As many of you know, I have had contractions off and on since week 20 of this pregnancy. I started getting regular contractions a couple months ago, and even went to the hospital at 31 weeks because they did not go away and were coming closer together. After that visit, however, I began to just ignore them.
Until I couldn’t take it anymore.
On Friday night (Oct. 30), I broke down and sobbed for relief. Ben gave me a Priesthood blessing. This blessing did not promise my pain would go away, but did bless me with the strength to endure. I was also blessed that I would deliver the baby at the right time, and that the baby would be healthy.
I assumed that the “right time” was 2 weeks from then, according to the plan. See, I was to be induced a week before my due date. We had already arranged for Ben’s mom to come out and help take care of Emily during the delivery and post-delivery. Everything was organized.
Or so I thought.
Remember Saturday’s post? Yeah, that was my breaking point. After a very long night of painful contractions, I called the doctor and told him everything that had been going on. I didn’t think I was in labor, but wanted the dang contractions to end. I was in a lot of pain and very sleep deprived because of their persistence.
The doctor was awesome. He sympathized with me and suggested I go to the hospital. He said that since I was not full-term yet (I was 36 weeks and 5 days, full-term is 37 weeks), I could not be induced. However, if I was dilated enough they would not stop the contractions and I could deliver the baby.
I didn’t think I would be having this baby, so I called up my sister (who just happened to be in town from Alaska!) and asked if she could take Emily while we went to the hospital. I told her it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.
Ben came home from school and took me to the hospital. After a check, they told me that I was dilated to a 3. I was quite surprised. After two more hours I had not progressed and I was sent home with pain medication and a reminder of when I should come back–when the contractions were strong enough.
We picked up Emily and profusely thanked my sister. I put her on baby watch, just in case the baby did decide to come.
I went home and tried to go to sleep but the contractions wouldn’t allow me to get comfortable. Ben suggested I take the pain killer. I did. It did not help.
In fact, my contractions became so strong that I could only lay on my side and moan. I tried to let Ben sleep as long as possible, but by 3 am they were too strong. I woke him up and informed him we were going back to the hospital.
He looked at me, said “Okay” and immediately fell back asleep.
I turned on the light and began to pack.
After I had everything in the bag, I woke Ben up again and said we were leaving now. He got the hint. He helped make sure I had grabbed everything we needed, and then fetched Emily.
While driving, Ben realized how close together the contractions were coming. He drove faster.
Once at the hospital, we were told that children under the age of 14 were not allowed inside. Yep. 4 am and we could not bring Emily inside. We begged for allowance until we could call someone and have them pick her up. The lady reluctantly agreed.
Once I was in the triage room, the nurse checked and said–you are dilated to a 5! You are staying!
Yes! I immediately asked for the epidural. She smiled and said she would notify the nurse anesthetist.
Now, I must tell you how grateful I am for friends. At 4 am, I knew who we could call to come and get Emily: My dear friend, Rachel. So, I called her and told her our predicament. She did not even think twice. She came to the hospital and picked up our sweet daughter. I gave Emily a kiss and told her I loved her. I would not be able to see her again until at least Monday.
A couple hours and an epidural later (which was so wonderful!), I was re-checked and told I was dilated to a 7 1/2. Ben called my sister and told her that if she wanted to see the birth she better start driving.
She got there right in time for the nurse to come in and say she was calling the doctor.
The doctor arrived, broke my water, and I began pushing.
5 minutes later, Andrew arrived.
Unlike the Emily’s birth, the nurse asked if I wanted him on my stomach immediately following the birth. I said yes, and got to share precious moments with him before they weighed him. It was a very spiritual and special time.
My sister left a while later to take over with the Queen. She kept her the rest of the weekend, bless her heart.
Since Andrew arrived 2 weeks before we expected, we were in a bit of a predicament. We could not bring Emily in the hospital, and Andrew wouldn’t be released until Tuesday morning, at the earliest.
My mother called and said she was flying in on Monday to help out.
After I was able to relax, my mind went back to the blessing Ben gave me. Even though the timing was off in my mind, Heavenly Father was looking out for us. He knew we would need help, so He helped my mother find a way to come out and help us. He knew Emily would not be able to come in the hospital, so He made sure my sister and friend were available to help us out. He knew Andrew would come early, but assured us that he would be healthy. Which, he was. The pediatrician was very happy with Andrew’s progress. Apparently most babies born near-term have respiratory and/or other problems, but Andrew did not. He was a very strong and healthy baby boy.
I will always look back at this birth and remember the many “little” miracles that accompanied it. For whatever reason, Andrew was supposed to come when he did. My body needed him to come out sooner than I expected. Nevertheless, everything has just worked out.