Small Moment: feeding Grady in the dark quiet middle of the night…holding him close and taking in his smell. I LOVE the smell of my babies. I wish I could bottle it up and keep it forever.
I am in awe of pregnancy. The human body is incredible and the creation of a baby is one of life’s true miracles…God’s artwork.
I am also in awe of women and their art of giving birth. I love birth stories. They are all unique and incredible and beautiful. Here is Grady’s and mine.
For me it started at 38 weeks. I went in for my check-up with Dr. Urquhart and he told me I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. He told me that baby just might come early or I could sit like that for a few weeks. I only heard the first part of what he said and was convinced the little man was coming early. Like that week early. And that’s why it started for me at 38 weeks. I started paying very close attention to my body and over analyzing everything!
It was the last week of archery elk season and we had made plans to go to the cabin for the weekend. I was nervous about going because I didn’t want my water to break an hour away from town but I wasn’t feeling anything labor related so we went. The weekend came and left without a baby all to our relief. That Monday I was 39 weeks and back to the doctor I went. My heart sunk when Dr. Urquhart told me I was the same…still 3cm and 80%. Damn. No progress.
At this point I was feeling a little silly because I wasn’t even passed my due date but I was so DONE being pregnant. It had been a long, hot summer and I was spending my days teaching very new kindergartners then coming home to a toddler. I was exhausted, uncomfortable, couldn’t sleep and just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. Yet, I still was.
Then came Thursday. It was the day of the Fund Run at Asotin Elementary. Always one of my favorite days. The kids runs/walks laps for all of the money they worked so hard to earn for our school. I decided I was going to power walk it in hopes of breaking my water. We all joked about how cool and funny it would be if my water broke that day because of the Fund Run. Afterwards my water hadn’t broke and I was worn out.
That night after getting dinner cleaned up and my little man (and big man) put to bed I sat down for some quiet me time before bed. I turned on my favorite show, The Vampire Diaries, with a big bowl of icecream. And here is where you stop reading if you don’t like all of the TMI that goes with a labor and delivery story. 20 minutes later I felt something drop in my underwear. Thinking it was just discharge or more mucous plug (I forgot to mention I had been passing parts of my mucous plug for a week) I stood up to head to the bathroom to check it out. When I stood up it felt like I was peeing my pants. I got to the bathroom and sure enough there was water in my underwear and it was still coming…running down my leg and onto the floor. My water broke! Even though I had a plan in place for if, or when, this happened I kind of panicked for a minute and didn’t know what to do. I started franticly turning around in circles, realized I was still leaking all over the floor, grabbed a towel and shoved it between my legs. Then I waddled into my bedroom with the towel between my legs and stood there for a second not quite sure what my next move was. Nathan! I had to wake Nathan. He had been frequently sleeping downstairs because he couldn’t get any sleep in the same bed as a tossing and turning Buddha. I grabbed a maxi pad for the leaking fluid and put some pants back on, woke up Nathan, called my mom and double checked the hospital bags to make sure I had everything. I wasn’t having any contractions yet just a huge mixture of excitement and fear. We were finally going to meet our baby…I was smiling ear to ear. Inside I was also panicking. I knew exactly what was coming this time…contractions and pushing and pain. Lots of pain. It hadn’t started yet but I knew it was coming and I didn’t know if I was going to be as strong this time.
My mom came over to the house to stay with Joshua and we headed to St. Joe’s. It was just before 10pm when we got to the hospital. Remember I said I put on a maxi pad before we left the house? I’m 100% positive that maxi pads, even the kind for heavy flow, aren’t designed for amniotic fluid. My pants were soaked waist to ankles by the time I got to Family Beginnings.
I got checked in, they tested the fluid to confirm my water had broken and checked my cervix. I was STILL dilated to 3cm and 80%. I got hooked up to the monitors for a bit and we waited. Labor started out pretty easy. We would watch the contractions on the monitor and sometimes they’d peak at a 10 or 12 and I’d think to myself, “Oh I can totally handle this.” I sat on the birthing ball for a little while to try and open things up. And after a while my easy-going, over-confidence got a slap in the face. The real contractions came and I said to myself, “Oh hello, I remember you. Okay, time to focus.” Women have more than 1 baby because they think they’ll never forget what real contractions feel like, but you do and that’s why you’re not terrified of getting knocked up again. It hurts. Bad.
I had to go to the bathroom. My body was telling me it was time to empty the system and I’m so glad it did because I didn’t have to worry about pooping on my doctor yet, holy hell it was the most miserable bathroom experience of my life…I won’t go into any more detail here…I’m sure you get the idea.
It was around midnight now. My contractions were every 5 minute and they hurt but I was doing okay. I was afraid to have my cervix checked again because I was worried that if I was only dilated to a 4 or 5 I would lose my determination to have a drug-free delivery and cave for the drugs so I kept working through contractions hoping that they were doing their job.
Another hour and my contractions went from focus to BREATHE! They were getting intense and I had to start breathing through them. I called my mom to let her know she should probably make her way to the hospital because this was getting real. Granny was on-call to stay at the house with Joshua so my mom was able to be at the hospital. Nathan’s parents were already there in the room with us. Nathan was right there by my side holding my hand through every single contraction. I had Kayla (my wonderful L & D nurse) check me out and I was dilated to 7cm. That was all the encouragement I needed to keep going. My body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do so I kept working.
Finally, I felt it…the urge to push. Kayla checked my cervix again and I was only dilated to 9cm but it was time to call the doctor because I couldn’t hold back and NOT push much longer. I was so thankful that Dr. Urquhart was on call that night. There is a level of comfort having your doctor there to delivery your baby. At least I think so. I had every except for Nathan leave the room and Doctor arrived promptly. Even though I still had a cm to go baby was way down the birth canal and my body was ready to push so it was time to deliver baby. I remember being terrified at that point because pushing takes so much power and it’s just scary…will baby make it out okay? Well, he did better than okay. 4 contractions and 10 minutes later Grady was out! I had done it, again, all on my own.
My arm was soaked from Nathan’s tears, my eyes were blurry from my own tears, and baby boy was crying on my stomach. There just aren’t words. I will never, ever, forget that moment.
7lbs, 1.25oz and 21 inches…a healthy, beautiful, perfect baby boy.