I was making my own.
So as this was my 8th child, there was nothing ‘routine’ about going into labor. Just because I’ve been pregnant for 14 years doesn’t mean that each pregnancy or labor gets easier. Each one is not only different, but each one changes my my body a little more making the pregnancy and births definitely more interesting.
With Jude, I was in labor for T W O W E E K S before my body finally woke up and said, “Oh, you mean now?”
This was insufferable. When I say two weeks of labor, I mean bloody show, contractions- the whole works. The only thing that didnt seem to happen was I didn’t efface much more than I was and my water didn’t break. I did, however, walk around almost 6 cent. dilated with my bags of water bulging. Yeeehah, that was not fun. Needless to say I finally feel like my quiver is full!
I went into full labor on the night of July 3rd, 2013. My husband took to kids to our normal Wednesday night bible study and I stayed home with my 2 yr old Justus. I refuse to have a baby at church, that is not the legacy I wanted to leave. So I took Justus for the millionth walk to the park a few blocks away just as I had every day for the past few weeks to try and get things moving. I felt like the weight of the world was on my hips! Every step was lead filled but along I trodded away.
When I got home, I gave Justus dinner and then put him down for the night while I streamed church on the computer and cleaned the house. Every day for weeks it was the same announcement.
“Hurry up and get the house clean in case today/this morning/tonight is the night!”
After a while, the effect wore off and the kids were moaning and groaning on how ‘that’s what I said last week’. Still I had to prepare. If people were coming in my house to help while I was in the hospital, I would rather not have a ton of chores hanging around! My contractions felt the same in intensity but I got that little hint of consistency that was lacking before.
The family got home around 10pm as usual, and I told my husband about the consistency and how I felt a little more adrenaline.
“Well I better shave in case we have to go in…” was his response.
I finished up what I was doing and at about 11:30pm checked on Gracie who was on her computer and sent her to bed. Then I went to bed to try and get some sleep in case I really was in labor. “I am praying that I can go to sleep, labor throughout the night, and be ready to go into the hospital come morning just like we did with Emmalia!” I told my husband.
I closed my eyes and tried to drift off to sleep. Once and a while a contraction would build and then it would subside. Ebb and flow.
At midnight I decided to time them and every time I would feel one coming on, I would open my eyes and watch the clock. 5 minutes apart.
12:07… 12:12… 12:17… 12:22…. well, darn. I wasn’t planning on going into labor at NIGHT, I thought. I had no sleep, my husband had no sleep, my daughter had no sleep and she was supposed to be the one filming me! How can I be going into labor NOW? Can’t I hold it off a bit? But I didnt want to wait so long that I wouldnt make it for at least one bag of antibiotics, as I had Group B Strep.
I got up, went into the bathroom and called my midwife. I sat on my toilette and talked to her for a bit while the contractions got a little more oomphy. After much debating and finagling about disturbing my family, my midwife said from the other side of the phone,
“Jyn. Come in and have your baby.“
“Fine.” I responded. “I just have to go wake up my husband.”
“I’m already up…” he called from the bedroom. “You are really loud and I couldn’t sleep.”
See, that’s the thing with a houseful of people. You never really have somewhere private to go where you can be quiet and have a conversation.
I gathered more things together to take to the hospital. By the time I was finished I looked like I was going on a small vacation to a third world country for a month. We woke up Gracie as I texted my mom and we waited for her to get to the house before we left.
The contractions were not painful yet, just consistent. We drove to the hospital, parked, and headed down to the ER where we had to page an escort to take us to labor and delivery. I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t wait! We had a ways to walk. It was already 2am on the 4th of July.
My bath was already waiting for me but I had to labor in the bed for a bit while they monitored me before I got in. The contractions were getting harder and I was feeling them more in my back now. Uh oh- back labor! Now it was around 3:30.
Back labor is scary. It makes everything uncomfortable. It wasn’t long before they were coming faster and were feeling more unmanageable. I would try and rock to move and turn the baby during each contraction, but soon the pain was needing management as it felt like he was coming out my back-end. Finally, like a sonic boom, my water broke underwater. I was already about 9 centimeters dilated and with each contraction I would hold myself in on my backside with my right hand since my left hand had an IV in it. At around 6am I could feel him coming, and I forewarned the midwife in training that my main midwife might want to get there. She got there right away and by this time I was actually reaching inside myself easing my cervix around his head. It really helped, actually. I was super worried that he would pull my uterus down with him as my last son had done, and I did not want that to happen. Everything was going quick but everything was where it need to be!
I felt drunk and panicky, “Come on baby!” I would say, “Move down… open up...”. As he started to crown I would pant inbetween contractions- desperately trying to give him oxygen while I waited and endured until the next contraction when I could push. Finally His head came… and then…
He was here… my Jude… this child who would kick me at all hours and seemingly dance to the swing music we would put on during the day. The fourth of my boys and creation of God.
At this point I was holding my beautiful, warm, solid, slippery son in my arms and we were waiting for the umbilical cord to finish pumping. But as time went on, I could feel my body bleeding out. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The midwife looked down and made the call to bring me out onto the bed next to me. The bath water was quite hot so I figure that played a part in that.
He was such a little man. His placenta was huge with 2 lobes to it (like a heart) and the umbilical cord was very very long and thick. The midwives even commented on it.
Soon it was time to take me to my postpartum room. Unfortunately, a lot of the wards were full so off they wheeled me far away across the hospital over to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for the overflow parking as I called it.
I stayed a hallway down from where my, now 4 yr old, had been after a serious accident. My room was the exact layout of her recovery room. I cant say it wasn’t eerie.
Everyone was getting to know our new little addition. That night was the 4th of July. My room was facing inside the courtyard of the Children’s hospital and had an awning covering most of the outside of the window so I didnt get to see any fireworks, but I stared at my own for the rest of my stay there.
The rest of my stay was pretty tough. My afterpains were basicly unmanageable and the meds they gave me barely touched the pain. I wasn’t able to sleep and I threw up quite a bit. It didn’t get much better when I got home. I was in so much pain and I couldn’t sleep- nursing was going poorly, I was not a happy mama.
But my baby was so wonderful. I loved him so much.
Eventually things settled down, and I was finally recouperating! It seemed like it was so much harder this time around to do so. I an definitely feeling the tug of doneness! My body needs a break. -Jyn