Ever since we found out we were pregnant in June, both Eric and I have greatly anticipated the birth of our third child. Bringing a new life into this world is one of life’s greatest miracles and we feel so grateful that we have been entrusted with three precious souls to take care of; our children are truly our greatest joy, and each of their birth stories have been so unique and different from one another. Deacon’s birth story is no exception.
Going into this pregnancy, I had only had vaginal deliveries, so having a C-section this time around was a whole new ball game. At our 20 week anatomy scan, we found out that I had placenta previa, and it was confirmed again at our 30 week scan. With placenta previa, vaginal deliveries are not possible because of where the placenta is over top of the cervical opening. My doctor wanted to give my placenta just a little more time to move off of my cervix, as he knew how much I wanted to have another vaginal delivery, so one last ultrasound was scheduled for 38 weeks on the dot; Dr. Friesen told me that if my placenta still hadn’t moved by then he would take me for a c-section that day or the next. So we had our scan scheduled for 38 weeks, February 6th.
On Saturday January 28th, I started having timeable contractions that were 10-12 minutes apart and they continued for about 24 hours straight and then tapered off along with some very light spotting. On Monday morning, I decided to call in and let them know, as I was already dilated to 2cm and Dr. Friesen said that it was imperative that I didn’t go into active labor and that there was no way I could deliver our baby boy safely. They had me come in that morning and moved my ultrasound up, once again confirming that I still had placenta previa. They did not do an internal exam at that point, as they could see on the ultrasound that I was not yet effaced, so we went ahead and scheduled my c-section for the following Monday morning, the 6th. But my body had other plans.
I continued to have sporadic contractions over the next day or two and was just generally really uncomfortable, but knew that I just had to hang on one more week. The anticipation of meeting our baby boy was SO real and it did my heart a lot of good to have a date for his delivery set, especially so we could have the girls prepared ahead of time. On the night of February 1st, Eric and I stayed up late watching a movie and I took a long bath. We sat on the couch until almost midnight talking, both expressing how crazy it was that our son was going to be here by next Monday. I took my nightly Unisom and crawled into bed having no idea what was going to happen less than 2 hours later.
(this is where it gets a little graphic, so beware!)
I woke up a little after 1:30am to use the bathroom. Before I even sat down I felt something running down my legs. Expecting to look down and see just pee, bright red blood was everywhere. I quickly sat down and it continued to just pour out of me. Not only was it just blood, but huge clots. Almost immediately I started having contractions that were pretty strong. I knew things were going to move fast.
“Oh, no, no, no!” I cried. I wiped my legs down and stuck my head out into our room and called for Eric. “Eric, honey we have to get to the hospital now. I mean right now, we need to go. I’m bleeding everywhere.” He rushed out of bed and into the bathroom, confirming the massive amounts of blood. At this point I was starting to get dizzy. I don’t think it was from the blood loss, just out of surprise and fear. I ran and got my phone and called Sheila, my mother-in-law, and told her to come over right away to stay with the girls. Luckily they live right across the road and she was over in just a couple of minutes. We grabbed our bags and headed for the door, but first I waddled down the hall to look at my girls one more time before we left. I know it might seem silly, but I just wanted to make sure they were ok before we took off. I covered both of them back up and kissed their foreheads, all the while feeling myself bleeding more and more, and then quickly made my way out to the van.
Once we got in the van I called ahead to labor and delivery to let them know the situation and that we were on our way and would be there in about 20-30 minutes. I was nervous that the drive was so long, but I just prayed the whole way there and breathed through the contractions. I thought that I could feel a few small movements on the way there, but nothing really big or definitive. In my fear, I really didn’t know how to pray, so I did the only thing I knew in my heart I could; I prayed a prayer of complete surrender and gave our son back to God, knowing that he isn’t ours to begin with. I prayed for my contractions to slow down and that God would protect our sweet boy at any cost. But ultimately I prayed that no matter what we would feel God’s presence in every moment.
After what seemed like hours, we arrived at the hospital and I was so afraid to get out. When I stood up, I immediately felt something huge fall out of me and into my pants. I was praying that it wasn’t part of my placenta. We walked as fast as we could to the elevators and made our way to the L&D unit. They got us back to the triage room and had me undress, revealing that what I felt fall out when I got out of the car was a clot the size of about 2 grapefruit. Horrified (I mean seriously, it was gross) they hooked me up to the fetal and contraction monitors right away.
And then we heard it.
Our son’s perfect heart beat.
God’s presence was felt so much in those moments. I was able to calm down just a little bit at that point, knowing that for the moment our boy was safe. Dr. Friesen ended up being out of town, so the on-call doctor, Dr. Hatten, would be performing my c-section. He was already there finishing up another c-section, so the timing was really perfect. They began getting my IV’s started and began fluids. At this point I started shaking really hard and didn’t stop for the next few hours. Eric was such a rock this whole time. He stayed so calm and sat there holding my hand while they got me ready to go back to the operating room. Once I was in the wheelchair, he got suited up and then the poor guy had to sit there by himself while they prepped me for surgery.
One of the only things that I wish could have happened differently was that I wish Eric would have been allowed to go back to the OR with me while I got my epidural and spinal block (I understand why, it just made me so nervous to not have him there). Once on the table, they prepped my back and I started to get so scared, this was really happening! I looked up around the room, looking for anyone who would make eye contact and reached my hands out to my triage nurse, Cori, asking if she would come and talk me through the epidural placement. She was so calm and reassuring the whole time, I was so grateful for her. The anesthesiologist explained while he was placing the catheter in my back that sometimes as they begin the spinal block medication that it causes some women’s blood pressure to bottom out and feel faint. Well, that happened to me…. three times. I could still fuzzily hear what was going on, but I couldn’t see anything and had zero control over my body.
“Oh, I think I’m going to be sick… I’m so hot, oh gosh I’m so sorry…”
“Oh, she’s going down…. we lost her…”
And that was all I heard. They quickly gave me some medication to bring my blood pressure up, and continued to do so for the remainder of the surgery as my pressure kept bottoming out. Sadly, I felt like i was in a fog for most of the surgery; I still remember everything, it’s just a bit fuzzy.
Once they had my pressure stabilized, they laid me on the table and began to drape my belly to get our boy out. I just laid there nervously, and all of the sudden Psalm 46:1 popped into my mind and I kept reciting it over and over again: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” The more and more I whispered these words, the more my heart was calmed.
This was my time of trouble. And He was SO PRESENT. Thank you Lord for your promises to me!
At this point, Eric was finally let in and he was a most welcomed sight! We just sat there and held hands as we waited. The doctors kept telling me to feel pressure and tugging, but I really felt almost nothing, maybe a few tugs up near my chest. Besides feeling heavy chested, I felt no other discomfort, something I wasn’t expecting.
And then, with out any warning at 3:37am, we heard it….
Our son’s first cries.
We both looked at each other, shocked. He was finally here! One of my favorite memories in that moment was seeing my husband smile through his eyes. I couldn’t see his mouth because of his medical mask, but his eyes said it all. We were both overjoyed.
I told him to go over to the warmer and see our boy. And what I got to watch from behind the surgical drape was purely magic. I got to watch my husband see our son for the first time. I could hear our baby crying and see his little arms and legs flailing. And then I saw his FULL head of hair, even being born 3 weeks early. They called out his “stats”: 5 pounds 14 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. I had to have them tell me again because I couldn’t believe how small he was. I kept asking Eric if he was sure that he was ok and healthy, and he kept saying how perfect he was. I watched Eric cut the cord and saw him comforting our new little baby. For me, it was the most surreal moment of this entire birth experience. For our girls, it was me who had them laid on my chest and I was the one to see and really experience them first while my husband watched at my side. This time it was my Eric. And as much as I was so sad about that when I initially found out we were having a c-section, it was a really beautiful moment when it actually happened and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
After they got him cleaned up, Eric brought him over to me so I could finally see him. “My sweet Deacon,” I said as I kissed his little forehead. I couldn’t get over it, he was so perfect. It was such a special moment between the three of us. At that point I was too weak to even try and hold him, so Eric took him off to the recovery room while they continued to stitch me up.
Once the surgery was done, they wheeled me into the recovery room with Eric and Deacon and he brought him over to me and we got to do skin to skin right away. My sweet little, LITTLE boy was finally in my arms and it was the greatest, most relieving moment. Deacon was sucking on his hands right away, so we went ahead and tried to put him up to my breast and he latched on immediately and nursed for about 20 minutes. This was something that didn’t happen right away with either of the girls, so Eric and I were absolutely thrilled. They wheeled us up to our hospital room and we got to spend some time getting to know our son; our precious Deacon Edwin Eberspacher.
We couldn’t get over what a beautiful gift he was! Our son for which we had prayed so hard for was finally here. And while absolutely nothing went according to plan, it was beyond scary, and it all happened so fast, God’s plan for how Deacon would come into the world was perfect. And the fact he came into the world healthy and in God’s timing is all that mattered.
I’m so glad I got to share our Little Buddy’s birth story with you. I’m hoping to be able to share more about my recovery, breastfeeding, and of course how our family is adjusting to becoming a family of 5 in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes, friends!
Welcome to the farm, Deacon!