Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Axel James Opperman

As I sit and type this, I'm sipping coffee with my sweet miracle 2 week old bubs. I've tried and tried to sit and write out his labor story MANY times, but I just wasn't ready. I needed time to reflect, ponder, and be thankful of the miracle that Axel truly is. And I'm ready to share his story...

At 41 weeks, to the day, (ugh) I had a doctor's appt. Being a week overdue, I was more than ready to get the show on the road. And my dr. agreed. She said we couldn't wait any longer, and I needed to be induced. However, the hospital I was supposed to deliver at had a waiting list of over a WEEK long. And she said I couldn't wait that long. So we arranged for me to deliver at another hospital. I was expecting to deliver that week, but when she said we have an opening the next morning at 4am, I was filled with excitement/anxiety/fear/etc. I couldn't believe I was going to have a baby the next day. And then it hit me. It was the 29th of February. We were going to have a Leap Day bubs! The rest of that day was filled with last minutes...we had to now register at the new hospital, take a quick tour, do some last minute cleaning, and laundry. I also did a quick run to the grocery store, so my parents would have something to eat when they came up! And of course a last dinner. I've really tried to eat as healthily as I could while preggers, so I enjoyed Pizza Hut for my last meal! Sleeping that last night was a JOKE. I couldn't stop thinking about what Axel would look like...blue eyes? Blonde hair? Long like his daddy? Big baby? For my sake, I was hoping for under 8 lbs...ha! Finally I dozed off for about 2 hours...

At 4am we arrived at the hospital. They immediately got me into a gown and hooked up to IV fluids. They asked me some last minute questions, got my ice chips, and began my pitocin drip at about 5:30am. I sat there very nervous just waiting to feel a doozy of a contraction. And nothing. The nurse came in about every 30 minutes and turned my drip up...and each time I got nervous thinking about the contractions to come. The dr came in at 9:05am and broke my water. Then I got really nervous. I knew that the contractions generally picked up the pace at that point. But still, nothing too bad. Finally I realized this could be awhile, so I relaxed a bit. Brian did a fantastic job of keeping me entertained. I also read a magazine, watched TV, journaled, and tried to enjoy & savor each moment. It was around 1pm when the contractions started to get strong. And I was really starting to dilate and efface. So Ray walked into my life. And he was my bff for the day. He was the epi man, as I called him. I was extremely nervous about getting it put in, but it was quick, painless, and OH, SO WORTH IT! I had realief within 20 minutes. The rest of the afternoon I dozed in and out. I was so droggy and worn out from no sleep the night before. At about 5pm I woke up to severe contractions that I felt despite the epi. Brian was an amazing coach and helped me breathe through them. It was then I realized why it was called "labor." I was working harder than I've ever worked trying to take one contraction at a time. Despite Brian's FANTASTIC coaching efforts, the pain got intense. I was in so much pain, they sent Ray in again, to "top" me off. Ahh...relief, again.

At 6pm, my dr came in to check me and unfortunately I was at an 8 but not ready to push. And she had to leave. So she introduced me to her partner who would be with me the rest of my labor and delivery. She was spunky and I immediately loved her. If I couldn't have my dr, she was the next best. Just a quick hour and half later, I was a 10...it was time to push. And then I panicked. Brian, being the amazing support system he is, encouraged me and prayed. And exactly at 7:30pm I began pushing. The dr thought it would be a quick delivery. However, 30 min into the process we quickly discovered this was not the case. For the sake of all the preggos out there, I will spare the details, but I've never worked so hard, hurt so bad, for anything in my entire life. There were 2 specific moments where I was COVINCED I could not go on. If Brian wasn't there encouraging me, and knowing my family and friends were covering me in prayer, I don't know what I would have done. It was around 9:15pm and we were getting oh, so close. His head was out. And thats when it got crazy. And went downhill, fast. Axel got his shoulders caught in my pelvic bone, and because of the way he was turned they couldn't get him out. They had me laboring on hands and knees and all sorts of tactics to get his body to turn. But he didn't. And it was getting serious. All of the sudden the dr looked at me, told me to push like it was life or death...I knew this wasn't looking good. As I was pushing for his life, the dr was trying to get a hold of something to pull him out. No avail. And it was too late for a C section. He was decended too far down. Like something in a movie, my delivery nurse, Holly, jumped on my stomach. NO EXAGGERATION. Jumped on it. The dr was able to grab Axel out by his arm. Finally at 9:36am Axel was born. But he wasn't breathing. Our worse nightmare was coming true. A swarm of dr's and additional nurses came in our room. It was all a blur. All I knew was my baby boy wasn't breathing. Brian and I began praying and claiming scripture. After what seemed like an eternity, we heard a cough. It was the BEST sound I've ever heard. Then it was followed by a cry. Brian was then allowed to meet our son (I was being stitched up-16 hr labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. Enough said). As soon as Brian said, "Axel its daddy," Axel reached his hand out for Brian. That is an image I will NEVER forget. Then Brian brought our little miracle over to me. And finally, we were a family. My life was forever changed.

I could go on and on about how this unexpected labor and delivery experience changed my life. Or all the lessons the Lord has taught me through this. But since this post is RIDICULOULSY LONG, I will stop for today. I'm sure you'll hear much more, soon;) Brian and I feel so much more than blessed. Words can't describe. And I can't wait to see what the Lord has for Axel.

He truly lived up to his name, "divine reward."

Can you tell this was early on?


Meeting our son. I can't believe I'm posting this pic, but Axel's face is too priceless. And its fun to see before and after.

The first cry from Axel. Our "divine reward" I like how the nurse kept it modest for us;)

Axel James Opperman
7lbs 13 oz
20.5 in




7 comments:

Joni Bain Photography said...

Wow. I'm trying to hold back the tears after reading that. What an amazing birth story! I LOVE birth stories and totally enjoyed reading this one, especially the beautiful and happy ending that it had. :o)

Becky said...

Thanks for sharing Erica - what an amazing story and seeing pictures of Axel is truly a joy! All the best to you and Brian as new parents! No doubt that you will be amazing!

michelle said...

oh my gosh Erika! I had no idea - he's a stubborn little one. I'm so proud of you and I can't wait to meet him. I can't imagine how in love you are. All my love dear friend.

Amy Turner said...

Oh my Erika, thank you for sharing your amazing story. God is good! Love you friend - Amy

Mom said...

Precious Punkin,
As I read this again and remember the pacing I did in the waiting room, I'm in awe of our incredible Heavenly Father and His ways! Birth is always a miracle but He truly showed Himself in Axel's! Daddy and I are so proud of you and Brian. Love you three so much!!!

Xoxoxoxox,
Mom:)

Anonymous said...

To my precious daughter-in-law and mother of Axel,
Your blog brought tears to my eyes. Your story only reminds me of how awesome our God is, how he listens to our prayers and answers them. I'm so very thankful for our divine reward, Axel.

Love you,
Mom Opperman

Jordan said...

What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations to you guys!