Last week Dr. Rupe asked if she could do a post about my delivery. She wasn’t sure if I would have time in these first few, crazy weeks to blog about Joshua’s birth. I was excited to read her point of view on the day’s events and I believe she captured it perfectly (with one exception, according to his birth certificate, he was actually born at 4:56pm, not 4:57 but close enough). I’m sitting here in the stillness of my living room. . .filled with diapers and wipes, baby gear and antibacterial gel, and one, little, precious, sleeping baby boy (Hope is at mother’s day out today) so I thought I would take this quiet time to also reflect on my son’s birth. Thank you for allowing me to be self-indulgent on this blog. As I’ve mentioned before, I abandoned my personal blog (which had become a sort of journal for me) to focus on The Pregnancy Companion so I appreciate you letting me share my heart here on personal experiences. At least they are pregnancy related.
As Dr. Rupe said, on Saturday morning, July 2 I texted her because I thought my water had broken. It’s important to note that I was already 4cm dilated and 70% effaced at my last appointment so I had reason to suspect I might go into labor at any moment. Since I was induced last time, I had no idea what going into labor would actually feel like. I was apprehensive about my water breaking spontaneously. So many friends had different stories to tell but many said it was more like a leak than a gush of fluid. They also said it merely felt like they pee’d in their pants a little bit. Having done that before during my pregnancy I just wasn’t sure I’d know the difference. I woke up Saturday morning and decided to take a shower and get ready, just in case. I felt like it might be the day because I was having mild but pretty regular contractions the night before. As I stood in the shower drying off, I felt some leaking. Could this be my water leaking or did I just pee on myself again? I got out and got dressed and as I was doing my hair, it happened again. But this time it was greater. I felt like I had total control of my bladder so I decided this was it. I texted Dr. Rupe to let her know. She told me to come on in.
We arrived at the hospital and they hooked me up. My amazing nurse, Rachel eventually checked me and said my water had in fact not broken as there was no presence of amniotic fluid that they could detect. I was, however, having pretty regular contractions so she would call Dr. Rupe to see what she wanted to do. I knew the U2 concert was just hours away and I told myself if I was going to have this baby and not ruin her evening with Bono, that I had to be in labor by 10am. We were a bit past my personal deadline and as much as I was ready to have this baby, I was sure Dr. Rupe would send me home to wait for more active labor to begin. To my surprise she decided to go ahead and put me on Pitocin as I was in the early stages of labor. She must have known it was a risk. . .that I might not deliver quite fast enough for her to make it to see U2, but my sweet friend and physician also knew that if she sent me home, I might just end up back there that night. We were definitely rolling the dice!
I’ll spare you the details because she explained them very well. Pitocin started. Contractions kicked in. Water broken for real this time with a giant knitting needle (and when done this way it’s a HUGE gush, I don’t mind telling you). Epidural ordered. Contractions picking up. Epidural in but not working. Epidural dosed up. Finally some relief (for about an hour, enough time to watch one episode of Friday Night Lights, my new addiction). Finally dilated to 7. Nurse assures me it will go quickly now. I’m hoping to deliver by 6 or 6:30 but I know that’s pushing it.
As I entered transition (roughly 7-10cm dilation), the epidural wore off on my right side. They had me laying on my side so gravity could do it’s work but still no relief. My left side was dead to the world (due to all of the extra doses) but the right felt everything. For that hour between 7-10cm (the nurse was right, it did go fast thank you Jesus), I felt the pain and pressure of every intense contraction. I was not prepared to labor like that but my nurse and my husband were amazing coaches. They kept trying to get the epidural to fully kick in but no luck. Finally, Rachel announced it was time to get ready to start pushing. Dr. Rupe wasn’t yet in the room and I hoped after all this she didn’t miss it. I felt like he could come quickly. I was incredibly nervous about pushing a baby out without a working epidural. This is not what I had signed up for! As they got ready to position me Dr. Rupe walked in the room and I was so relieved to see her. The nurses got me on my back and almost immediately I felt a rush of peace come over my body. I felt so relaxed and the pain on my right side disappeared. I truly believe that Christ’s power rested on me in that delivery room (2 Cor 12:9, from chp 8 in the book). After 10 minutes and 3 rounds of pushing (through three contractions), I finally saw my baby boy. Miraculous.
I’ll add to Dr. Rupe’s list, the last five years have also included:
about 75 ultrasounds
7 HCG shots
amazing provision for the countless checks written to a fertility clinic
thousands of tears of loss and pain
a million petitions for life and a family
a deep, deep friendship born out of longing and hope
and now, a complete family with one spirited, beautiful little girl and a sweet, new baby boy. Oh how we are blessed beyond comprehension. And if I could go back and rewrite my story to remove the waiting, the loss, the emotional and financial burden and still have the same outcome – I would not. I truly believe the processes God allows us to walk through in our lives shape us and mold us into the people he intends for us to be. I know he wept with us along the way and now rejoices in our dreams fulfilled. I am so thankful he entrusted us with this story and I hope I can encourage others as they continue to allow him to write their own.
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me.