My due this pregnancy was May 17. Boden was born 10 days before his due date, Claire born one week before hers. I just assumed (silly me) that this little guy would be early too. I've always had sympathy for those women who see their due date come and go, but honestly I have to admit, I never thought that would be me.
During my 37th and 38th week I was still busy unpacking boxes and getting the house in order, so I was hoping he wouldn't come too early. However, I was confident I'd have this baby the week before his due date. But when May 17 came and went, I was a bit discouraged. Ok, I was pretty emotional. Michael said I was holding it together well, but inside it was a struggle. So many emotions - excitement to meet the new baby, anxiety/curiosity about what the labor would be like (my previous two labors were COMPLETELY different, I was really praying for a "claire" labor and not a "boden" labor), frustration about what to do each day wondering if that day would be THE day...should I make plans? should I not? etc. and simply just feeling huge and not wanting to be pregnant anymore.
Funny side note: While waiting for the baby that last week I read somewhere that fresh pineapple has some enzyme in it that helps ready your body for labor....I ate an entire pineapple one afternoon....I'm pretty sure the only thing that did was make my mouth raw!
Michael's mom and step dad who had been waiting since the beginning of May for "the call" to come out and help with the kids, decided to go ahead and make the trip from St Louis in hopes that baby would be here soon. They arrived on Friday afternoon May 20. I wasn't sure about having company in my current emotional state and not knowing how much longer we would all be waiting, but it turned out to be a great thing. Michael and I went out on a date that night while Bubbe & Zeyde took the kids to Chuck E Cheese. It was great for Michael and I to have that evening together, I really needed that.
The next morning, Saturday, I woke up at 4 am with some contractions. I started timing them at 5am and from 5-6:30 they were consistently 8-10 min apart, lasting about 30 seconds. I decided it was a pretty good assumption that I was in early labor, so I tried to get a bit more sleep. When everyone got up, the grandparents packed the kids up and took them to the zoo for the day so I would be free to labor at home comfortably and without distraction.
Of course, I had hoped we'd have a baby by noon...but at noon my contractions were still not all that close together. When we would go out for a walk they would be 5 min apart for 30 seconds, so I would go lay down for a bit and they would stretch out to 8 min apart for 45-60 seconds. It went on like this for several hours and I got frustrated. So around 1 I decided I needed to stop thinking about it - and I sat down at my sewing machine. I had some fabric I had been wanting to make into a dress for Claire, so I set to work and tried my best to ignore the contractions and Michael got to work finishing up some projects around the house. 3 hours later the dress was done and the contractions were getting stronger so I decided to take a shower and relax a bit. After that I sat on the exercise ball (which was amazing for labor and before labor - I swear this really helped baby move down into position...I bounced on it constantly thurs and fri after my friend Saina brought it over for me to borrow- Thank you Saina!) and my contractions finally started to get consistent.
It was about this time that I told Michael that I really felt like I wanted to get to the hospital to have a monitor on the baby. This is pretty strange for me because I prefer to labor at home as long as possible and because I typically prefer intermittent monitoring so I can move around freely when I am at the hospital. But, this feeling was nagging at me for several hours that afternoon. Finally, my contractions were about 5 min apart and we headed to the hospital. We texted several friends and family to let them know and to ask them to be in prayer for us. It's about a 20 min ride to the hospital and by the time we got there my contractions were only about 2 min apart, and my water started leaking on the walk into the hospital. For some reason I turned down Michael's offer to be dropped at the door and chose to walk in from the back of the parking lot with him....not my wisest choice ever. Even though I was having contractions rather close together, I still didn't think I was that close. We got up to labor and delivery just before 7pm.
Another couple rode up on the elevator with us. They were first time parents and were coming in to see if her water had broken. Michael told me later that the husband to one look at me in the wheelchair and told his wife "yeah, you're not in labor...you don't look anything like her". Men say the funniest things to their pregnant wives. I wish I could have seen the look on her face.
Anyway, we got checked in and I was dilated to 7 or 8. We had two really sweet nurses, one who actually goes to our church. They confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid, but my water hadn't fully broken yet. I got hooked up to to all the monitors and we waited for my midwife to arrive. Once she got there I had her break my water to hopefully move things along. Shortly after, the midwife told me I needed to start pushing, although I didn't yet feel the urge to push and I wasn't quite fully dilated. But, everytime I had a contraction, the baby's heart rate would drop. They midwife and nurses were careful not to alarm me, but we knew by the looks they were giving each other that it wasn't an ideal situation.
Thankfully, it didn't take long, otherwise they may have had to use some interventions. About 25 min later, Titus Samuel made his appearance!
They had to jostle him around a bit to get him to really yell, but he was doing fine. Once the umbilical cord was cut and the midwife began looking at it, she discovered the reasons for the drop in heart rate. His umbilical cord was tied in a complete knot, and she then told me it had also been around his neck. Apparently, an umbilical cord tied in a knot can be the cause of stillbirth. I guess it can get tied up when they are still little and moving around freely, then when they get bigger and start descending into the birth canal it can pull it tight and cause the blood supply to be cut off. They told us we were lucky that he was ok.
We know it wasn't luck. It was the prayers of so many friends and family. We are so gratefully that so many people were praying for us and for Titus. The Lord certainly protected him.
watching some Sunday morning preaching with Daddy
ready to meet their little brother
I wanna hold him!!!
Claire: "EYES!" (learning new body parts is dangerous when you have a newborn)
We are so excited to have this new little life in our family, and so thankful that God has entrusted him to us to raise.