Yesterday, I got the call from Steve to go out to Vernal to work today and tomorrow. So last night as I was preparing to leave, I realized that I had done the math wrong in determining the time I needed to leave. I wanted to arrive in Vernal at 11pm. So three and a half hours before that is: (counting on fingers) 10, 9, 8, 8:30. Nope. 7:30. Anyway once I realized that if I were to have left last night, I would have arrived in Vernal at about 1 am. So I decided to go to bed right away and wake up super early to drive out. It's a very good thing that I did because at 1:30 am today, Faith woke me up telling me her water broke. If I had arrived in Vernal at 1 am. I would have just barely fallen asleep before my phone woke me up and I would have had to drive right back. I see the hand of the Lord directly in those events preventing me from having to do that being so tired and fatigued.
So we got ready and came to the hospital. We arrived at about 2:30 am and they admitted Faith right away. It wasn't her easiest labor, but definitely not her hardest either. She was brave and did awesome and delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy, Thomas, our fourth child and second son.
Some of the highlights. She had so much amniotic fluid it soaked three towels. I gave her a blessing right before leaving at Michelle's suggestion. The blessing said everything would go according to the Lord's will and that Faith would have people who loved her there both in person and as ministering angels. She had to be poked 4 times to get a successful IV. It was pretty horrible. The epidural didn't work very well on her right side so she had a lot of pain, but she bore it bravely. She is beautiful and amazing and I'm so blessed to be sealed to her for time and all eternity. Her regular midwife wasn't there, but only arrived after. The midwife's partner midwife delivered her and did great. I woke up several people trying to get a hold of my Mom and saying I wouldn't come in to work.
When Thomas was first coming out I began to feel a very strong spirit. As I think about it, it wasn't just the regular Holy Ghost feelings I normally feel. I really think that there were many ministering angels present at that time and I felt their love and presence. It lasted for a while. The entire time from when I first saw his crown, through his birth, as he first started crying, as they gave him directly to Faith and for a little while after. I think many people feel those feelings and know it is a sacred time. The physical fulfillment of man's partnership in creating new life. What a special and holy experience. I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven that I was able to be here and witness it.
Thomas calmed right down as soon as he realized it was his mother holding him. It was a precious moment as he felt comforted and loved and knew his mother would care for him.
There's a funny thing about being a father in the delivery room. You feel like just about the most useless person in the world. I don't remember that with Grace or Joy, and I totally missed Titus, but with Thomas, the feeling was acute. Let me explain. A man always has to have something to do, some purpose to feel useful and valued. Normally, that's not a problem. There's always something to do... almost. Getting up at 1:30 am and driving to the hospital, that's a quest! Your mission, should you chose to accept it is to get this woman in labor to the place where she and the child seeking deliverance from her will be safe and taken care of. Yes! Mission accepted! But once you get into the hospital room and the nurses take over, well, the father is just a lump. There's nothing meaningful left to do. Women know this instinctively. That's why in the old days they always sent the man out to boil water or chop wood or something. He needs to feel valued and like he's contributing to the effort of delivering this baby. That's what causes the endless waiting room pacing in the old movies. That's also why they have the Dad's cut the umbilical cord. Here they asked if I wanted to give him his first bath. He feels that he must be contributing something worthwhile to the endeavor and women find small ways to patronize him. Still, being present for this magical experience was wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for all the feeling useful in the world.