The next day we woke up at 4 am, showered, loaded up the car, and drove to the hospital in the dark, Charlie's little carseat ready to go in the backseat.
I really wanted a natural childbirth. I prayed to have a natural childbirth. I didn't want to have an epidural, wanted to go into labor naturally and use all of the pain management techniques we learned in our childbirth classes. When my due date came and went with not even the slightest progression towards labor, I began to pray harder.
Finally, at about a week post due date, my doctor said the amniotic fluid was looking a little low and we needed to induce. Since I had not progressed even a little tiny bit, he warned me that the possibility of a C-section was high. I prayed harder. I asked everyone else to pray.
I walked into the hospital that Wednesday morning ready for my induction, firmly believing the Lord would cause me to dilate and give birth the way I planned. The nurse hooked me up and started pitocin around 6 am. The contractions started. All day long I labored on that pitocin. So many of you were praying with us that day. Several times the doctor came in to check and...nothing. I mean nothing happened. Charlie had not even dropped. The contractions got stronger, I just knew I was dillating. But still nothing. Around 5pm, the doctor came by for what we knew could be the last time. If I was even dillating a tiny bit, he would break my water and felt confident I would progress. If not, I was OR bound.
Sure enough, nothing. I cried. Everyone left the room and I looked at Paul, saying "Why?" I felt like God hadn't been listening at all and that all these prayers had been pointless. I was devastated. I remember so clearly, my sweet husband looked me right in the eye with so much love and just told me that this was our chance to demonstrate faith. This wasn't how we planned it, but God was still in charge here and this was an opportunity for us to trust Him more.
Within about 30 minutes, Charlie was born... wrinkly and red, head full of hair, immediately crying, and peeing into the air! I couldn't have been more relieved, grateful, and in love! As I lay on the operating table with my new baby boy next to me getting cleaned up, I listened to the doctors taking care of him. Something wasn't quite right, they were searching for something. The anesthesiologist told me they were looking at the umbilical cord because it appeared there were only two chambers instead of three. Sometimes this can indicate a problem with his kidneys, but since he had already peed, Charlie appeared to be fine. Later he had an ultrasound done on his kidneys just to make sure, and everything came back normal.
Later I found out that usually the two-chambered umbilical cord (also called SUA for Single Umbillical Artery) is found in an ultrasound earlier in the pregnancy. When its found, the pregnancy is closely monitored thereafter as well as during labor. Labor can be especially stressful on babies with only two chambers, because they're receiving less blood flow. Because they didn't find this on any of my ultrasounds, the doctor wouldn't have known throughout mylabor. Charlie's heart rate would have dropped with every strong contraction and who knows what would have happened... most likely I would have still needed a C-section and possibly an emergency one.
Because Charlie's big ol' head couldn't fit through my pelvic bones, I never dillated or went into heavy labor. His heart rate never dropped... he was protected. All that time, the Lord already knew Charlie. He already knew about the umbilical cord and about what Charlie could and could not handle. Because He created Charlie. He protected us both in a way that I didn't even know how to pray for, and blessed us beyond imagination.