At 3:00 pm on Thursday the 26th of August I experienced the most frightful moment of my entire life. I went to the bathroom and it was nothing but blood. The baby was not moving, and there was almost always movement. Being 40 weeks pregnant and having had two miscarriages I completely lost my cool. I called my doctors office and got the answering system - they close early on Thursdays. I left a message. Without a thought I jumped in the car and started driving to the hospital. I got a hold of Kyle and told him what was going on, we decided to meet at the hospital. My doctor called me back and told me he was at the hospital, he didn't seem that concerned.
The drive to the hospital was strange. I was very emotional, but was trying to stay calm so that I could safely drive myself. I knew that God knew what He was doing and prayed that it was what I wanted as well. I eventually felt the baby move, which brought me peace. The drive to the hospital took 40 minutes - surprisingly quick for that time of day.
I got to the hospital and saw Kyle waiting out front. I parked the car and we walked in together in silence. We told the nurse in the ER about what was going on and she got us checked in. I then had to wait for half an hour for a wheelchair. I was not allowed to walk to labor and delivery because I was bleeding - this seemed so stupid to me considering that I'd just walked into the hospital and had driven myself there. I did freak out a little in the ER and I did make Kyle go talk to the nurse several time.
Eventually I was wheeled up to triage. I was put on the monitor and could hear the heart beat. The most beautiful irregular sound ever. The doctor then came in and told me that I was 5 cm and having contractions. Then he said he was going to keep me at the hospital until I had the baby. I was not prepared to hear that. I thought that either everything would be fine and I'd get to go home or that there would be total disaster. I did not think I was in labor. I did not have a single thing with me that I had wanted to bring to the hospital. All I had was an uninflated pool in my car and nothing to blow it up with or fill it up with.
The reason I was so unprepared to have a baby on Thursday afternoon requires that I tell another story.
When I was 8 weeks pregnant Kyle and I went to our MC (missional community - like a Bible study). I was not telling people that we were pregnant yet because I was fearful of another miscarriage and wanted to wait until the first trimester was over. Kyle, as I found out that night, had already been telling people that we were pregnant. He told me that if we wanted to tell everyone the news that the time right after prayer requests were taken would be good. All the prayer requests were given and Jeff (host) kept asking if anyone else had anything they wanted to share, Kyle kept elbowing me in the side. So I looked at Kyle and said "Kyle has something that he wants to share." After we had shared the news with everyone someone told us that our baby would be born on the 30th of August and that he had been right in predicting the date that several babies were born - even going so far as to make some very late momma's very upset. We were pretty skeptical at first, then I shared with Kyle about the peace that I felt now that the birth of our child had been prophesied. That date gave me the strength that I needed to make it through many of the weeks of my pregnancy. All of that is to say that I was not prepared for a birth on any day other than August the 30th.
So now I was laying in triage thinking, "I am going to be in this hospital until Monday." I wanted to do everything natural, so the nurses told me to start walking around the hospital to get the baby down. While I did this, I sent Kyle out to fill the tub up with air (I was planning on laboring in the tub) and to buy a hose. It seemed to take him hours.
Around 7 the nurse checked on me and said that I was at 6. This was kind of disheartening to me because I had started to feel my contractions and wanted to progress more quickly! We got the tub filled up - though in the end the maitenance guy from the hospital brought a generator up to fill it with air and we were able to use the shower head to fill it up.
We kept walking, then I'd get in the tub, then we'd walk some more, then I'd rest and so on and so forth. I believe the nurse checked me again around 12. My contractions had gotten much worse by then and again I was discouraged by how little I had progressed. I was starting to want to push and I was getting tired.
My water broke while I was in the tub. In birthing class we were told to remember TACO. TACO stands for Time, Amount, Color and Odor. All I know is that it was bright red and I freaked out again. The nurse knew better than me though and reassured me that it was just my water and then checked and confirmed. Having my water break made me feel like things were progressing and also helped to relieve some of the pressure that I was feeling.
I do not remember when the pain became unbearable. I do remember that in birthing class that Sherry told us that labor did not have to be torture and that we should decide beforehand when we would opt for some sort of intervention. We were encouraged to come up with a word that was the signal that something had to change. I, of course, being me, did not come up with a word because I believed the I could survive anything. Instead I said that I would rather have my toe cut off than have an epidural or any help.
Around 2:30 AM my nurse checked on me again, again I had not progressed much further and my water had resealed itself. I had been against an artificial rupture of my bag of waters at first because if popped and the baby is in the wrong position the baby can get stuck - which can lead to a C-section. I figured that my water had already broken once, so I might as well have the doctor come and break it again. Again there was some relief when the water was broken, but I still had the strong desire to push and then I head my doctor say that I was only at 6 cm. I think that is when I hit my wall. I was in so much pain, I was shaking all over, the tub no longer felt good, I was speaking in a language that I do not know and I saw myself being there until Monday - and that I could not handle. I tried for half and hour longer to hold out.
Someone I met told me that something she found very helpful during labor was to have memorized a Bible verse and to say that verse over and over again. I chose 2 Samuel 22:29 - 36
29 You are my lamp, O LORD;
the LORD turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop [g] ;
with my God I can scale a wall.
31 "As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength [h]
and makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You give me your shield of victory;
you stoop down to make me great.
I especially loved the part about "leaping over a wall." (which is how the version I learned read) At 3 am I realized that I could not leap over the wall by myself and I heard the words of a friend of mine telling me that God had created medicine as well. Kyle and I prayed about it, and decided that it would be best for me to get an epidural. By the time the IV had been put in me and the bag of fluids had emptied into my body I was at 9 cm. I was still completely confident about my decision.
Once I had the epidural everything was so nice. I could still feel my contractions ever so slightly and I still had the desire to push - but I could breath and I could think. I was in the mindset that I had imagined I would be in when I would meet my baby.
At 5 am I reached 10 cm. I tried to push but was not very successful at first. So the nurse went away and we waited a bit longer. Eventually we tried again, this time I laid on my side. We made progress this way. The doctor was called in and after an hour or so of pushing Jonathan Daniel Williams was born. He was perfect!
For the first hour of hid life Jonathan was very alert. He spent the time nursing, looking around the room and pooping - which he did 3 times. After that first hour Jonathan showed us that he was going to be a very good sleeper. It was almost impossible to wake him up and get him to eat. We would lay him on cold hard surfaces, which would wake him up for about 30 seconds and then he would fall asleep again.
Three weeks later Jonathan still loves to sleep. I am pretty sure that he would sleep though the night if I did not wake him up to feed him. I would not wake him up to feed him, but, he has Jaundice and frequent feedings are suppose to help combat the issue. Jonathan has been wearing a bilie blanket for about three weeks now. I am so tired of that thing, but am so thankful that it's only jaundice that we are dealing with and not something more serious.
I cannot believe that three weeks has already passed. Time seems to have gone out of existance since he has been born - it doesn't feel longer or shorter than 3 weeks - it just is.
Here are some of Jonathan's accomplishments thus far. . .
During his first diaper change Jonathan showed us that we can never leave him alone even for a second on his changing pad. He rolled from his side to his back and almost off the pad.
His umbilical cord fell off in exactly a week and a day.
Loves to smile in his sleep.
Loves to stretch.
Has a very strong neck and can hold his head up.
Refuses to sleep on his back and is always on his side by morning.
Rolled from his back all the way over to his stomach.
Pooped on mom.