About how time flies and goes slow all at the same time. About how young, and naive Ben and I looked in the pictures. About how 2002 was indeed the year of the overalls, every person in every picture is sporting a pair.
Eli was not "planned" by us. His older brother was just 6 months old when we found out I was pregnant. We lived a state away from our family, Ben was still in seminary, money was tight, schedules were tight, and I was not ready to go through the whole pregnancy and delivery thing again just yet.
As my three year old Lucy would say: I freaked out.
I cried for two weeks. I simply could not see any way that this was going to work out well. This was not in my plan. Only things I could handle were in my plan. Hello self pity.
I remember being completely annoyed with my husband for not freaking out. "It will be fine!" "It's in God's plan!" should have brought comfort...but his blind faith seemed to just annoy me. Certainly, he only was only being positive because he wasn't considering all the implications (for me) that were involved. Hello self pity. Again.
I was embarrassed to tell people our news. I mean, what kind of *idiots* have another baby when they already have a baby! Us. That's who.
I could write a thousand pages on the ways, big and itty bitty that God worked out the details for every. single. thing. God showed me that from where I was, yeah...it looked pretty impossible. But my view was so tiny, and so limited and so...wrong.
Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed in a life situation, I've often take my heart back to those early days of finding out I was pregnant. Because I remember that hopeless feeling. That overwhelmed feeling. That hard place. And now I know, what I didn't really know then...that if I really want to see how big my God is, then I need to look at the impossible things with anticipation. Because the impossible is right where God works. And sometimes the hard, impossible stuff, is the best stuff. Eli was meant to be, and his timing was not wrong...mine was. He was and everyday is an incredible, amazing gift to our family. We are not us, without him.
I'll never forget September 27, 2002. (who doesn't love a birth story?)
I had gone into my Dr. in the morning, in was a Friday just like today. She stripped my membranes and said if I didn't go into labor on my own then I was scheduled to be induced on Monday. I was cool with the Monday thing. Mostly because then I was sure to get my epidural in time. (My then 16 month old had been almost 10 pounds...no way I was doing that without drugs.)
The rest of the day went on as usual. By early evening I started noticing some contractions, and started writing them down...but it didn't seem like "real" labor. Ben worked until early evenings, so I talked to him around 7ish and asked if he would bring home a take-n-bake pizza.
At some point the contractions must have gotten close enough together that I called the hospital just to see what they thought. I remember the nurse saying to just take a warm bath, that it would help me relax and likely stop the contractions.
Turns out the bath made them worse. Much worse. Ben got home and somehow managed to bake the pizza and eat while I got dressed. My Aunt and Uncle were planning on keeping Noah for us while we were at the hospital. The hospital was a half hour away from us, so the plan was for them to meet at our apartment to get him. That night, it just so happened that they were with their family at the circus. Ha. They left the circus and met us at our apartment. I could only walk in between contractions. I remember the elevator ride in our apartment building seemed like it lasted for.ev.er. I had never experienced full fledged contractions before.
It felt like a scene from a movie. Ben drove like a crazy man to the hospital and I remember yelling at him not to do that, and then yelling at him to hurry up and get there. He couldn't win.
He wheeled me inside and tried to find someone to get me where I needed to be. It felt like it took days, but it was probably only 10 minutes. They put me in an exam room to check me. I kept telling them to call the anestesiologist, because I knew that it sometimes took them awhile to get there.
The nurse checked me and said she had good news and bad news. The "good" news was that I was fully dilated, and the baby was coming. The bad news was no epidural.
I wanted to die. I am and never was one who thought experiencing child-birth without drugs seemed like a good idea. Ever.
They rushed me to the delivery room, and literally held the Eli's head in until the Dr. could get the scrubs on. They kept saying "Don't push!" Yeah right. My body was pushing all on it's own.
And Eli was born! We had arrived at the hospital at 11:00 PM and he was born at 11:39 PM. It was a blur. We didn't know if we should call people and tell them the news, since it was so late. I think we called our parents and then waited until morning to make the rest of the calls.
And just like that he was here. And I, in fact, did survive without an epidural. But that was the last time I did it the "natural" way...I'll take the needle in my back any day. ;)
Story Break: I finished this part of my post on Friday the 27th, Eli's birthday. I didn't hit publish before heading out to meet a friend for coffee. During coffee, my oldest called from school with the flu. By the time I got to the school, it had hit me too. And by evening, my husband was knocked out with it too. So Eli spent his 11th birthday with a bunch of sickies. And in genuine Eli style, he took it all in stride. Laid-back, no big deal, roll with the punches. I love that kid. I have so much to learn from him. So, it is now October 3rd, and I'm hitting publish.
Happy Birthday Buddy! Love you!