“You want Five Kids, Your crazy!” I said. “Let’s compromise with three.”
Thus, began our pre-wedding discussions on Family futures. Fast forward to the year 2013, and our family was complete with three as far as I was concerned. We had one in High school and two in elementary school. We had a little bit of freedom in our lives. We were done with all that baby and toddler stuff.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. While on vacation in Grand Lakes Colorado, we overheard a sermon at a local church. The subject was family planning. The young priest went on to talk about his life growing up in a family of five. He painted a happy picture. He mentioned that his family did not serve name brand fruit loops or wear the latest fashions, but they grew up happy. “Many people nowadays worry about the how’s and buts, instead of trusting in God’s plan for you” he said. I sometimes had wondered if there was another little person waiting out there somewhere for our family. I was too freaked out by the subject to think too much into it. I was looking forward to going back to school for my masters. I had just finished a tour of K State and their graduate department that spring.
There was another plan out there for us. Kennadee Mae was born in December of 2014. Everyone assumed that surely this was an accident! You have a 17-year-old, an 11-year-old, and a 7-year-old. Now, an infant? Our family was complete with 4.
When our youngest was 14 months old, I was admitted to the hospital for some strange bleeding. Tests revealed the shocking news. I was actually pregnant, unbeknownst to me and we were losing the baby. Sometimes we don’t understand the reason for things that happen. Looking back, I wonder if it was to open my mind to the possibility that there was someone still waiting for us. I surely would have freaked out, if I had known before. Five kids! Yikes, no way! But we were truly sad to lose this little person.
In September of 2016, I found out we were expecting again. I did not freak out! The loss of baby number 6 had made us open to the idea. We waited until November to tell everyone. We celebrated with a gender reveal cake. Inside, was blue frosting.
Being of what they consider Advanced maternal age, is full of lovely doctor appointments and tests. More so, than what you go through if your younger. My favorite time was the once a week appointment in Topeka. Talk about a long drive, with work and four very active other kids. The silver lining was, I got to see lots of baby pics in utero. We also predicted a birth weight of 9lbs 12 oz. based on what his current measurements were. This was if he went over a week plus, like all the others did. Yikes! That would be one big baby at my age. The doctor said he would be comfortable with an early induction, to prevent this, since baby was doing so well.
On Thursday April 20th, I went straight from work to one of my biweekly stress tests. The baby appeared to be stressed during the small contractions I was having. They immediately sent me to labor and delivery for further evaluation. I was 38 weeks at this point. They informed me that they were going to start an induction to be on the safe side. All of my other babies have been completely natural. The idea of an induction was scary and unfamiliar to say the least. My husband was scheduled to leave for Army School in California in five days and I had prepared to deliver by myself There was one positive aspect about the whole situation. My husband may actually get to see his son’s birth.
They started Pitocin that evening and continued off and on with the drug for two and a half days with little results. It was stopped for a few hours three times to allow me to eat. This little man did not want to come out. He also seemed to have recovered from his earlier stress scare and was doing better. However, the process had dilated me some and I had now lost his protective plug. They sent me home on Saturday with instructions to walk the baby out and rest at night. I was so frustrated and had mixed feelings that my poor little man just wanted to be left alone. Was this the right thing for the both of us?
Monday morning, I was back to start all over again. This time they tried a strip instead of Pitocin. Then a balloon item that helped with dilation. These two seemed to do the trick for a while, but then contractions slowed during the night. It seemed like this child was just going to stay put. The nurses again started Pitocin. We used lots of walking and an exercise ball, but still progress was slow.
Danny left to go home to check on the other kids at around 2pm, since it didn’t seem like we were going anywhere with this birth. He left saddened, as his time to leave on the bus for NTC Army School was just 8 hours away at that point. The doctor came in and checked shortly after he left and decided we were far enough along to break the baby’s water sac. My water had broken twice at home and within an hour or two the babies had arrived and my contractions got severe. I asked them to wait until Danny got back. I called him and told him to rush back to the hospital. He may see his baby today.
I had never had an epidural or any other medication with any of my other four births, but after days and days of this induction, I was already worn out and I decided to try one. The epidural was a weird thing for me. I had half of my body numb and the other half I could still feel everything. They tried to fix this. Then I couldn’t feel a thing! I must say, I hated not knowing when to push at all. It was a new experience for me for sure. I started to get sick to my stomach. I believe it was due to all the weird medication. Something else I had not experienced since the birth of my first almost 19 years before.
Finally, the best motivational words were announced “I see his head and he had blonde hair!” “Would you like to see him?” They lowered the mirror down and for the first time in 5 births, I saw our child’s fuzzy, blonde, head peeking out. I had never had the guts to look before, nor the time. The others were just too fast.
Asher Michael Williams, was born at 5:45 pm, after a five-day induction ordeal. Just in time, for Daddy to hold him for a few hours. He left that evening around 10pm for Army School in California. That was the closest we’ve ever cut it. We’ve had two other close calls before, but those were weeks. This was hours! I’d say having Dad around for 4 out of 5 births in an Army family, is a blessing indeed!
Thus, goes the story of little Mr. Asher Michael. The Lord works in mysterious ways, with five on earth and two in heaven.
Our family is now finally complete!