Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mackenzie Jane: A Birth Story

40 weeks came and went.  

Then went 41 weeks.

All was healthy and I had done this "late baby thing" before with Colton.  No sweat this time.  No need to panic.  We'll just plant the winter garden, or I'd delegate at least.

All the while, my doctor and I were hoping and planning for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean).  Colton's birth was about 30 hours of labor and ended in emergency C-sec due to fetal distress.  We were praying for a different line up for Mackenzie's birth- as I was a good candidate for a natural birth this round.

But God knew otherwise.  I went in for a final ultrasound and nonstress test.  Fluid was VERY low and we were given the option for induction or repeat cesarean.  At this point with Colton, there was at least some labor and dilation, he would ultimately go 9 days postdue.  The question was if this baby would drop or stay uneffaced like Colton, leading again to fetal distress.  My doctor was extremely supportive while I tearfully asked if our likelihood for another emergency C-sec was increasing if we went with induction and in our case, the answer was now yes.  

I admit, the VBAC was something I really wanted, but never held so dear as to allow my pride to get in the way.  I was most motivated by the VBAC for the likelihood of more future children and a better recovery this time with an active three year old.  I trusted my God, and my doctor, and always knew it would be clear as to what we should do.  It was just really hard to change directions mentally this late in the game.  

When I came home in tears to tell Chris, I was crying because of the shock of our plan being derailed, but also in the inevitable excitement of meeting our girl soon.  It was such a strange feeling.  Chris shared the sentiment of not wanting to undergo the trauma of the emergency C again, so we opted for the planned C and called my parents to drive up.

The Lord had given me the verse from Isaiah 26:3 just that morning.  It struck such a chord in me, that I decided to replace our front chalk board with it before my appointment that morning.  Seeing that promise later that day, I knew God saw all of this and had been preparing me all day.  I knew I needed to shift my laser focus from labor, to God's new plan: I would meet Mackenzie Jane in mere hours.

While we were preparing my "last supper" before I was to fast all night and go into surgery in the early morning, my mother commented on how I really should sit down and rest.  Good grief mom, I was shredding brussel sprouts for a salad.  I had marinated flank steak and just put my favorite sweet potato steak fries into the oven.  I had also been snacking on my mother's famous "cheese ball," little did I know that was the only part of the dinner I'd enjoy.

Taking my mother's advice, I plopped down into an Adirondack chair a little too carelessly, nearly spilling my freshly poured coconut La Croix (my favorite pregnant sparkling beverage).  I looked at my mom as wide eyed as the emoji.  She yelled "Oh! Her water broke!" I ran to the bathroom, sure enough.  It was 6pm.

"Mom, get my phone!  Chris, put a timer on the potatoes!  Dad, occupy Colton!"

Ironically, my doctor had just left a voicemail checking in about tomorrow's plans.  I let labor and delivery know we were on our way and to call my doctor back in.  

We snapped one last candid shot together before getting in the car.  Mom was all details and Dad had become emotional.  Chris was a little bummed he'd be missing out on steak but would settle for a PB&J and a baby girl.

I was effortlessly prepped for surgery by the "A team" of OBs, or so the nurses said.  It was so different.  No drama, no chaos, no scared faces or shaking hands.  Instead, nurses were bantering about their kids, and the doctors about their golf games.  Mackenzie Jane was born at 9:03pm weighing a perfect 8.0 pounds and 20 1/2 inches long.  She beat her brother out in weight and came a day earlier.  Let the competition begin.

Recovery was smooth and we were smitten.  

She came out hollering and did not stop for hours.  She lost her little voice, which had it's upsides. :)

Just like that, she was here and we were a family of four.

Colton was a bit concerned about mom when they came to visit the next morning.  We had prepared him about baby, but not so much about me.  

But before you knew it, he was just as taken with her as well.

Many friends who have known me since childhood think she looks like me.  We see some similarities between Colton and her as well.

Mackenzie Jane Ritter, you were worth the wait!

We liked the name Mackenzie from the start.  It was unique but not uncommon, like Colton.  We like all the nick-names associated with it.  Mackenzie means "daughter of a wise leader" and "favored one."

Jane is the middle name of Chris' late mom Patricia Jane Ritter, whom I never met, but respect the legacy she left for both her boys.  Chris and his brother now both have daughters with Jane as the middle name to honor Pat and the woman of God she was to her family.  

Month after month in our secondary infertility journey, I would come and rest in Psalm 77.  The Psalmist calls out to God questioning if He will ever bless again, and if He will ever be gracious again, only to be humbled by God's perfect holiness when pondering His wonderful works and deeds past.

Jane means "God has been gracious."

In my 21st week of pregnancy, after we settled on Jane as the middle name I looked up the meaning one morning.  I then returned to that Psalm for the first time since being pregnant.  Indeed, God had been gracious again.

And that is the beginning of this little girl's incredible story.  May the Lord continue to work His grace and wondrous deeds as she grows.

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