Saturday, August 6, 2011
Ben's Birth Story
Several months ago, Emmett learned that he might be out of town for several conferences in July. At the time, we didn't really think about the baby coming so early. Evan and Corrie each arrived 3- 4 days before their respective due dates. This little guy was due on August 7th, so I figured he would show up around August 4th. That makes sense, right?
Eventually it turned out that Emmett would only have to go out of town for one set of meetings in Washington, D.C. from July 27-29. I didn't start to worry about it until mid-July. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions, and it occurred to me that I should make a plan in case the baby came early. My friend Crystal and her husband have two boys - Evan's best friends - and they generously agreed that the kids could stay with them if I went into labor while Emmett was out of town. Several other people said that they could come with me to the hospital for the delivery, if needed. (What a blessing! It still amazes me that we've only been here 2 years, and God has already provided friends that will stand with me through major life events).
On Friday, July 29th, the kids and I had a busy day. They went to VBS in the morning, while I ran some errands. I also had a college student friend come over to earn some extra money - she cleaned all the bathrooms and the kitchen for me. We had a special lunch at Burger King after VBS. After quiet time at home in the afternoon, we took a trip to Old Navy to buy Evan's school uniforms. By the time we got home, we were all hungry and tired. The kids watched Phineas and Ferb while eating dinner, and I rested. Those darn Braxton Hicks contractions! (Or so I thought).
When I was pregnant with Corrie, there was a day where I had so many contractions, I was sure she was coming ... and then after a while, the contractions stopped. I figured this could be the same thing. Contractions, semi-regular, started about 7 p.m. or so. But they were pretty far apart. By 8 p.m., I began to consider that I could be going into labor. I called Crystal and asked if the kids and I could come over and hang out. I packed a suitcase for the kids and one for me, and then we drove over. I sat and talked with Rob and Crystal while the kids watched movies. By 11 or so, it was clear that I was actually having regular labor contractions. At midnight, I emailed a few friends and family to say: Pray! I think the baby's coming.
Meanwhile, Emmett was still in D.C. I called him every so often to tell him what was going on. He managed to get a seat on an earlier flight, but it still wouldn't arrive in McAllen till 10:30 a.m.
We put the kids to bed after the movie, and I hung out in the living room, timing contractions. I told everyone to go to sleep because it could take a while. At midnight, the contractions were 10 minutes apart. By 12:30, we were at 5 minutes. I woke up Crystal and she drove me to the hospital.
According to my hospital ID bracelet, I got there at 1:23 a.m. I think the contractions must have been coming every 3 minutes at that point. The nurses in triage checked me and I was dilated 7-8 cm, 80% effaced. (I totally asked for an epidural and they said, "maybe." Ha! There was no time). Off we rushed to L&D.
By the time I got around the corner to L&D, I was pretty much ready to go. My doctor showed up shortly. Crystal got a little queasy at all the blood and hospital drama, so she exited the room when the doctor broke my water. Bless her heart! I didn't care WHO was in the room at that point - just somebody, please get the baby out! I pushed and pushed, and when baby finally popped out, the doctor and nurses said "Ohhh! That's why!" It turns out that Ben was face up, so that made things a little difficult. Ow. He arrived at 2:11 a.m. He cried - he has such a funny, squawking cry - very cute. Everyone said he looked great. I got to see him and hold him and nurse him almost right away.