You were due on August 22nd, 2016 but you arrived on Wednesday, August 31st. I'm convinced you would have stayed in there for at least another week or two if I wasn't induced. Your dad and I arrived at the hospital shortly before 9:00am on Tuesday, August 30th for my scheduled induction. The labor and delivery unit was busy on this day and we almost got bumped. But, thankfully, we were able to get into a room and start your birthday party.
I was already progressing naturally when I arrived so, instead of starting me on Pitocin, they broke my water to see if things would just naturally progress more quickly. This happened about 10:00am. I got up and went for a walk to try to get things going, but unfortunately things weren't moving along fast enough so they started me on Pitocin around 3:00pm. The contractions came hard and fast and they left my whole body shaking uncontrollably, overheated, and I was vomiting from the pain. I really didn't want an epidural because I had a terrible experience with a spinal tap several years ago that I did not want to repeat. But, after thirteen hours of labor (eight of those hours consumed with contractions and pain), the doctor told me that it still could be many hours until you arrived and that, because I was in so much pain and so exhausted, I would be helping them out by getting the epidural so I could regain some energy and strength for when it came time to push. I nervously agreed and I am so glad I did. This happened around 11:00pm.
Once it was in, I was allowed to eat (thank God). I ordered macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes - but I think your dad ended up eating half of it because I was still dealing with a bit of morning sickness on top of the nausea from the pain. I started pushing around 2:00am (August 31st). This went on for a couple of hours but you were stuck - head down, face up - and not wanting to come out. They wanted to try to get you to turn so they let me rest but I had to sleep with a big ball between my legs on a weird, uncomfortable angle. I slept from about 5:00 until 8:00am when it was time to push again. At about this time I got a new nurse, Meredith, and she was a gift from the Lord. At first, I was very irritated by her because she was loud and kept stepping on all of my tubes and cords and I was so tired. But, she was exactly what I needed when I needed it. I had been trying to tell my previous nurse that I wasn't 100% numb from the epidural and could feel discomfort and she didn't take any action. But, this nurse was very responsive to this and got me a second dose of the epidural medicine and I was much more comfortable.
She had me start pushing again immediately after that second dose and, since you hadn't turned while I slept, she started working right away at trying to get you to turn while I pushed. She moved me into different angles and had me push differently for a couple hours or so until you finally did it - YOU TURNED! Once you turned, it was game on (this was a little after 10:00am). This was amazing news because the staff was prepping to perform a C Section on me within the half hour. The doctor came in and I started pushing to get you out. The nurse, once again, was God's gift to me during that time because she acted more like a coach - she cheered me on, gave me clear directions, and made things happen. I only had to push for a handful of contraction cycles more before you made your arrival at 11:26am on Wednesday, August, 31, 2016 - the best day of my entire life.
It is impossible to tell you how much love I instantly felt for you in that moment. It is incomprehensible, uncontainable, unexplainable, and unconditional. It overwhelms me to this day. I have never in my life seen anything so beautiful and fascinating and perfect. You filled me with joy to overflowing and I have tapped into this new kind of love that I never even knew was possible until your existence. You have marked my life and changed me from the inside out. I found new purpose. Your dad and I fell in love a thousand times over. Time stopped and it was just the three of us and everything was perfect. I haven't gone one day since this moment where I haven't cried tears of joy just looking at you.
Judah Lionheart, you will never know how much you are loved but I promise I will spend my whole life showing you the best I can. I have praised God for you every day since we found out about you - even on the hardest days of braving through a difficult pregnancy and through a long 25 hours of labor. Judah means 'praise the Lord' and Lionheart means 'bravery'. Your name is the journey I've been on since you were created. Your name is what I hope for you for your future. I pray you will praise the Lord in all seasons of life and that you would be brave in His Spirit to accomplish all He has for you. You are a world changer, Judah Lionheart, and I am so completely, head-over-heels in love with you forever.
JUDAH LIONHEART TIMLIN
08.31.2016 at 11:26am
8lb and 6oz
21 inches long
THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THIS GIFT.