Cornelius Vaughn's birth story
Born to Alex & Alivia
Birth Story of Cornelius Vaughn. -by his parents, Alex and Alivia
It was the day after Christmas. My husband, Alex and I were saying goodbye to his family in North Vernon, Indiana. It was going to be nearly 6 hours of travel before we got home. We were not concerned though, the due date for our little "Beanie" was January 18th. Although, I told everyone it was January 22nd since that is what the 8-week ultrasound said. After goodbyes we hopped into the car and headed back home to Fremont, Michigan.
The ride was swift and uneventful aside from me poking my belly every so often to see if I could get a reassuring move from Beanie as he had been quiet the last two days. When we arrived home a little after 6:00pm I was sore from sitting and terribly fatigued. Alex and I unpacked, checked on our chickens, ate a light dinner, then headed for bed. The next day, we planned to have our first home visit with Dorothy, Dennise, and Violet. Other than that, it was going to be a normal day for us.
It still seemed normal when I woke up the next morning around 2:00 with my lower back burning and aching. I drank some water and changed my position. Feeling a bit better I went back to bed. The sleep was somewhat restless for the next half hour. I woke again at 2:30 with the burning and ache taunting my lower back again. Simply changing how I laid did not seem to work this time. Wanting some reprieve, I got out of bed. I tried walking around, drinking more water, breathing exercises, warm water compresses, different positions and stretches. The discomfort was not going away, rather it felt worse. At this point it seemed I could not stand straight anymore. I decided to awaken Alex at 3:00 and ask him to massage my back. He did so and it felt better. However, that respite was short-lived. I got off the bed for the umpteenth time and went back to the bathroom for another warm compress. That seemed only to agitate it, and it was starting to frustrate me. I just wanted a little relief and it seemed I tried most techniques I knew.
There was only one thing I hadn't tried. I woke up Alex again and informed him that I was going to draw a warm bath. Leaving the room, I started the water and stepped in the tub before it was full; anxious to get rid of my misery. Alex walked in half-awake to check on me and I asked if he could sit with me; he did.
Still, the pain increased. "Maybe we should call Dorothy." I quipped as I rocked in the bathtub.
Alex looked at me, "Is it that bad?"
That... I was unsure of. We talked about it for a little bit. It seemed excessive to call Dorothy at 3:30am over some back pain. Still, I hoped she knew of something I could do to alleviate the turmoil. I tried not to think of the worst-case scenario; that something was wrong with Beanie.
Alex finally decided he would call her. He left the bathroom to get her contact information that hung on the fridge. Upon his return he noticed I was in tears- something that rarely happened- and knew it was bad. He tried calling Dorothy 3-4 times but we had terrible service, so the calls were not getting through. Alex decided then we would go to the hospital.
With a bit of struggle, we got out of the snow-packed driveway at 3:50, and headed for the hospital. It was at this time I noticed that the back pain, while still constant, was starting to fluctuate. Some times were more painful than others and the peaks were rendering me moaning. I wondered now if I could possibly be in labor. When we got on the main road, I attempted to reach Dorothy once more and the call went through! Praise the Lord!
Unable to talk I gave the phone to Alex and turned around in my seat as the pain began to rise. Alex played the mediator answering all questions for Dorothy.
How often did the pain fluctuate? Less than 5 minutes.
What is the pain on the scale of 1 to 10?
Maybe 7 or 8.
How long has this been going on?
Since 2:00 to 2:30.
After a few more questions Dorothy concluded that I was probably in labor. She asked if we wanted to continue to the hospital or if we wanted to go back home. It took one look from the both of us to confirm we wanted to go home. Just 3 minutes away from the hospital we turned around and headed back.
I collapsed onto the living room floor immediately when I walked into the house. The contractions, consistently 2 minutes apart and much stronger, made me inept to stand alone. It was now 4:20. At the next break I staggered to the bedroom and tried to help Alex put the plastic onto the bed and get supplies ready.
Alex was so excited and had many emotions coming at him. Beanie was coming! It was time! The spurt of energy had him zooming like superman around the house. He was also worried; stripping beds and remaking them. Trying to get everything set up that the midwives would need, rushing to check on me, and responding to Dorothy whenever she asked a question.
Things seem so fast and hectic, yet I concluded that I would not care that our house was in disarray and looking like we just came back from a weekend Christmas trip. Today was baby day and I needed to breathe through the contractions that were tempting me to hit something; the pillow, Alex, you name it.
The stabbing-like sensations in my back were horrendous and giving me a new perspective of Genesis 3:16 - "I shall surely multiply your pain in childbearing…" I prayed silently as I felt the surge of each one coming. "Lord, help me with this one."
I found that I could breathe through the contractions better on my hands and knees on the bed. Then to lay down when contractions were done. Alex was quick to massage my back whenever I got back up. We started this routine as we waited for the midwives to arrive.
Dorothy showed up at 5:15, she had a bright smile and said that our baby was eager to see us. Alex and I could not help but smile too. It was so soon!
Dorothy took my vitals, assessed my situation, checked Beanie's heartbeat, prayed with me then left the room. When she left, I felt pressure from Beanie's head. I felt down there and touched the amniotic sac! A few minutes later, around 5:30, I told Dorothy that I would like to know how far I was dilated. She checked me and said that I was 9+ and that we were progressing well.
Soon Dennise walked in the door, she quickly set to her tasks. Dorothy asked when I had last emptied my bladder. I told her about 2:30ish. She recommended I go to the bathroom. I nodded and said "ok" but in my mind I was thinking. "Nope, not going. If I leave this bed I am bound to have a contraction out there and THAT does not sound like a comfortable idea." So, I stubbornly stayed on the bed. Again, Dorothy mentioned using the bathroom. My response was the same. A nod and an "okay" but my thoughts, "I am staying RIGHT HERE."
As the Lord would have it, just a few contractions later I started pushing. I learned quickly that I should have listened to Dorothy and emptied my bladder… But, nonetheless, I was so happy that I was at this stage, it was not nearly as painful.
Before we knew it, WHOOSHH!!! Water! Everywhere!
I looked up to Alex, smiled and gave him a half hug. "I think my water broke."
Everyone chuckled, it certainly had.
With everything going on I was uncertain of time when I saw Violet appear at the doorway. It seemed that it was around 6:30am. Yet when she did, just like everyone else, she went right to work. Of the three birth attendants Violet was the one Alex and I had not met. But we had planned to meet her today, just 6 hours later. We had met Dennise when she assisted in the birth of my brother's 4th daughter.
Back to pushing: it seemed like an endless cycle. Pushing, resting, more pushing, more resting and pushing again. Then Dorothy said the wonderful words: "Ok Alivia, the next one is probably it. Remember to blow."
When the next contraction came I wanted to push so bad, I laid my head against the pillow puffing. Trying to let my body do the pushing without my extra exertion.
Puff puff puff.
I heard Violet remind me to keep blowing. I swallowed hard and blew more.
Puff puff puff.
Dorothy said something but I could not hear her. I continued blowing. Puff puff puff.
Dorothy spoke again, saying something about my legs. I looked down and saw her holding a little baby! Dennise documented the time; 6:52am.
As quickly as I could I leaned back and took the little boy from her. I could feel my entire body relax from the short, wild ride I had just had as I looked at our newborn child. He was so tiny!
"Does he have a name?" Dorothy asked after the placenta was delivered.
"He does." My heart warmed when Alex's face beamed with pride as he said the name. "Cornelius Vaughn."
The little newcomer was 5 pounds, 9 ounces and 18 inches long. Here I was, worried that he was going to be a 9 pounder like his Daddy was.
Still, the excitement was not quite over. Because our little Cornelius was only 36 weeks, he had some respiratory and nursing struggles. Through the quick, experienced work of the birth attendants they were able to get his lungs cleared and his oxygen saturation up to 99% in very little time! However, with the instructions of Dorothy and the grace of God, it took a bit of patience and perseverance on behalf of Alex and I to teach Cornelius the art of nursing. It is such a praise to God, that by His mercy, our little guy is now a pro at it!
Alex and I are so grateful to Dorothy, Dennise, and Violet for being with us and helping with this special time in our lives. We do not know what it would have looked like if we continued to the hospital but we would not change a single thing in the way things turned out, having our birth at home.
Even more so, we have so much thanks to our heavenly Father, that He would bless us with this beautiful baby boy, and to also give us the wonderful ministry of shepherding this child as he grows up. We pray that we can minister to his soul so that he will know who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords- our Saviour; Jesus Christ. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!