Luke’s Story (Or should I say…Benjamin’s??)

Luke with Eyes still sealed shut

Boy, did God ever bring us to the midwestern state of Wisconsin for a reason.

It may only have been for 12 months…

but it served a timeless purpose.

God sometimes needs to remove you from the busyness.

He needs to limit the distractions and cut back the obligations,

finally gaining your full attention.

He took two new Christians, shapeless lumps of clay, off to a “foreign land”, and He began to mold us.

He humbled us with financial struggles, tested us with a crooked boss, and rewarded us with a better job.

He blessed us with a healthy baby girl, carried us through postpartum troubles, and stripped us of our “super power” mentality.

He broke down our self-reliance, strengthened our marriage, and led us to a holy-spirit filled church.

He set us free from religion and guided us back to discovering biblical truths and a relationship with Him.

And after we’d been adequately softened, and we’re beginning to take the slightest bit of form in the Potter’s hands, the telephone rang.

It seemed after one year, almost exactly to the day, God was calling us back to Carolina.

In a whirlwind effort, we packed up the condo, rented two trucks, drove 18 hours, and moved into a new home in Willow Springs, North Carolina.

Oh it was so good to be back in a house again!

A house with a yard and a driveway situated in a cul-de-sac.

No more fear of disturbing the landlord with our rambunctious children.  No more second story!

And before the boxes were fully unpacked…

the tell-tale nausea began.

I don’t recall taking a pregnancy test this go-around, but truthfully, they become unnecessary.

All the signs were present.

I returned to my favorite OB/Midwife team in Raleigh and they confirmed my suspicions.

Baby number four was on the way!  I was ecstatic!

The ultrasound showed a healthy bundle and we chose to let the gender remain a surprise this time.  For the record, I was certain it was a boy. ;)

As my due date approached, I grew increasingly confused about where and how to have this baby.

I mean…I was seeing an obstetrician and a CNM who delivered at Rex Hospital but…

I was nervous about having a hospital birth and having to do everything “their” way.

A home birth didn’t really seem an option either, given my history.  If my uterus ruptured, I would never forgive myself.

Due to past cesareans, I wasn’t a candidate to deliver at the NC Birthing Center ,which is situated beside UNC Hospital.

I wanted my baby monitored throughout labor, but wanted to be in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere.

I  was nervous about last minute transport (really didn’t enjoy all the drama of Keagan’s birth), but wanted to labor in water again.

I certainly knew what I wanted, but there seemed no possible way.

And then it dawned on me…

What was God’s plan for this birth?

Because certainly He had a plan.

A perfect plan that was far better than anything I could conjure up in my little brain.

I mean in the grand scheme of things, my plan was essentially worthless.

Because He could throw a wrench in my plans at any given moment…



Fetal Distress.

Gestational Diabetes.


Just to name a few.

And just like that…I would end up on the OR table… or at the very least, in the hospital.

I began to see that the choice of how this baby entered the world wasn’t really mine.

Yes, I could make preparations, educate myself, and take the best possible care of my pregnant-self,

but ultimately the decision was His.

Oddly, this brought me an immense sense of peace.

Planning, to not have a plan, was so very freeing.

Turning all my concern and worry over to Him, the expert planner, left me with the very peace I had been pursuing.

But it turns out…that even planning to not have a plan, requires some planning. :)

Because if I truly wanted to leave all of the “doors” open, I had to have certain things in place.

I already had my hospital team (OB/CNM) on stand-by.

I needed to choose a direct-entry midwife who would be available to monitor me at home, escort me to the hospital, and possibly deliver the baby too.

I met with a midwife, who agreed to take me on as a patient, even though I was only weeks away from my due date.

She understood my need to leave all options open and even offered to drop off an inflatable tub at my house.

I finally felt like I was ready to have this baby.

When my due date of January 25th arrived and I still hadn’t experienced any contractions, I decided I would purposely engage in a day of excess.

I would take the three kids out galavanting.

We would go to an indoor kid’s play place, we’d eat lunch out, and then we’d visit the mall.

We were gone all day.

From 9-5pm.

We walked all over the place.

I came home, fed them dinner, and got three very tired children, off to bed.

I proceeded to make the house spic and span, as I had every night for the last week.

I knew I might find myself in labor and needing to call upon friends in the middle of the night.

I was just finishing up the kitchen, when I began having regular contractions.

Duff was already in bed for the night.

He probably thought I was a little nutso, as I took nesting to a whole new level. ;)

I figured I would let him rest for a bit and make sure this was the real deal.

I didn’t want to wake him for a false alarm and risk hearing about that for the rest of my days.;)

I went upstairs to the office and began checking email.  I read a few birth stories just to get myself in the mood.:)

The contractions remained very regular and were growing more intense.

I could no longer distract myself with piddly stuff.

I woke Duff up and told him it was time to start filling the birthing tub.

I was desperate to hop in when only a couple inches of water covered the bottom.

We called the midwife and she planned to head over shortly.

Now I’d heard tell that water is the “midwife’s epidural”, but I certainly don’t believe everything I hear…especially when it comes to childbirth.;)

But let me tell you from experience, that it truly is.  This is NO lie.

I hopped into that tub and the relief was remarkable.

I floated.

Perfect weightlessness.

I relaxed through contractions and visualized my body responding to their power.

The midwife arrived and pulled up a chair beside the tub.

She checked baby’s heart rate and all was well.

She recommended Duff go get some rest while he was able.

I labored in the water for a couple hours.  The house was completely silent.  The midwife was snoozing at my side and Duff slept on our bed in the adjoining room..

So this was what a peaceful labor felt like…

I had never experienced it.

I called those women liars.  The ones who said it could be like this.

Wow, this was beautiful.  I had no idea.

I woke them up when it was time.

I wanted to get out of the water.

The head began to crown moments later and the midwife needed to perform some amazing houdini trick to deliver baby’s shoulder.

She laid the most precious bundle of cuteness down beside me without so much as a word.

I was overwhelmed.

I began to remark about how absolutely adorable this baby was, when it dawned on me, that I did not yet know the gender.

And then all at once I saw it was a boy and realized I had been right all along.

“I knew it!” I remarked, smiling.

At this point, Duff pretty much turned over full naming rights to me.

Labor and delivery does that to a man.

So if you’re having trouble deciding on a name, just post-pone the decision until after baby’s arrival.  You’ll totally win.;)

Benjamin Luke O’Melia had arrived!

7 pounds 15 ounces and doing great!!

But then the trouble began…

I had not yet delivered the placenta and my midwife began to worry.

She gave me a shot of methergine (similar to Pitocin) to help my uterus contract.

When a placenta remains attached, the uterus is unable to clamp down.

This results in uncontrolled hemorrhaging.

My placenta wasn’t budging.

My OB had assured me that my placenta was not over my old cesarean scars,  but he had been wrong.

My placenta was smack dab over my scar line.

The midwife administered another shot of methergine and calmly told Duff to call 911.

Duff also phoned a friend to stay with our other children while we left for the hospital.

EMS arrived 15-20 minutes later.

They attempted to insert a venous line to start fluids, but didn’t have any luck.  I had already lost a lot of blood and my veins were probably collapsing.  I was lying on the floor but felt weak and light-headed.  I looked up at the ceiling fan in my bedroom, and the doubt crept in.

What was I doing here?!

What was I thinking?

Why wasn’t I at the hospital?

What if this man couldn’t get an IV started?  What then?!

After several attempts, he had success.

The fluids were hung.

I was moved onto a  stretcher and carried downstairs, out the front door, and into the ambulance.

Duff hopped in beside me, baby Luke in his arms.

We chose to head to Wake Med Raleigh since it was closest, saddened that my OB did not have privileges there.

We were taken directly to labor and delivery, where I was prepped for the OR.

The placenta would need to be surgically removed.  I prayed it wasn’t accreta.

I woke up from surgery shivering uncontrollably.  The nurse piled my blankets high.  Once my vital signs reassured the PACU staff that I was stable, they brought me back up to the L&D floor, where Benjamin was just beginning to awaken from a snooze in his daddy’s arms.

I would require more medications to slow the bleeding and two blood transfusions, but I was stable, and baby was the picture of health.

I took him in my arms and studied every detail of his perfect little body.

Thank you, Lord, for another precious gift!


  1. Okay, so what’s the deal is his first name Benjamin and he just goes by Luke? Did I miss that part of the story. . .?

    • Kelly O'Melia says:

      Heidi, We named him ‘Benjamin Luke’ with the intention of calling him by his middle name. My sweet husband was against this idea from the beginning, fearing the confusion it would cause. Thank goodness he isn’t one to say I told you so. ;)
      When we attempted to call him Luke as an infant, his siblings resisted and insisted on calling him Benjamin. We finally caved and Benjamin it became. But then when he was about 3 years old we found ourselves surrounded by lots of Benjamins and decided to try one last time to implement the name change. I really stunk at it but Duff and the other kids pulled it off. ‘Luke’ finally stuck and the boy himself added “Farmer” to the end of it, insisting everyone call him “Luke Farmer”. If he ends up on some psychiatrists couch some day, we’ll all know why. ;)

Speak Your Mind