Since it is Labor Day, I figured now is a perfectly fitting time to share Smoochs' and my "Labor Story".
It's only right, right?
( ...except labor day came and went before I finished this post, so now it isn't anymore. oops. )
Anyone who squirms at the words "dilation" or "mucous plug" may want to skip this post. Just so's ya know...
Tuesday was a busy day for me and as usual, I began having contractions before bedtime. By 2 in the morning, I was "certain" they were real so we called Matt's parents. At 2 am. They drove down to stay with the children. At 2 am. We headed to the hospital. At 2 am.
By 4 am, the "real" contractions had stopped, and despite my very-unfrugal and irrational desire to sleep at a hotel so as not to face Matt's parents, we came home. Since his parents had taken our bed, Matt and I snuggled together on our couch, my feet by his head and his feet by mine~sharing the one lone blanket we keep downstairs. Needless to say, didn't get much (cough, cough...ANY) sleep that night.
It was NOT fun facing everyone in the morning sans baby.
Wednesday passed quickly enough~I went shopping and met up with my sister at Chuckie Cheese to take my mind off of castor oil and come-alongs. That night, Matt and I watched a movie and somewhere between America and Paris, contractions began again. I decided right then and there that there was ain't NO WAY I was gonna call my in-laws again until I actually lost my mucous plug. I would NOT be faked out again. I would NOT wake those poor people up for nothing. I would NOT look like an IDIOT who has had three babies before and can't tell what constitutes REAL labor. I would NOT. I would NOT.
We headed to bed at 10:30 and I was keeping my contractions a secret. Because they weren't REAL, after all. They never ARE. But for some odd reason, I couldn't lay down flat. It hurt too much. Matt fell asleep next to me as I tried reading. Pretty soon, it hurt too much to read too. SO I went downstairs. In my head I wondered if it might be the time, but No. No blood. No mucous plug. "I am NOT going to call ANYONE without seeing blood." said I, trying to convince myself. SO I walked around the house. Again and again and again. It didn't take long before I began talking to myself through contractions. I decided to take a shower and then, if they were still coming as hard and fast as they were, THEN I would call. Twice I nearly keeled over in the shower. I decided to let Matt call.
Of course he said.... "Have you started bleeding? Tell me about your contractions."
Now the man was well meaning, but to a very-pained, in-labor woman....that was just plain condescending. I said something like "I don't care if you believe me or not~I am in labor and I am NOT waiting for bleeding anymore. CALL YOUR PARENTS." It was 12: 30 am.
I knew I was in trouble when a very short time later, I couldn't talk through my contractions and instead began to grunt. When I realized I was verbally reassuring myself after a contraction I realized I had waited too long.
Matt's parents took FOR.EVER. to get here. They got to our house at 1:00 am.
And the car ride to the hospital took lightyears. Then, I couldn't talk at all after a contraction and I began to think "It's too late. It's too late. We aren't going to make it. I feel like I could...." and then a contraction would begin again making me lose all train of thought.
We got to the hospital and praise God-someone happened to be out there with a wheelchair. I couldn't walk anymore. We rushed up to the birthing center and screamed my birthday to someone and got ourselves a room. The nurses knew I wasn't kidding. The wheelchair never stopped.
My shorts somehow came off me and I flung myself on the bed. It was 1:23 in the morning on September 2nd.
The only day I hoped the baby WOULDN'T come.
The nurse checked me while Matt went to get me some water. I remember the nurses saying in panicked tones that the midwives were all at home and I was fully dilated, fourth baby. I remember telling Matt I was fully dilated and him saying "Well, the baby can't come YET, your water hasn't broken." And then I remember saying "This baby is coming! Right, stinkin', now."
And then, there he was....at 1:30 in the morning.
Exactly 7 minutes after arriving.
I never did get my midwife, the nurses delivered... but I did get a pretty amazing child.
Judah Benjamin tipped the scales and caused all sorts of exclamations when he weighed in at 10 pounds, 11 ounces (HOLY COW). A whole two pounds bigger than my biggest child. That is just W.R.O.N.G. He was 22 3/4 inches long.
He doesn't fit into the newborn diapers I bought for him or the hospital provided and he has skipped right over size 0-3 months. The going home outfit I made him cut off his circulation. Well, that's not true~ the spit-up cloth fit.
My adrenaline was on high gear so I never did sleep during what was left of the morning. I never did sleep throughout the day and the next night, when my exhaustion finally caught up with me, Judah decided to wake up and keep me up all night, so I didn't sleep then either. I *maybe*, very liberally, got 6 hours of sleep over a four day period.
Because he was delivered so fast, poor little Judah had some asphyxiation problems due to all the amniotic fluid that did not get squeezed out of him during delivery. The nurses had to shake him up for quite a while before I even got to hold him~ and throughout the following day he would throw up huge amounts of fluid, then choke on the mucous. The worst was when he turned gray and deathly looking and stopped breathing~when the nurses grabbed him and ran to the nursery to shove a suction tube down his throat and then put him on oxygen. That was an incredibly scary time. When nurses run with your gray baby without saying anything to you...it is your LIFE they are running with, and you can only follow and pray.
Praise God we haven't had any more scares like that.
That is the story of how our He-man came to be.
It was an odd time to have a baby, this early in the morning. (The nurses even wrote the wrong day on the bracelets as some of you observant people already noticed). Matt fell asleep and I didn't want to wake him (plus, I was *trying* to sleep) so the lights were out for the wee early morning hours and then visitors came, choking kept happened, we blinked and our stay was over. I hardly took any photos at all (completely unlike me.) I never got a single picture of Judah and I after birth (sniff). I love those shots most of all. It was nothing like this time, that's for sure. These are the measly few photographs that I did get. Is that not ridiculous?
Judah slept last night from 10:45 to 5:15 this morning, so I finally feel refreshed and invigorated for the first time in a week~and I have spent far too much time this morning (even writing most of this post yesterday) behind this computer. Beautiful sunshine~ here I come!