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Dax’s Birth Story

29 Jul

A lot of people have been asking, and I’ve been meaning to document it for my own personal records, so here we go.

“What does labor feel like?”

That’s the text message I sent to my friends Ashley and Elizabeth Joy around 11  AM on Wednesday, July 18th. They responded, and their answers were pretty similar to the way I had been feeling since about 9 AM.

I was having pretty painful contractions, which kind of felt like I was getting the period from hell. I would get up, walk around, drink water, and nothing would alleviate the pain. But, despite Ashley and EJoy’s assurance that, yes, I was more than likely having a baby, I was reluctant to believe it. After all, it was exactly a week before Dax’s due date.

At their instruction, I finished up a project I was working on and told my boss I was going to work from home the rest of the day. I figured that I’d go home and lay down and the contractions would subside. After an hour or so of laying down with the contractions only growing stronger and more frequent, Dan insisted we go into triage for the fourth time, even though I really didn’t want to. I figured it was just another case of false labor and I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. But I finally relented because, “After all,” Dan said, “the worst they can do is send us home again.”

When we got into triage, the nurse joked with us that, perhaps, the “fourth time’s the charm.” When she went to check my cervix, I pleaded with her.

“Please tell me this is labor,” I begged, “because this is really awful, and if it’s not labor, I don’t know what I’ll do when real labor happens.”

A few seconds later she nonchalantly affirmed me. “You’re about four — no wait — five centimeters dilated and, yes, this is labor, and you will be admitted.” The words came out of her mouth so plainly, as if they weren’t some Godsend of a message. But, no matter how flatly she explained it, tears sprung to my eyes as I looked at my husband.

“We’re having a baby!” he said proudly.

They admitted me right away and they whisked me away to the room where I’d deliver my child, and Dan popped in the first Harry Potter film. (Hey — there are 8 movies. It was a good idea to bring them all!)

Our birth plan was to have no medicinal interference, but we also were humble enough to have open minds, just in case. I labored hard and strong, progressing nicely, until about 9:30PM, putting me in labor just over 12 hours. At that point, my contractions were so intense and painful that I was positive I was in transition. But I was wrong. My body was stalled out at 8 centimeters.

No matter what I did, my cervix refused to dilate any more. Even though my contractions were right on top of each other for hours, there was no movement. So finally, after talking it over with Dan, I asked for and got medication. First through my IV, then an epidural.

From there, there was a lot of waiting. My body still wasn’t progressing, so the doctors had to break my water. But Dax was already so far down, pushing hard against my stubborn cervix (evidenced by the CRAZY BIZARRE shape of his head upon entry into the world) that breaking my water did nothing. So the doctors and nurses had to manually move my cervix out of the way (just imagine what that must have felt like without an epidural) in order for Dax to progress.

I felt the extreme urge to push, and I did for a good while, but one of the nurses (who happens to be the mother of a good friend of mine!) suggested that I just lay there and wait for Dax to move down on his own until it was absolutely unbearable and I had no choice but to push. To avoid exhaustion, I agreed, and laid back to watch Goblet of Fire. (Yeah, we made it to the fourth movie.)

After awhile, I was pretty positive I had to push. So I called the nurses in. They checked me and one of them said, “Yep, you’re ready, you’re going to have a baby in less than 30 minutes.”

OH MY GOSH!

So, they called the doctor in and, with one nurse holding one leg and Dan holding the other, I pushed for about 20 minutes until I heard my sweet babe’s first cry. And then I cried.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself for opting for pain medication, honestly. And I think Dan was disappointed, too. But ultimately I think that our birth went exactly the way that God wanted it to go — Dax came out perfectly fine and healthy, with no complications, and I was still able to feel a lot, so I was very connected to the experience.

I can’t write it in words, but the feeling of hearing my baby and seeing him for the first time? It’s hands down the most precious, special, perfect moment I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never known such love.

And now that I’ve given birth I know I can do pretty much anything.

Maternity Photos — We Did It!

27 Jun

Welp, we took your advice and went for it! And there is actually quite the back story…

After I posted this blog, our friend Leah who does photography in Orlando offered to do maternity shots for free. We were so blown away by her offer! We set up a date and were all ready to travel down when, oops, I had a close call with false labor.

The doctor advised us not to travel, lest we wanted to have a baby in Orlando (we really don’t) so we had to cancel with Leah.

However, I was so excited about having photos done, I racked my brain to try to think of an alternative. Then I remembered our good friend and budding photographer Sammie!

I messaged Sammie on Friday asking her if she was free the next day to shoot for us (after all, we weren’t sure how long this kid was going to be in my belly) and she obliged!

We agreed to take the photos at Railroad Square which was nostalgic, because that’s where we had our engagement photos with Ashley taken so long ago. It all comes full circle, I guess!

Here are some of our faves from the shoot (sorry if they’re huge):

Thanks again, Leah and Sammie! Y’all rule!

Thoughts on Father’s Day

14 Jun

When I first got pregnant, my mom asked me a really jarring question:

“Do you want me to try to track down your dad and tell him you’re pregnant?”

I didn’t know what to say.

For those of you who don’t know, I haven’t seen my father since I was nine. And the last time I talked to him I was nineteen. It wasn’t even a conversation, really; it was a four-page letter I wrote him telling him to get out of my life forever.

Long story, I guess.

Anyway, while my gut reaction was a hearty HELLS NO, I decided to not go with that. I gave it some thought and prayed about it and then talked it over with Dan and concluded that if Mom could reach my dad, he could know about his grandchild. But the extent to which he’d be involved in our child’s life would be at our discretion.

She hasn’t found him yet, so who knows what will happen.

But as Father’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think about him. And my son. And the fact that, because of my son, this is the first Father’s Day I can remember having a father figure of some kind to truly be thankful for — my husband.

Granted, he’s not a father figure to me. That void is still very real in my life and probably always will be, despite being raised by a great woman. But, if the American Dream is for our kids to have it better than we did, Dan will certainly fulfill at least this part of that dream for our kids.

Sure, he has flaws. All parents do.

But he really loves me. He truly, honestly, wholeheartedly, loves me. And I know he already loves our baby more than either one of us can fathom, even though Dax is still in my belly.

But, more than anything, he’s here. He’s committed. And I know that nothing could ever tear him away from us.  That is truly invaluable.

Dan, I love you so much and am so thankful for you. Happy Father’s Day.

Late Night Blogging at 30 Weeks

17 May

The Durrenbaby blog has been noticeably quiet over the past month and for that I sincerely apologize. In our defense, to say a lot has happened in recent weeks would be the understatement of the year; our home was burglarized, we lived in our friends’ camper until we could sign a lease, we moved across town, and I went back to only having one job.

All the while, little Dax has continued to grow and mature inside my belly, something I’ve sadly been only partially aware of amidst our chaotic circumstances. And there have been lots of baby things for me to blog about. I just haven’t had the energy or the wherewithal to sit down and record it all.

My husband is away for a church staff retreat which leaves me alone in our bed in our new apartment, which still feels more like a hotel than a home. To try and sleep at this point would be futile, so blogging it is! Here’s where we stand.

I am currently 30 weeks along in pregnancy. 30. Weeks. Only ten away from our due date. I can’t believe it. I had my 30-week check up today (sans Dan, which made me sad, but it’s okay) and my doctor’s visits have been upped to every two weeks instead of every four. Eeep! Soon they’ll be every week!

Time is slipping away so quickly and there is still so much to get done before Dax shows up. But! It will get done! Once the husband is back, I’ll take a legit belly picture. You know, with the chalkboard and all that.

We’ve started childbirth classes! Our first one was Monday night. The teacher of the class is named Heidi, and she’s your stereotypical childbirth educator — soft-spoken, maternal, pseudo-crunchy, and soothing. I know we’ve only had one class with her so far, but I can tell I’m going to learn a lot about my body and being a mother and just how strong I am. Just being near this woman and hearing her speak about the beauty and strength surrounding pregnancy and childbirth makes me feel like I can actually push this kid out. So she’s gotta be doing something right.

She also brought Publix cookies which probably helped out a ton. Bravo, Heidi Bravo.

At the beginning of the month, we were blessed with not one but two baby showers! The first was thrown by a handful of some sweet friends of mine, and the second was hosted by our bible study.

Baby shower number 1 had a book theme, so everyone was instructed to bring their favorite children’s book in lieu of a card. Because both of Dax’s parents are bookworms and his mom is a writer, it was absolutely perfect. There were cupcakes with little miniature books sticking out of them and the favors were bookmarks celebrating “Dax, the world’s newest reader.” It was so sweet and perfect. And Dax has so many books now! I can’t wait to start reading them to him! In fact, I may start now. Is that weird? I mean, he can hear me…

Baby shower number 2 was great because each person in our bible study wrote on index cards the traits Dan and I possess that will make us good parents, as well as bible verses of encouragement and grace. Oh, and the Play-Doh baby sculptures were pretty rockin’, too. But my favorite part was after the gifts were all opened, the entire group went through a guided prayer for us and Dax that, of course, made me cry my eyes out. To hear people sincerely pray for us and our little baby was the most moving thing. It is so overwhelming how much love our friends have for this little child already. I am floored.

So that’s about it. You’re caught up! I’m going to sleep now. Stay tuned for a belly picture, guest starring our new home/backdrop!

— Lindsay

Babymoon, Pt. 1

9 Feb

So, tonight is the night when Lindsay and I take off for our Babymoon! (Have we mentioned this already? It’s like a honeymoon, except it’s to get away by ourselves for the last time before Durrenbaby shows up and changes everything.)

So, Disney World here we come! It is the most magical place on earth, after all.

The idea is that we’re going to pretend that Lindsay isn’t pregnant for four days. You know, except that Lindsay can’t ride all of the rides or Drink Around the World at Epcot, and she’s going to have to pee every 20 minutes. But that isn’t the point! We’re getting away from everything–even our responsibilities at our church/my job–to simply enjoy each other for the last time before our family grows.

As excited as we are to welcome Durrenbaby into the world in July, we’re more excited to enjoy each other’s company now and into the future. There’s no denying it: our relationship–and everything else–will be different when we “officially” become parents. These few days are meant to help us enjoy what our relationship is now before it changes.

Have I said enough to convince you that we are NOT dreading becoming parents? Because we’re not. But we know things WILL be different. Not worse–and maybe not even better–just different when Durrenbaby shows up.

A few notes of thanks:
+ Big shout out to our friend Zack for looking after the Purrenbergers while we’re gone. Also, thanks for naming our cats “the Purrenbergers.”
+ Thank you, Disney, for offering kick-butt deals to your parks (relatively speaking) for Florida residents.
+ Another thanks to our student loan interest and the U.S. government, who combined to give us enough of a tax deduction to afford the aforementioned kick-butt deal.
+ Big ups to the children’s ministry and student ministry volunteers who are working to do awesome things while we’re gone!
+ Also, thank YOU. I mean, you’re still reading this far into the post. That’s commendable, given this random and possibly unnecessary list…