Birth Stories are just never boring, at least for mothers anyway. Birth stories are also never alike. Each one is unique, and it’s all a miracle.
Today I intend to begin a new series, as I will write the Birth Story of each of my babies, and since #7 is fresh in my mind, I’ll begin there.
Pregnant With Baby #7
Now I know that many of you enjoy being pregnant, but I, however, do not. Let me say it again, I do not enjoy being pregnant. Man, is it difficult. For whatever reason, usually around halfway through my pregnancies, my body decides to commence Braxton Hicks contractions every time I attempt to move. These uncomfortable contractions, along with the cumbersomeness of a large, pregnant body, do not allow for me to exercise, let alone walk up and down flights of stairs or even walk out to the mailbox without pain.
In any case, it’s just not fun. And I am always very glad when labor begins.
Last Monday, which was President’s Day, I was particularly fed up with my pregnant self. That morning my poor husband, who happened to be home because of the holiday, received an earful from me lamenting my inability to do anything I wanted. “I can’t go for a walk.” Sob, sob. “I can’t even bring this pile of laundry downstairs.” Cry, cry. “I’m going to be pregnant forever, and it will be winter forever, and the sun will never shine again!” Hysterical, emotional, breakdown. “I hate being pregnant!!”
I then stomped out of the room and put myself in Time Out, whereupon I apologized to my unborn baby and to God for losing it. Deep down, I knew that all of those statements were lies. Truly, I only wanted God’s will to be done, not mine.
I then prayed the opening line of the Apostles’ Creed. “I believe in God, the Father Almighty.” I stopped and glanced out of the window at the blue sky and thought about this Creator of Heaven and Earth. God is a good God. He knows what’s best for me, and His timing is perfect. I prayed for the grace to accept His will, and I begged Mary to help me, and then I walked out of Time Out and apologized to my husband.
A half an hour later, I noticed a trickle of blood. Any amount of bleeding during a pregnancy is obviously not good, so I told my husband and called the hospital. They immediately scheduled an appointment for me at the clinic, as I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
So, after we calmly told our children that Grandma was on the way over, we drove in. It was about noon.
At the clinic, a Physician’s Assistant examined me and promptly sent me over to Ultrasound to make sure everything was ok. Then she saw me again and decided I had better head over to the hospital to be monitored, as she didn’t know the cause of the bleeding because everything looked normal.
Since the PA was not overly concerned, and since we were hungry from having missed lunch, we decided to hit up Jimmy John’s first before going to the hospital. At this point, we kind of knew that we weren’t going to be sent home, and furthermore, that the hospital wasn’t going to feed us.
It was while sitting in the drive-thru that I began to have a few minor contractions. Nothing serious, though. And nothing painful. So we ate our sandwiches and filled the car full of gas too.
By the time we rolled into the hospital parking lot around 1:30pm, my contractions were a bit more regular, and when the nurse examined me, I was dilated to 3 cm. So I asked her if my doctor happened to be around? She said no, that he was on his way home from their satellite clinic a few hours away. The reason I asked was because I knew that if he was there, he’d break my water, and we’d get this party started. He, of course, knowing my history of early deliveries.
I then boldly asked her to tell him to drive straight over to the hospital and break my water. She laughed, and then sent me over to Labor and Delivery, as she also thought I wasn’t going home without a baby.
Well, that nurse did tell my doctor, and he actually did drive straight over. (He’s so awesome.) He strolled into the room at about 3pm, ordered the nurses to get my IV hooked up, and said he’d be back in an hour to break my water. Alleluia! (I know it’s Lent, and you’re not supposed to say Alleluia, but really, that’s what I thought.)
At 4pm, he came back, broke my water, and real labor began! I knew it would be quick, from previous experience, and it was. I chose not to have an epidural this time and only requested a dose of Nubain, which is a drug that goes through your IV. It doesn’t take away the pain of the contractions, but only makes you care less. I can only describe it as making you feel a little “loopy” and more relaxed.
Well, it was intense; I pushed three or four times; and she arrived. She would have come even sooner, but she was facing sideways, instead of down. But she was perfect. She is beautiful.
About That Bleeding?
Later on I asked my doctor about that initial bleeding. He said that for some women, as your cervix thins and dilates, your blood vessels begin to break. I guess that’s what happened to me.
And one more providential thing…a Mass was celebrated for our family last Monday, February 19th, when our baby was born. A good friend of mine had scheduled it last summer. Coincidence? I think not.
Stay tuned for more Birth Stories later on.