Since Nate just turned one, I want to take some time this month to share some of the emails I sent this time last year. I didn't start blogging until March, so these are writings that haven't been on the blog. NOTE: Just a reminder that Nate's original name was Braylon. We decided to change it after a month or so.
1/5/09 Part of an email I sent to friends 4 days after Nate's birth
I'd like to start by sharing some of the birthing story with you as I see God's hand in it so deeply and know that he orchestrated a natural birth for me for a reason. After having contractions for 2 days, when I got to the hospital on Thursday morning, I was already at 7cm. After they checked me, they let me go get in the jacuzzi. I spent 2.5 hrs laboring in there. I felt very comfortable and relaxed and would actually just sit back and chill and talk between each contraction. After about 2 hrs, we decided it was time for Bob to take a break and my mom took his place in helping me. Bob went to get something to eat downstairs, but then my water broke. I immediately felt I needed to push, so they rushed me down the hall by wheelchair and got me back to the room. Mom called Bob and he got back to me as fast as he could. At this point I started to panic, but then the Dr (who God appointed to be on call that day and was not my Dr) got close to my ear, squeezed my hand and said, "Danielle, you can do this. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you". Wow, what a blessing. I pushed for about 40 minutes. Braylon was placed directly on me and moments after holding him, I looked up and asked anyone listening, "Does he look like he has Down syndrome?". I looked at my moms face and knew she was thinking the same thing. They called the Pediatrician to take a look at him. While many things are in his favor (strong heart, strong lungs, able to cry and nurse), there are also several things that caused us to wonder (squinty/slanted eyes, low muscle tone, extra skin at the back of his neck). The Dr would not deny or confirm our concern, but said he could see what we were seeing and suggested we get a blood test done to figure it out (we never did the screening during pregnancy because we knew we wouldn't do anything about it and it could cause a stressful pregnancy - all 3 of my ultrasounds I had never showed any concern).
At this point, the wind was completely taken out of our sails. I couldn’t believe I could have just gone through this amazing life-changing experience of natural labor and now may be raising a child with special needs. But I know now that God made that experience part of the journey to remind me in a strong way that I am a strong, capable woman. I have grown way too reliant on others over the past few years and know I need to rely on God’s strength now and allow him to work through and in me.