Axel Ryan Shea
Dear Axel Ryan,
This is the story of your amazing birth. You where do Thursday April 10th of 2014. Mommy started getting sets of practice contractions on April 6th and they would come and go for a whole week. Saturday the 12th came around and mommy was getting very uncomfortable. It seemed like no matter how I positioned myself I was squishing your sweet little head. We spent the day with nana and papa and before heading home nana massaged acupressure points on my feet to see if we couldn’t get things started. Declan and Adam attempted to help too but mostly just rubbed lotion on my legs. We headed home a little after 9 that night and got your big brothers tucked into bed before heading to bed ourselves. At around 2 in the morning I woke up with a good contraction, I noted the time and dozed back off to sleep. Then 10 minutes later I woke again to another good contraction. This continued until 4:30 when I decided to get up and move around to see if these where more practice contractions that would go away or if they would continue. They continued and got closer to 7-8 minutes apart. At this point around 5:15 I decided to wake daddy up so he could shower and be ready if this was is it. Then I called Nana to let her know what was happening. She decided to come over right away to be with your sleeping brothers if we needed to leave. At 6 the contractions were now 3-4 minutes apart and getting more intense. We decided to call the birthing center, Jenessa answered and I told her how the night had progressed and that I thought it was time. She agreed to meet us at the birthing center so we were on our way. At this point your auntie Krista had already woken up Bella and was headed to drop her of with nana and the boys so she could meet us at the birthing center.
We arrived at the birthing center at 7 and headed to the chocolate room. Jenessa said she woke up 15 minutes before I had called and wondered why she hadn’t heard from me that night. She observed a few contractions and asked if I wanted to be checked. I said no, I really did not want to be discouraged if I wasn’t far along yet. She said she thought I was early but also thought I would go fast so we decided to stay. Your auntie arrived a little later around 7:30. The contractions were steadily getting stronger and stronger but were bearable still. Jenessa came back in at 8 and checked your heart beat. It seemed odd that she was checking for so long. Then things got scary. She wanted to check me right away and after doing so said I was 4cm and 80% and then told me to stand up urgently. She continued to listen to your heartbeat and then told Krista to go start her car we needed to leave and needed to leave now your heart rate was very low at 80 and had been for too long. As Krista went to start her car and Jenessa called the assisting midwife to let her know the situation mommy began to cry. The best outcome I could see was being rushed to the hospital and cut open instantly and that’s if your little heart would even last that long. Daddy sensed my fear and encouraged me to pray as he prayed. In those moments not only where daddy and mommy praying but your auntie Krista had told nana and nana let everyone else know to pray. And pray they did. Krista returned to the room and by the grace of God Jenessa waited to listen through a few more contractions and your strong little heart came back up! She had me switch to all fours leaning on the birthing ball to make sure your heart rate would stay up at this point the contractions where very strong. It stayed up and at 8:30 I was able to get in the birthing tub. It was a wonderful relief and I was able to relax more with each contraction. I stayed on my knees and rested my head on the side of the tub holding daddy’s hand. Your nana, brothers and cousin Bella were well on their way at this point. I remember nana coming in to ask if the kids could see me, they were standing around the corner right outside the open door. Right at that moment I got another strong contraction and got the urge to push, I almost couldn’t believe it but told Daddy and Nana told the midwifes and they came in. The next contraction I couldn’t help but push. Just a few pushes later and your head was out. One more and your body was out. You were born still in the amniotic sac and Jenessa passed you through my legs as Rosa broke the bag and I picked you up on to my chest. I cuddled you close and told mom to bring the kids in. You were here in my arms and I truly couldn’t believe it, it all happened so fast! Shortly after still holding you in the tub the song Oceans by Hillsong united played on the playlist I had made for your birth. It was so fitting.
“And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine”
I vividly remember with each contraction it feeling like waves. When the wave started I was focusing my mind above the pain of what was happening and keeping it steady on Jesus. I remember calling upon his name in steady whispers and finding rest in His sweet presence.
And verse 2
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed, and You won't start now”
When your little heart beat was so low and fear was surrounding me God’s grace abounded and He didn’t fail.
You came in the most perfect way possible. It was everything I wanted and more. It was a chilly overcast spring morning. Your daddy, auntie, nana, brothers and cousin were all able to be there all at the perfect times. I was able to give birth in the tub at the center and you are healthy, strong and so loved. We arrived at Morning Star at 7 and you were born at 9 on Sunday April 13th of 2014 weighing 8lbs 4.5 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Welcome to the world and our family sweet baby boy. The presence of the Lord was so strong at your birth and I am so excited to see His plan unfold as you grow each and every day.