Tuesday, August 2, 2011

luke's labor story

I know, I know, he's almost six months old!  I have been meaning to put this in writing for quite some time because I want to remember!  I have notes written on paper and I've started this post before.  And truly, I remember it all like it was yesterday.  So here's the story...

Went to bed on the night of February 15 thinking that I had three more weeks to carry this baby in my belly.  It had been a normal day, very low key actually, and I had no reason to believe that the next would be any different.  I had just finished my clinical hours a few days before, and was looking forward to three weeks of preparation before little man arrived.  The nursery wasn't finished, there was shopping to be done, and I had a long laundry list of items to complete around the house.

At 2:30 in the morning, I woke up feeling a little strange, a bit crampy, and hungry.  So I got out of bed, (peed, of course), and made my way to the kitchen for a snack.  I stood at my kitchen counter and had Ritz crackers and cranberry juice.  It was about halfway through the roll of Ritz - I'm not kidding - when I realized that these cramps were coming one right after another.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn't so hungry afterall, but quite uncomfortable.  I walked around the house a bit, wondering why I ached like this, hoping that everything was okay.

By three o'clock, I was wide awake and hurting even more.  I decided to start writing down the start time of each cramp.  Honestly, I didn't really think I was in labor, I just thought it would be a way to practice timing contractions - ya know for when the real time came - and it would give me something to do until these silly things went away.  I got a blanket and folded it on the living room rug, knelt down on the blanket and leaned over the ottoman, trying to get comfortable.  My back hurt and my stomach hurt.  And as I wrote down the times, I realized that my cramps were coming every two minutes, exactly.  Yes, every two minutes.  I did this until 4:30.

At 4:30, I was headed to the bedroom to wake up Adam to tell him that something was wrong, when I literally ran right into him in the hallway!  He had woken up and realized that I was not in bed, and was coming out to find me.

Babe, I think I might be in labor.  

He was skeptical.  But to be perfectly honest, I was too!  It was too early and I really thought I would go the full forty.  But something was wrong!

I got in the bathtub.  The pain almost went away.  The cramps kept coming, every two minutes (Adam was timing, now) but they didn't hurt very bad.  We both figured it was a false alarm.

Adam decides that since he's already up, he might as well go to work!  So he irons his pants and gets completely dressed for work!  I got out of the bathtub and within a minute I thought I might be dying.  I was hurting so bad - my back, my belly, my legs - I sat down on the toilet and started crying.  Please don't go to work!  I really think I might have this baby!

At six o'clock, my friend Kelly called.  I had text her at four in the morning, hoping she could tell me if this was real labor or false labor, but she wasn't awake until six.  Even she really doubted that the labor was real, but after a brief conversation with Adam, they decided that if this wasn't labor, it was something and I should go get checked out.

At this point I had gotten in and out of the bathtub, in and out of my bed, walked around, tried to pack a bag, tried not to scream!  I so really wanted to wash my hair and put on some makeup but I was hurt so bad that I just couldn't do it!

Around seven o'clock, we left for the hospital.

We couldn't find a parking spot.  It never occurred to us that I should be dropped off at the entrance, so we parked way far away and I walked all the way up to the building and up to the labor and delivery unit.  I had to stop every two minutes (yes, still having contractions every two minutes) to bend over and breathe.  By this time, I could not talk or walk or keep from moaning during the "cramps."

I was checked in by the sweetest nurse.  She was so patient and so gentle but she didn't treat me like a baby.  She was awesome.

I really believed that I was going to be sent home.  I just knew that this was a false alarm, that we were getting all excited for nothing, and that I would have to go home and wait it out for another few weeks.

I was wrong.  At my first cervical check I was 8 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and at a 0 station.
I called my mom.

Hey mom, it's me.  I'm going to have a baby ...
My mom: Today?!?  
Yea, today. 

We called the rest of our family and a few friends and I got settled into a room.  I really didn't want to labor in bed, I wanted to walk around and sit on a ball and get in a tub.  But the portable monitor was somewhat unavailable so I had to stay in bed.  Laboring in bed is just about the most miserable thing in the world.  I could not stop shaking.  I was trembling violently despite several warm blankets.  I wasn't cold, just anxious, excited, exhausted, and scared to death.  And I hurt!

So when the nurse came in to check me again and I was still at 8 cm, I decided to get the epidural.

Ah, blessed epidural.  My OB came shortly after and broke my water.  I got a chance to rest for a a few minutes, but by the time they checked me again, I was already 10 cm and ready to push.

I did not have to push very long.
Three or four contractions ... less than ten minutes ... and then ... 
The most miraculous thing ...

My first child.  My baby.  My son.  Came into this world with a tiny little cry, big wide eyes, and the sweetest little face.  Luke was here. 

Is there anything more amazing than this?  Anything more magical than your first child coming into the world?  Just moments before, we were a family of two.  And now, we were three. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


  1. So sweet! You may inspire me to post mine as well... :)

  2. I can't believe you were at an 8 at your first check!

  3. I cry every time I read this.

  4. I am so glad you shared! I love reading birth stories, especially of people that I actually know. :)

  5. I agree with Meredith! Thanks for sharing Jen! I love the picture, it's so precious.

  6. I didn't know all of this! So cool! :) I love you!