I prayed for a full night's sleep before the birth. I prayed for the labor not to be all in my back again.
The Lord said no to these prayers.
BUT, God. God not only gave me the grace and strength for a tough birth again, but He said "yes" to things I didn't even know to pray for.
I'll start with Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Tuesday is the day of the week when my mom, a.k.a. "Nana", comes over to hang out with Judah while I go to appointments/run errands/work/rest my formerly weary pregnant self. On this Tuesday (at 38 weeks) I was feeling SO TIRED and as I told my mom, "over it" physically. It was quite difficult to pick up Judah and I couldn't play with him on the floor anymore. I was so glad she was coming that day. I had so many things to do, but when she got there I decided to take a much needed nap. The whole pregnancy I had trouble actually going to sleep for a nap but that day I totally zonked out.
As in Judah's birth story, this was helpful later.
I needed to wrap up some before-baby stuff, such as shipping off the last order of Lettered Pine signs for a while. I also got a pedicure which was glorious. I was craving McDonald's that day (mainly the sweet tea) and ate there by myself. While I was sitting there, I started noticing some weird crampy feelings that felt a little different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having. Hmmm. But they went away and I continued on with my errands.
That night Jordan had a basketball game and his parents came to visit from Greensboro. Again, the weird feelings came. I didn't say anything, but wondered if it meant something. After the game Jordan and I went to our Tuesday night small group and the cramps returned again. Then again later as we talked Jordan's parents when we got home. It was always when I was sitting down and being still.
Before bed, when Jordan prayed with me and we said our goodnights, I told him, "I think it will be tomorrow." Which may not be the best thing to tell your husband before he tries to go to sleep. (Sorry, babe.)
We had been sleeping in separate beds for a few weeks since my giant pregnancy pillow and large self were taking up the majority of the bed and I was getting up to go to the bathroom multiple times a night. So he headed to the guest room and we tried to get some sleep.
It was taking me a little while to fall asleep and as soon as I got comfortable -- there it was. A real contraction.
"Nope. Noooope. That was just a tease. If I ignore it, I can just go to sleep. Then they can start back in the morning if they want. It was probably nothing. How long has it been since I felt it? Too long. So it probably wasn't real. Okay. Sleep time. OH GOOD GRIEF ANOTHER ONE IS HAPPENING. No. No. No."
If you recall in Judah's birth story, the timeline went like this: went into early labor around dinner time, real contractions started around midnight, never slept, labored all day, Judah was stuck, missed another night of sleep, finally born in the morning after 30+ hours. So one of my main concerns was actually getting sleep this time. But that was not meant to be. Again.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016.
After a couple hours of laying there trying to sleep in between contractions, I decided to get up and take a shower. I thought maybe a change in position and the hot water could slow things down, but the contractions continued to increase in intensity and frequency. After the shower I started to actually time the contractions. (I suggest the BabyCenter app for this! So helpful!)
The contractions were consistent and I had to stand up and sway through them. Last time they weren't like this until much later, so it made me think that this could really be happening. I decided to head over to the guest room and wake Jordan up. He was pretty foggy at first but knew that I meant business when I couldn't talk through them at all.
I called the birth center. I wanted so badly to wait until actual daytime hours but I was afraid that this kid would come much faster and they had told me to call when the contractions were 6-7 minutes apart since this was my second baby. (I seriously know at least four people who have had their second babies in the car or at home in the past year and a half because they came so fast, so I was NOT taking any chances!) At this point the contractions were 5-6 minutes apart and lasting around a minute each. They told me to come in and I would see a new midwife whose name I didn't recognize. Jordan called my parents and asked if they could come over to be with Judah and they came right over. Yay for parents who are only 15 minutes away!
Having contractions in the car was no fun. Thankfully we live less than 10 minutes away from the birth center. The new midwife (whose name I frustratingly can't remember) was super nice and didn't make me feel badly at all about it being so early. She checked me and the baby and I was disappointed to find out I was only 4 cm dilated and 60% effaced. BUT, the baby was in a good position which was encouraging to me after how it was with Judah. I had back labor again, but his head was actually engaged and ready, so that was a relief to know. She told us that a room was ready if I wanted to hang out there without actually being admitted. The tub was extremely tempting, but we decided to go back home.
We got home and turned on a 30 for 30 documentary to distract me (the one about the Magic team with Shaq. I love Shaq.) Jordan dozed off and I continued to sway through contractions and eat.
If you read my advice to myself for labor I knew I should eat well and try to rest as much as I could to help me later on. I ate lightly all throughout the day -- toast with peanut butter, bananas, smoothies, a sandwich. I also drank a LOT of water.
It was good to see Judah when he woke up, but my mom stayed to play with him while I retreated to our bedroom to try to rest. The contractions slowed WAY down at this point. This was both frustrating and helpful -- I wasn't progressing like I wanted, but I was also able to kind of rest. I mean, they were still difficult to get through, but I tried to conserve my energy as much as possible. I remember thinking maybe I'll have him by lunchtime. That'd be nice. Nope.
The timing gets fuzzy here, but Jordan's parents came at some point in the middle of the day. Just like last time, I was SO glad for them to be there for Jordan. Instead of him having to talk to me about being anxious or voicing any concerns, he was able to lean into them for that support. We've learned that Jordan gets really nervous when I'm in labor to the point where it physically affects him and he is sick on his stomach, poor guy. He was sweet to not convey this to me and to be strong, but he told me that it is really hard for him to see me in pain like that.
|During labor at home|
The next midwife on call, Margaret, called to check in on me. We had her for our first appointment this pregnancy which was the only one Jordan had gone to at the birth center. We had both loved her and that was encouraging to know she would be the one there when the time came. She told me to continue to rest and that sometimes things slow down for as much as a day before they kick into high gear and it's baby time. It helped to know that this was normal, but at the same time I was like noooo let's just do this thing.
Sometime in the early evening Jordan and I took a walk. I thought I had been resting long enough and could NOT lay down through any more contractions. It was a cold, dreary day for May but I had to get outside since it wasn't raining at the moment. We walked through the neighborhood at a snail's pace, but I would power walk through contractions. We were still discussing names and testing out how they sounded. We were even throwing in some new ones, which was scaring me. Were we really this close to having our baby and didn't have a name? But at least it was something to talk about.
My sweet grandma brought dinner for everyone and my brother in law and sister in law arrived. I was glad to see them (and Judah LOVED it) but it also got me thinking that I needed to hurry up and have this kid. I didn't want everyone to have to wait around like last time. I took another shower for the hot water to soothe my back a little. I would've stayed in there forever if I could have.
We turned on another 30 for 30 about Jeremy Lin (so good) and ate dinner. I stayed in the room with them mostly and preferred for them to ignore me and continue talking when I had contractions. The contractions had been consistent again for a few hours, but they were still 6-7 minutes apart. I knew I wasn't at the end of labor, but I also knew my body had done a lot of work since that morning. TMI -- the urge to pee would NOT go away.
I called Margaret. She said she was about to call me and tell me to come in and get checked before she left (they had just had a birth). I told her how things were going and she said that it didn't sound like I was ready to stay there and she would probably just give me some medication to help me sleep, and then hopefully I would wake up in crazy intense labor. Even though it wasn't what I wanted, it was good to have a plan.
So Jordan and I headed to the birth center again. And that's where Part 2 will pick up. :)
|Arriving at the birth center|