Today is Josh's 9th birthday! My, how the time flies. It seems like just yesterday he was born...
Saturday, December 4th, 1999
I was 38 weeks pregnant and I had just worked an 8 hour shift at TCF and was anxious to meet my grandparents and aunt and uncle, who were in town visiting, for dinner with other family at Cracker Barrel. After dinner, we went to another aunt and uncle's home to visit with each other even more. There was so much laughter and joy. One of the biggest laughs was the explanation of a neighborhood Christmas light display. We stayed really late and on our way home we passed by the ridiculous light display and laughed all over again. That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I said to God, "OK God. I'm ready when you are."
Sunday, December 5th, 1999
5am I was wakened by pain. "Gas pain" I thought and went back to sleep. 5:15am I was wakened again by the very same pain but went back to sleep. 5:30am, same pain, sleep. 5:45am, one more time then back to sleep.
6:00am the pain finally catches my attention. Did I mention that I went to bed really late and that I was 38 weeks pregnant so I was very tired! Anyway, I walked upstairs since I was living with my parents and told my mom that I thought I was having contractions. She told me to try to get more sleep and time them as they were waking me up. Of course I couldn't sleep so I got up, showered and got my hospital bag ready. The contractions were still light and fairly far apart so I decided to watch one of my favorite movies, White Christmas, which was fitting since it was the Christmas season. My parents and grandparents, who were staying with us, were soon up and getting ready to go to church. I opted to stay home since I was technically in labor. After church, My family was meeting the other family members for lunch and I didn't want to miss out so I went to lunch timing my contractions as they were getting stronger and closer. When one would come I would lay my head on my mom's shoulder until it passed. My aunt gave me one amazing little tip about childbirth: "When you bear down to push, let out a small breath. That will help you control the push a little better." That one amazing little tip would soon come in very handy.
After a delightful though painful lunch my mom and I decided to go to Target and get a little more Christmas shopping done. With each contraction I would have to stop and lean over the cart handle as they were getting even stronger and closer. What a crazy shopping trip!
Back at home my mom and I started to really time the contractions to get an idea of how far along in labor I was. I called the hospital and they told me I could come in but since this was my first baby and they typically take longer, they may send me back home. That was the last thing I wanted so I decide to stay home a little longer.
That little bit longer was just a little bit too long. Suddenly the contractions became very strong and very close. It was time to go. I called Josh's father to have him come meet me at the hospital and my mom and I were on our way. Not very far down the road my mom realized that she would have to drop me off at the hospital while she went to park and that was not a good idea to her. She called a family friend of ours, Cheryl, and asked if she could take us. As I was waiting for her husband, Dave, to pull their van out of the garage, I had a terrible contraction that brought me to my knees. As soon as it was over I stepped into the van and, lo and behold, my water broke. In their van. How utterly embarrassing. I was so concerned about their seats that I asked Cheryl to get some towels. She told me it would be OK but I basically growled at her, again, to get me some towels. She graciously, and very quickly, honored my request.
We were on our way at lightning speed and possibly, no, actually, breaking a few more laws. I know this because when I looked at the speedometer it read 90mph. Also, when we stopped at red lights and then immediately proceeded the light was still red.
I was admitted to the hospital, checked immediately, and was very surprised to find that I was dilated to a 9 already. I soon had the desire to push but was told to wait since they weren't ready. It is impossible to fight that urge. Insanely impossible.
Josh was born at 6:02pm weighing in at 7lb 3oz, 19 in long. I looked at this incredible new baby and wasn't sure what to do. I just held my hands close to him but not touching him and saying over and over "Oh my gosh."
That day I was changed forever. My identity, my place in the world became clearly defined. I finally knew what it was to love. I was humbled by that precious gift cradled in my arms. I am still humbled by this gift I can no longer cradle in my arms but will always be cradled in my heart.
Lord, bless Josh today and everyday with Your peace and Your JOY. Protect his heart, his mind, his body, and his soul. I thank You for the multitude of blessings You have given and have yet to give Josh. I pray that he will be receptive to Your will and will always be seeking You. Let me, as his mother, be an example of a faithful seeker. Lord, thank You for giving me such a sweet gift in Josh.