Friday, November 13, 2009


For our sweet Emma Star: The Story of Your Birth

October 30, 2009

Dear Little One,

Your journey into this world began on October 12th ... according to mommy :) That day I started having contractions and was convinced that you were coming that night. Your dad and I were babysitting the Lewis kiddos, while their mom and dad went to a concert, and after putting them to bed, I left your dad to keep watch over them while I came home, washed my hair, and started gathering our hospital bags together. We even made this silly little video ...

3 WEEKS LATER, after regularly having irregular contractions for what seemed like forever, we found ourselves having dinner with your Grama and Grampa Shotts. I had cooked Mimi's Sunday roast recipe for the first time ever (which happens to be the magic meal to induce labor for both me and your Aunt Ann) and after packing up the food and cleaning the kitchen, I got in bed, while your dad went into the study to watch Game 3 of the World Series. It was almost 10:00pm and as I laid there completely relaxed, I felt a little "pop." I was so perplexed about what I'd felt ... thinking maybe it was gas (??) but it sure didn't feel like any gas I'd ever experienced before. After 2 or 3 minutes of laying there wondering what was going on, you gave a big kick and I realized it was my water breaking! I called out for your dad and rushed to the bathroom and started shaking with excitement ... the day was finally here!! I knew without a doubt that we would get to meet you in less than 24 hours and I couldn't contain my excitement! After getting all ready to go (amazingly I had just washed my hair that night ... woohoo!), visiting with Allison ...

and packing up the car, dad and I laid in bed together and tried to relax to determine how far apart the contractions were. They were about 6 minutes apart, so after calling Brittany, my sweet doula, we left for the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30 and were checked in by Kyle, our first nurse. We walked the halls and the contractions started coming on stronger. Around 2 or 3am, they really started to hurt! So I decided I would try and lay back in bed to relax in between as much as possible and Brittany and your dad got to sleep for a little bit.

3 or 4 hours later, the second nurse shift began and we met Kathy, the WONDERFUL nurse that delivered you. The contractions were stronger at this point and Kathy was truly an angel sent in answer to so many prayers we had offered up weeks before for a good, supportive nurse to be with us for delivery. She and Brittany (and James :) helped make me more comfortable, made sure you were facing in the right direction, and helped me stay on top of each of the contractions.

Just a quick word about the contractions. So many things are going through my head at this point, the first being ... WHY did I opt out of an epidural again??? But the question barely formed in my head before I was met with overwhelming peace and comfort from our sweet God who is SO faithful to provide when we ask. Yes, the contractions were strong! But they were only 1 minute long! Just long enough to do their job, then it was over and I was miraculously able to COMPLETELY relax in between each of them. Always remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." Your dad had made me a playlist on the Ipod of praise and worship songs ... this was encouraging beyond belief! Worshiping through this swept me away from the struggle more than anything else could have. I think it was God's way of carrying me through this time.

After I'd gotten up to go to bathroom for the last time, I decided to stand for a little bit. And then it came ... this "urge to push" ... I'd read about it so many times and no written words can quite do justice to describing the enormous force of nature that this feels like! So many times during pregnancy, I wondered ... "how did cave women do this without doctors telling them when/how to push?" What a silly question. This feeling is crazy and intense and scary and beautiful all at the same time ... I felt SO blessed to get to feel it! So we got back up in bed, the nurse called the doctor and when she arrived a few minutes later, the pushing started.

This time was really strange and completely different from the intensity of the contractions. The contractions happened TO me ... I really had no control over how often or strong they came. But in a way, I was in charge of the pushing. I was much more involved in this process, trying to make each push as fruitful as possible. It was during this time that my mind went to running. The last 4 miles of that first marathon I did with your aunt ... or finishing a long run one Saturday that was particularly hard. These memories helped so much, in addition to focusing on the music that was playing. Even though I didn't have any drugs in me, I am convinced that the Lord blessed me with some natural narcotics during this time. Maybe endorphins or adrenaline (??) but strangely, the 45 minutes of pushing is like a blur to me now. I remember your dad's strong voice telling me over and over "you are doing so good ... keep going ... you can do it!" I remember Brittany telling me ... "this is it ... she's almost here!" The only clear image I have during this time was Dr. Kindrick's face, covered with this silly looking face mask as she told me, "on this next one, I need you to push harder but relax more." ... I remember that not really making ANY sort of sense to me at the time :) But luckily I had Brittany to follow that with a little better instructions on how that was supposed to happen. At one point, after a big long push, I even felt you retreat back a little and was so sad! But kept on pushing. Just before we heard your first sweet cry, the song "Glorious Day" was playing. And what a GLORIOUS DAY it was as your little head popped out and we heard your voice for the first time.

As you laid there on my chest, all purple and covered in gunk, you opened your eyes and we saw each other face to face for the first time. You'd not yet told me you love me or obeyed me when I spoke or told me what a great mom I was ... actually, all you had done at that point is caused me a great deal of pain! But I was so sick with love for you that it felt like someone had punched me in the gut and I would never recover.

What an incredible blessing - to experience this moment, just a taste of the way our Heavenly Father loves us.
Your dad and I held you and kissed you and reluctantly let go of you so they could clean you off and start poking around on you to make sure you were okay.

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  1. Congratulations! I loved your sweet videos. Your excitement definitely showed. Oh and your hair looked beautiful ;)

  2. Hey Katie! I am so happy to see that you have a blog! Emma is absolutely precious, and I loved reading all about your AMAZING birth experience. You go mama! Congratulations!!

  3. emma star's story is incredible! i loved reading it in your words and imagining her birth day and all the joy! too, too precious.
    congratulations kt! you are now not only katie delaware, but katie momma too:) lots and lots of love!

  4. God is SOOOO good! Thank you for the lovely writing of Emma's arrival. May God richly watch over you and your family and may His love be your buffer throughout life. We are so happy for you all. Rom 15:13