*The title of this post was taken from the Depeche Mode song of the same name*

When my wife, Marissa, was 14 years old she had a stroke.

Not much was known at the time about the cause except that her blood had a tendency to clot.

When we found out that she was pregnant, back in December of 2016, she was very quickly transferred from a regular OB to one who specialized in high risk pregnancies.

Last week, we went to the hospital so she could be induced for labor. Due to the nature of her situation, her doctor felt that any time beyond 39 weeks would raise her risk during labor exponentially.

One of her challenges was that she had not dilated as much as the doctor would have wanted so measures were taken to get her to 10cm as efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately, her body was fighting her every step of the way. On the evening of Wednesday, August 2, she was given an epidural and turned on to her left side to try and get some sleep.

Within an hour, her heart rate skyrocketed and her blood pressure plummeted.

Marissa signaled the nurses and before we knew it, there were 6 nurses/OB’s in the room with us trying to get Marissa’s levels regulated.

My biggest fear during this labor procedure was that Marissa’s stroke history would come back to haunt us and I watched quietly while the medical professionals worked to get her heart rate and blood pressure back to normal.

It took nearly an hour for her body to start responding positively. Then we spent another 2-3 hours for the monitors to stop going off every time her heart rate tried to spike.

When the morning came around, her OB told her she had been through enough trauma for one evening and since she was not showing significant signs of being dilated to his liking, he was scheduling a C-section.

And within the next two hours, she had gone from less than 5cm dilated to 8cm.

The doctor was thrilled and said, “Let’s get you ready for a natural birth.”

At 11:30am, procedures started for our baby boy to be delivered.

And at 12:03pm, on Thursday, August 3, Sebastian James Carlin Leenaarts was with us. Healthy and happy, just like his mother.

I was fortunate to be at Marissa’s right side to watch it all happen.

While all celebration is rightfully focused on our son, the spotlight should also be on his mother who fought through 36 hours of more ups-and-downs that any rollercoaster I’d want to be on.

To my wife, was there any doubt that you would do anything for our son? Never.

And to our son (that he might some day read this), your mother would have given her life to make sure you saw the light of day. Thankfully, she didn’t have to.

Thank you to everyone: family, friend, or client for your prayers, messages of love, and help so far along the way.

Sebastian will never hurt for love or affection.