Welcome To The World, Milo Kang

Yeah.

He waited long and good and hard, and I have the silver stretch marks on my body to prove it.

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I woke up at 2:30 in the morning on January 15, 2017 with a tightening around my stomach that I’d never felt before. The contractions came in waves—first eight minutes apart, then five, then three. Within two hours, I was breathing through a rippling pain that would come at me non-stop, every two/three minutes for the next 30+ hours.

I labored in the beginning for 12 hours only to find out I was just one centimeter dilated—that’s like working a 12-hour shift with no lunch break and coming to find you’ve only earned $1.00 for your hard and honest labor.

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My desire was to deliver naturally, vaginally, without having to be induced and without the use of pain medication. But, sometimes after 12 hours of getting nowhere, plans change. And that’s okay.

I welcomed morphine through an IV drip and remember the cool liquid slipping into my veins. There was the hand of a nurse on my forehead, the sound of my husband’s voice, and my eyes blinking wide, then waiting, then closing shut.

I awoke hours later, tired and in a daze. But I was 6 centimeters dilated. Rest, just like my midwife suggested, had been a good idea for me. I spiked a fever, and though my eyes had that short bit of sleep, the rest of my body felt like one big whirlwind of weakness. I clutched my husband’s shirt…barely having the strength or attention span to speak in the short time that passed between contractions.

I asked him what he’d think of me if I took the epidural. Would it render my experience any less natural, my story any less strong?

I silenced the voices in my head that said I’d be a bad mom or a weak woman if I chose to have an epidural—6 to 7 to 8 to 9, my body lingered as long as it could at each stage and,  I?

I hated that I didn’t feel one bit of it.

But I was stable and I was present.

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It’s hard to connect my present back to the past—that moment I gave birth. It was a blur; it happened fast and yet, at the same time, dangerously slow. I remember the faces of strangers—women I did not know, and I had no choice but to welcome them in. I let them be and sit and stand and watch in the presence of my bare and naked body. They were the voices that spurred me on in my pushing. They didn’t even know me, and yet they screamed for my success—they yelled, they cheered, they pushed me to push my son.

I never felt more loved, known, supported, empowered.

I didn’t know I’d come out the other end of birth holding a special bond with my midwife. I kept my eyes glued on her for the hour and fifteen minutes that I pushed. She spoke calmly, encouraged strongly. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the feeling in the moment, but looking back now, I know what to call it.

I felt trust. 

That’s what I remember most about my labor and delivery. Not the pain, not the fear, not the apprehension, or the dread, or the joy, or the love or the needles. But the trust. I remember sitting on a bed and trusting every person examining my most intimate insides. I remember laying my arm out for the IV needle to be poked through my skin, trusting that she’d get it right—even if she had to take it out and do it all over again. Trusting the person putting medicine in my body, the person pulling Milo from my body, the person injecting the needle near the spine of my body, trusting my husband’s whispers before drifting off into deep sleep, trusting the God who created my body to safely and sacredly deliver the body that had been created and formed within my own.

A whole 30+ hours of recklessly letting go of every last bit of self-sufficiency and dignity that I had left. No time for fear, no time for backing out. There was only going forward and pushing until a life was born and that hollering baby cry was heard, until he was in my arms—until we met.

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Milo Sahn Kang

January 16, 2018
12:13PM
7 LBS & 20 INCHES

His first name, Milo, means mild, calm, peace. And that is exactly what Shin & I feel (and trusted that we would feel) when we are watching him and holding him. His middle name, Sahn, is Korean for mountain. His name is our hope & prayer for his life—that he might grow to have an unshakeable faith in God, as firm and as secure as any mountain.

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That, everyone who meets him would wonder at what he might grow up to be. That, all would see the Lord’s hand is upon him.

Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

—Luke 1:66

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That, he would have a fire in his heart to find God, in his own way. That, he would be fearlessly bold in declaring such a found faith.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Romans 1:16

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No one told us we would want to die for this child.

No one told us that, everything we once thought we knew and understood about love would be shattered and built back up with new bricks and new clay, all within the first moments of looking into his eyes.

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No one told us our hearts would flood with crippling anxieties and irrational fears. No one told us we were going to feel anger, that we were going to feel joy. And peace, and guilt, and that we were going to want to be everything, do anything for him.

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We’ve heard the horror stories. The crazy births. The fond memories, the shocking confessions. We heard about the 12:00AM diaper changings and feedings and the vicious cycle of laying down and waking up only to do it all over again at 12:05AM.

But how could we have ever known about the kaleidoscopic movement of swirling colors and shapes that would soon twist and bend in our hearts, showing us sights we’d never seen before, angles and spaces we couldn’t even fathom into existence?

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We are smitten.

Overwhelmed, completely.

In awe, in wonder.

Still swirling in the changing shapes and colors of our hearts.

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And we hope that ten years down the road we are still swirling.

That we never stop swirling—seeing the newness, the fullness, the richness and the depth in all this.

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Welcome To The World, Milo Sahn Kang.

We are wild about you.

We love you and we bless you and thank God that we get to have and hold and share you.

Always.

Mom & Dad

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[Photos by Shin Kang]

17 thoughts on “Welcome To The World, Milo Kang

  1. carlavaldo

    Rachel! I am so proud of you! From momma to momma you rocked. Your birth story reminds me so much of mine but in that moment you just have to trust in the Lord and those around you. And look here, Milo! He’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to meet him. And these pictures are priceless

    Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      Carla! Thank you for being in my corner since day one – and for always assuring me and supporting me. I really really like being in this mom club. It’s beautiful and powerful and scary and fun all at the same time. I would love to hear your birth story when we all meet up! I’m thinking spring and warm weather would be perfect for us to come out to you. Love you girl and thankful for you!

      Like

  2. tammike715

    Rachel, that was so beautiful. I love you cousin.

    I also wanted to ask you I went back to chocolate and I am stuck on stupid with English. If I send you my outline can you help me?

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      I’m buying you all the bunny shorts in the world. Haha – thank you for loving and supporting me through this. I don’t know what God’s plan is for YOUR life but my prayer is that you get to experience this same love and joy and power someday. It will forever change you and turn your heart even more so to face God.

      It’s literally a miracle.

      Love you mama.

      Like

  3. srxfernandes

    Rachel. That was absolutely beautiful.. you incredibly put words to feelings, deep emotions. Something I’m not sure I ever could. That wonderful moment when you know what love at first sight really means. I’m not sure when it’ll happen but you have definitely inspired me to write my birth story (which is super similar to yours). Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy, he truly is wonderful. ❤️ I am so excited for you, for this journey of Mom hood. It’s scary and beautiful all mixed in together. I’m looking forward to our next chat! Yay Milo!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      I so want to hear your birth story! Please do write and blog it out! There are so many details that I didn’t even get to include in this post. Funny details, scary details. I need to really write the whole thing out before I forget it…already it’s so fuzzy. Thank you for loving me along side this journey and anticipating all along how much I’d love it.

      You are a beautiful mother, Stephanie. And I applaud YOU.

      XO

      Like

  4. Bri Joy

    This brought me right back to my boys and their births. Boy oh boy, do I feel the emotions kicking it! I remember the trusting that needed to happen, the letting go was scary, yet freeing. Rachel, I love the way you write! You have such a beautiful way of sharing your heart. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      Isn’t it crazy?! Trust was not the emotion I’d think I’d be feeling that day. I was so surprised by that, overtaken in such beautiful ways. It was a beautiful experience and I can’t wait to do it again haha. Thanks so much Bri – for your love and support! I hope you blog about your birth stories someday! Mwah!

      Like

  5. Debbie

    Rachel!! You are Absolutely Amazing!! Your story is Beautiful. I love reading your writings. Milo is such a Blessed Child with two Very Special parents. Enjoy every minute. Soak it all in, and whatever you do… Don’t Blink!! They grow up so fast. There will come a day you will look back and see every stepping stone God placed, just for you, as well as those he placed just for Milo.
    You guys are in for the most amazing ride of your life full of Love, Faith, Tears, Laughs, Hopes and Fears. I know God’s Blessings will carry you through it all.
    Love & Miss you guys. I hope we can stay in touch so I can watch as you guys Stand Amazed at what this beautiful child brings to your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      Oh Debbie, you have no idea how much these words mean to both Shin and I. I told him that, every time we hear from you, it’s like an act of redemption, and we are encouraged that even though our time in Winston was short – it was still a part of God’s great plan. Your comments and words soothe are hearts in ways you can’t imagine. Words can’t express how much we miss you and the campus and how often we think of our kids – especially now with Milo being here – we are constantly reminded of all the little hearts we got to love on while there.

      Thank you for loving us and believing in us from day one and for never ceasing to support us and care for us. Your heart is FILLED with God’s love and we have been blessed to witness that. We absolutely will always keep in touch and it melts our hearts the love you have for Milo too!

      Love you and thankful for you.

      Like

  6. sayjesika

    OH MYWORD! HE IS PRECIOUS! I AM CRYING! lol.
    I love this. I am in awe of you, even still.!

    Congrats Mom and Dad! Rachel and Shin!
    An abundance of love to ALL of you!!!

    XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      I love your love for us! Thank you for being there since day one! Somehow, someway, someday down the road — we need to meet.

      So thankful to “know” you — praying the same love & joy to flood your life every moment, friend.

      All love!

      Like

  7. Vickey

    This was amazing. Can’t wait for you to Bring him to FAG and we all get to meet him.
    The pictures are too adorable.
    Again congratulations

    Like

    • Rachel Marie Kang

      Thank you Vickey! Thanks for loving on us and wishing us well! I can’t wait to bring him to Faith someday too. It’ll be crazy watching him see the place where I grew up. I’ll be there soon but this time I won’t have Milo — so hang tight for next time! Much love to you lady!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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