The much awaited birth of my son happened this past week…finally! What a blessing. Beautiful, healthy and whole…we’re so humbled. With a few false alarms, the actual event came close to taking place in our van!
We live about 40 minutes from the hospital and I was initially told to call the doctor when my contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour. Well, two weeks ago I was having contractions all day and they had gotten down to 10 minutes apart for a while, then 8 minutes apart…so I called the doctor. He said when they got to 6 or 7 minutes apart to go ahead to the hospital. Well, they did, so I went.
Bbbrrrrrrringggg! False alarm.
By the time I got there and got hooked up to the monitor they had subsided. I think I had ONE contraction at the hospital…what a major letdown.
They told me to go home and don’t come back until they’re 5 minutes apart. Five days later, I started having contractions again and this time they hurt…pressure down under. They lasted all day but they weren’t regular. I thought for sure that night was going to be it (it was my due date AND the contractions seemed like they were actually moving the baby down). I sent my kids over to my sister’s for the night expecting to have to go into the hospital later that night. But come about 2AM they subsided and I was able to fall asleep…another huge letdown.
Then, three days later I went to my regular prenatal visit and found I was dilated to a THREE. That was a big deal for me because with my others I was never dilated more than a ONE until I got to the hospital for the actual birth. I was hopeful the time was truly near. Later that same night at 9:50 PM I woke up to a contraction…10PM another contraction…10:10 PM another contraction…10:18 PM another contraction and this one hurt…10:26 PM another [ouch]…10:34PM another [ouch again] this time I had to go to the bathroom…uh-oh, blood…not bright red, which is a danger sign but…more fluid…I think my “bags of water” just started leaking. “Ty, get me the phone and gray book (which had the emergency phone numbers).”
Ty comes into the bathroom to calm me down…I looked at him squarely and said, “Get me the phone and gray book now.” 10:something PM another contraction [ooowww]…
“It’s okay; Mommy is okay, just go back to bed (as my little ones scurry to my rescue)…”
I called the emergency phone number for the doctor, moments later the answering service had the doctor on call paged and returning my call.
Oooh…10:something PM another contraction [ooooowwwww]…I can’t catch my breath until it subsides. The doctor asked how far away I was from the hospital. I told him and he said I better hurry. I called my parents and said “It’s time!” and my Dad said they would be right there.
Ty wants to get ready…I go out on the front porch to have another contraction…I didn’t want to scare my children. My parents and sister pull up moments later (they live next door). My mom grabs the car seats out of the van for Lauren & Michael and leaves them on the front porch. I grab my purse and an extra towel, my overnight bag already in the van and call out to Ty, “We have to leave NOW”. He runs out, can’t find his wallet, buttoning up his shirt…
“I’ve got the keys”, I cried out, “let’s go!” Into the van we pile in: Ty, my mom and I.
Boy, these contractions are coming much faster and harder. We start down the country roads to town, eyes wide open for deer…Ty’s got the pedal to the metal, my mom’s got her eyes on the clock and I’m focusing on saying my “ABC’s” as I try to “relax” through each contraction…THREE minutes apart.
Ty comments that the baby will probably be born in just a few more hours…my mother and I both said, “No, this baby is coming quicker than that!” We pull into the emergency room and my mom has to track someone down to take us up to labor & delivery while Ty parks the van…another strong contraction…“A B C D E F G…” Going up the elevator…
“What’s your name, honey? Date of birth? Who’s your doctor? Go ahead…”
Into the same labor & delivery room I was in a little over a week ago, I was handed a gown…I knew the routine. “A B C D E F G H I J…”
It looks like we’re going to have a baby tonight,” says the doctor. “I’ll check you after this contraction is over… Yep, you’re at an 8 and 95% effaced…we’re going to get everything ready.”
A cold wet washcloth applied to my head, that’s what I wanted. Don’t touch my belly or rub my arm…just keep the cold washcloth coming. It’s hot in here… “A B C D E F G H I J K…”
“Is she a school teacher?” asked the nurse.
“No, that’s how she “breathes” through her contractions.”
“You’re doing great, Carrie…”
“L M N O P Q R S T…” Blood pressure band is squeezing my arm. “U V W X Y Z…”
Another nurse comes in…introductions are made…boy, it’s REALLY hot in here… “A B C D E F G…”
“Let us know Carrie, when you feel like pushing…we’re gonna have this baby real soon.”
“I WANNA PUSH!”
“Okay, let’s do it.”
My mind is spinning. What am I supposed to do? “GRUNNNNT….EEEEOOOOOWW!”
“Okay, on the next contraction, you need to pull your knees to your chest, let your knees fall out to each side, bear down with each contraction when you feel the need to push.”
So many things to remember at the same time…and it hurts. Okay, here we go. Breathe in…take a big breath and push, pull your knees into your chest, legs apart, bear down….oooooh the pain.
“Come on, Carrie, you’re doing great. Just a few more and he’ll be here.”
Something came out, but there’s more to come. PUSH…PUSH…I hear crying…why isn’t he all the way out yet? Why is this taking so long? PUSH…
“Carrie, look down here…Carrie, look…” I look down at my doctor and there’s my baby’s head, arms and torso. “Go ahead and take your baby.” I reach down and grab him and…oh my goodness, the rest of his little body was born. The nurse by my side with a towel wiping all the gunk off of his face/head as he lay on my chest. He’s out! He’s so beautiful…and LONG.
“What time is it?” 11:53 PM. Born on July 10th.
“We’re going to give you a shot in your thigh…”
“I need to numb you in a few places, you’re going to feel a little stinging.”
“I’m sorry, you shouldn’t be feeling that. Hang in there.” It’s obvious I tore again…I don’t make little babies.
“You felt that? Was it painful or pressure?”
“I’m almost done.”
They took the baby away and plopped him on the scale…first in grams…what does that translate to?…just a minute…9 pounds 6.5 ounces. Wow, he’s a little one. (Lauren was 9 lbs 11 oz; Michael was 10 lbs 4 oz)
They cleaned him up, the Doc finished stitching me up, and the baby was returned to me for his first feeding. Like duck to a water, this kid knew exactly what to do. He’s really here…beautiful, healthy & whole. Strawberry blond hair, red complexion, long lean limbs…and his feet were huge! Oh, what a blessing he was. Thank you, God for this miracle of life.
My husband calls me an all-star when it comes to having babies…Drug-free, natural & producing huge offspring. There was a time when he referred to me as a “dainty” girl, as opposed to a big strong man like he was. I wasn’t supposed to lift heavy objects or get good & dirty. I was a young lady. But that was then…that was before he knew what I was really made of. Having children makes a woman out of you.
I don’t think I can say it enough, we are truly blessed to have these children. After my last pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage, we found a renewed outlook on the children we had already bore. Life alone is miraculous. Healthy, whole children were an added bonus. We never expected to have another, but when the news of this pregnancy came to light, we were genuinely excited at the prospect. And now he’s here, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Welcome home, Matthew.