No gory details, I promise.
So I went to bed late Friday night (5 March), surprisingly peaceful about not having had the baby yet. I know that sounds kind of lame to all those who have gone rather overdue, but the other 4 children all either came on their due date or a couple days early - all except Anna, who came 2 days late. So I've gotten to be kind of a wimp about it all. But this time, it was okay - Daniel would arrive in the Lord's perfect timing, and I was feeling pretty okay with that.
1am. Waking up feeling uncomfortable. Was that a contraction? I think so, but I'd been having them off and on for a couple of days. Uh-oh, I think my water broke...yup.
Now I am fully awake. Can't eat or drink once I'm at the hospital, but my labors tend to take so long, I'll be needing a snack before we leave. For the next hour, I'm wandering around the house, eating, drinking, and generally sorting out last minute stuff.
By 2.30am, I want to have a shower - I hadn't done that when Ellie was born and really regretted it. So, I make Toby a cup of tea, explain that I'm going to grab a shower before we need to leave for the hospital, and leave him to process the information while I get ready. He's so good - by this time, he knows he doesn't need to rush or worry, but is still ready when it's time to set off.
By 3am, after a call to the doctor and a call to the Rishels (who pulled the short straw for nighttime child duty), we were on our way.
When I arrived, they put me at 4 cm. Because every contraction was in the small of my back (i.e. back labor, i.e. exhaustingly excruciating), I went for the epidural as soon as they could get it to me. Have I mentioned how wonderful epidurals are? Wanna kiss the soul who came up with it...
When I could happily feel nothing but a vague tingle in my toes, Toby took a nap on the pull out bed and I in my "havin' a baby" bed. We happily passed a couple hours like this: dozing, enjoying an ice chip or two, knitting a row or two, dozing some more.
Right after the epidural took effect, the doctor announced that I was now 5 cm along. Cool. A few hours later, a little after 8am, I was still 5 cm. Disappointing, but not surprising. So, pitocin (the hormone that makes the contractions more productive) got involved, and that's when things got exciting. It wasn't long before I was hitting the epidural button a bit more often - not that the contractions actually hurt, but I was becoming more aware of them.
Around 9.15am or so, I started noticing this pressure, like something was "happening". The kind doctor had a quick look and said, "Oh, that would be because the head is there. Let's have this baby, now, shall we?" Honest to goodness, I thought he was teasing. I kept looking from him to Toby to the nurse, saying, "Really? Really??" Two good pushes later, and I got the first look at my new son, and even got to cut his cord - a first for me.
I so feel like I cheated. No drama, no concerns with infection, no cord wrapped around anything - just a peaceful, straightforward, quick 8 hour delivery (my fastest yet). I can honestly say that every one of my labors has been a wonderfully positive experience, even when things haven't gone to plan. What a blessing, though, that everything did go to plan, and God made the whole thing easy - just because He can.
I am one thankful mama!