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Monday, August 31, 2009

Caleb Thomas Caulley

Caleb is due today! It's hard to believe that he has already been here 9 days...
OK, so exactly 10 days ago, on Friday, Don and I went to Picnic with the Pops at the Kentucky horse park. Some friends of ours at church had a couple of extra tickets, and we were excited at the chance for one last date before the onset of a newborn. So we packed our picnic dinner, dropped the boys off with our wonderful friend --former neighbor here in Wilmore, and off we set. After the picnic, we "enjoyed" some music from an Abba group (imitation of course). Dave and Eryn, couldn't help but think about you guys.

I was feeling a little extra miserable that night. I must say that overall, this pregnancy has probably been the best of the three. I know that is a shocker for all of you who saw me complain through the healthy low-carb diet I had to follow because of gestational diabetes. But it turned out to be such a blessing. I didn't feel so lethargic and swollen. As it turns out, I was thankful to God for my gestational diabetes. Can you believe it? Anyway, as I was saying, I was feeling pressure on my bladder... I know, duh... I'm basically 9 mo prego. But this was different. This was like major pressure. It was hurting, even though it didn't feel like contractions.
Another interlude at this point: we had told Jon David and Luke that they might be able to spend the night at our friend's house if we were too late getting home. So I had packed a little overnight bag for them and everything. They were very excited to have their first spend-the-night party with their friend (he is four years old, and they all play well together). So sure enough, by the time we got back to Wilmore, they were both asleep. I had told my neighbor that this would be a great little "run through" for the night I actually go into labor and in the event that they should need to spend the night w/her... Ha! Well, as it turns out, it was the real deal!
Don and I went to bed. A few hours later, at 3:00 A.M., I woke up with a VERY painful contraction. At first, I thought it might be a false alarm, b/c I had occasionally had an isolated painful contraction during the previous weeks.
But no... here came another one, w/rectal pressure even... uh oh... After 3:30, and after trying to throw the toiletries and other stuff into my bag between the contractions, I decided I needed to wake up Don. Mel, the following pic is in your honor. :) You are so good a/b taking pics of yourself in the most bizarre of circumstances. So here I am trying to be brave (in more ways than one) and taking a pic of myself before waking Don... I think you can tell I am in labor.

We both had decided that we were not going to wait too long to go to the hospital, since 1) it was a good 30 min drive away, and 2) Luke came w/in an hour of my hospital arrival four and a half years ago, and 3) neither one of us wanted a Jeep delivery :). So, I got Don up, he helped me finish packing and put everything we needed in the car.
OK, at this point, I need to interject again. Sorry to keep doing this, but I want to be able to remember all of these details, so I'm trying to write everything down as it comes to me. You never know, this might be good rehearsal dinner material! :)
Anyway, I need to interject that Don was awesome! He helped me practice relaxation and breathing exercises during the couple of months before labor (I was using the Bradley method book). And so during every contraction, he was coaching me through. In fact, he kept doing this until it was time to push in the hospital. He even would stop mid-conversation with the nurses to help me through it. I truly felt him with me every step of the way. Thank you, Lord, for Don Caulley! I'm so glad I married him. :)
So back to 4 A.M. We loaded up in the car. Thank you, Lord, that it was 4 A.M. and there was no traffic!! Thank you, Lord, also that the boys were taken care of!!! We called my midwife on the way. Thankfully, she was already en route b/c she had another delivery. When we got to the hospital, my midwife gave me the good news: I was 9 cm!! Wow. Talk about God working everything out!! I am so thankful that the boys were already taken care of!! I am aware of God's hand throughout this pregnancy: the timing of conception (we probably would not have picked that time to get pregnant); the spotting @ the beginning and God taking care of that; the morning sickness being better, and even subsiding for our 3 day road trip to KY; gestational diabetes as I mentioned earlier... and then the labor and delivery.
Well, unfortunately, the labor was not what I would call easy from that point on. For about an hour, I labored with painful contractions, and Don was at my side. Then, for about an hour and a half, I pushed... the progress was slow, and the midwife told me that the baby wasn't quite turned correctly... I would grab Don's arm and the nurses arm and push, and I'm talking major squeezing of their arms! I'm sure it was hard work for them just to steady me while I was pulling on their arms as if my life depended on it. My midwife had me get up on my hands and knees for a few contractions in order to turn the baby over. Finally, because my contractions were still not quite close enough, and I was not progressing enough, the midwife suggested potossin... My heart sank, and I began to lose courage. I had gone natural to this point. I was very doubtful that I could continue going natural with potossin (sp?). I asked if I could get an epidural, even though I really didn't want to. She said that if I needed it w/ the potossin, I could. Don later told me that he was interceeding for me. I believe that made a difference, b/c all of a sudden, the contractions kicked in hard and fast, and I was pushing differently. I think I had gotten on my hands and knees again... at this point, everything sort of runs together in my mind. I think the baby finally turned over into the right position. The midwife said "nevermind" to the IVs, and after about 4 or 5 more contractions (and some major pushing:), the indescribable elation of 7 lbs. 3 oz coming out of my body washed over me. I couldn't do anything but thank God. Caleb was placed on my chest. He cried, but quickly got quiet, so they suctioned his mouth and gave him a little oxygen, and he began crying again.

Jon David especially LOVES to hold his little brother. He is so loving towards him.

Luke calls Caleb "little guy." He will sometimes whisper "I love you, little guy" into his ear. It is sooooo sweet!!!
I have had to explain the whole nursing thing to the boys. Luke thought that Caleb was sucking on my belly. We went ahead and established the fact that he was sucking on my chest, not my belly. Jon David said "that is one lumpy chest, and those are some serious ribs!" I started losing it. He kept on: "When I get big, I bet I'll have some big ribs like that!" I started hollering for Don through my laughter, so that he could take him out of the room while I finished nursing.
At the risk of embarrassing my mother, I must say, and I'm sure you'll agree: She is so beautiful. Except for the fact that we look a lot alike, I don't think you would know that she is old enough to be my mother. She still has energy and vigor, and I am extremely grateful that she is here helping us right now!!! I plan to blog more about this in the next post. There is still so much to blog about...


  1. Anna,

    He is absolutely perfect and beautiful! I am so thankful that everything went well with you. Thanks for sharing your story. It was so powerful.

    Love you,
    Your cousin, Rachel

  2. I'm so glad you posted Caleb's birth story Anna! God is thankful He worked things out and that you both are doing well. Birth really is a miracle.

    Patty Rhodes

  3. he is perfect and so much hair,I am so happy for you although I wish you were still near by so that our little ones could get to know each other.
    Love Laura

  4. He is beautiful! Congratulations! And what a wonderful testament to God's goodness--thanks for sharing all the details! :)

  5. Anna,
    So glad he's here and that the delivery was a good experience. He's so adorable. I'm glad I got to see him in person! Call if you need anything!



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