Sunday, October 28th started out like any other day... sort of. I felt different. There was emotion in the air, a readiness and sense of preparation in my tired body. We proceeded with Sunday morning as it usually rolls in our house... Daddy headed off for worship practice while I finished breakfast with the girls and got us the rest of the way ready for church. An incident on our way out the door caused me to melt into a puddle of tears on the floor of the hallway, crying harder than I had in a very long time. Hope and Joy watched, and brought me Kleenexes, I hugged them, and the watched some more until I was done. When I was done, I felt a release inside, like somehow I needed that wall of emotion to be broken down before baby could come. Still 10 days before my due date, my hopes were not up for birth, as Hope and Joy were both born 6 and 9 days after their due date. Signs of the crying lightened from my face, the girls and I walked the snowy sidewalk to the van, and made it to church only 25 minutes late. :o) Things proceeded normally. After church we all napped, and then got snacks ready to take to Bible Study. Our friends at Bible Study commented that I was carrying the baby differently, to which I calmly replied that I wasn't going to be surprised if I went another two weeks before delivery, but that I would be glad if the baby surprised me and came anytime. At the end of Bible Study, my friend Gaylene prayed for me regarding labour. We came home, me feeling totally spent from the full day and my big cry in the morning. I went to bed exhausted but with a little niggle inside of me. I prayed and thought "O Lord, I need at least some good sleep before labour." I left it at that and fell asleep around 10:30. I woke at 1:00 am to use the bathroom. I noticed I felt like I had slept hard. I lifted up thanks, and slept again till 3:15 am when I again rose to use the bathroom. I went back to bed, but that was to be my last real sleep for the next 44 hours, as contractions started as soon as I laid down, and I could not sleep through them. They came every 10 minutes like clock work the rest of the night, so I was able to rest in between. I listened to peaceful lullabies on my iPhone and quietly prayed. I knew this could very well stop. It had with my other labours. It could just be preparation and lost sleep. I asked that it not be so. In the darkness of 6:00 am when Josh rose for the day, I told him of the happenings of the night. We thought and prayed for a moment, and decided he should go on to work, knowing he could be home in 20 minutes at anytime if needed. I stayed in bed as long as I could, knowing I needed to conserve energy to care for my girls all day long and hopefully keep our dinner invitation with friends that evening. I decided to keep myself to just minimal house work, and focus on my girls. I also called my Mum and gave her the heads up that things were starting, in the chance that she could travel the 7 hours north to our place soon. All day long on Monday, friends were contacting me, asking how I was doing, telling me they were praying for me. I felt blessed. So blessed. No one knew before contacting me that I was in labour. What a wonderful Heavenly Father we have, who uses His children to encourage one another. :o)
Monday. The girls and I made a batch of cookies. Then we played.
We did go to our friends house for dinner, and that chicken tasted so good. I slowly ate two servings, knowing this might be my fuel for delivery. My contractions had gotten stronger around 4:30 that afternoon, but still were coming at comfortably spaced intervals of 7-15 minutes. Our friends were very understanding, and Laverne played with the girls and talked with me about birth while the guys talked technology. :o)
We came home and tucked our girls into bed around 9:30. Josh and I got ready for bed, and I managed to lie down till about 1:00am, not sleeping at all, due to the strength of the contractions. Finally, around 1:35, not able to get comfortable and in a good little amount of pain, I decided the best place for me was in a hot tub. I lit a candle, listened to quiet hymns of encouragement on my iPhone, and texted my wonderful mother-in-law who was up due to a family need, for over an hour while in the tub. :o)
Labour started picking up around 2:15, and I waited till 3:00am to call my midwife, as contractions were coming every 4 minutes then. I still felt it was going to be a while, but the pain was such that I knew some skilled hands could help relieve some of it, and I wasn't going to be more brave than necessary, knowing it could be many hours yet before this baby came. I called Josh's cell phone to wake him up to come be with me around 3:15, and he got me more cold water to drink, fanned my face, and read Psalm 102 to me.
Heidi, our midwife, arrived around 4:15 and she and Josh got the birth pool set up, bucketing water into it, as a clean hose was not to be had. :o) I felt rather blessed, hearing them haul water down the hallway in buckets, and even more blessed that my adorable daughters were sleeping through everything.
I knew he was fine, but I couldn't stop crying. :o) They kept assuring me his heart beat was strong, and after some oxygen, suctioning, and a good rub down with the towel, colour came to his skin, he perked up, and he grabbed his Daddy's finger.
While I finished the first part of my job and made it out of the pool onto the bed, he got wiped off, and snuggled by his amazing Daddy. Then Josh came and sat close to me so I could feel baby Philip while I tried to relax my body, and let the midwives do what they needed to care for me.
From holding him in the water, I told Heidi, my midwife, "I think he's 6 pounds. Maybe 6 lb 4oz." I was close! He was 19.5 inches long, and head circumference was 35 cm, smack dab in the center of average which is 34-36. I was stoked when I heard that!!!
And then I fed my little son, who did it right his very first time, amazing and relieving his mother.