That's right, it's Wife Appreciation Wednesday, where we husbands give credit and thanks to the wonderful women in our lives. On this second day of 2008, I have every reason to brag on my wife.
Four days before Christmas, my wife went into labor. Because of her personal convictions about health and wellness, she chose to have a natural childbirth at home. No drugs. No surgeries. No inducing to speed up the process. Just a natural, allow the birth to happen type of situation. At 3:30am on Friday morning, Heather started feeling very strong birthing waves (a.k.a. "contractions"), and she woke me up at 4am to start timing them. For the first hour of record, they were 7 minutes apart. We were big-time excited! I started texting my family to start praying over the birth. Well, within an hour or two, the birthing waves spaced out 20+ minutes apart, and my wife was seriously disappointed. I did my very best to encourage her.
She went through spurts of heavy birthing waves off and on for most of the day. It wasn't until 2am Saturday morning that our midwife and her assistant came to our house to monitor the progress. They were absolute angels, giving my wife encouragement and comfort much more easily than I could. They knew what was normal and what wasn't, so they could speak to her with authority and calm her fears and questions.
We were making little progress throughout Saturday morning. Then we sent out another request to friends and family to pray that this would happen sooner than later. At 3pm, Heather took a warm shower to relax and loosen up her muscles. She came out a different person. She had her game face on, and was full of determination like I've never seen. She began pacing the house and lifting her belly properly to put the baby's head right on top of the cervix. She was a woman on a mission.
I won't give you all the details because those are intimate and shared only with my wife, myself, our midwives, and our two mothers. But I will tell you that at 9:46pm on Saturday, our daughter Kathryn Taylor Dessinger was born. And my beautiful wife had endured 42 hours of labor! Let me tell you, I was exhausted and I didn't have to do anything but face worry and be her emotional support.
This woman faced something that almost no women in our society choose to face anymore, and she did it with great courage. I've told her since that I consider her resolve to birth our baby naturally was much more courageous and difficult than what women went through 300+ years ago. They had no choice but to have babies naturally. Anesthesia wasn't available except for opium-like substances. But my wife had every avenue of pain relief available and chose not take the easy road for the sake of her baby.
And because we did not induce the birth, our baby was born a perfect 7lbs. 8oz. at 2 weeks past her due date! She was perfectly healthy and VERY alert when she was born, and breastfed as soon as we could let her. Kathryn has done very well thus far and we are very gushingly proud parents. But I give credit to my wife, who made choices and stood by them even when she wanted the drugs mid-way through.
Our baby will be healthier and happier because of her choices, and I am forever grateful for that. I always want my child to have the very best we can offer her, so that she has every opportunity to live a full life. She will make mistakes and learn from them, but she will be equipped to face life as well as we can possibly arrange.
Thank you, Heather, for being my heroine and an example to many others as well! Your standards can be difficult to live up to, but you prove that most of them can be attained by anyone who makes a choice and keeps it. I love you.
If you're married and would like to brag on your wife, post a comment below and give her kudos for specific things you love about her. If you're single, you can post a comment shout out to your future wife and tell us what she's like.