January 3rd, 2015 was the day my daughter entered the world. It was a day that I had been waiting for long before she was conceived. It was a day that, at one point, I thought might never come.
You see, my daughter is my rainbow baby after three failed pregnancies. She is my miracle. She is living proof that the Lord is sovereign and gracious. She is the child that I prayed for and longed for after each loss. She is the child I thought might never be and yet is, all because the Lord is good.
At 6 weeks pregnant I saw that positive and I cried. I was afraid. I couldn’t lose another baby. I couldn’t go through that again.
At 8 weeks I heard her heartbeat and I cried. She was alive. She was growing. I was so thankful. I praised God.
At 20 weeks I found out I was having a daughter. I had known all along she was a girl. She was already so special to me.
At 38 weeks she was born. She had stayed put a whole four weeks longer than her brother. I was so ready to see her, to hold her, to have her home. Apparently, she was ready too.
On January 2nd I had had an OB appointment and I was 5 centimeters dilated! I hadn’t been feeling great but so far I had not been having any real contractions. My body had done everything to prepare itself for labor and I was so anxious to get this show on the road. But things ended up moving much more quickly than I had wanted! I began having contractions around 2:30 Saturday morning. By 4:30 I knew without a doubt that it was the real thing so I woke Kyle up. Within just the few minutes it took to wake him up and start getting ready to go, the intensity of my contractions went up a notch. They had me doubled over in pain. This should have been an indication to me that things were moving very quickly but at that point I had no idea just how quickly. By the time we had everything in the car and Grammy had arrived to watch Grayson, I was becoming more and more desperate to get to the hospital.
During the 15 minute drive to the hospital, my contractions became much more frequent and much more painful. By that point I was in so much more pain than I ever was with Grayson. Again, that should have been an indication that I didn’t have much time but all I could think about was getting to that hospital and getting some pain relief.
Once we arrived at the hospital they immediately put me in a room. I was quickly given a gown to change into but once I got into the bathroom I began getting sick everywhere. Then my water broke. If things were moving quickly up to that point, everything was about to kick into high gear.
A nurse helped me get into the gown and into bed. She checked me and I was at a 6. I asked for an epidural. I just wanted that epidural. That had been my focus ever since the contractions had started getting bad. “You’re going to get an epidural and everything will be okay. You can make it until then,” I told myself. Then the word “epidural” pretty much just played on repeat in my head, getting me through those intense contractions.
The nurses went through all the usual procedures and asked all the usual questions all the while my labor was becoming more and more extreme. “Where is the epidural?” I asked. “They have 30 minutes to get here,” a nurse said as she walked out the door. I was trying to be patient but I was in serious pain and I was feeling out of control. I was given pain medication that made me feel sleepy and completely out of it. Everything was moving so quickly and was so hectic that I couldn’t keep up with what was going on. All I knew was that I was in a lot of pain and I wanted, needed, that epidural!
I asked for the epidural again and I was told I wasn’t getting it. There wasn’t any time. I remember nodding and saying okay but my husband could tell that I was angry and upset. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do but at the same time giving birth without an epidural was not something I wanted to do. I am a huge whimp when it comes to pain and I was afraid of experiencing the level of pain delivering a baby would cause me. But here I was, contractions ripping through me, and my body getting to that transition stage of labor.
As it got closer to the time to start pushing, a nurse put an oxygen mask on me. I didn’t ask for it and I didn’t know why or if I really needed it. I kept pulling it off because it made me feel closterphobic. The nurse kept putting it back on. I would pull it off and she just kept putting it back on. Finally, I yanked it off and said, “I don’t want this thing on my face!” I think this was the only time I snapped at anyone. Considering what I was going through I would say I did pretty well. I even managed not to punch anyone in the face, even though I felt like I could!
Things quickly escalated to the point that I was screaming through my contractions. I remember gripping Kyle’s hands and then suddenly, I felt the strong urge to push. I had been told by a nurse to tell them when I felt like I needed to push so as soon as that urge became uncontrollable I said, “She’s coming!” “No, she’s not,” they replied. “She’s coming!” I insisted. “No, she’s not.” I don’t know what makes medical professionals think they know what is going on in my body but I knew they were very wrong. So I started pushing, with or without them, and that is when everyone started getting in place. I don’t know how many women were down there but it seemed like a lot. I wasn’t looking though because I was too busy screaming as I felt like I was being ripped apart. Someone yelled at me to stop screaming and push and somehow I was able to do what I needed to do. I gave two or three good pushes and baby was out. That’s when the doctor decided to walk in the door. It was good of her to finally join us. (Read sarcasm here.)
As soon as I had pushed my daughter out, the pain went away and I felt a ginormous relief. It was over. I did it and I wasn’t too worse for wear. I was still feeling out of it and sleepy but as soon as they placed my daughter in my arms everything else melted away and everything I had just been through was worth it.
After losing three babies over the course of a year, I finally got to hold another Kerby baby in my arms. I got to see her face and look into her eyes. I got to kiss her cheek. I got to take her home to her big brother. She was the perfect bundle of God’s grace, hope, and love towards us. She will always be special to me and close to my heart for many reasons but for this reason most of all.
We named her Mikaela Jean, honoring the gift from God that she is and the many women in our family with the name Jean (myself included). The name Mikaela not only means “gift from God” but also “who is like God?” Both of those meanings are so fitting for our little girl.
She is coming up on 2 months old now and every day with her and our son has been a joy. My joy has surely increased with her presence in our family. I thank God for her life and that He has granted her health. She is a blessing and a constant reminder that the Lord is sovereign and awesome. I feel undeserving yet honored that God has entrusted me with these two little souls.
The following song was one that I often listened to and sang during my pregnancy. It is now a song that I sing to my daughter.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.