By the time she showed up, I was in a bit of a panic. Between the blood (I hadn't seen that with the other 3...although 2 of them don't really count since they were induced!) and the doctor asking me when I had last felt the baby move...I started to wonder if everything was ok. I was keeping it cool on the outside, but on the inside I was a mess. I just wanted to be hooked up the monitors and hear the little heart beat.
I did make William call her once to find out how far away she was. If she was far enough, I thought I'd go ahead and load up the kids (I had made the older two get dressed just in case) and have her meet us at the hospital if need be. But I was trying to be patient. I didn't want to alarm the kids at all. I told William a few times I was worried. I think I said exactly..."I'm trying to not panic, but I'm worried about the safety of the baby." And he didn't know why and I didn't explain - mostly because I didn't want HIM to panic. :-)
So I sat in the car and waited, quietly praying.
Jan finally arrived and I had never been so happy to see someone arrive. William told her a few things (we had food to donate for a drive this morning...things that HAD to go to church that day or they would be useless!) and we were off.
Jan told me later that she had been there for awhile when Peter looked up from his game and said "Hey, why are YOU here?" (We had told him.) I thought that was funny - clearly he wasn't paying attention to us! And he hadn't even noticed us leaving. Obviously I didn't panic the kids either.
As William pulled out I said "Don't take Central. Take Kellogg! Don't drive like a grandpa. But don't drive crazy either. Get us to the hospital safely and quickly!" He was rather compliant though and didn't get mad at my rather poignant instructions. :-) (I don't normally give him driving instructions and normally me doing so would just make him mad. But of course we weren't in a normal situation either!) We even passed up a cop who was out with his radar. I'd say that was a win.
We arrived and I walked in.
I'd like to take a moment to reiterate that I was pretty calm. I spoke calmly to the receptionist. I filled out paperwork. After a couple sheets I told her "I'm feeling light headed. This will have to be the last one standing up." William actually took over filling out paperwork from there, asking me a few questions here and there.
"When was the last time you felt the baby move?"
"Last night around 11 PM."
The receptionist was over there in a flash. "You haven't felt the baby move since last night?" I replied that I hadn't.
She hurried back to her desk and got on the phone speaking in a low voice. "Yes, she hasn't felt the baby move since last night." I heard her tell someone.
This didn't help my worries any.
William finished up the paperwork and turned it in. It suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't taken a belly shot yet. I had been meaning too - it was on my list of stuff to get done. I pulled out my camera and told William to take one there. So he did.
|About an hour before Paul was born!|
I had planned on standing for my belly shot - but I was exhausted...and I wasn't interested in standing. Plus I sat down for a reason to begin with. So a sit down shot it was.
A nurse came back. "So you haven't felt the baby move since last night?" I again told her no. So she walked me back to a room. I got into the classic hospital nightgown (to which she reminded me to leave my underwear off...that always cracks me up...do some women really forget?) and she hooked me up.
Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump...
It was music to my hears. I immediately felt at ease and relaxed. She hooked up the contraction monitor. "Wow! You are having a lot of contractions! What would you rate your pain at this moment?"
Well...they had certainly gotten more intense. I thought about it a moment and told her 3. Then we discussed an epidural. She asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get one. I remembered Ruth's birth - how things went quickly when they started ramping up. I told her I'd like to go ahead and get one. They usually take an hour, so I wanted to make sure there was time.
Order of details are a little fuzzy. So I may have mixed some things up. All these events happened - just perhaps not in this order. But this is how I remember them through the fog.
My doctor came in and we spoke for a few minutes. He said if I didn't think there was time for an epidural we could do something else. I shrugged my shoulders - I really didn't know how much time we had. He smiled and said "Ready to have this baby?"
Well ready or not...
Everyone had stepped out for a moment. It was just William and I in the room. "Should I call my parents?" he asked.
Believe it or not - I was still in a bit of denial.
"Well, let's see how things go." I'm not sure I'm staying...I thought to myself.
A few moments passed (I don't really have a good grasp on time at this point to be honest) and then...my water broke. It was the first time I've ever experienced my water breaking naturally. With the other 3 it was broken by the doctor. The sensation - well it was fascinating. It was so powerful that not only did I feel it but I heard it. The 'pop' and then 'woosh'. This is as best as I can describe it. I know I didn't literally hear it - but it was really that intense of a feeling. Not painful in anyway shape or form.
The nurse walked back in and I smiled at her. "I believe my water just broke!" I told her.
She hadn't checked me yet anyway so she took the time to do so. "Uh...yeah your water broke. And you are a 6!" she said.
Another nurse started getting my IV in. "Oh I feel nauseous!" I said. The nurse started to tell me it was normal to feel that way. "No no! I'm about to throw up!" They gave me a tub just in time. I'm glad - because I already felt gross from my water breaking. I told William to go ahead and call his parents..."BUT NO CHIT CHAT! Make it quick!" I told him.
This folks is a record - he made the call and talked to them for a sum total of 2 minutes.
From this point, the contractions really started to kick into high gear. It didn't take long for my pain level to shoot from that measly 3 straight to an 8. I made mention of this to the nurse. "Yes, since you water broke there is no cushion!"
The anesthesiologist came in. I actually didn't realize that was who this person was for quite some time. By 'quite some time' I mean...that night in the quiet of my room as I thought about the events of the day. To me it was just some medical person. She began asking me a zillion questions. I had to defer to William to answer them at this point because it was rather difficult to talk through those pain-level-8 contractions. I did hear someone tell someone else I that I was 'contracting like crazy'. I'd agree with this assessment.
She finally had me get on my side - no small task. Then scoot to the edge of the bed - again, no small task. Then of course she asked me to curl into a ball.
Yeah - that was impossible.
A nurse helped me curl up enough for the anesthesiologist...when all of a sudden I felt it. I recognized the sensation from Ruth's birth. (I hadn't felt it with Peter or Rebekah for some reason.) This was...transition. "FORGET THE EPIDURAL! THIS BABY IS COMING!" I shouted. This sent everyone into a scurry.
I was actually focused on not pushing. I wanted to wait for my doctor. But quite frankly - there are simply some things that you cannot control. This would be one of them. So a push, an involuntary "AHHHH" (seriously...I couldn't help it?) and then I blurted out "I'm so sorry!"
I'm still on my side at this point.
I hear in the background "Get the doctor! He's in the building!" I hear them mention this several times. "Yes please get him!" I'm thinking.
Whenever you are about to have a baby - it is absolutely amazing how the room fills up with all kinds of people that you don't know and have never seen. I have no idea what half of them were for. When Ruth was born - it happened pretty quick too. And the room was much emptier because no one had time to get in there. So just the absolutely essential people were there. My doctor, a nurse or two and really not many more.
This time...well...it went even faster. The room consisted of 3 nurses and William.
"YOU NEED TO ROLL OVER!" someone told me. Why yes - that made sense. Whoever heard of delivering a baby on your side? There was another involuntary push - and then the head was out. I can't recall if I rolled over on my side before or after this.
But the relief...oh the sweet relief. Once his little head was out the pain was all but gone. "Just one more push and this baby will be born!" someone told me. I actually did wonder why not wait another moment...the doctor still hadn't arrived. But I pushed as instructed.
The sensation of having the baby without an epidural...well, indescribable. There are simply no words. But it is something I hope to never forget.
I worried for a moment if the baby was caught properly - but it was only a moment.
"It's a BOY!" someone said.
"I just gave birth without an epidural?" was all I could think...and say. No really - I said that out loud. There was some laughter in the room and a "Yes you did! You did great!"
How faithful God is.
I was later told that I had been hooked up to the monitors at 8:15. Paul Edward was born at 8:55 AM weighing in at 8 lb 1 oz and 20 inches tall.
|Skin to skin! This hospital was pretty big on that!|
Part of my dismissal instructions even included doing
skin to skin an hour a day!
The doctor rushed in (William said he was a bit out of breath, so he had been running - I honestly didn't notice), checked me out, apologized for missing the birth (profusely) and gave me a couple stitches.
For the rest of the day every nurse that came in my room made comments about how I had a crazy morning. Things like "I heard you had quite the morning!" It was mentioned so much all day long, I got the picture I must have been the water cooler gossip for the day. I could only imagine what was said, but it didn't really matter to me. The comments were all made with a smile and a glint in the eye. I don't think it is every day a woman walks in, gives birth sans epidural and doctor. :-P
Next up: Kids meet the new baby!