Once Upon a Time…
…there was a land where people went to bed at night, slept for a while, and then woke up in the morning. I know this to be true because I spent many happy years calling this land home—now I am beginning to wonder whether I will ever be able to return.
Daniel’s time off has come to an end. He went back to work today and I am embarking on that journey I have so long dreamed about but never quite been able to imagine: stay-at-home-motherhood. My days are now going to be spent feeding, burping, changing, and playing with my son as he grows a little every day. And at this point Charlie eats so often that I feel like my time is almost completely devoted to feeding as I spend very large portions of every day glued to the couch.
These early days have been so special as Daniel and I have attempted to settle in as new parents and get acquainted with the brand new little person God has put into our lives. It has been such a blessing that Daniel has been able to be home with Charlie and me for over two weeks; I really don’t know how I could have gotten through that time without him.
I went into labor on Tuesday June 15, just as Daniel and I were going to bed. At 11:30 I had one contraction that hurt significantly more than any of the Braxton Hicks that I had been having for several weeks. I fell asleep only to be woken up by another contraction at around 1:30 a.m. and another less than ten minutes later.
I stayed in bed and began timing them using my cell phone; they lasted between 30 seconds and a minute and came every five to ten minutes all night long, but I didn’t think I was really in labor since they weren’t consistently getting stronger or closer together. Still, they hurt enough that I wasn’t able to fall back asleep that night. Daniel woke up around 3:30 and he stayed awake with me, but we didn’t get out of bed until around 6:00 when we remembered that if they were real contractions, they would hurt less and be more productive if I wasn’t laying down. So, I ate a breakfast of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream sitting on my exercise ball as the contractions continued to come.
We had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for 11:20 on Wednesday, so we made sure our bags were all packed and brought them with us just in case the doctor wanted us to go into the hospital that day (which we doubted). I had a sonogram when we got there since I was past my due date, which showed that the baby was doing fine but that my amniotic fluid level was very low. For that reason, the doctor said she would like to see me have the baby that day and asked whether we would be able to go to the hospital that afternoon for an emergency induction. I was hungry, so we stopped at Panera for lunch; I got a bowl of chicken noodle soup since I was supposed to avoid eating anything heavy, and I ended up eating only a few bites of it since I was so nervous.
When we got to the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV and monitors for my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. The doctor on call wanted to see how my contractions were doing on their own before inducing me. After about two hours, she said that although I was not even two centimeters dilated, my contractions were pretty consistent and I might be able to go into labor on my own if I walked around the hospital for an hour. I was happy to get out of bed, so Daniel and I walked around for around 45 minutes and my water broke while I was in the bathroom (very convenient).
After that I was really in labor; my contractions started coming every two minutes and within another hour I had gone from two to five centimeters. It somehow wasn’t quite as bad as I had imagined labor to be, but it still hurt—a lot. At five centimeters I got an epidural, and from then on we watched the movie Freaky Friday on TV until it was time to push.
At that point, it was just another couple of hours before our son was born. Daniel was an awesome labor coach. He held one of my legs, and he was the one counting to ten with every push. I thought that June 16th sounded like a nicer birthday than the 17th, so I kept asking Daniel how much time I had left—and I made it! Charles Edward was perfectly healthy and placed on my stomach at 11:24 p.m., with 36 minutes to spare. Daniel cut the umbilical cord. All three of us cried. I’d never been so happy, or so relieved, in my life.
Thus concludes my labor and delivery story, and thus begins my new life.
By the way, it turns out that my fluid levels hadn’t been low after all—they figured that out after my water broke. God is so good! If I had been waiting at home until my water broke, we would have had to drive the half an hour to the hospital with my contractions coming every two minutes apart, and I would have been miserable. Just an interesting side note…