On Tuesday, March 13th, I woke up after having painful contractions during the night for two nights in a row. Labor had not developed from the pain so I decided that it may still be a while. I dropped Declan off at preschool and headed over to the OB for a regular appointment. My official due date was Thursday the 15th. I had also decided that I would probably be late because I was with Cason and he was the only other child whose birth was not induced.
So, at the appointment, my doctor said I was 3.5 cm dialated and 80% effaced. I was relieved because I was progressing. I was 2.5 and 60% the Tuesday before. We talked about induction plans if I went over and I shared with him that I would really like to have the baby come on his own but that I would not last for weeks feeling the way I was feeling.
He told me that I was tolerating the pregnancy so well, with such a positive attitude. I left the doctor, called Mom and Luder. I thought of all the things I could be doing but I felt like I was pretty much ready for the baby. My bag was packed, laundry done, dishes clean, groceries bought. I decided to go get a pedicure. It was a gift from Carol to celebrate the baby's birth.
I got the pedicure, picked up Panera, picked up Declan, dropped off a gift to a friend who had just had her baby and I went home. It was a gorgeous day and after lunch I decided to take Declan to the park. At the park I talked to Dad and we decided in a couple of days I should have the baby.
Declan and I headed home and I put him down for a nap. I began to get ready for the boys to get home from school. Carol called and wanted me to come outside to receive some things so I headed out and as I was talking to her I felt a little pain and it felt like he was dropping into my pelvis.
I told her that I had better go sit down before I went to the bus stop. She told me she would get the boys and for me to just go rest, which I appreciated. I went inside and decided that I would start tracking my contractions just for the fun of it with a new app I had downloaded the night before. The boys came home, I helped them get their homework done and the contractions kept coming. After several contractions and a few I couldn't talk through, I texted Luder that he should be on alert. He asked me if he should come home and if I thought today was the day and I said, I could still go for another week and I just needed him to work from home if the pain was too bad to take care of the children. I certainly did not think I was in labor because I had experienced the same pain already in the night and I didn't go into labor. I got the boys situated and laid down. I was sweating and nauseated and having painful contractions that were about 10 mins apart and somewhat irregular. I called Luder and told him to go ahead and come home. He was home about 15 minutes later and by that time it was around 4 pm and I had had about 15 contractions since 230p. While he was on his way, my Mom texted me and I texted her back that I was having some irregular contractions. She got excited and I got worried that everyone was going to be all worked up over nothing. Luder came in and I could tell he was concerned and trying to be patient with me because I wanted to just rest in my bed and he wanted me to call the doctor, get a shower possibly and get ready to go. I agreed to take a shower just in case. He called our friend Pat and his Mom and in the meantime Mom called and said she was coming and she didn't care if it was false labor. Patti said she would come too.
I took a shower, contracting the whole time. I called the doctor and told him the contractions were about 7 minutes apart but pretty painful. He said to call back when they were 5 minutes and painful, which I did about 15 minutes later when the contractions went to 3-4 minutes apart.
He said to come in, so we waited for Pat and at that point I was thinking that maybe this was it. I was also afraid to think that this was labor because I didn't want to be disappointed if it stopped. Pat came, I gave her a hug and we left. On the way I called Cindy to ask her where I needed to enter the hospital. We went into the ER. NO ONE was there to help us. Not one single person. Luder yelled into the back for someone to come and finally someone came and even though I was pre-registered they still needed me to register. Why is that, by the way? So, I was breathing through some pretty hefty contractions but still smiling and they eventually brought me a wheelchair and ran me to the L&D floor after I told them this was my fourth child. Luder stayed behind and finished registering me and I think he parked the car? They took me to a labor room and I didn't see a soul. I sat on the bed alone in my street clothes contracting and thinking. Eventually one nurse came in and handed me a gown, told me to put it on and give her a urine sample. Was she serious? She left. What if I had this baby in the bathroom? The pain was mounting. I held the sink and I yelled to her as she left that I wanted my doctor. Things were moving fast and I could feel it. The most glorious sound I heard was a few moments later, Dr. Rinehardt's voice outside the bathroom in my room. I told him that I was so glad to see him. He checked me and about that time Luder came in. He said I was at 6 cm. I said, So, I am in labor and he laughed and said, "Yes, you aren't going home without a baby!"
A new nurse came in and started prepping the room. Luder, the doctor and I began to talk about an epidural. I was starting to really feel the pain and I thought I had a lot of time. As we spoke about it, I had some more painful contractions and I decided to order it and I could turn him away. It was around 545pm that all of this was happening. He came in shortly after and gave me the epidural. It kicked in right around when it was time to push. The doctor checked me around 615 or so and said I was complete. About 3 pushes later, Silas was out and in my arms and it was the most peaceful, painless, quick delivery that I have experienced or could imagine. I love my doctor, he came in when I got there and didn't leave until I was stable and holding my baby. As in, he didn't leave my room the entire time. Who does that? My nurse was so awesome, she promoted all the alternative things I wanted to do during delivery and was happy to help me breastfeed right away.
So a little part of the story I left out was that right around the time I was at a nine my Mom comes running in, she looked like she had been through quite a lot. She had gotten lost, I think she even ran and if you know my Mom you know that she doesn't run. She made it though, she got into the room with about 7 minutes to spare. She was happy and excited and stressed and a little emotional. It was cute.
After he was out, my mom and Luder started texting pics and taking pics and I looked at the clock and blinked a few times after admiring my sweet baby. I was in shock. Pure shock. I could not believe what had just happened. I was in the hospital about 1 hour. I was just outside talking to Carol, I thought. This was insane and wonderful all at the same time.
We laughed about how I could have had a home birth if I would have "stayed and rested a little while longer" like I wanted.
Before I knew it, the boys were on their way with Patti and Carol to meet their baby brother. They came in around 730 or 8. They were so excited and happy. All they did was smile. Declan said, "Why is mommy dressed like that?" He saw the IV's and blood pressure cuff. He didn't like it when the nurse took my blood. He was concerned about that but still happy to have "his baby." Cason said that he felt like crying as he held Silas. Abram just smiled and jumped around a little. It was a beautiful night and I think we were all shocked and so happy.
This song reminds me of my son, my Savior and a miracle that has changed me forever. Listen while you read.
Everytime I prepare to give birth, I feel a very similar way. I feel so many emotions. We joke that the hormones are responsible for these intense feelings. I would argue that while that is true, there is so much more to it.
To be a witness of a miracle so personal, so humbling and so tender is hard to explain. Sometimes I am overwhelmed, that I might be a part of God's plan. The plan he has to create life, to increase families and their capacity to love. Women learn as they suffer through the wild ride of pregnancy to love the suffering because of the beauty that it ultimately brings. The pain of labor turns into a special memory that binds couples together.
As I prepare for this baby boy to come to me and to us, it feels like a rolling river of emotion building inside. All emotions are felt. Anxiety, humility, fear, complete joy, impatience, patience, reflection, deep love for my husband, children and especially for those who have gone before me. There is a closeness to God that I have never felt before.
After a time of preparing for our sons, working so hard day and night, there is a time when I slow down. I feel time is getting close, I begin to envision the moment when I meet him and hold him for the first time in my arms. It comes naturally to begin to listen to more calming and meaningful music. To look for the light in the world, to begin to think about the protection from the world that I want to offer my newborn son.
Hallelujah. Praise God for this miracle. Praise God for letting me be a part and for blessing me with health and strength and those sacred moments to reflect and catch a glimpse of the Father's love for us.
So in February when I was 37 weeks pregnant, my friend and I went to Belle Isle in Richmond to archive the pregnancy. I really didn't want to have pictures taken. It really stressed me out, I don't feel beautiful when I am pregnant. In fact, I won't share with you how I feel but I wanted to have these for me for later and for my posterity so I made myself do it. I am glad I did. I enjoyed Maddy's company too.