Wednesday AM, I woke up and felt pretty normal. Except for the fact that I seemed to be... um... PEEING MYSELF every few minutes. haha. How interesting! It wasn't a whole lot, but every once in a while there would be "a small outpouring", if you will.
I went back and forth in my head about whether to mention this oddity to my husband. I envisioned the conversation going something like this:
Me: "Hi honey! Um, not much to report today, except that I maybe might be peeing my pants!"
Him: *UTTER SILENCE AND MORTIFICATION*
So, I decided to wait it out and see if the situation would remedy itself on its own.
I went to Barnes & Noble with Myer and chatted with some moms who were there with their kids and had a great time. I continued to debate whether I should mention my possible peeing plight to Chris, and finally called him on my way home and filled him in.
He told me to call my midwife, like a smart human being would.
Around noon, I called the office (and ended up talking to my friend Christi, who is a nurse there!) and she told me to come in due to the fact that I tested positive for Group B Strep. They wanted to check if it was amniotic fluid.
Chris left work to come be with Myer at the house so I could drive myself down to the midwive's office and get checked out. I kept telling him it was assuredly NOTHING and that I would be right back.
At 2:00 in the afternoon, I saw a midwife. I told her I was pretty sure my bladder had just kicked the bucket after all this baby-growing business. She checked me and swabbed me and immediately told me that it was amniotic fluid and I needed to go ahead and check in to the hospital next door and get ready to have my baby.
I was in COMPLETE shock. I think I said something eloquent like, "Wait, you said whaaaaa?!?"
Then things got hectic.
I had to go check-in at the hospital, but I had accidentally brought the keys to the car with me to the office (I had driven Chris' truck) so now Chris had no way to drive down to meet me. I would have to drive back home, even in my shaky, leaky state.
I envisioned what I would say if I got pulled over. Something along the lines of "Hi, officer! You may not believe me when I tell you this, but I'm apparently in labor!" Maybe he'd escort me, like in the movies, with his sirens blaring, and we could show up to the hospital in style.
No such luck.
Chris called his mom and asked her to pick up Ezra from school and then he ran Myer over to our neighbor's house until his mom could get back to our house and pick Myer up too. I got back home and Chris and I threw some last minute things in the car and drove back down to the hospital.
No contractions yet. Just waves of disbelief. With both of my previous labors, I had showed up to the hospital in pain and it was all a blur. This time, I was laughing and chatting with nurses and filling out paperwork and feeling silly for sitting in a hospital bed while I wasn't even in LABOR. It was such a different experience!!
By the time I got all checked in, it was probably 3:30 in the afternoon. I needed to get my antibiotic drip started (for the Group B Strep) and that took a good 5 hours when all was said and done, because they give you two rounds of it 4 hours apart.
This was a bit stressful because if my body didn't kick into gear before 9:00pm, they would have to start a pitocin drip. Once your water breaks (or starts leaking, apparently), they don't like to go more than 12 hours before they step in to get things going because of the risk of Group B Strep infection for your baby. I was trying not to be too anxious about all of this, and just kept praying that God would keep my mind focused on Him and His perfect timing.
During that time, my dear friend and neighbor and previous Bradley Instructor, Nikki, came to the hospital to be with us to help out during the delivery. Contractions were slight and irregular at this point. I was only 2cm dilated. I was trying everything I could to get my contractions going.
My water finally "broke" while I was getting my first round of antibiotics, but the contractions were still weak and far apart. I continued to pray that I could avoid the pitocin. I only had until 9:00pm before they were going to intervene.
The last antibiotic drip was done just before 9:00pm.
My midwife, Leanna, showed up then too to check me and see if my body had been progressing on its own at all.
She checked me and told me I was 4cm dilated.
I was disappointed in the lack of progress, but she said it was enough and that she was going to just let my body keep doing what it was doing- no pitocin necessary.
Right after that, my contractions started coming much stronger and much more regularly. They were still all very manageable though, and I was able to keep talking to Chris and Nikki and we were laughing and eating Snickers bars and snapping lots of iPhone pictures in true nerd fashion.
I walked around and sat on a birthing ball and squatted through the pain of the contractions.
Around 11:00pm, I had 3 or 4 suddenly INTENSE contractions, to where I was moaning and having trouble breathing calmly, and the contractions were lasting for 2 minutes at a time. Yikes. Leanna decided she needed to check me again.
She took one look and asked if I was ready to have my baby. It was all happening so rapidly, so quickly... I could barely move or breathe or grasp what was going on.
After another incredibly intense contraction, I felt a burning sensation, and suddenly the nurses and Leanna and Chris were all telling me that THE BABY'S HEAD WAS OUT.
I hadn't even pushed, and my baby's head was out?!?! My body had done all the work for me... had ejected this baby without so much as a conscious effort on my part.
I didn't believe them at first, but after one more contraction, my new baby was laying on my belly, hardly making a sound and looking right up into my eyes. He was so... peaceful! He didn't even cry. He was the perfect pink color and he was gazing up at me like he'd known me all his life. :)
We all exploded with joy and I was filled with such relief that the hard part was OVER. It took me a few seconds to realize that I didn't know if this baby was a girl or a boy, and after a moment I remembered to ask Chris what it was.
"It's another boy!", he beamed.
And just like I thought it would be, in that moment of elation and new life and release, that bit of information was like music to my ears. It felt right and good and awesome, and my heart was completely filled with love for my new SON. He was finally in my arms, and he was the most beautiful little newborn I had ever seen.
If he had been a girl, he would have been Dagny Jane.
It was 11:15pm. Two hours after my contractions had really kicked into gear. Truman & I stared at each other in wonder for a few minutes until I brought him up higher into my arms and he latched on and started nursing right away like a champ.
Truman is a dream- sleeping so well and hardly making a sound. He NEVER cries. He's one of those babies that you forget is even there, and I have to keep reminding myself not to forget him when I leave the house. haha.
Once again, this birth has made me feel stronger and more confident and more empowered than I could have ever imagined. I went into this labor with a lot of trepidation. I didn't feel as prepared or excited about natural childbirth as I had been before I had Myer. Part of me felt like I had done the "natural thing" twice already, and maybe this time around I should just get numbed up and drugged up and get it over with as painlessly as possible. I had NO motivation. I had tried to watch labor videos and read natural birthing stories to psych myself up again, but I mostly just felt... tired. Weary. Unexcited about the coming birth. And I felt horrible about that.
And yet, I did it!!
I had amazing support set up around me at the hospital, I had educated myself about the truth and benefits of natural birth, about my choices and my voice in the matter, and then I let my body do just what it was created to do. Looking back now, of course, I am SO glad that I allowed myself to feel the pain and intensity of the process of labor again. There is no other experience in life that has made me feel more alive, more certain of who I am and what I can do and accomplish in this life that I've been given. There has been no other experience that has propelled me as strongly to acknowledge God's holiness and sovereignty in this world and in my very own body. It is simply awe-inspiring, and I am grateful that I was able to have that adventure with Him again- grateful to be brought to a place of such pain and weakness only be carried safely through it, and be strengthened down to my core by it all over again.
What a fearfully wonderful thing!!