Generation Cedar

When you are 19 days overdue with your ninth baby, having had contractions on and off for weeks, it’s hard to know (or maybe just to believe) when you are finally in labor.  But after intense prayer on Sunday, at around 2 am, those unmistakable contractions began and remained, confirming that I would not, after all, remain pregnant for the rest of my life.

Aaron and I, so excited to be facing “the day”, got up, brewed coffee and red raspberry tea and read some Psalms together.

After about five hours, we decided to head to the hospital, just because the contractions were getting much stronger, though still around 6 minutes apart.

And as my history goes, once in the car, they spread out again. But once we arrived at the hospital and I started walking, they resumed.

My brother and his wife had come to visit from CO, thinking by the first of April I would have recovered from having my baby 😉 Instead, they rode with us to the hospital and got to share Jax’s entrance with us!

My two aunts had also come with my mother (he was so anticipated!) so we had quite a room full of people for a little while.

I had already decided that I wanted an epidural, but I wanted it later in labor so as not to risk stalling things.  I was 5 cm and contractions getting stronger when I arrived at the hospital and I labored until I was 8 cm and then asked for the epi.

The doctor asked me if he could break my water because of the high risk of meconium since I was so overdue.  I allowed it because that was a concern of mine too.  All was clear.

The epi only worked on one side, so I later got a boost.  The boost was wonderful except that when they asked me to push I started laughing….”I can’t push.”  So I performed what I could only tell was the act of squeezing my eyes shut really tight, but somehow I was pushing just fine.

Three pushes and that 9 lb. 12 oz boy was out!

Witnesses to the birth all agreed that after my natural birth with Ellia I was much “happier” and was able to enjoy the baby more this time right after he was born.  I realize that is probably not the norm, and I want to emphasize that I hold natural birth in high regard, it just wasn’t for me this time.

He was wide awake and bright eyed when they laid him on my chest and he even attempted to lift his head.  I was so impressed with the nurses that assisted me in that instead of insisting he lay under the warmer, they immediately brought him after his stats and told me to warm him “skin on skin”. The staff were very accommodating to all our requests and we did not encounter any opposition at all…an answer to prayer.

It was about an hour after his birth that I began to feel faint and told the nurse. She laid my bed down and I drank some Sprite.  It didn’t help. At this point they were bathing the baby and everyone else was just sort of talking and then I waved to get my mom’s attention….“I’m fainting and I just wanted y’all to know”.

She told the nurses and then they came to check my blood pressure when they found it had dropped to 60/30.  She didn’t announce that out loud, she just said, “OK, let me go get some other nurses.”

Two other nurses came in and the three of them began to massage pulverize my belly.  I would have thought the epidural would prevent me from feeling that but hands down, that procedure was worse than any labor pains I had that day.  It was at that point that I heard one whisper what my blood pressure was.

Aaron had ducked behind a curtain by then because he was getting sick, and my mom stood with me holding my hand.  It was a feeling of drifting away and I was so afraid I was not coming back.  I was trying to find the words/energy/concentration to call to Aaron and I couldn’t.  I remember praying…”Lord, please let them save me…Lord, if I die, please comfort my children….” I whispered once to my Mom, “I don’t want to go”. (My mom is still recovering ;-))

Perhaps I wasn’t in quite as much danger as I felt, or at least not yet, but the feeling was all the same.  They finally got my blood pressure back up and I returned to a normal state of consciousness.

Without going into gory detail, apparently there was a great deal of “matter” that needed to be expelled that was preventing the cervix from “clamping down”.  Once that was solved, the bleeding stopped.

My friend teased me that since I didn’t go natural, I needed some drama, so there ya go.

All in all, a pretty easy and beautiful delivery.  Recovery has been quite different, probably a combination of the intense massage and the big baby, but I’ve got a fabulous servant-hearted husband and children who make it easy to rest.

The Lord has been so gracious, teaching me to wait on Him to trust in Him and to depend on Him when I can do nothing.  I praise Him with all my heart for showing forth His glory in every detail of this pregnancy and delivery, for bringing forth friends like you as well as in the flesh who have poured out love and encouragement.

I can’t say enough about my church family who is now showering us with food after our friend stayed for weeks and helped with the meals, cleaning and children.  The Body has truly come alive for us and revealed God’s heart in a way we will never forget.

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59 Responses

  1. I am so excited for all of you – and I’m so glad everyone is healthy.

    God moves so large through such little people – you can just see him through Jax’s eyes, so big and serious. Bless you, sweet friend.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the birth story! Jax is just gorgeous. What a wonderful addition to your family. You are very blessed indeed. I hemorrhaged with my sixth.and had to have meds to stop the bleeding…two shots I believe. That baby was 9 lbs 6 ounces. No problems after baby seven or eight..baby .8 being 9 lbs 11 ounces. When he was born I found myself waiting and wondering if I would hemorrhage again, because he was so big. But, I was fine praise God and had a good recovery.

    I’m glad you are home and doing well. It’s such a blessing that you have so many people loving you and serving you while you recover. Rest when you can and enjoy.those sweet, quickly passing newborn days!

  3. Thank you for sharing the birth story! The part where you’re talking to your mom brought me to tears and I am very glad that you are ok!
    And Jax is simply beautiful!
    Enjoy your little blessing!

    Greetings from Germany!

  4. Kelly, please don’t feel you have to answer (or you can by e-mail), but I’m curious since I’m expecting our 8th in 12 weeks and having a home birth (our 2nd). Was the ‘matter’ retained placenta? Did you have a managed 3rd stage (with cord traction)?

    That fading away feeling is horrible, isn’t it? I’ve had it before when I accidentally (of all things!) pulled the bandage off a scalded finger, removing several layers of skin. It wasn’t even that big, but it sent me into shock. I don’t want to feel that ever again!

    SO glad you’re okay and that you have lots of help. Jax is beautiful.

    In Him

    Meredith

    1. Meredith,

      At first they thought it may have been some placenta but then they checked and felt sure the placenta was in tact and decided that is was several massive blood clots (size of your hand)keeping the cervix from clamping.

      I can’t remember if they gave me pitocin right after the birth, but in the future, if I have another baby, I would make sure they did that. Also, I didn’t nurse right away because there were so many people in the room–I waited more than an hour. That is something that I’d change too.

  5. Thankful to the Lord for preserving you! Gorgeous baby and beautiful birth story. Yay for you for sticking out the “overdue-ness” without an induction 🙂

    Had my own drama with a hemorrhage after my 10lb 12oz baby eight months ago, but it doesn’t sound as serious as yours was 🙂

    Praise the Lord for Jax! May he grow to be a man after God’s own heart!

  6. The ‘matter’ means placenta or amniotic membranes left inside the uterus. That, and laying down makes it so the uterus won’t clamp down. In the future, sitting up after a baby, then after delivering the placenta, getting to to ‘potty’ is important (with help!).

    Nursing right away helps clamp it down, and in a hospital the pitocin helps. An internal maneuver can be done by an experienced midwife at home. It is very uncomfortable but works instantly. My own young daughter (17) had to do this for me or I would have hemorraged/passed out at home. To Meredith; make sure the attendant knows how to manage the 3rd stage properly. We always say, “taint over til the placenta is passed successfully.” Sorry for details. It’s the midwife in me and some things you just won’t hear from the nurses.

    1. Thank you, Pam…I’ve been reading up and making sure I understand every aspect of this condition to help avoid it should I have another baby.

      In my case, the “matter” (I used that term to avoid gore ;-)) was massive blood clots. And you’re right–I said right away that I should have nursed as soon as he was born but I didn’t because the room was full of people. I’ll do that differently if I get the chance again.

      Wow..your daughter is one brave girl!

      1. (You don’t have to put this on your blog if you don’t want..) Just wanted to add that whenever any ‘matter’ remains in the uterus, it makes the uterus unable to clamp down, and that’s when and why the huge fist sized clots form. See, they form from a wide open uterus. The bleeding was just a failure to completely remove what was inside. Just wanted you to know that, to clarify. I hope you don’t think me too blunt. If so I’m sorry! And very much proud of you! Rejoicing with you in Christ. PTL!

        1. So are you saying that the clots are not what kept it from clamping down but were a result of it? So if the placenta is in tact, what could be preventing the clamping? Just a tired uterus? 😉

    2. Thanks Kelly and Pam,

      My last midwife (homebirth), Sue, had actually delivered our 6th child in the hospital (before she joined the homebirth program). He had the cord around his neck and she did this manoeveur where she ‘rolled’ him down her arms as she delivered him to unwind the cord. My husband was so impressed! Having her for our first homebirth was really reassuring. We also decided not to cut/clamp the cord straight away (I am RH-ve) or do cord traction. I tend to deliver the placenta quickly on my own anyway, but the older I get, the more I wonder if this is the time something weird will happen. I so understand what you meant in an earlier post, Kelly, about battling fear. I like to ‘research’ to help me in the battle (along with prayer), although sometimes too much research can backfire on you, too. KWIM? Anyway, I am rambling…

      Thanks for your responses.

      In Him

      Meredith

  7. I was also, unable to enjoy my first daughter after natural birth. I was in so much pain, and afterward I felt like that affected my ability to bond with her right away. I’ve actually enjoyed labor and delivery with the last three due to epidurals (I’m lucky they work perfectly on me, I don’t feel pain, but CAN feel plenty of sensation).

    I’m so glad you are all healthy, and encouraged by how many family and friends were anticipating your 9th baby’s arrival with you.
    You are very blessed!

  8. So glad you are okay! I too hemorrhaged after child birth (which was a natural delivery.) I agree that pain is MUCH worse than any labor pain. Give your mom lots of kisses for that one! She will need it.

  9. Wow! That is SOME birth story – well, not the birth as much as the ‘afterbirth’, if you will. I’m SO glad that God let you stay here. I can imagine that your mom is still recovering. And poor Aaron! Wow, what a circus that must have been at that point. I am so thankful that God was in every aspect of this whole experience and that now Mommy and baby are doing well.

    God bless you all with peace and rest!

  10. Thanks for sharing! I cried a little at your prayer and poor mom’s reaction. So glad all is well now. Except for your pain, but praying that will end soon, too.

  11. Oh, Kelly, Jax is SO precious! I think he looks a little older in that picture than he is. He is so alert for just a few days old. And those eyes! Beautiful!!

    I was hesitant to read your birth story, not becasue I’m a week and a half “overdue” at this point 🙁 , but because when most people write those, they include every little detail, and boy, am I ever a weak stomached one!

    I thank God for His provision and protection over you, and for all the sweet family and friends you have to be near you and help out… What a blessing!

    1. Charity, from my experience with large, overdue babies, I think they often look older than they are. And my large, overdue daughter–are you ready for this?–starting sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old! I could hardly believe it the first night, and rushed to make sure she was okay when I woke up after a whole night’s sleep! ha!

      1. My younger sister was almost 2 weeks late and about 9 pounds. She started sleeping through the night THE FIRST NIGHT HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL. My mom woke up in a panic at 8 a.m. and thought something was terribly wrong — there was little sis sleeping peacefully! And she was a good sleeper ever since.

        Of my 3, the largest (close to 9 pounds, also my oldest) was definitely the best sleeper; he was sleeping 6 to 7 hours at a stretch after about 3-4 weeks. The others, who were smaller, not so much.

        1. Interesting that you confirm what I’ve heard and experienced…Jax is a great sleeper. So far he wakes one time during the night–usually at a 4 or 5 hour stretch, eats and go right back to sleep until morning. What a blessing!

  12. Kelly, I have been following your blog for awhile and recently praying that you would have that precious baby at just the right time. I was so glad to read that you and baby are fine! Just wanted to thank you for encouraging me via your blog. I have 6 boys, ages 8,7,5,2,2 and 9 weeks. I feel so blessed!

  13. So thankful God protected you and baby Jax! He is a beautiful baby and I’m sure your whole family is so proud. 🙂 Congratulations and may your recovery be speedy and peaceful!

  14. Beautiful birth story, Kelly…I found it very moving. God’s mercy and faithfulness abound!

    God’s blessings to you all as you settle in at home with Jax!

  15. He is beautiful. Your bleeding/pounding on your belly story makes my innards cringe though, lol. I know how uncomfortable it is when they so much as press my belly after the birth, let alone really pounding on it- aaaaaackkkkkkk!!! So glad you all are okay. FWIW, I have had 3 natural births and 2 with epidurals, and I was always able to enjoy my babies and recover much easier after the epidural births. Natural birth sucks the life and joy right out of me, it takes me a good 45 minutes just to think straight afterwards.

  16. Congratulations Kelly on the birth of little Jax! I’ve been away this week, so missed out on your birth announcement, but am so glad that all went well & you are able to enjoy your precious son!
    Have a wonderful, restful week
    Renata:)

  17. I’m so glad you’re ok, Kelly. Gosh, I’m finishing reading a sequel to “The Christmas Shoes”, where a family had to lose their mom; I’m so glad you’re not in that group. (The sequel is equally tear-inducing, with a miraculous/tragic ending. Very highly recommended as Christian novels). I’m also so happy you found great nurses (angels) and a staff that does what they’re told (I’ll abide nothing less when it’s the arduous time for me to push my own bairns out). And that you did what was right for you and the baby; not every kind of birth is right for everybody. Were all your relatives in the room when it came time to deliver?

      1. Ah. Yes that sounds more comfortable to me; I’d need less people in the room. You sure have a cool hubby.

  18. Cute, cute baby! So glad you are OK now. I’m a big fan of the epidural myself. 🙂 When I read your posts, I always think that you have SUCH an amazing church family – what a blessing. Are all the kids fighting over who gets to hold him?!

    1. Lisa,

      LOL! Funny you should ask about the children…it is honestly probably our biggest “strife point” right now…I have threatened to ground them from holding the baby if they don’t find a way to be more yielding about it 😉

      One of my children said, “I just want to hold him every minute of the day–just me and no one else”. She was kidding, of course, but it’s kind of ridiculous! I DO like the fact that they clamor to see who “gets” to change his diaper!

  19. I’m so impressed you were able to go 19 days past your “due” date. I think I’d have gone crazy! I’m so glad you’re doing all right, hope you start feeling better soon!

  20. Kelly,

    Congratulations on your beautiful new son! Thank you for sharing your birth story. I’m so sorry you ended up having the drama at the end, but Praise the Lord for good nurses! I pray that your recovery will be strong and full. I’m looking forward to the arrival of my 6th baby, a son, at the end of May, but like you, tend to go overdue.

    Ashley

  21. How wonderfully blessed you are!
    I’m wondering how you found a doctor who let you go 19 days overdue? I’ve been induced EVERY time, with my first seven births. I honestly would like them to let me go two weeks over with this one (instead of the “usual” one week). Maybe it’s me: Maybe I need to just tell them I won’t be induced unnecessarily? I think I cave near the end because I get so weary of being pregnant at that point. 🙁

    1. Most doctors consider it “necessary” when you are “overdue” at all! That is the position I am in at this point. :/

      1. unfortunately, doctors deem a lot of things, when it comes to labor and delivery, “necessary” that are not “necessary” at all. The due date really means nothing. It can be wrong on either side by two weeks and it is just a guide. Only God knows when the baby is going to come and to reduce the risks of an unecessary c-section, it’s often best, unless the bay is in true danger, to let nature takes it’s course. Doctors, themselves, are responsible for the ridiculously high c-section rate in the U.S. It’s very sad because most of which is preventible if doctor’s would stop deeming everything “necessary” and intervening when, in truth, it is not necessary at all. I am very proud of Kelley for taking the hard road and waiting for God’s perfect day for Jax to be born.

        1. I agree with you completely! I wish we could’ve found a birthing center/midwife this time around, but unfortunately I am dealing with pushy doctors that are talking to me like I’m 12 years old! I should say, though, that there is one doctor, among the four in this group, that has said that “it’s generally best to let our bodies do what they were designed to, and let nature take it’s course”.

  22. Wow! I saw that you had gone into labor, but left on vacation shortly after that! Just got home early this morning. So glad to hear Jax arrived! Enjoy him!

  23. Congratulations! What a blessing! I’m so glad that everyone is doing well and that you are recovering from your hemorraging scare. My last baby was 9 lbs 6 ozs, and I had an epidural (felt all sensations and a little pain, but not bad at all). I felt fantastic after the birth – no tears, nursed right away, walked to the bathroom, and held my baby for two hours before they even measured, weighed, or cleaned him. All of my births have been with an epidural because they work ideally for me. I am afraid if I tried a natural birth, that I’d be too exhausted and stressed to enjoy the baby. I went two weeks late with my 9 pounder, too. My hospital hadn’t even scheduled an induction so it must depend on your hospital and doctor. Anyways, I’m so happy for you and your family! He is so handsome! Enjoy! 🙂

  24. Congratulations! What a beautiful baby boy!

    May I share my experiences with you? I have 8 children (7 boys and 1 girl) and we had our first 6 babies in the hospital. I had epidurals with all of them, except for number four, who came too quickly. 🙂

    I got fed up with hospitals though, so I decided to try a birth center with baby number 7. I had a natural birth and hated it. It drug on and on and by the time he came I was exhausted. BUT, I decided to try to BC one more time with baby number 8 and IT WAS WONDERFUL!

    I am certainly not putting down your decision to have an epidural AT ALL. I just wanted to offer my experience in case there is a possibility you might consider another natural delivery at some point in the future.

    Again- CONGRATS! (And I love how all your children are fighting over loving him! Priceless!!)

  25. Congrats and thanks for sharing your story. He is GORGEOUS and you look radiant in the pictures. Many blessings to your Family of 11. 🙂 WOW! So blessed!

  26. He certainly is a beautifull little boy.
    I had a similar experience after delivering my second baby. In my case it wasn’t ‘matter’ having to be expelled, but my blood pressure plummeted an hour after the midwife left, leaving my mother to act or maybe watch me die. I felt dead tired and just started to float away, like you, Kelly. But I couldn’t care less, I was sooo sleepy. My mom however, pulled me through with a big dose of Calcium and Glucose (unorthodox maybe but it sure did the thing).
    With my first baby (in hospital) I started heamoraghing and if my mother didn’t notice it would have been to late.
    I really love my mom for her pluckiness and her faith in the Lord. My best wishes for your mom, Kelly and happy recovery for you both!

  27. Beautiful child!!! I too hemorraged sp? with one of our 8. My husband had gone to lunch…and everyone was out of the room at the time. The nurse had failed to put the call-light with-in my reach ( it was hung up waaaay above my bed on the wall)……I felt the bleeding, and myself drifting away. Gazing out the window at the gorgeous blue sky outside, I really thought the Lord was going to take me. About the moment, the nurse came in, took one look at me, gasped…and I could barely talk: ” I think I’m hemorraging.” Doc came back and did that terrible but necessary massage inside and out which as all of you say, does hurt more than labor. Doc said I was borderline for needing a blood transfusion. Scary times….weak for weeks afterwards.

    Asked the doc if they could predict when hemorrage would occur, and he really didn’t have an answer for me.

    Your words are an encouragement and inspiration to me, Kelly. I’m so glad the body surrounded your through Jax’s birth and have been so supportive welcoming this great gift. 🙂

    1. Oh my, that does sound so scary! I know how it feels and if there hadn’t been anyone in the room I think I would have really panicked. Thank you for your kind words.

  28. Wow! Just now reading this and am struck by the similarity of our births…or rather, post-partum. I had the same issues after the births of our 7th and 9th. I passed out twice after #7 due to remaining tissue. After #9, my blood pressure dropped to 50/30. I was drifting away and was afraid I would not come back. I didn’t want to go….just like you said. My uterus would not stay firm. But God mercifully restored me, and I have just given birth to our 10th, with NO compications! God is so good and faithful! I must admit though, I did fret most of the pregnancy, wondering what would unfold after delivery. I didn’t want to go through that again! I pray that if He blesses us again, I would be more faithful to trust Him with the end result!

    Here are the two birth stories….I know your time is limited, so I understand if you cannot read them (hence the reason *I* am just now reading this birth story! lol).

    Genevieve’s Birth: http://www.sacredmommyhood.com/2008/01/our-home-birth-story.html

    Amelias’ Birth: http://www.sacredmommyhood.com/2012/03/amelias-birth-part-1.html

    Soli Deo Gloria!

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