Turning 33 today and it’s putting me in a pensive mood and reflect on where I am in life—spiritually, relationally, professionally, etc. Must be a growing older thing. They say to call and thank your mama on your birthday since she’s the one who labored for all those hours to give birth to you, and I never understood why until I had two of my own. Not that I expect Deacon and Devyn to be calling me on their birthdays when they grow older, but I do have a deeper respect for Mama Ahn and it’s making me relive my journey with Devyn while she was in my womb and all the days leading up to her delivery. Warning, it’s a long one!
When I first found out I was pregnant with Devyn back in December 2014, I was all sorts of an emotional mess (and in denial about it at the time). You see, in my circle of family and friends, I’ve always been known to be the “strong” one. I never cried watching emotional films or hearing unfortunate news and quite honestly, I think I took pride in that. Now looking back, I took it as a sign of weakness to show such emotions so I vowed never to reveal any signs of vulnerability, especially to guys. That is, until David came along but that’s a whole other story! Anyways, I digress. It had been four months since our move from CA and the cold reality of Seattle was starting to settle in—the weather was getting rainier and gloomier, going from a small town like Cerritos and knowing every nook and cranny to the unfamiliarity of a new city was daunting, leaving Deacon in the hands of my in-laws felt unnatural, and returning to the classroom having to teach WA curriculum was challenging and humbling to say the least, and I was crazy missing my family and friends (and food). Hearing the news of my pregnancy during this time of loneliness was truly God’s gift to us and I’m so thankful for David who was there for me every time I would start crying uncontrollably from the stress of work or missing my family (this really should have been my first clue that something was up).
Marriage and motherhood have opened and softened my heart, in addition to God humbling me through various life experiences, and I’m happy to say I’m not afraid to shed a tear now and then anymore 😉
I had discovered I was pregnant early on—in fact it was the day I had to fly down to LA to finish my last wedding in CA. As soon as I returned, the morning sickness started to kick in. Although it wasn’t as intense as it was with Deacon, it was enough to put me out every night by 7pm. I was riddled with nausea and fatigue, throwing up every other day, and wondered how in the world I was going to work all day, come home and spend quality time with my husband and active toddler, cook dinner, grade papers, etc. Somehow God carried me through those first few months and blessed us with a very healthy baby.
My pregnancy with Devyn felt different from the start, so I had a sneaky feeling that I was having a girl. I was in denial about this as well (you can ask David). As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been one of those mamas who absolutely had to have a girl. In fact, I would joke about having 3 boys—just like Deacon, of course 😉 I also joked that if we did have a girl, it would be God’s perfect way of humbling me for the rest of my life. Partly, it stems from my own relationship with Mama Ahn. We’ve just always clashed on so many different levels…when I was young, she wanted me in girly dresses taking ballet lessons while I was more interested in wearing the comfiest pair of shorts I owned and playing catch or football with my big bro outside. As I grew older, we just butted heads (like ALL.THE.TIME) about anything and everything. David says it’s because we’re more alike than we think (WHAT). I’m beginning to think he’s right. 33 years later, I can honestly say I’m so thankful for my mama teaching me to be a strong, independent woman but also one that loves and supports her family and friends.
So at 20 weeks, we were scheduled for the gender anatomy ultrasound and what do you know, we were having a girl (God, you humor me)! During my pregnancy, a good friend gifted me with a book on Esther by Charles R. Swindoll (a great read, by the way!). One poignant verse that characterizes Esther and turned into my daily prayer for Devyn throughout my pregnancy was Proverbs 31:25:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.
More than worldly intelligence or physical beauty, my prayer for her is to have strength of character and godly dignity. I hope and humbly pray that with God’s grace, leading, and wisdom, I can be a godly example for her to follow.
Fast forward to August. Devyn’s due date was August 28 and because Deacon arrived exactly a week early, we all thought Devyn would also arrive at least a week or two early. So much so that we didn’t make any plans for our 5th anniversary because we were convinced we’d either be in the hospital or home recovering from having a newborn. Well, August 28 came and went with no sign of Devyn. I was growing super anxious, mostly because I just felt big and tired all the time (silly me, I clearly forgot what it’s like to have a newborn feeding every 2-3 hours!) and to be even sillier, the educator in me wanted her out before the September 1 cutoff date. At my 40 week appointment, we were scheduled to be induced the following week on September 4.
Labor & Delivery
The morning of Thursday, September 3 I woke up with sharp pains in my lower stomach. Honestly, I thought it was something I ate and had bad gas (I know, I’m a bit embarrassed). With Deacon, my water broke in the middle of the night and I didn’t start having contractions until I was admitted in the hospital. Even then, the nurses suggested I get my epidural asap when I was only 4cm dilated so I feel like I never felt the intensity of labor contractions. On a side note, throughout my pregnancy I had prayed that I’d go into labor during the day so David could get a full night’s sleep because I would have felt bad if I went into labor in the middle of the night again. I was also worried that I’d have to wake up David’s parents to come over and watch Deacon if I went into labor early.
Anyways, I was lying in bed for almost an hour and a half trying to endure the “bad gas,” waiting until it hit 6am because that’s when David wakes up for work. After he woke up I told him my stomach had been hurting. At this point, the pain came in waves every 15 minutes (I still didn’t attribute it to being contractions because I didn’t want to get my hopes up) but I decided to call the hospital anyway just to see what they would say. They asked how far along I was, if it was my first, and how frequently the “contractions” were. Since I was 6 days past my due date with my second they requested that I come in to check me out. I took a shower, packed up my things, and by 7am we were out the door. During the 10 minute car ride to the hospital the contractions became more frequent and a LOT more painful. Let’s just say I was saying things that no pastor’s wife should say…
By the time we were checked in and strapped up to the hospital monitor, it was 7:30am and the nurse confirmed I was having contractions, 3 minutes apart, and I was 7-8cm dilated (what, really?!). I have crazy low pain tolerance (like I pop in pills BEFORE I get cramps because I don’t want to feel any pain) so I was amazed that I had endured labor contractions for that long! I was so ready to have this baby and contemplated for a split second if I should go au natural with no epidural, but then I came to my senses 😉 Unfortunately, they had to delay my labor another 4 hours for some antibiotics to kick in. By 9am, I had my epi and was feeling high on life, texting friends and family what was about to go down. Fast forward to 1:35pm, I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. The OB on call, two nurses, and David were in the room with me and after the first round of pushing with Devyn’s head crowning, the dr. suggested I push at 50% of my strength because she was afraid Devyn would come flying out doing a number on me (you know, down there…so considerate of her~). So the next 2 rounds of pushing I toned it down a bit and at 1:52pm out came Devyn’s shoulders where I was then able to reach down and actually pull her out (I joke that I pulled a Kourtney K). It was a beautiful, amazing experience and one that I’ll never forget!
When I was young, wild, and free, I had certain notions—ok, let’s be honest..I had VERY specific ideas about where I’d be by the time I was in my 30s. Suffice it to say, God has challenged and humbled me, yet exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.
One of the highest callings and titles I’ve been blessed with is to be a wife to David and mama to our two babes, Deacon and Devyn. They are God’s gifts to me and I consider it a great privilege to be my husband’s helper and to be entrusted with two beautiful souls to shepherd and love.
If you’ve read this entry to the end, you’re a good friend 🙂 (or you must be really bored). Either way, thank you! When I decided to stop planning events after our move to Seattle I contemplated closing my website and blog, but I’m so glad I decided to keep it so I can journal life moments like this. Hopefully I can maintain it and continue sharing our lives with friends and family near and far! Until next time~