an amazing month it has been! Thank you for your patience in hearing from us! As any of you who have had a baby before know, there are not many spare moments! Speaking of which, Brandon is on his way home from work and Nelson is napping...then we're headed out to B's championship baseball game for the Birmingham Men's League that he has been apart of! All that to say, this may not be the longest post...but thought it would be better than nothing and a good way to go ahead and just start back with posting...as opposed to waiting for the "perfect" moment to fill you in on all the details...cause I have a feeling that's not going to happen! 

SO...to share a taste of what we've been learning! We'll start off by saying...God is good...ALL the time! When people ask how the birth went, we say that it was nothing like what we had pictured and better than we could have pictured...all in the same breath! 

In a nutshell, when we were living in Nashville...the Lord connected us with a "wellness lifestyle" group of friends. That included anything from getting rid of our microwave once and for all, taking a garlic clove for a sore throat, and wanting to have our first child with a midwife...at a home birth if at all possible, and the list goes on...! So when we moved to Birmingham, AL in summer of 2011 and heard that midwives were banned from this state...we realized it would be swimming against the current per say to have a home birth here...so we started looking into birthing in Chattanooga. Since I grew up in Chattanooga, my dear parents were willing to open their home for the birth. So at the beginning of week 38 of my pregnancy, I moved in with mom and dad and Brandon made the commute for work. When I say that our family reminds me of Father of the Bride II, I mean almost every bit of that movie came to life over the past month! "Annie" here moved in with "George" and "Nina" and we had some times we will never forget...priceless memories in every way! Right before I moved up to Chattanooga to prepare for the birth, I started to have some itching...

Long story short...after having three rounds of blood work taken in two weeks...it was on Sunday, August 5 (day before Nelson's due date: August 6) that we got the call from my midwife saying that when your liver enzymes rise at the rate mine were rising - oftentimes you can see them eat up the Vitamin K supply (which helps your body clot) and that could be dangerous if it happened and I was birthing at home because we don't want me to hemorrhage. The entire pregnancy, we had prayed: "Lord, if there is any reason that we should not have this home birth...please show us a red flag"...sure enough, prenatal after prenatal appointment went smoothly and there was no flag...until the very end. So on Sunday, August 5...we were encouraged to go to the hospital to start a slow induction - since this was not an "emergency" at this point...but we did need to encourage my body to go into labor. So we were there on Sunday night, all day Monday, most of the day Tuesday...and at that point I was still only dilated to two centimeters. The amazing doctor and God given nurses were assigned to us straight from the Lord (more on that later...when I get to sit down and type out the whole birth story one day)...and were talking to us about breaking my water and so forth to speed things along. We did not feel comfortable breaking it unless I was at least 4 centimeters...because we were trying to give my body the best opportunity at having a natural delivery with minimal interventions. 

At this point, it felt like I was swimming upstream and had every odd against me. My sleep had been lacking for the past two weeks (due to the itching), we were now in a hospital (had envisioned the entire time being at home), could hear the lady across the hall who was obviously about to deliver WAILING in agony, and it felt like we were at the end of our rope... I will never forget those days with my dear husband and incredible birth coach, Brandon...and our precious friend and doula, Mary. If you've ever been on a mission trip and have instant bonding in a way with the team that you could not have with a friend you've known  your whole life...that was what was taking place in Room 14. An unbelievable bond like no other...not even just with each other...but absolutely HAVING to depend on the Lord with every ounce of our being. I have never felt more out of control in my life - then waiting and praying through these decisions. And something clicked with me in these days...even the times I felt like I was in control...I never was. That was all a false sense. Praise God for showing me that now. 

So to sum it up...it was 7pm on Tuesday, August 7 and the shift change happened with the nurses. Our nurse for the evening was experienced in home deliveries and came in and breathed the biggest breath of LIFE-giving air over me and into our room. She left to go help another patient and I was able to hop in a warm shower. Contractions were coming close together and meanwhile...keep in mind that when I was last checked around 3:30pm that afternoon, I had been 2 centimeters. Not long after the shower, I was breathing through contractions on the birth ball (aka: exercise ball that I could not have labored without)...and whenever a contraction would come on, I would say: PRAISE GOD. Brandon then knew to start timing them and then he or Mary would take shifts and rubbing my back as hard as they could. No joke...at 8:30pm...my water broke...on its own! This was the turning point! The next thing you know, one of them went to get the nurse...she comes back in and checks me and I am rolling along at 7 centimeters! Holy cow!! I was not speaking for a total of three hours because I was so in the zone. It was an experience unlike any other. They are all helping me breath "hee hee HOO"..."hee hee HOO"...and then all of a sudden I am at 9 centimeters and the nurse says she is calling the doctor in now because I am going to be pushing soon. Again, this was all surreal. The dream that we had of having a natural delivery was coming true...all in our hospital room that we had made has "homey" as possible. The doctor comes in and they are all coaching me through the pushing process...letting me know that in the next couple of pushes, I will be holding my baby boy! Sure enough, in a moment I will never be able to put into words...Nelson Caleb Nall came out a healthy beautiful baby boy at 10:54pm...weighing in at 7 lbs, 7 oz...on Tuesday, August 7, 2012! PRAISE GOD! 

We wanted to share this with you to say...the marriage moment of this month has been...plans don't always turn out how you expect! The truth is...when you "delight yourself in the Lord...He will give you the desires of your heart"...Psalm 37:4! The love I have for the Lord, Brandon and Nelson...is deeper than it ever has been! We have learned so much, been through so much together, and still have so much to learn. Each day is a new adventure and when we look into the eyes of our precious boy...we can see the fingerprints of God. He is God's gift to us and for that we are forever grateful. There is so much more to share...so much...but we had to start somewhere. 

Nelson Caleb Nall 
Just as we had to learn to take one contraction at a time...now we are learning to take one moment at a time! There is no "handbook" that comes with how to raise a child...that's for sure! Each parent and child is different and every one has different advice. That we have already seen! We are so thankful to know the Lord and have HIM be the captain of TEAM NALL. Until we get another free moment to post (!!) here is a snapshot of our growing boy! Can't even believe that he is THREE weeks today!!! Thank you beyond words for all of your prayers, words of encouragement, love and support for our family. It's true when they say..."it takes a whole village to raise a child"...thank you for walking this exciting road beside us! Let's enjoy the journey!!!