It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but my baby boy is finally here, and I feel compelled to document his arrival. 🙂
Starting in my third trimester, I had experienced period-like cramping every day, and was feeling Braxton Hicks contractions almost constantly. I’d been switched to heparin injections from lovenox to prepare for labor, and had been driving to the hospital twice weekly for non-stress tests to make sure my baby’s environment was still in good condition. On August 30, I went to my regularly-scheduled doctor’s appointment, and they measured my cervix between 1 and 2 centimeters dilated. Even though I had lost my mucus plug almost a week prior, I didn’t read too much into this. I’ve known many women who lost their mucus plugs weeks before giving birth, or been dilated at 2 cm for 3+ weeks before being induced. I was well aware of (and counting on) carrying him to 40 weeks (although my perinatologist did say that they would induce me at my due date because with my complications, the placenta is known to deteriorate after that point).
The next day, I felt a gush of fluid when I stood up after getting out of bed. It wasn’t a constant trickle like I’d read about with your water breaking, so I put a panty-liner in and didn’t think too much of it. I told my husband what had happened, and he assured me I was probably overreacting when I wondered aloud if my water had broken. I knew it wasn’t normal discharge for me, and it happened a few times more when I stood up after sitting. After changing my panty-liner three times in three hours, I decided to call the on-call doctor and ask for their opinion. She agreed that it was hard to say whether or not we needed to be concerned without checking it out, and asked me to come in. Dear husband was not very happy when I told him we’d be driving an hour to the hospital for what was most probably a false alarm. In fact, he convinced me to leave behind the diaper/hospital bags, and asked me, on the way there, if we were going to drive to the hospital ‘every time I thought my water had broken.’
Needless to say, after checking the fluid that was pooling up each time I sat down, the doctor confirmed that my amniotic sac had indeed sprung a leak, and that we would be having our baby almost 3 weeks early. And we hadn’t even taken the car that had the car seat in it!
This is what a woman who is not in the least bit prepared to be a mother looks like after finding out she lost the 3 weeks she was counting on having to get ready!
Phone calls were made, grandparents boarded planes from halfway across the country, and we kept our fingers crossed that our baby would take his sweet time getting here, so that we wouldn’t have to return all of the jewelry we’d bought with September birthstones. 😛
These aren’t pretty pictures, but I do treasure them… Childbirth was not easy. I lasted about 3 hours into actual labor (they popped the rest of my water, which had been cushioning me from feeling the contractions) before asking for an epidural. Time seemed to pass so quickly. I was so, so exhausted by the time I started to feel the urge to push. I’d been awake for almost 24 hours, and every time I went to get some rest like the nurses kept advising me, someone new showed up to visit me in the hospital (note to self – next time, don’t tell anyone you’re having a baby until you’re ready to start pushing!). Yes, I let my manners keep me from preparing to push a human being out of my hoo-ha. Newbie mistake.
Once it was time to push, I kicked everyone out except for my hubby (which I’m sure my mom didn’t appreciate, but after everything we’d been through together during this pregnancy, I really wanted our baby’s arrival to be shared between just the two of us. A special time, so to speak.) Two hours of pushing later (Kenneth got stuck on my pelvic bone, and finally, my doctor decided to just cut me open down there to expedite the process) he arrived, at 7:02 a.m. on September 1st, measuring at 20.75″ and weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz.
I had to ask Ken about the time after I gave birth later – I guess I was so tired that I forgot all of the details. I remember seeing him for the first time, but I don’t remember holding him for the first time. I remember watching the doctor pulling him the rest of the way out, and looking at my hubby, and realizing that both of us were crying. And he told me over and over, “We did it.” I remember asking if he was okay, I’m not sure why, I guess because he was so quiet. He didn’t cry and wail like I expected him to, and the umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck. But everyone assured me he was perfect. I had to ask my hubby to bring him to me so I could see him, because I didn’t trust my arms to hold him. My whole body felt so weak. My arms were like noodles, and my whole back hurt, like I’d been using muscles in it that I didn’t know existed, and my legs shook the entire time the doctor was stitching me up.
My memory, at least where I am more ‘present,’ picks up again when we switched from the labor room to the mother-baby room. The first time he opened his eyes, and looked into mine, I lost it. With all of the scares for my own safety as well as that of my son, I never dreamed I would say I would do it all over again. People told me it would be worth it as soon as I held him, and I sort of laughed at those people. Those people hadn’t spent a week in the hospital with doctors stressing to them how serious their condition was, trying to politely dance around the specifics of when I need to be afraid for my life and call 911 should the blood-clot I’ve been fostering that’s the size of Texas decide to break off and head somewhere important, like, say, my brain or lungs or heart or something. They hadn’t been giving themselves shots twice a day, or been worried sick about the health of their little one since day one due to a history of ‘spontaneous abortions.’ Basically, my body hates pregnancy, and these people have no clue what they are talking about.
Except they were right. It was all so very, very worth it. I would go through it all again for him, and more.
It’s funny, but before I met my son, I was never afraid of dying. I’ve always believed in Jesus and in my salvation, and sort of even looked forward to getting to heaven one day. Now I look at this amazing little boy, and my heart breaks at the thought of leaving him. It’s hard for me to imagine that anything could possibly get any better than this. I love him so much that it practically hurts.
I know this sounds melodramatic. I’m not always this super-sensitive (I’m blaming it on my postpartum hormones). But there’s something about this kid… We’ve found out, since giving birth, that this may be our first and last child. Found out, in fact, that my previous miscarriages were most likely the result of a clotting disorder, and that for all intents and purposes, my little guy shouldn’t even be here. I think about the night, when I was in training in Virginia and DH was in Kansas, that I called him in tears. I’d been spotting, similar to what I’d experienced with both of my previous pregnancies, and I didn’t know how I would handle it if I lost another baby. Didn’t think I could take it, so far away from home and anyone that I loved. I remember it so clearly – I prayed with my hubby, over the phone, out of desperation. I don’t think at the time I even really believed God would hear me or that He would intervene. But the next day, when I woke up, the spotting had stopped. And I knew deep in my soul that this time would be different. We’ve had some scares along the way, but indeed, it ended differently for us. More beautifully than we could have imagined. And I wouldn’t change a single thing. I would do it all again – every single valley along the way that felt too deep to climb out of. And if he is the only child we ever have, he will be more than enough. I will love him like crazy, with everything that I have. It’s hard for me to believe that my life was so different, just a few days ago. It’s hard to imagine anything else.
“Hold me, hold me just a little bit closer
I don’t wanna lose this moment
Your love has covered me
And now I can’t get over you”