Today marks the end of Birthday Season 2015: my eldest son Christian, my youngest son Levi, my mom, and Micah each have birthdays within a two-week window. Today is Micah’s 15th birthday!
15 years and 1 day ago, a Friday, I thought I might be in labor. My contractions were picking up in pace and intensity for several hours during the day. My son, Micah, was due on February 19th, so it wasn’t quite “time.” My only other labor had been brought on by my water breaking and then intense contractions, so I really wasn’t sure if this was labor.
Several of the teenage girls from youth ministry at church came over to hang out with me for the day. I vaguely remember going on walks with them, putzing around in the kitchen with them, and generally enjoying their presence as a happy distraction. One of the teen’s moms came to pick her up, a nurse who worked at the very hospital where we planned to give birth. I distinctly remember her encouraging me to have a natural birth. With my first baby, I was dead set against epidurals. This time, I had researched and researched and researched, and being very afraid of the pain had decided an epidural was the way to go. I politely argued with the nurse (who happened to be my husband’s aunt and very correct about natural being better) that this was not my plan this time.
Funny how we make plans, right?
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
I had a glass of wine at bedtime (encouraged by the doula at my first birth to do so – wine would help stop contractions that weren’t real, and would give me much needed rest if they were real. She assured me I would wake up with strong contractions regardless of the glass of wine.) At some point in the middle of the night, I woke up. And yes, the contractions were strong. The weird thing is, they never became evenly spaced out. Some were 2 minutes apart, others 10 minutes apart. Some were crazy uncomfortable and others were mild. I REALLY had my heart set on that epidural, tho, so I asked Ron to call the hospital and ask if we could come in.
The nurse on the phone assured Ron it was too early and that my contractions were not regular enough to warrant driving to the hospital just yet. About a half hour later, after a few more strong contractions, I declared that it was time to go to the hospital, whether they thought I was ready or not! By this time, it was about 4am on Saturday morning.
When we got to the hospital, I remember the nurse being annoyed that we were there so soon. She checked me, and found I was “only a 3.” By this time, I felt like I was having intense contractions. She suggested we walk around the hospital, but I knew I could not. I asked to be checked into a room to use the shower (the hand-held pressure sprayer had helped with my first labor). My mother and sister-in-law had arrived in time to hear the nurse send me to the shower and strongly recommend that I spend at least 30 minutes in there. Mom and my sis-in-law decided to run out for coffee and a camera.
My contractions picked up in the shower. I used the coping devices I had learned from my first birth and moaned through them. The water pressure and heat felt fantastic. A half hour went by and I kept thinking, “When can I get this epidural and rest?” Suddenly, I felt the urge to push. I asked my husband to get the nurse, because the baby was coming. He gently reassured me, “You’ll get your chance to push later, honey!” This made me hopping mad. After all, I was the one who felt a baby making his way out of my body! I yelled for him to get the nurse NOW.
She must have heard my yelling, for she came right in and had me climb up to the table for her to check me. I felt like she was a little irritated, and thought I was over-reacting. A few seconds later, she said, “Oh! Here’s the baby! Don’t push yet, we have to wake up the doctor!” My mom and sister-in-law walked into the room just in the nick of time!
But what about my epidural? Yeah, there wasn’t time for that. A few minutes later and we were welcoming precious baby Micah Caleb Burt into our arms and our hearts! (He was almost Caleb Micah Burt, but we had pregnant friends with dibbs on the name Caleb. Would you believe they ended up having a girl and didn’t use the name? Well, again, I make my plans but God’s will is done. Micah – “who is like Jehovah?” – is the perfect name for him.)
15 years later, and that little baby is 6 foot tall – towering over his shorty parents. He’s an incredible person. He’s artistic yet logical, easy to please, inspirational, creative, scientific, and a deep-thinker. He’s able to look into situations and see things that other people cannot see. You may never meet a more intuitive personality! He can stand back and point out solutions to problems I’ve never considered! He’s got an amazing gift for digital editing and drawing. And he’s compassionate! I remember picking him up from the church nursery a few times and having the care workers tell me how compassionate Micah was, at that young age. If he saw a sad baby, he would cry for them and try to make them happy. He still feels very deeply for others. Even certain movies over the years could break his heart (Charlotte’s Web, I remember!). All that softness and care, and yet he’s also tough. He holds his own in a house full of rowdy young men (and one rowdy young woman) and will not let them push him around.