Early Arrival pt. 1

When the man in the pulpit talked about giving birth and paused to ask me "Has that baby dropped yet?" I should have known we were in the final days.  When my feet suddenly started swelling ridiculously after being up and about for a few hours, I should have paid attention to the signs.  When I couldn't go to sleep because I just *had* to clean my bathroom, I should have known labor was imminent. 
But I was in denial.  

My "due date" said end of February, and Little Man had a birthday party coming up, and I really wanted their birthdays to be farther apart than just two days, and I didn't want My Airman to miss any more days with our newest Little Mister than he had to, and I had a thousand other reasons why I was not ready to have a baby just yet ... but all the reasoning in the world won't work with a baby on the way.  

They come when they come.  And nine days before the "official" due date, this Little Mister was on his way...

Wednesday night at church, everyone was asking me just when this baby was coming.  "I have another week and a half, people.  Stop bothering me!"  Okay, I didn't really say that, but I was thinking it.  ;o)  I had a few Braxton Hicks contractions during service, but I'd been having them off and on for a week now, so I thought nothing of it.  And, yes, at 11:00 at night, I was in my little bathroom, scrubbing away at the sink until it sparkled.  Little did I know...

I awoke from a deep sleep around 3:30am to go to the bathroom.  Then a certain Little Guy came in my room, so I took him potty, got him a drink, and settled him back to bed.  After situating myself back under my covers, I noticed a slight tightening around my abdomen and briefly wondered if I was having a contraction.  I quickly brushed the thought aside and tried to go back to sleep... but I couldn't.  I was wide awake.  

Then came another gradual tightening and releasing of the belly.  Not painful, but distinct.  After a few more of those, panic started to rise up inside.  Lord, I can't go into labor today!  Not today... it's the birthday party for our Little Man, and I can't cancel his party!  And then I went back to being in denial.  Stop worrying, woman!  No way I'm in labor now.  It is too early.  You are freaking out for no reason!  And back to stressing: Lord, please, please, please... even tomorrow would be better than today.  I really wanted to wait until next week, but please, could we just wait until tomorrow???

This continued for another half an hour, I'm sure.  Back and forth.  Lots of tears.  Back and forth.  More tears -- tears for the birthday party that would be canceled (I was so afraid Little Man would resent his little brother for being the reason his party was postponed.), tears for having to be in labor without my wonderful husband, tears for the first moments of life that My Airman would miss out on, tears for the unknown.  

The contractions didn't stop, and I could tell they were starting to last a bit longer and get a little stronger.  Finally, I decided I needed to quit blubbering and suck it up.  If I was in labor, then I needed to get moving if I was going to get anything done before this baby came!  Thankfully, I had packed my suitcase {mostly}, washed baby's clothes, and set up the bassinet.  All I needed were a few last minute things: the camera, kindle, my contacts/glasses.  Just little odds and ends that I couldn't put in earlier.  The car seat was ready to go, and I needed to start making some phone calls.

It was about 5am when I called my friend Monica.  {A dear friend and mom of six who was more than willing to come with me to the hospital while My Airman is away.}  Of course, her voice mail picked up.  I hate leaving messages anyway, but this time I felt horrible about it since I didn't even know that I really was in labor or not.  I think my message was something like, "Hey... well... I think I might be needing you to come over soon... I'm really not sure... but... I'm having some contractions and... well, call me back when you get this."  

I debated on whether or not I should take a shower and get ready, but I was so tired and I think I was still in a bit of denial, so I opted against that.  I did compromise and brushed my teeth.  :o)  I decided to try calling Monica another time, but it went through to her messages again.  {I actually ended up leaving five messages when all was said and done.}  

I went downstairs to fill up my water bottle and then called the doula... no answer.  So I left a message with her.  Thankfully, she called me back right away.  I let her know that I thought I was in labor, but I didn't know how far apart the contractions were or anything.  I don't know what I wanted her to tell me on the phone, but I remember trying very hard not to cry (in hindsight, I realize these were just more signs I was definitely progressing in labor).  I think I just wanted her to tell me definitively whether I was in labor or not, but what could she know from a phone call?  

Next, I called the overseas number and talked to the sergeant at the desk.  I told him I didn't really have any information for him other than that I was pretty sure I was in labor, I didn't know when we would be leaving for the hospital, and could he please have my husband call when he got in?  The sergeant said My Airman should be in the shop in about 15 minutes, so he'd give him the info ASAP.  

Once again, I found myself fighting tears... all I wanted was to hear my husband's voice.  I wanted his words of support and encouragement.  I wanted him to rub my back and hold my hand.  I wanted SOMEONE to be there with me, but there I sat.  In the kitchen.  Alone.  

To be continued...
Click here for part 2.


JenT said...

Can't wait for the rest!
Seriously the preacher said that? I know you probably don't remember, but that is almost exactly what Pastor Monteith said to me the night before McKenzie was born! A Wednesday night service and he looked right at me and said, "You haven't had that baby yet?" But it was her due date that day. And sure enough I woke up the next morning in labor and had her that evening. :)

A Heart of Praise said...

Aww, that must have been hard! I can't imagine going through labor and birth without the support of having my husband with me! I admire you. :)

I'll admit I laughed when I read about the people asking you when you were going to have the baby and what you thought. :) I went over due six days with my third baby so it was a little different, but it about drove me crazy getting asked so many times when the baby was going to come, and if anything was happening yet. Haha :)

JenT said...

Arleeeene, the suspense is killing me! lol No, seriously I hope you're getting plenty of rest and have loads of help.

Himilce said...

Bless you both for your sacrifice for our country! I am sorry you had to go through these early stages of labor alone. (But we never are truly alone, are we?) I wish I lived nearby, I would have happily come over to help! Such an exciting thing, the birth of a baby. I kept telling my mom that I wanted her to be there when I had Elise. When I had Asher in AZ, I felt so lonely and like no one was there to celebrate this wonderful joy with me though I did have Nathan. I guess I just wanted family. I can't imagine what I would have been like without him there. You are a strong woman! I am so anxious to read the rest of the story... Did your friend show up? Did you have to go it alone? Update please!

Btw, you look amazing postpartum, I am jealous!

momm2six said...

Yes, Himilce, her friend DID show up! ;) Sad she was alone those first couple hours of labor. But as you said, we are truly never alone! :) Every time I pictured her sitting alone in that dark house, laboring alone, Job 13:15 came to mind. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." What a caring, loving God we have! And what an exciting event it was. I'll forever be grateful to have been a part of it! ♥