Jan 21, 2018 Latest post:
Feb 24, 2018
A few days ago, a friend suggested I create a Caring Bridge account. Off the cuff, I thought, "Those sites are for families in real crisis, like life threatening crisis. That isn't us..." But then, a few more days passed presenting a few more unexpected hiccups and a need to rally the troops to keep praying. So, here we are, not in life threatening crisis, but in need of prayer. In the least, I thought, this site could be a place to communicate and equip our army to know how to pray all at once.
So, what's the story, you might ask? Well, it wasn't what we planned for or expected or anticipated, but so far it has proven to be a story that testifies of Christ alone, and to that, we can't describe a greater joy. Here, I'll attempt to re-capture for you, the moments leading up to Thatcher Shane's entrance into the world, then will update the journal from there.
As far as we knew, I was just about 31 weeks pregnant, and squinting my eyes at the next 9 weeks of getting bigger and less able to tolerate with normalcy the aches and pains of pregnancy.
So, when I woke up last Friday night with cramping that just so happened to occur at consistent intervals from 3-5 minutes... I thought, "Surely these aren't contractions... not NOW, are they?" Jacob and I deliberated for over two hours, and after hitting 6/6 symptoms of pre-term labor, we decided to go to the hospital.
Once admitted, our doctor administered several treatments to stop labor, and after a couple hours, contractions slowed to an at random occurrence, so he felt comfortable discharging us. "Whew! Close call..." we thought. Within an hour of being home from the hospital, the contractions returned with a vengeance. We rebounded back to the hospital, and our doctor ordered several more tests and treatments to see what might be causing the contractions and how my body was progressing towards delivering little Baby Overby.
By Saturday night, it was apparent contractions were not going to stop and I would remain in the hospital until I delivered. This news was overwhelming. We hadn't allowed our minds to touch a reality like this one. Our doctor had several benchmarks he hoped to get to as far as keeping the baby inside. The first one was 24 hours, to have enough time to administer steroid shots to effectively boost Baby's lungs. If we made it there, his next goal was to get us to 32 weeks, decreasing Baby's chances of needing a ventilator. And best case scenario, he hoped for 34 weeks. So... 'best case scenario' meant for the next 3 weeks I was going to be hooked up to all kinds of drugs and attached to a hospital bed. For someone who went into this process opposed to medical intervention, I'd say this right here is where God began to loosen my white knuckled clasp on 'my way' of doing this whole having a baby thing.
Contractions continued through out the night, growing in intensity, and the nurses became more vague in communicating me what the plan was. I could tell I was progressing, and they were subtly preparing for delivery, but they couldn't give me any definitive answer without our Doctor's word. Then, they gave me the second steroid shot (the one to boost Baby's lung development), 12 hours earlier than planned, I knew we weren't going to hit the first benchmark our doctor had put on the horizon of keeping baby in. "Was this REALLY happening" I thought.. Our home was not even close to prepared for a baby, let alone our car ill-equipped without a car seat. Heck, we hadn't even landed on names...
At around 9:30am Sunday morning, our doctor came in, checked me and said, "You are at 9.5cm, with a bulging bag... We're going to deliver soon." From that point on, it was a flurry. A neonatal team was called in along with a transfer team. Because we weren't going to hit the 32 week benchmark, Baby O would need to be transported to San Antonio Children's NICU. There were nurses and doctors everywhere, hustling and bustling, game planning and coordinating details. I sat there, legs closed, watching it all unfold as I endured intensifying contractions trying to keep everything in until they were set and ready.
At one point, everyone kind of slowed down and looked as if they were waiting. I said, "Are yall waiting on me, because I'm ready to get this thing done." We hadn't made it to our birthing classes (scheduled in February), so I had not the slightest clue how to push a baby out. But with a quick rundown from my doctor, PUSH, WAIL, PUSH, WAIL, PUSH, WAIL... and after four contractions of the like, the little life we had hoped for, prayed for and waited for, came into the world.
Immediate relief and overwhelming joy. I looked down, and on my tummy was life.... Life we didn't knew would be possible. Life we praised God for. It was life God had entrusted to us, to care for and nurture and point to Him. Significant, beloved, cherished life... out of my womb, and now in the world.
After a couple of seconds I asked, "Is it a girl or a boy?" My doctor picked up a leg and said, "It looks like he's got some gear down there...", "A BOY!" I whimpered with joy, looking up at my tear-filled husband, "We have A BOY!" I was amazed. In the background of all this, the neonatal doctor was counting down from 60 seconds... 45... 30... 15... 10... Jacob cut his firstborn son's umbilical cord, and before we knew it, this new little life entrusted to us, was taken from our care and placed into that of others.
After they took him, I looked at Jacob and said, "So, what is his name?" Jacob responded without hesitation, "I think it's gotta be Thatcher Shane" This was a name I proposed the night before, slightly different from what we had previously landed on. I looked over at our son laying beneath the bright lights and at the mercy of several professionals shouting out numbers and administering wires and tubes.... "Thatcher Shane, covered with the graciousness of God... Thatcher Shane, it is."