The last labor was 7 hours long. I was able to nap for a couple hours, much to the relief of my family. I remember while falling asleep seeing my sister comforted by Hans as tears were streaming down her eyes, and feeling as if everyone in the room simultaneously took a giant breath to see that after so long of fighting I was given the gift of rest. They are all so strong to have endured alongside me with such grace, gentleness, and encouragement. It wasn’t easy for them, by any means, in their own labor they would walk alongside me. I am forever grateful to them.
Upon waking up, I was checked again and told I was dilated to a 10. My cervix had softened, and the lip that was once there wouldn’t be an issue anymore and it was time to push.
The sun was setting, ending the day of February 11th, 2016, but inside the four walls of our hospital room we were all preparing for a new beginning. One that would change the rest of our lives in all the best ways it needed to be from here on out.
While everything was getting prepared once more, Hans took me close and read Colossians 1: 9-14. (I love how he never ceases to seize a moment.) Then afterwards, I had him re-read our letters he had read to me before at the beginning of our labor. There was something about getting to slow down and see those words through an entirely knew context now that we were at the end. They meant more. More than if our labor had gone as planned. Even though the mind-set we wrote them in originally had a completely different outcome. The truths written down were just as true and needed.
With a full heart and great anticipation, it was go time. We were about to meet our Ramsey Sinclair Saunders and hold him. He would be ours and we would be a family of three for the rest of our lives…
The moment our son was placed on my chest is an image that will stick with me for the rest of my life. After waiting so long, and going through all the highs and lows of our labor, what I dreamed about was becoming a reality right before me and I didn’t know how to handle it. I remember my first words out loud being “you were so worth it” while looking straight at Ramsey’s eyes because it was. He was worth every twist, every turn, every contraction, every prayer cried out to our Lord, and every hardship we endured because he was HERE! I could actually look at him and touch him and I was overcome. The goodness of our Heavenly Father was too much in this being an actual reality He’d given me that I flat out ugly cried (in a room packed full of about 15 people.)
My son is such a fighter and so brave. Upon coming out to meet the world we found out that he had his umbilical chord wrapped around his tiny, perfect neck the Whole. Entire. Time. For 37 hours, he endured with his Mama and so strongly came out with such a sweet gentleness and calm that everyone in the room took note of it to mention. Our little man didn’t even let out a cry at first, but just lifted his tiny head off my chest to look straight up at Hans and I with an expression of curiosity (a face that is still one of our favorites today) as if he was finally getting to meet the voices he has learned and known for 10 months in my womb.
After my delivery, I unexpectedly began to bleed heavier than normal that had the doctor quite concerned and they started me on a Pitocin drip right away. Hans was able to do skin-to-skin with Ramsey in the meantime while the doctors were tending to me.
I love his Daddy and the way he wasted no time in sharing the goodness of our Father in the gospel with our little guy and after they shared in what would be Ramsey’s first prayer…for Mama. By the Lord’s grace, plus modern medicine, I was able to recover and no transfusion was needed.
And for the rest of the night we simply got to be our new family of now three.