Monday, October 26, 2009

Gram Keaton Bagby - 10/24/09

Gram was born on Saturday, Oct. 24th @ 6:04 am weighing 7 lbs. 11 oz. and measuring 21 inches long.

It was quite an intense 48 hours. Kelli's water broke at 1am the night before and spent the next 24 hours having contractions. Needless to say, she did not get any sleep for a LONG time. Once she was in active labor she was pretty exhausted but somehow managed to get to about 9 cm. with no pain medication! Her strength amazes me! Honestly, I can't imagine bearing that kind of pain but she was incredible. When 5am rolled around we noticed a trend on Gram's heart monitor. His heart rate was dropping substantially each time Kelli had a contract and then was racing to catch up. The doctor and nurses feared that the cord was wrapped around his neck. It's possible to push and give birth even so, but with the extent that his pulse was dropping it wouldn't have been safe for her to push. So at about 5, we had to make the decision to have a C-section. I sat beside Kelli as they performed the operation and then at 6:04 I watched as they pulled the little guy out. He did indeed have the cord wrapped around his neck twice!

I'm extremely thankful for the operation and the knowledge of the medical staff to see what was going on. We heard him cry and both started crying ourselves. It was indeed the most emotional experience I have ever had. With the mix of exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and everything else, it was more than I can really describe. But to see little Gram's huge alien head (which is more normal now :) and to hear him crying and okay was a beautiful experience.

We had a very specific idea of how we wanted things to go but it wasn't long until we realized that it wasn't going to happen that way (at all). First, our nurse midwife was not on call this weekend so we had Dr. Anderson deliver. Secondly, at about 9 cm, Kelli was just too exhausted after being up for almost 48 hours and just couldn't do any more contractions so she went ahead and gave me the code word (tippeetoe-from Seinfeld ((season 2-episode 7)), and got an epidural. Unfortunately, they had a difficult time getting it in between her vertebrae so it took about 7 sticks before they got it! Ouch. And then, the C-section of course was nothing we wanted a part of. We definitely learned the importance of flexibility in labor! Wasn't near what we thought it was going to be, but everything worked out for the best and Gram is healthy so it's hard to complain.

One thing I've noticed so far is that while I was afraid of the lack of sleep, the unceasing crying, and all of the other challenges, somehow there is more strength inside of you than you know. It's only been three days but I have really recognized how God equips people with what they need to be a parent and to find a way to press through.

This has been a very spiritual experience for me. In fact, in comparison with the rest of my previous life, I feel like this is the first time when I've truly prayed. I've resonated with Matt. 5:3 from the Message version: "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." No doubt about that! There have been times when I have been reciting scriptures in my head that I didn't even know I had memorized. This has all been a very powerful and life changing experience for me and it's only been three days! I can't imagine all that I will learn through being a father in the coming years but I am excited. Tired, but excited.

On another note, the nurses at Providence were incredible. I seriously don't know what we would have done without their constant help and work for those two days. I have said this before and I believe it is true more than ever: those that are involved as nurses, doctors, medical assistants, are in my mind one of the closest professions to the heart of God. When you think about the care, compassion, healing, and humble service to those who are sick, hurting, in pain, whatever it may be, I have incredible respect for that.

Another great moment was when the hospital chaplain came to bless Gram. He was a "non-denominational chaplain" so I was surprised when he put on his yamaka :). He read a poem, read a short prayer for Gram and then recited a short passage from Deuteronomy. I really appreciated it.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts as the days go along. But I now understand why people blog and post pictures of their kids on facebook every 5 minutes :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rob Bell @ Catalyst

I went to Catalyst a long time ago. I didn't really care for it. I loved hanging with my team, but the conference itself reminded me of the worst type of Church growth crap (with exceptions of course). Plus my grandmother died right when I got there so it may have colored the rest of my time there :(

In any case, just read this on Out of Ur about what Rob Bell said today and just want to say a hearty amen!

"Rob professed his amazement at Christian organizations that rank the most significant churches and organizations based on size. And they all profess to follow a Savior to said, “The last shall be first?” As Rob said, “Put away the crack pipe!”"

I cannot tell you how tired I am of these ridiculous lists from Outreach magazine or Church Marketing Sucks about the "fasted growing", "largest", or "most innovative (whatever that means)" churches, usually topping the list are the very pastors who did the voting (what a coincidence). I have no idea why pastors, who claim to follow Jesus, clamor for attention, recognition, and fame which is the exact opposite of what Jesus said to do! I'm glad that Rob Bell would say something like this at a conference that tends to breed that very disposition toward ministry.