In late May Little Baby made his appearance to the world.
And I’m. In. Love.
His deep dark eyes.
Tiny toes and large hands.
The way he looks around with those bright eyes and takes everything in.
The joyful grin he gifts to everyone.
He was so worth all the long months of sickness, the exhaustion, the aches, the pains of labor…..so worth it all to finally hold our littlest member of the family!
So, yes, he is two months old now but….I guess this post is better late than never!
I enjoy reading other’s birth stories so thought I’d take the chance to share the wonderment of Little Baby’s birth….
Our Little One was quite the trickster the last week in utero! I’d been having contractions on and off for a while but they started coming more often the last week. On a Friday we were at Mom and Dad’s for a birthday party and I started having mild, but more consistent contractions. It was decided to leave the kiddos there to stay the night, just in case labor would get started soon.
We went home.
And BAM, contractions started again, even a bit stronger this time.
So, I decided to do some exercises and positional techniques to hopefully get things moving more quickly….but all they did was STOP the contractions. Oops. Well, at least we spent a relaxing Saturday together, just the two of us.
The craziness starts around 3am the next morning. I wake up to consistent and gradually growing stronger contractions.
“This is it!” I thought, “This is labor.”
We called our midwife and headed into the birth center. On the way I’m thinking:
“Yay! In just a few hours I’ll be holding my baby and by this evening we should be back home!”
After the midwife does all her assessments I lay down to rest while I can…low and behold the contractions STOP AGAIN. The midwife does some positional techniques to try and get Little One into the right position, she also suggests we go take a walk somewhere. It’s morning by now so we decide to go grab some breakfast and take laps around the hospital parking lot.
A few contractions, but far apart.
Now, for some people having on and off contractions might be normal, even having a long early labor stage might be normal, but for me, not so much. When I go into labor, I GO INTO LABOR. Having a few contractions in the days leading up are normal for me but not like this. None of this starting and stopping business. My previous labors were only an average of about 4 hours long from the beginning of noticing contractions to baby being born.
I was perplexed and frustrated.
Finally, around late morning we realized nothing was happening so we might as well go home. It was Sunday so we stopped at a park and pulled up YouTube to listen to one of our church’s sermon videos. My mom stayed at the house after church so we could see the kiddos for a bit. I missed them and needed some hugs! They leave and head back to Grandma and Pa’s.
I learned at this point that what I’m experiencing has a name: prodominal labor. It can come and go for days or even weeks for some people and mimics real labor but then stops after a while. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
On Sunday evening I was an emotional mess. By this point I’m tired, uncomfortable, missing my kids, and greatly disappointed that we came home with no baby. I’m also questioning my ability to “know” when I’m actually in labor. Having fast labors mean that I can’t dilly-dally around the house too much or I chance giving birth without my midwife around! I had a hunch that with all these contractions going on and off that they might be prepping my body even more than usual. I could potentially have an even faster labor this go around. I was nervous.
Monday morning we went and picked up the kiddos and brought them home for a day together. This was also my due date. That evening we attended our church’s softball cookout and enjoyed the day as a family.
At 4am Tuesday morning I woke up to a contraction. I lay in bed deciding to try and go back to sleep.
“If they get worse,” I thought, “I’ll wake up.”
I never did go back to sleep and after a contraction that was strong enough that I had to “breath” through, I woke up Willis. It had been about 45 minutes at this point so we call the midwife, my Mom, and my sister-in-law who’d be attending the birth (she’d been out of town over the weekend but was home now). By the time Mom got to our house to watch the kids (only about 20 minutes later), I was in a lot of discomfort. They were coming hard and I honestly was “done” already and didn’t want to deal with the pain ahead. I knew what was coming and I simply wanted relief and to have my baby in my arms.
I tried giving myself a pep talk and telling myself I could do it (after all, I’ve had three unmedicated and all-natural births before!). But as we were driving to the birth center I told Willis that I wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural. The hospital and birth center are across the street from each other, and the midwife works at both locations, so it would be no problem to switch birthing locations.
Willis wanted to be completely sure that this was what I truly wanted.
“Will you regret this decision in a few days from now? Will you be mad at yourself?” he asked.
He knows me so well.
“I just want a healthy baby and I don’t feel like I need to “prove” I can do it to anyone,” I say.
I mainly wanted to know if I got an epidural if he’d think I was a sissy and would be disappointed in me. He reassured me that was not the case and he only wanted me to be comfortable, whether in the birth tub at the birth center or at the hospital with an epidural.
We get to the hospital around 5:35am and try to register downstairs. After waiting to be seen and checked in for what was TOO LONG FOR ME, I asked Willis to go to the desk and see how long it would be….oh yeah, and mention that your wife is in active labor! The lady was like: “Oh Honey, you go straight upstairs to labor and delivery!”
Up to this point, contractions were probably about 3-4 minutes apart. I chose to walk upstairs instead of ride in a wheelchair because sitting down made it harder the pain seem worse. BUT once we started the treck upstairs the contractions revved up to around 30 seconds to 1 minute apart! I had to stop many times on the way up there to breath through the pain. Thankfully my sister-in-law saw us right as we were heading upstairs and was able to follow us up. I say “thankfully” because we never actually got checked in until AFTER he was born. She would have had a little harder time finding us.
We get into the room and I ask for an epidural right away! The nurses get everything going for it but inform me that it would be 30-40 minutes before I can actually get one.
“Ugh, I wonder if I’ll even get one in time.” I think to myself.
That “wondering” was basically confirmed within minutes. The sweet nurse checked for dilation and BAM….
I find out later that the nurse and Willis had a non-verbal exchange that said: “Yeah, she’s not getting an epidural.”
Well, there goes that idea.
I lay in the bed holding (squeezing, causing it to turn blue…whatever) Willis’ hand when he steps away for a moment.
“I need to get some water, just a minute,” he says to me.
Great timing. Thanks.
(Come to find out later he felt lightheaded for the first time ever while watching me get an IV!)
I lean my head against my sister-in-law and within a few more contractions I needed to push. The midwife walks in and after 4-5 minutes of pushing, Little One entered the world!!!
At 2.5 hours since having contractions hard enough to wake me and only 30ish minutes of being in the hospital room, Little One gave us a wild ride!
What excitement it was a few hours later to have all the kiddos come and meet their new brother! Little Man was elated and it showed on his face as he touched his little brother.
What a blessing to bring life into the world.
What a blessing to raise eternal souls for God’s Kingdom.
What a life God’s given me.