One year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed staring at the clock on the wall counting the minutes till I got to hold you in my arms. I couldn't wait to hold you and see your sweet, little face for the first time. You won't understand any of this now, but one day I hope that you can look back at your birth and see the true miracle and gift from God that you are. Here's how your story began...
The week after Thanksgiving 2009, I started having severe itching of my hands and feet. This was an itch that wouldn't go away with scratching, it was like it was internal. I would wake up many times a night and rub my feet on the floor to try to help get some relief. No relief would come. I finally called your Aunt Jill to see if it was something I should be concerned about. She called me early the next morning and said to get to my doctor. After several office visits and bloodwork, they diagnosed me with cholestasis of the liver. I'm still not sure what all that meant but they said it could affect you. On December 9th, we met with Dr. Wood and she said it would be best to go ahead and schedule an induction to have you the next week, at 37 weeks. This both excited and scared your dad and I all at the same time. We were so excited to meet you but wanted to make sure you had as long as possible to grow inside me.
December 11th, we had a scare. Daddy was on his way home from work and I had been resting on the couch since Dr. Wood wouldn't let me go to work. I was having to watch evrey move you made inside me to make sure you were moving enough. The doctor called them kick counts. I wasn't feeling you near as much as I had been the past few days, you were such an active little man in my womb. Once your daddy got home, we called the hospital and they told us to come in to be put on a monitor. We rushed to the hospital as fast as we could. Papa and Precious met us that and we were all wondering if you were going to make your appearance on that night. After being put on a monitor for an hour or so to track your movements, the nurses said that you were still happy as could be in my womb even with me having some contractions so they sent us home.
December 13th, the day before you were born
On December 14, 2009, we checked into the hospital at 7am. Looking back now, I think that I was so excited to meet you that I didn't care how hard or easy the labor was, I just wanted to hold you and know that you were ok. Around 8 am, Dr Wood checked me and I was already at 6cm and was fully ready to have you. Everyone, including the doctors and nurses thought that I would have you by lunch. They began the pitocin and broke my water right after that. Labor really began to speed up so I went ahead and got an epidural to help the pain. All of this time, I was watching the clock, couting the minutes and praying for you. Many times the nurses thought that you were minutes away from being born so they would turn on the warmers to put you in only to quickly turn them off. My labor and contractions kept speeding up and slowing down for several hours. After being checked again, they realized that you were "sunny side up." This means that you were face up instead of face down which is normal for delivery. Minutes turned into hours and it was soon 4 pm. Once realizing you weren't turned the right way making delivery harder we began doing "practice pushing" to help try to get you into a better position to deliver. All I could do was pray and know that God was in control and holding you in his loving hands! I feel like most of the day was an out of body experience because I felt like I was being carried by God. I knew on my own strength that I couldn't deliver you or get you into position to deliver. God reassured us constantly that he was in control because throughout the whole day, your heartrate never wavered.
Sometime at the beginning of the day :-)
At 8pm and after 4 hard hours of pushing and labor, Dr. Wood said that we had the option to use suction to help deliver you. Your dad and I quickly made that decision. With the decision made to use assistance, the NICU team swooped in to be there once you were born. At 8:21 pm, you were born!! The cord had been wrapped around your neck twice make a sunny side up delivery even harder. The NICU team quickly began to check on you because you weren't breathing well on your own.....After what seemed like hours, they finally laid you on my chest! My heart melted at the sight of you knowing that God had blessed us with this little miracle named Griffen Jey Stepter! The NICU team quickly explained that they would take you to be observed for 6 hours to make sure your breathing regulated. My heart broke to see you and your daddy walk out the door to go to the NICU but I knew that once again, God was holding you in his arms.
Griffen Jey---7 pounds 13 oz.; 21 inches long----born at 8:21pm
After several hours in recovery, a nurse wheeled me down to see you and your daddy in the NICU. I saw your dad's face and knew that you were ok. Bless his heart, he never got to hold you until I got there. A nurse handed you to me and my heart stopped knowing that you were ours. Our little blessing from God was finally here. Trying not to steal too much time from your dad, I handed you to him. You could see the pride in his eyes as he held you for the first time. It was a moment that I will cherish forever. The three of us there in the middle of the NICU thanking God for a healthy baby boy.
You spent the night in the NICU and were able to come to our room around 5 am. After that, I never wanted to let you go!
Through this story of your birth, I pray that you see, like the verse says, the height, breadth, and how deep of the love of Christ is for you! Know that, believe it and always know that He loves you. He truly has special plans for you so always trust him......Happy birthday little man! You are such a blessing to us everyday through your smile and laughter. May you always bring joy to those around you and show the love of Christ to all you meet! I love you so much.