Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Slow and Steady…

Here it is folks…  for those who want the Birth Story.   
This is part one.  Not to tease you or anything… but after writing this first part, it was getting a little long and I felt this was definitely a
2 part post.

And for those of you who don’t care to hear the story…  just hop over to this post and watch Henry’s cute drive through DC again.


Now where were we….
My history has always had me pregnant far past my due date
10 days “past due” with the first 2 and 6 days “past due” with the 3rd.   We are not fans of rushing little babies out before they are ready… so an induction is ALWAYS our last resort. 

So because of my history, we weren’t really expecting an early baby.  But come the week of the the due date we were surely ready to get this show on the road!  We all predicted a large baby… mine always are on the plumper side.  But Helen was my largest at 9lbs.  

The night before my due date (a Wednesday)  I was awoken in the night with some fluids of some sort (we won’t get into all the graphic details here on my family friendly blog), and I just had a “feeling” this was the beginning of something.  And indeed it was.  Thursday morning I prepped the house, I had just bought eggplant to make the famous Eggplant Parmesan from Scalini’s
and had just had a Pedicure.  I was getting the house cleaned that morning (praying any contractions would slow down until my house was cleaned), and then had a Drs. Appt that afternoon. 

About mid morning, I began having very mild but noticeable contractions.  But they were very irregular and any where from
8-10 to 20 minutes apart, often fading away for 30-45 minutes and returning. 

This is often what Drs call pre-labor, or false labor…and can go on for days.   True Labor was imminent--- I mean,  I knew a baby was coming soon.  But I had in my mind that this “early” labor would kick into active labor a little sooner than it did.   I went to my Appt that afternoon, with confirmation that I was 3 cm dilated, and indeed having contractions, but to go home and hopefully we would be in that evening. 

We opted to skip making Homemade Eggplant Parm and ordered Italian from a local eatery instead.  We walked to pick it up, having contractions all along the way, but continuing to be very sporadic with no pattern or consistency or real pain.  We called our friend to come spend the night that night, thinking that these contractions would surely turn into the real deal over night, possibly middle of the night and we didn’t want to be caught in an emergency situation.  (last baby we were at the hospital only about 20 minutes before pushing).

We put the kids to bed, and I went on another long leisurely walk on the hill, running into numerous friends--- declaring to them all that we hoped to have a baby that night!  Contractions were coming more regularly, and I just knew that Thursday night would be the night! 

Wrong…. like past labors, my uterus must need a warming up period.  2 of my labors started this way, and stopped completely, only to pick up again with full force either mid night or the next morning.  It’s what I call “Slow and Steady Until Baby’s Ready." 

This labor followed suit.  Contractions continued until about 11pm,
then stalled.  I was woken up around 2am with contractions, but again they just didn’t kick into active labor.  We got the kiddos off to school that morning and I think we must have walked 10 miles trying to get labor going with stronger contractions. 

We walked to Union Station and ate a great Breakfast of Champions at Bojangles!  Got a smoothie, walked some more.  Came home, finished some packing and prep for the kids, then walked to lunch, then walked around the block. 

We walked and we walked and we walked.  And contractions came closer and closer, and the walking seemed to promote contractions… so we walked some more. 

We decided around 1:30 to head to the NW quadrant to be closer to the hospital…. We didn’t want to be needing to get there in the middle of Friday rush hour.  Contractions were about 8-10 min at this point and we just decided to go walk around the mall some.

mall walking
Hubby snapped this picture of me, one of the last pictures of me pregnant.  He took this picture at 2:00pm on Friday April 20th.  
We felt a little discouraged that contractions weren’t coming stronger.  Little did we know that we would be holding our baby in just 5 hours.  

I felt like I was tourist attraction on the National Mall with many onlookers gazing our way, probably wondering why on earth this husband had his 9 month pregnant wife walking the mall!   We would walk, stop for a contraction, get water, smile at the tourists as they whispered by us. (no one knew we were in labor, though someone did ask me if I needed a wheelchair!)

So this was our “slow and steady until baby’s ready” early labor story.  Not all labors come on fast and furious.  We know this. 
But we’ve never had to wait this long (almost 24 hours) for active labor to kick in.   

We continued to walk the Mall for another 45 minutes or so, and contractions started getting closer together…. 5-8 minutes apart, then a consistent 5, then some coming every 3.  We know how fast I can go into full blown hard labor so we made the call to head toward the hospital a little before 3. 

The past 2 children, we stayed home for most of the hard labor…. going to hospital when we absolutely had to.  And in Helen’s case, almost didn’t make it!  We certainly didn’t want to do that in DC… rushing to the hospital in a frenzy, 20 minutes away from delivering.  But we didn’t think we’d be heading to the hospital while I was still smiling and had significant breaks between contractions.   

We would quickly see that God led us to the hospital early so that HE could prepare the way for our little boy.  We surely saw God’s great provision for us and for Henry in his delivery.  

~ ~ ~ Check back soon for the rest of the story!! ~ ~ ~