So how does the story of Rosie truly begin? Well, you have to know a very important fact…
I just have to say, my wife is the most amazing person I have ever met.
Who is the coolest person I’ve ever met?
Answer? My wife.
Most fantastic person I have ever met?
My wife. Hands down.
Its not even a competition.
It doesn’t matter if it is riding a motorcycle, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and landing barefoot, modeling on a catwalk, loving the Lord, cooking incredible clean eating meals, baking the most delectable desserts you can imagine, conversations on the physical and spiritual, taking care of this particular man-child, taking care of herself, worshiping Papa with everything she has or just straight-up snuggling with me on the couch…and all this cool stuff isn’t even scratching the surface…my wife is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. I haven’t even talked about the fact that she makes adjustments to (or just downright makes) most of her own clothes, has an incredible style that is all her own, has a singing voice that can melt the hardest of hearts, is the most understanding, compassionate, drop dead sexy, gentlest, passionate and supportive person I’ve ever known. She just refuses to be ordinary. My wife is THE ultimate in amazingness.
And just when I think she can’t top it, she does. Every time.
On July 29th, 2014 my 5 days overdue pregnant wife finally went into labor. For those of you keeping up, this was the moment we had been waiting for (and if you haven’t been keeping up, read why here). This was a child we had been praying for for a very long time. The Lord had given us a promise, and although we felt like we had been denied on numerous occasions, we knew from day one that this birth would be different. This baby was coming, and she was going to be amazing.
When we knew for sure that labor had begun, her aunt (a labor and delivery nurse), our doula, my wife’s sister visiting from YWAM-KC and I set about to attending to my wife’s every need. Our goal? To safely stay at home as long as possible. It was important to my wife and I to have a natural child birth. No medication. No drugs. And we knew if we went to the hospital too early…well…we know hospitals. And let me tell ya, the early labor was pretty awesome. Lots of massage for the wife, soft worship music playing, easy conversation. It was perfect.
And then the hard labor began, and suffice it to say, it was time to make the hour long trip to the hospital because this baby was COMING QUICK.
Or so we thought.
Our doula drove us carefully to the hospital, even navigating our 2 mile long dirt road driveway with an ease that I still cannot fully comprehend. Ever seen our driveway? In the past 8 months I have blown out the sidewalls of two tires and blew out a hydraulic on the rear passenger wheel. But our doula? Not a single bump (maybe she can teach me how to drive sometime- maybe doula driving can be a new service for pregnant women).
On arrival at the hospital, we thought we would be in and be out. After all, we had spent the previous 26 hours of labor at home. How much longer could it be?
During check in, my wife’s water finally broke and we were quickly whisked away to the delivery room. We were now past the stage where we could even consider painkillers, which was my wife’s desire, to not have any medication. Our doctor knew of our requests and our birth plan. She ordered our attendant nurse to follow the plan exactly as ordered. No drugs. No interventions. My wife had met with our doctor for weeks before, going over and planning for all possible scenarios, issues and concerns. And we could not have asked for a better doctor and for better support.
Now here is where it got really interesting. I was fully prepared for the stereotypical junk I’ve seen on television: wife cursing me, breaking my hand while she squeezed and pushed, screaming, thrashing, moaning, groaning. And you know what?
Not a single bit of that happened.
Now don’t think she wasn’t in pain. Because, oh boy, yes she was. But she was in control.
Yup. My wife is awesome. She would occasionally lock eyes with me with such a look of singular focus that it simply just took my breath away.
Her little sister blew my mind as she prayed over Jennifer as Jennifer’s uterus contracted in crescendoing waves. Elizabeth spoke truth, life and scripture over Jennifer, pulling her from the depths every time things got super tense. Her aunt Judy helped Jennifer move through the surges, and Ovella soothed Jennifer’s tense muscles.
Looking back, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it was that I was doing. Seriously. I have no recollection of what it was that I was doing the whole time. I completely remember what it was that everyone else was doing, but me? No idea. But I hear that whatever it was that I was doing was “fantastic.” I know I was there, never more than a few inches away from my wife. But my role in everything is kind of fuzzy. Maybe they just told me I did fantastic because I stood there like a bump on a log and didn’t get in the way. I just don’t remember.
But I do know this. Even though I don’t remember exactly what it was that I was doing there, there was never any panic, no moment of fear of the world crumbling. For a natural birth with no medication, not even a stinkin’ Tylenol, there was a serious lack of stress.
Not even when we found out that the baby had turned backwards.
My wife had spent years preparing for this possible moment and knew what to do. Expertly, my wife moved into a pull-up/squat position to allow the baby to turn back around. Our doctor swooped over to monitor her progress, cast a look to the attendant nurse and then looked over at me with a glance that said it all- your wife is the pure-t bomb.
Contractions surged, contractions waned. They began to move in the rhythm of waves, and you could see when Jennifer rode high and when the waters crashed hard over her.
And then, with a hard surge, the crown of a small head appeared.
We had asked our doctor if I could be the first person of this world to touch her. Our doctor one-upped even that. She looked at me and said, “do you want to deliver her?”
Not touch her.
Not catch her.
Who could resist that?
On came the gloves and I moved into position. Our doctor put her hands on mine and said “I’m going to keep my hands behind yours in case you need them, but just move your hands the way I do.”
I put my hands upon my baby’s crowning head.
Jennifer pushed again.
The baby’s head didn’t move any further out.
Dr. L looked at me and said that I was going to have to slide my fingers slightly inside my wife in order to turn my little girl’s shoulder to spring her free.
Without even pausing, because if I took time to think I’m pretty sure I would’ve flubbed it, I did as she asked, sliding my fingers along my baby’s crowning head and inside of my wife. I could feel my little one’s shoulder against her mother’s pelvic bone. And with that simple motion of my fingers, our child’s head sprung free!
But we weren’t done yet. As I put my hands around our little girl’s head, Dr. L ordered Jennifer to push and for me to pull.
I hesitated for a single second.
What if I yank her head off like a porcelain doll?
The doctor clamped my hands back down on our child and I yanked as my wife released a powerful and primal yell…
And on July 30th at 4:03 am Rosie Joan Arrington was born into this world.
She began to cry immediately. They quickly tested her and she immediately scored a 9 out of 10 on her APGAR, which is nearly unheard of. Rosie Joan had arrived bright-eyed and bushy tailed. And I know that the medical profession says that babies cannot use their eyes that early, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that Rosie locked eyes with me and did not look away, even as I handed her off to the attendant nurse.
And then the moment I had been waiting for three and a half long years finally came.
Rosie was placed into the awaiting arms of the coolest woman I have ever known.
A promise was finally answered.
A word finally fulfilled.
Six hours had passed at the hospital. Six grueling hours of pushing and labor.
I couldn’t have taken five minutes of it, and my wife had just willingly endured over thirty two hours of labor with not a single intervention.
And there she lay, with our tiny daughter safely in her arms, a weary smile upon her beautiful face, looking more amazing, more radiant, more loved and infinitely more awesome than I had ever seen her before. Jennifer is the most amazing person I have ever met.
She is cooler than I could ever hope to be.
How could I not be head over heels in love with her?
I mean seriously. Have you ever met my wife?
It’s just who she is. And I am a blessed man.
And if you think my wife is the coolest person in the history of ever? What does that mean for Rosie Joan?
Look out world.
Everything is about to come up Rosie.
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