Our little man was due to be born September 27th. As that day passed and several others after it, I felt tired and sad and also a little tricked since I had good progress and many signs of labor for a couple of weeks (contractions, thinning cervix, dilation to a 3). Nels and I knew it was to be expected that this child would be late by our schedule – his sister was 11 days late – but we were still disappointed. I was discouraged. I felt like I was losing momentum and I was very tired of “living on edge” for the last month and a half.
On Sunday evening (Oct. 2) I called my mother…sobbing. I had been trying to keep up a good attitude, but my body was so so tired of being pregnant, and I felt emotionally drained from waiting for this baby for so long! Mom and Dad prayed for me and encouraged me and I went to sleep feeling more content and at peace, trusting that God was working out the details on my behalf. He knew just when I needed to go into labor, which doctors and nurses would be best for us, what Hudson’s birth date should be, etc.
I didn’t sleep very well that night, but it wasn’t so unusual at this point of the pregnancy. As morning approached my discomfort increased enough that I woke Nels up for help by rubbing my back and massaging away the pain and cramping. By 7am I suspected that this was not more of the same aches and pains, but was perhaps (could it finally be?!) baby day. I took a hot shower (that soothed the contractions a little bit) and decided to start timing them because they were increasing in strength and regularity.
At 7:30am Nels, Kaya and I had breakfast together and I couldn’t really sit through it. Every couple of minutes I would have to stand up or bend over and breathe through the pain of a contraction in my back or low abdominal area which had reached about a 4 on my 1-10 pain scale.
At this point I kept telling Nels that he should go to work and Kaya and I would have a low-key day at home. I planned to labor there for several hours and head to the hospital in the afternoon if things seemed to be progressing. My contractions were only lasting about 25-35 seconds but were ranging from 2-5 minutes apart. However, those contractions went from very manageable to very un-manageable quite quickly.
Nels’ dad suggested that we go directly to the hospital. Since my last appointment (a week ago) showed me dilated to a 3 and the contractions were growing stronger, we decided to head out. We had a bit of a dilemma when we realized that the family who was going to watch Kaya had a bad fever going around and we made a few hurried phone calls to line everything up for her care. It wasn’t long before my mom and dad were both leaving work and on their way out to our house.
At about 9am, I was still somewhat idealistic and relaxed, thinking I could spend most of the day at home. I assumed labor would take all day and the baby would come around 9pm like Kaya had. As I mentioned that we should vacuum and clean the kitchen and do certain other little chores before we left, Nels grew impatient with me, perceiving that my contractions were already intense and close together. He urged me to forget about such stupid, trivial things (in his mind) and to get my self to the car.
My mom arrived, we kissed Kaya goodbye, and took off for the hospital. We were really happy to be getting into the hospital earlier this time, because when we had come in to have Kaya I had been in labor for hours and hours already and was very desperate, which made the check-in process really difficult. When we arrived this time, I was able to check in more calmly, Nels parked and caught up and we were in a room by 10am. Our nurse was very kind and encouraging and I was feeling excited and confident. I had dilated to a 4.5 and we went through a lot of paperwork and lots of questions while I walked around and breathed through contractions that grew stronger and stronger, but remained fairly short in duration (Nels counted off the seconds for me) and felt manageable.
Things went a little haywire from there. I laid down in the hospital bed and had one nurse working to get an IV set up and another drawing blood on my other arm, with Nels standing beside, faithfully counting seconds through contractions. I felt happy and in control and was enjoying listening to the baby’s heartbeat, until suddenly the nurse working on my IV jabbed a nerve in my arm that sent searing pain into my hand and a numbing pain to my elbow. As it throbbed and throbbed (and really just shocked me), the contractions were hitting harder, longer and faster and I started to feel really panicked and asked Nels to call my mom and have her hurry and come up to the hospital too. The nurse apologized and truly felt terrible. When we recovered I was happy to have pain medication coming through my hard-earned IV.
Just before my mom arrived, the nurses checked and found I was dilated to 5.5. Just after she arrived (and I settled down a bit having both her and Nels working through the labor with me) I was at a 6.5. Things continued to pick up speed so Dr. Rosbrugh was called in to check everything (I was really happy that my OB just happened to be the on-call doctor that day!), and announced that I was at a 9 and decided to break my water. The nurse knew that I had been undecided about having an epidural or not, but informed me that this was the point when I needed to hurry and get it or decide against it.
I really didn’t know what to do at that moment. The pain was getting to be so intense that I couldn’t really think. I asked mom and Nels what they thought about it and one of them said “you’ve gotten this far, you’re going to be fine” and the other said “just get it, it’s going to help and things aren’t slowing down” – and then I think they switched opinions and I was further confused. Somewhere in there Nels said something like “we live in America. Get the dang epidural!” Before I had a chance to really make a decision, I was having really intense contractions back to back, and could not sit on the bed the way the nurse was instructing me to in order to get the epidural. As I was standing up trying to decide about the epidural I realized that I felt the intense urge to push.
At the word “push” my nurse insisted I get into the bed and somehow with the help of my mom and Nels I got into the bed and laid down, trying to pant through contractions instead of pushing. She called off the epidural and called for the doctor, firmly insisting that I not push yet. I remember her saying “Honey, don’t you push yet!!” and my automatic response being “Honey, I’m trying not to push!!” I was doing my best to “hold him in” and was focusing on doing the opposite of what everything in my body was trying to do. I did not want to push too soon and risk tearing badly.
The nurse tried to encourage me – “the doctor is on his way,” and my panicky response was “is he hurrying?!” Someone said at that point, “WOW, this baby has a lot of hair!” which shocked me enough to stop the urge to push for just a moment.
When Dr. Rosbrugh arrived he was very calm and collected. There were at least 3 people encouraging and instructing me all at once until Nels spoke up and said, “alright Doc, tell us what we need to do next.” Then Dr. Rosbrugh instructed my breathing and pushing – and it was only two or three pushes before Hudson came out! He was pretty quiet, but so beautiful. Daddy cut the cord while mommy got a few stitches and rested in preparation for holding and nursing the precious new baby boy.
It all happened so wondrously fast. I was amazed that he was actually here, and terrified at how it had all happened so much faster than I anticipated. It was a total blessing to see and hold my son at 1:15 in the afternoon after just 6 hours of labor. Family and friends joined us at the hospital shortly thereafter and it all seemed completely surreal – Hudson Nathanael was finally here. And he had hair! 🙂
We are praising the LORD for this incredible addition to our family. Hudson Nathanael, you are SO loved, and your new life is being celebrated by your mommy, daddy, big sister and many others! ❤
1:15 pm | 10/3/2011 | 8 lbs, 5 ounces | 22 inches long