Dear Little Joshua,
The weeks leading up to your due date were filled with on the go trips with big brother, Mark. We could hardly wait for your arrival any day! Mark and I went to the zoo, splash pad, library, car wash, chick Fil A, “moo-seum”, etc! We were busy, busy, busy trying to pass the time until you decided to come. Everyone says surely your second child won’t be late… and they also say that labor will be half the time as the first! I never anticipated your due date coming…. and then going…
So, we continued our lives as normal hoping you would come at any minute. Sunday, we went to church like normal and Daddy was able to sit in the pew with us. They had planned for him not to preach since we figured you would have been born by then. It was such a treat to have daddy worship with us! I am thankful for that time. We went about our day as normal and talked about how we couldn’t wait to see your sweet face.
WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING
We prayed you would come on your own instead of inducing labor in the hospital. So, the next week was just like any other! We decided to ignore your due date because you were just going to come when you were ready. We filled the week with activities. By Friday, I had decided you were just never going to come! I had been having contractions on and off for a week now. Since they weren’t painful, I ignored them and continued to wait, wait, and wait some more. I was struggling a lot with self-doubt wondering if I was doing us harm by going past my due date…but I knew from our Bradley classes that due dates weren’t very accurate. In fact, several friends were so concerned that I was not going to be induced anytime soon. This did not help my already normal “mom-worry”. I knew my body just needed to do its thing… And everyone needed to butt out of my business! My doctor was willing to go over my due date 14 days. Next baby, I think I’ll add 2 weeks to the EDD!!
THIS IS IT!
7 days past your due date, Saturday, August 29th, started like no other. We lounged around all morning watching cartoons and just playing at home and Daddy worked in his study. For lunch, we decided to get out of the house and go out to eat. We went to Chippy’s for lunch then came home and took naps. I went to the grocery store around 5:30 pm. I continued to ignore more contractions all afternoon, but I remember pushing the buggy thinking, ”Hmmm, that contraction felt a little different than the rest.” The contractions were still coming during dinner, but they weren’t regular enough to time them. While watching TV later, I realized my contractions were pretty consistent. They were about 5-6 minutes apart. So, excited, I decided to tell Daddy. We decided we should probably go to bed in case this was the real thing!
I WAS PREPARING MY HEART TO MEET YOU
So, I tried to sleep but couldn’t. This was it! I was so excited! I got up cleaned the house, organized our bags, cleaned the kitchen, turned on my labor play list and tried to “get in the zone”. I texted Karen around 1:45 to let her know she needed to pack a bag because Joshua was on his way! I bounced on the birth ball and listened to my music and woke Daddy up around1:45 am. At this point, my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart (some even 2 minutes apart). I told him to take a shower and get some coffee because it wasn’t time to go yet. I continued to labor on the birthing ball and listen to my music. It was such a worshipful time as I was preparing my heart to meet my little guy! Dad and I reviewed my birth plan and talked through a few practical things.
SCRIPTURE, PRAYER, AND A MOTHER’S LOVE FOR HER BABIES
Our time at home was so relaxing and warm. The lights were dim and Daddy was reading scripture to me and prayed for us. He read beautiful passages reminding me of a mother’s love for her babies. Karen came at 3:40 am and we hopped in the car. When we got to the hospital, we decided walk around the parking lot. This was a sweet time! It felt so cool outside (around 70-75) and Daddy continued to read scripture to me. After walking the parking lot, we decided it was go time. At 5:30 am they checked me and I was 5-6 cm dilated. SO HAPPY!Our nurse was the most wonderful nurse ever! She was so caring, loving, patient, and direct when she needed to be. At 7 am she checked me again and I was dilated 7-8 cm. During all of this time, Daddy just sat behind me and rubbed my back, hugged me, encouraged me, read scripture to me. He was the most wonderful coach!!!
WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET HIM HERE FASTER
It was well into the morning by this time, so Daddy went downstairs to get some breakfast. I needed him to have energy for me. I managed to snack on graham crackers, juice, and drank plenty of water. My nurse told me Dr. Williams would be there soon. Around 9 am or so, they checked me and I was a “good 8/9 cm” but the baby was a -1 station and my cervix was still pretty firm. Dr. Williams called to tell them to break my water. I was a little anxious about this because things seemed to be going well but at the same time, I was really exhausted and wanted to do whatever it took to get him there faster. (I should not have allowed the intervention but after almost 16 hours, it sounded promising!)
THAT BAG OF WATERS HAD A PURPOSE
Dr. Sullivan came in and broke my water and that was the most unusual experience EVER. It felt like 5 gallons of warm liquid gushing out. Dr. Williams came in and I was so happy to see him! He checked me and had a very concerned look on his face. This worried me so I asked what was the matter. He said “Well, we have a ways to go”. I didn’t understand as I was so close to being able to push! Basically, the bag of water was pushing on my cervix that it made me appear to be dilated more than I was. I felt so discouraged and defeated. I asked how much longer and he said 2-3 hours. There was no way I could do this! That is when Daddy gave me the biggest pep talk of my life! I don’t know how I could have done this without him! He looked into my very tearful eyes and told me we had a lot of work to do and that we were going to get through this together.
A COMMON THEME OF TEACHING ME PATIENCE
I told him I should get the epidural because the contractions at this point were SO much more intense, lasting longer, and one on top of another. I wasn’t getting the breaks like before and it was fierce. He asked me, “In 10 years, what will this 2-3 hours be”! He said, “You can do this! Your body was made for this, and we are so close to having Joshua in our arms at last.” Again, here we were, WAITING on Joshua to be born. There seems to be a theme to this little guy’s life – teaching me patience! Oh how the Lord knew what I needed. I turned my music as loud as it could go and worked through each contraction. I listened to “Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart” and “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me” over and over and over. I was vocal with each contraction because that helped to deal with the pain. Daddy decided we should do 1 contraction on the birth ball and then 1 standing/walking, and then squatting. I didn’t know if I could. But it is incredible how your hormones give you a way to deal with the pain!
THE MOST AMAZING BIRTH COACH EVER
Things happened so fast. My nurse decided to get the room set up for delivery. This REALLY motivated me to focus through each contraction. Daddy was AMAZING! He just prayed for me, read to me, hugged me, and encouraged me. I literally could cry thinking about how amazing a coach he was during this very hard time of labor. I remember feeling more of an urge to push so I told my nurse I thought it was time. A really big contraction came and I put a towel over my face because the lights were super bright setting up for delivery. After the contraction, I looked up and Dr. Williams was in the room standing next to me. He said, “Are you ready to have this baby?” I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE READY IN MY LIFE!
I managed to get on the bed, though it was super uncomfortable to MOVE! So, Dr. Williams got down at the edge of the bed and told me to get in whatever position felt most comfortable and when I was ready I could push. I laid on my side for the first push. That position definitely did not feel right so I had Dad help me up to squat. I felt another contraction coming on so I pushed really hard and felt the “ring of fire” which meant his head was RIGHT THERE. Dr. Williams was helping to coach me and told me to slow down and pant while pushing to prevent me from tearing too bad. A third contraction and baby Joshua was out. He told me to “look down and pick up your baby!” So I did!
The relief was just indescribable. I could not believe he was in my arms AT LAST. You were perfect, weighing 9.2 oz and 20.5 inches long. MY BIG BOY! I am so thankful God allowed me the opportunity to have our sweet Joshua naturally and that he delivered him to us safely!