Our sweet baby J (SBJ) has entered our world and it was amazing. And he is amazing. But mostly our Lord God is amazing. And it would be wrong of me to acknowledge anything less or than that that or other than that as I tell his birth story.
“And Mary treasured all of these things and pondered them in her heart”…Luke 2:19. SBJ’s birth story is a nugget of God’s love and faithfulness that I will forever hold in my heart. And though I still feel like we’re waiting for the “other shoe to drop” I can’t help the feeling of being completely wrapped in the arms of my loving Savior by how easily these last five days have passed.
I went to the doctor in the morning of 10/1 and was told I was still just 1 cm dilated which is where I’d been for about two weeks. I asked when we could start talking about induction and was told that I needed to make another appointment for the next week and if I was still pregnant, we’d talk about it then. I made the appointment (for 10/7 which was actually a day earlier than a week, I was feeling anxious to get the conversation started!) and headed home. I worked all day and actually wrote this post during my lunch break.
As the afternoon progressed I felt more and more “crampy” and felt a good number of (what I thought were Braxton-Hicks) contractions. Around 3:00 I call Alex to ask when he’d be home and let him know that I thought I might be seeing early labor signs and that he should prepare to not be at school the next day. He had a meeting and did some preparation and got home about 6:30. I had dinner on the table when he arrived and we sat down to eat. Toward the end of our dinner I felt (what I thought was) a punch in the lower part of my abdomen and I cried out in shock/pain. At 7:00, my pants were wet. Note to self, my water breaking/baby’s head getting ready to enter the birth canal = a punch in the stomach.
As I went to put my pants in the laundry and called the doctor, Alex calmly cleared our dinner and straightened up the kitchen. I expected the doctor to tell me we should stay home for a few hours and let labor come on (I hadn’t felt any contractions while making or eating dinner) but she told me to make our way to the hospital because if my water had broken, I’d definitely be admitted. We notified our parents and a few key friends and prayer warriors to let them know what was happening and got our things together to go to the hospital. I had pre-packed my bag with what I could and had a made a list of the things that I needed to add when it was actually time to go. In hind-sight this list was invaluable as my head was spinning a little and it helped me make sure that I got everything I needed.
On our car ride to the hospital I felt a few more contractions but nothing so strong I had to employ any breathing or pain management techniques. When we got to the hospital Alex entered the parking lot the wrong way, through the DO NOT ENTER but we parked, took our things and headed up to the maternity ward still rather un-eventfully. At 7:55 we were put in an admission room and I was told to change. While we were waiting on the staff to get everything set up for us, we turned on the Blackhawks game (their first of the season!) and watched the flag raising ceremony for the 2012-13 Stanley Cup championship. It was a fantastic distraction from the contractions that were coming a little more frequently and with a little more force and from the waves of nausea that were coming on. When the doctor came to check me she said that I was 4 cm dilated.
Around 8:30 we were taken to my labor room and we met Renea my labor nurse. This woman was a God-send. Her voice still calms me when I think about it and she had just the most pleasant demeanor. The was a conversation early on about whether or not “we’d make the 1st” (would he born on the first) and Renea’s vote was no – more likely sometime between 1:00-2:00am. We again, found the Blackhawks game and I labored and vomited, listened to the Blackhawks game, chatted with Renea and labored and vomited, and listened to the Blackhawks game and chatted with Renea. Alex graciously held barf bags (I was so thankful our dinner had been talapia and potatoes!) and handed me towels and let me squeeze his hand. The pain was manageable and I asked for little pain relief (I wanted Motrin and actually don’t know what they gave me) and was administered something through my IV.
At 11:30 with a help from Renea I was at 10 cm and ready to push…problem was the doctor was in the middle of another delivery.
We asked Renea if she’d ever delivered a baby and though she said yes, it was obvious she was not prepared for how close she came to having to deliver ours. In lieu of a doctor to help, Alex helped hold my left leg down as I pushed. At about 11:55 the doctor came in the door taking off her gloves from delivering the other baby. When she saw that SBJ was crowning she made a comment to Alex along the lines of “I’m going to regret this (taking off her gloves)” and started to put on her smock. I in the meantime, gave my final push at 12:01 and our precious baby was caught by the doctor in her smock because she hadn’t yet put another pair of gloves on.
And that’s it…four hours of real labor, manageable pain, and an incredible nurse later – Alex and I had a son. And he’s a-dor-able and strong and a great eater and a fantastic sleeper. And life is being treasured, truly treasured.