At 6:00 am, I had a couple of contractions that felt a little bit stronger. I was up and out of bed around 7:00. Contractions were still sporadic.
Then 7:30AM came along. Suddenly, my contractions were only 5 minutes apart and I couldn't talk through them anymore. We timed these contractions for about 45 minutes before my husband's gut instinct told him he needed to get me to the hospital... much sooner than later.
He scooped Ezra up in one arm, still in his PJs, scooping his bowl of cereal up in the other hand, and jogged down the street to my neighbor Nikki's house. All I can say about this is THANK GOD FOR NIKKI. Yes, indeed.
He jogged back to the house and grabbed a few last minute things, all the while I'm squatting and working my way through intense contractions. Then we get in the car and drive the 20 minutes to the hospital. It only felt like 2 minutes to me.
We got up to the labor & delivery floor and went up to the check-in desk. There was another woman waiting in front of me- also in labor- but there was no one behind the desk. NO ONE BEHIND THE DESK! For a good 5 minutes, I writhed on the floor and moaned. FINALLY, a woman stuck her head around the corner and was all, "Can I help you? I've been sitting right here the whole time." THE WHOLE TIME. I was soooo pissed.
This woman proceeded to take me to a room so that she could enter all my information into the computer system. I couldn't answer her questions- the contractions were too intense to talk through. Thankfully, another nurse came in and said she thought she needed to check how dilated I was right then because I was "looking serious". I thanked her profusely. She checked me and I was already 8 centimeters dilated. Say what?!
I cried tears of joy. I really did.
They quickly wheeled in a bed, plopped me on it, and took me straight to a labor room. All the while the nurse was yelling "History of rapid delivery! History of rapid delivery!" as everyone scrambled to get everything ready around me.
At this point, I was still smiling and talking between every contraction. My friend Leanne showed up to help us through the labor, and we were all chatting away and excited and making calls. When a contraction would come, I would breathe through it and I felt like I was totally in control and able to manage each one as it came. After each contraction, I was able to relax.
When my midwife, Leeanna, walked in I was totally THRILLED. She happened to be on the labor floor that day, which meant that the woman who had handled all of my prenatal care was going to be delivering my baby. If she hadn't been on call that day, she wouldn't have made it in time. I was overjoyed when I saw her face! We laughed at how craaaazy fast everything was happening and we tried to get my antibiotic IV drip started for the Group Strep B.
Somewhere around this time, my contractions started getting even more intense. In between each contraction I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I was still able to breathe through them and stay on top of them, but I could tell things were REALLY happening.
Chris held my hand and told me how flushed and beautiful I looked. He said I had that 'far away look in my eyes' like I was about to give birth to a baby. He cheered me through every contraction- telling me I was doing amazing- and helped guide my breathing and encouraged me to relax. In the midst of all of this insanity, I felt peaceful inside. I knew I was doing well... that everything was okay.
I could feel Myer making his way down the birth canal, and the pressure on my tailbone became very, very intense. It felt good to apply counter-pressure with my hand, and my midwife was laughing because she couldn't get me to move it out of her way for anything. So, she let it be. Did I mention I love her?
I was moaning and breathing and crying out as it came nearer to the time to push. It just felt good to make some noise. So I did. I think I remember saying 'Jesus' a lot. Because... well... OW. Jesus HELP ME.
My water broke. People scrambled around again. Not long after that, I managed to say "puu-shing!" I was fully dilated and his head was right there. Pushing was quite a bit more painful this time around, because it took longer (about 30 minutes) and my midwife was there guiding me- telling me when to push gently and when to bear down. I definitely felt the 'ring of fire' more this time around, but I was completely able to follow her direction... I was still in control. She used warm compresses and massage and Chris got to help guide Myer out. After a primal scream or two, all EIGHT POUNDS of Myer came roaring into the world. His head was 14.25 inches... and I didn't tear even one little bit.
That's the sign of an amazing midwife. (I tore with Ezra and he was only 6 lbs!)
I remember verbally praising God as they laid him on my belly. I felt nothing but joy and relief and nearly unbearable pride. It was 10:32AM. Less than two hours after we'd arrived at the hospital.
I was SO glad to be done, and I was INSTANTLY in love.
I'm still wading through the effects that such an amazing and empowering labor have had on me personally... as a woman, as a mother... but I know this much for certain: I am forever changed by his birth. I feel somehow... unshackled. Strong. Focused. Surefooted. When I think of his birth, I am completely blown away by God's goodness to me and my growing family.
He's an amazing, amazing boy.