Hopeful Thoughts

And then there were three...

At 3:30 in the morning on July 28, 2010, I got up to go to the bathroom, as is normal for most pregnant women. The difference this time? When I got back in the bed, I felt the spill of a gush of water. “Crap!” I thought, “he’s not due for another week and my sister won’t be here for two more days!!”

I knew the process had begun, though, and there was no changing the course of events. My life was about to change forever!

I leaned over and woke up my husband, told him what happened, and then called the midwife on call for my birthing center. She told me to go back to bed and come in to the center at 9 AM when it opened. “Great! I get to go back to bed!” I called my mom to let her know what happened, and then crawled back into the bed. But, there was no more sleep. I laid there for a couple of hours before giving up on sleep and going to do some laundry.

I called my sister about 6:00 AM to let her know what was going on. She was waiting for her ride to the airport so she and her kids could go to my parents’ house. The original plan was for her to spend two nights with my folks, and then come here on Friday. Over the course of the next 2 hours, between my mom and I, we were able to find her a flight into DFW for that night, landing at 9 PM. I was so relieved that she was coming, even though I didn’t know if she would arrive before or after the baby.

I tried to sleep again at 7, but mom called again almost immediately after my head hit the pillow. I couldn’t get off the phone again before I walked out the door to head to the birthing center.

We arrived at the birthing center just after 9:00 AM, where I was examined. The exam revealed that there were essentially no other signs of labor and I’d only experienced a partial rupture of the waters. I felt crampy, but I wasn’t having “waves” of individual contractions like I expected. I was told to walk and pump in 30 minute intervals to try to get contractions to start.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, 12 hours after my water broke, I wasn’t even dilated to a 2, though I was slightly effaced. My midwife began mentioning the “H” word (hospital). She was concerned that I was going to need pitocin to get contractions going stronger since I didn’t seem to be progressing. They were also concerned about the possibility of infection.

At 5:30, I wasn’t any further along. The midwife decided to break the rest of my water in hopes of jump starting labor, but she was really talking hospital at this point. We set back to walking and pumping, only I was instructed to do squats every time I had a contraction.

As the evening progressed, I could tell my contractions were getting stronger, but not fast enough for my midwife. She was still really concerned about the length of time that had passed. I told her my sister was on her way and asked that I be allowed to wait until she arrived before transferring. She consented, and agreed to stick it out with me as long as I wanted.

The sun set, and things were still moving slow. The midwife realized how tired I was, and mentioned that I would be able to rest at the hospital. I was exhausted, and the idea of rest was so appealing. My husband and I both really wanted to avoid the hospital, but there came a point that we felt we were just postponing the inevitable. We began to ask questions about what we could expect to happen at the hospital. Even so, something told me it was all going to be OK once my sister arrived.

It must have been around 9 PM when it was suggested that my sister meet us at the hospital. I knew how many people were praying for us. I’d been posting updates on Facebook and seen all the responses that were coming in from church friends and family. Regardless of what happened, I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I told the midwife that I didn’t want to go anywhere until my sister arrived at the birthing center.

My sister’s flight was delayed an hour and then they were stuck in traffic, but I stuck to my plan and waited for her to get there. She finally arrived after 11:00 PM. A check by the midwife revealed that I was dilated to a 4. Still a long way from 10, but certainly progress in the right direction. She was still talking hospital and even mentioned that a c-section was a possibility. The baby was face up when he should have been face down. After chatting it over with my sister and husband, we all decided that we wanted to stay. The midwife consented, but only if I agreed to an IV for antibiotics. Of course I would agree to that! I was going to be allowed to stay!

We weren’t out of the weeds yet. A deadline was set. If I wasn’t to a point where it was apparent that a baby was coming soon by 3:30, I was going to the hospital, no more negotiations.

The details of the next 4 hours are fuzzy. I was so tired that I slept between most contractions, and even through some of them (the mild ones). I fell asleep sitting up on several occasions! The contractions continued to get more painful. Because of the baby’s position, they radiated around my middle and down through my thighs. Not fun! My midwife patiently observed and waited. I could tell she was convinced that I was going to be headed to the hospital.

My 3:30 deadline arrived and I was checked. My midwife’s analysis? “Hope, you’ve made a liar out of me! You’re dilated to a 9!!” I knew she was thrilled to be able to tell me this, and I was thrilled to hear it! We discussed the tub, but I was told that wasn’t going to be an option because of the face up position of the baby. However, I was allowed to take a hot shower. The water felt so good on my aching body! It was so relaxing that I felt my contractions seem to wane and become less intense. This concerned me, but I didn’t mention it. About 10 minutes later, I leaned over on the seat to cope with one of the contractions that did come and I felt a strange sensation that I could only identify as a need to push.

“I think I need to push!” I called to those outside. I was whisked out of the shower and back into the birth room. After nearly 2 hours of pushing and an episiotomy, Grayson Parker was born at 5:50 in the morning on July 29, 2010. 7 pounds and 2 ounces, 21 inches long, with a dimple!!!

Praise God! We did it! No hospital, no pitocin, no pain meds, no c-section.

I’m not going to look down on anyone that has those things as part of their delivery. They are not bad. For me, however, it was important that I have my baby naturally. I’m only 5 feet tall, and I’ve heard negative comments all my life about things I wouldn’t be able to do because of my small build. I have to short friends and both of them had complications with delivery. I think I felt deep down that I had something to prove for the short people! 🙂

It was an experience that I will cherish and I am so thankful that everything fell into place. I give God the glory that it did, because, without His divine intervention, I would have been just another medicated hospital delivery.