The story of you, our sweet little Will.

We welcomed our boy into the world in an unplanned fashion, tough on this type-A planner mamma, but good for my soul in beginning the practice of letting go of control. I’m writing this four weeks in and that challenge has only continued, at it’s fullest.

My goal during pregnancy was have a natural birth, early labor at home, “experience it all”. We wanted an intervention-free birth, and tried all of the natural labor-inducing tricks. I found myself growing bitter at each attempt, and sad each morning I woke up realizing another day and night had passed. I experienced early labor at 38.5 weeks for a few hours, and then simply assumed he would come any day after as my “body was getting ready”.

August 2nd, our due date, came and went. Then August 3rd….5th….10th…and then, our induction date was upon us. My parents flew in that Sunday morning, giving us some sweet one-on-one time with them for a few days before heading in to the hospital at 5:00pm on Monday, August 14th. Upon our arrival, we signed in, I got changed and an IV placed, turned on the Cubs game, and talked through the doctor’s inducing plan and my hopeful birth plan. At that point in my already different “plan”, I just wanted to trust Jesus, my body, and the hospital team. The anticipation of what was next was unlike any other.

We started the inducing process by inserting a foley balloon to increase my cm (still only 2.5cm after 3 weeks) and kept it in overnight. Throughout the night I had on/off contractions, some stronger than others, and spent the evening with Luke by my side sleeping for 2 hours, then walking or bouncing on a labor ball for an hour, trying to keep things going.

By 6:30am I was up to 3.5cm and the balloon came out. Then more light contractions for the next few hours. Finally at 11:30am they checked me again and were ready to break my water, because our man was still not ready to come out on his own. Then, from about 12:00pm to 2:30pm, the painful, intense, active labor contractions took place. This is the phase I will never forget, and yet it’s the foggiest. I began laboring on my side and remember hearing myself roar with pain, gripping the bed rails, fearing the next contraction, with Luke and my doula comforting me with back massages and cold cloths. Later I found out my parents were just outside, hearing my screams, and praying over the room together.

At one point I got sick and thought “I can’t do this anymore…”. So I asked to be checked and consider an epidural. After a few minutes my Dr. came in, checks me and says “well you’re 8cm, and 90%. If you want to request an epidural it should be now or never”. I vaguely remember her saying this, but will never forget my nurse looking at me and saying “girl, I think you got this”. And I did too. And to be honest, the idea of pausing labor to get the epidural sounded worse than pressing on…

My mom came in, I needed her for whatever was next to come. I switched positions a few times, but labored best on my side with the peanut ball and did that as long as I could. Then finally, it was pushing time. Sweet relief. After about 45min of pushing, we were close. Very close. I reached down and felt our little guys’ head which brought on a much needed urge of energy because I again remember thinking “I can’t do this anymore..”. At one point his progress paused, with his little head sitting at just about brow line, and I’d never felt so motivated, encouraged, or the amount of adrenaline I did at that moment. He was ok, but it was time! After a few more long pushes, he was out and immediately placed on to my chest. And the pain was gone. I will never forget that feeling. The slippery feeling of him on my chest (I was equally slippery from sweat) and saying “Oh my goodness he’s so cute! Look at his lips!”

While the Dr. stitched me up and removed the placenta, our sweet William and I had immediate skin to skin time as they wiped him off. Then they took him to the side to capture his length, weight, and head size. 41 weeks and 6 days and he was here!

William Moses Helm
9lbs, 2oz, 22in
August 15th, 2017

The experience was everything I could have dreamed of, and I’m grateful for our story. Our unique story. Not how I “planned” but perfect in every way. Our son is beautiful, healthy, and after 3.5 weeks of the most difficult challenge of breastfeeding, surpassed his birth weight. And now, the unknown of mommy hood, questions of “how to do it” and “what’s best”, mom guilt, and our new everyday continue. It requires grace and patience, and has brought a love I didn’t know existed, but continues to grow each day as we get to know each other more and more.

We love you William Moses, more than you’ll ever know. I can’t wait to see what Jesus has in store for you, and we are honored to be your mommy and daddy.