Tuesday, April 29, 2014

my son

I have wanted to write Elliot's birth story down since he was born, but never have. I'm sure I can't even remember all of the important details at this point--almost a year later--but there are a few things I have been thinking about this week, and I want to share them.

Both of my children were born around two weeks past their due dates. Eve was born in a hospital, induced, and Elliot was born naturally at home. The experiences could not be any more unlike each other. Eve was in the NICU for almost a week after she was born, while Elliot was sleeping in my arms immediately after his birth. Eve was born after 27 hours of labor, Elliot after 3. However, when Eve was born, she was alert and very observant. She was looking around and studying this new place (so I have been told, I didn't see her for a few hours after her birth), while Elliot was silent.

Elliot was sort of stuck on his way out of the birthing canal. One of his arms was behind his body rather than in front. His shoulders are somewhat broad, and this made it difficult for him to come out. Of course, we didn't know this at the time, and I probably pushed harder than I would have needed to, only to push him into my pelvic bone, I guess. Anyway. After a bit of no success, my midwife had me flip over on to all fours which seemed like THE WORST IDEA EVER at the time, but sure enough, he was born within minutes.

When Elliot was born, he was silent, and his coloring was off. He wasn't moving, he wasn't trying to breathe. Of course, the umbilical cord was still connected so he was getting his oxygen, but the mood was tense. I don't remember a lot of what was going on, but Andrew was behind me, and I think he was praying. My midwife was holding Elliot, encouraging him to become alert, rubbing his back, doing all of the things she had said she would do if need be--all of the things I didn't think she would need to do because why would my baby need to be resuscitated? That wasn't a part of my birth plan...

Throughout my pregnancy, and I believe this is because I had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with Elliot, I had sort of surrendered control--not entirely, but almost--of the baby's life. I remember praying, "Lord, I thank you for this chance to be pregnant again, but if you want this child to be with you instead, let Your will be done, and not mine." In retrospect, I have no idea why I was praying those prayers, but they just kept coming out. I was so afraid of losing another baby, but knew I had to put my trust in Him regardless of my fear. So when Elliot was born and he was deep purple, looking totally lifeless, I guess I wasn't really surprised, because I had prepared myself for another loss. It sounds so sad, and it was, but I wasn't sad. I was sort of paralyzed. I was staring at Elliot's face, saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," over and over again, not really knowing what to think.

After some time, who really knows how long, Elliot gasped for air, and he was all right. He was so purple because of bruising--he had been pressed up against my bones for so long, trying to come out, that his entire face was just bruised up. I truly couldn't believe it! Amazingly, during this whole period of time, I didn't once even think to look down and see if I had given birth to a baby boy or girl (we wanted the gender to be a surprise). My midwife finally said, "By the way, I don't tell you what you had. You have to check for yourself!" I laughed, and told Andrew we had a boy, which, of course, he already knew. I was the only one so out of it, I didn't even think to look. Incredible.

As Elliot nears his first birthday, I can't help but think about this year, and what a complete and total joy he has been. What a blessing he is! Today I was reading in Genesis about Abraham, and about his test from the Lord. The story of Abraham nearly sacrificing his son, Isaac, has always been an emotional one to read, but now as a mom of a little boy, the story just came to life in an entirely new way. Just as Abraham is about to slay his son, the Lord says, "Do not lay a hand on the boy...Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Gen. 22:12) Wow. This story in the Bible just reminds me so much of Elliot's birth. I feel that, like Abraham, I did not withhold Elliot from the Lord, without even realizing it, probably. I watched the Lord breathe Elliot's first breath into him, and saw, right in front of my face, my son open his eyes for the first time.

There really isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel so, so fortunate to have Elliot here, and to be his mom. He is such a precious gift, and it never feels like work to care for him. We are blessed to know you, little boy, and so thankful for this first year we have spent with you!


  1. He's such a handsome little guy! And I adore his name, it was one of my favorites when I was younger! So glad he came to after you gave birth to him, that must have been terrifying waiting for him to breathe, I can't imagine. He looks like such a happy easygoing baby :)

    1. Thank you, Grace. Easygoing is a perfect word to describe my little guy.

      Thanks for your comment. :)