Monday, February 28, 2011

Jude's Birth: Finally, Labor Begins

[part 3: waiting]

Every time I woke up during the night of October 20-21 and was not in labor, I fretted about what was going to happen at my prenatal the next day. I was full of fear, not faith.

Then I woke up around 4:00 and felt...*different.* No contractions yet, but Jude had definitely dropped. I went to the bathroom and just knew in my gut—this was it.

My first contraction came a few minutes later. Steve and I got up around 4:45; we showered and ate, and Steve started setting up the birth pool. I'm sure it sounds like this was all premature, since I had had only two contractions and they weren't anywhere near needing to be timed...but I just had this feeling that this was the day, and I didn't know how quickly things might move. Since my midwife and doula were both an hour or more away, I was anxious for them to be here. I called them around 5:30. Then I texted and emailed several friends who had promised to pray for me during labor, and we called our parents to let them know things were starting. I know I was carried by those prayers!

My doula, Dee, arrived around 7, followed shortly by my midwife, Susie. Then I had to deal with the childcare drama a little more. Making plans for where Elijah would go during the birth (I did not want him around, for his sake and mine) had turned into a giant, crazy mess; the arrangements were literally changing daily. As many as six different people were on call to pick him up depending on when I went into labor.

When I called my friend who was up for Thursday (whom I had only just arranged the day before!), I found out that she wouldn't be able to keep him past early afternoon. So in between contractions, I was making a list of people for her to call to find someone to pass him off to! I was a little stressed and felt terrible for Elijah, but when she came around 9:00, Elijah was excited to see his friends and happily got in the car. Huge relief. Now I could really concentrate on laboring.

Dee was amazing. She knew just what to say and do to help me through a contraction. She was full of encouragement, saying I was handling it beautifully, doing everything right. And I did feel much more confident and in control this time, much more able to relax. Dee would rub my back, pray for me, read Scripture, let me lean over her helpful. And as skilled as she was, she didn't crowd Steve out. Once he wasn't busy with the pool, she encouraged him to jump in and helped him know what to do.

My playlist of songs about not fearing, trusting the Lord, His nearness, etc., was hugely beneficial. It gave me something to think about besides the pain, helped me preach truth to myself. At one point early on, I was laboring on an exercise ball, leaning over a pile of pillows on the bed, and as I listened to the lyrics of one of the songs, I started to weep. Dee asked what was wrong, and I said that I was just blown away by how faithless and full of fear I had been, and how merciful God was. I felt broken, repentant, amazed by His grace and kindness in spite of me.

[part 5: hard work, but not alone]


Mel said...

I would LOVE to know the titles off your playlist of birth music!

LeAnna said...

I have SO enjoyed reading this series so far...sharing your experience and God's faithfulness is so touching.

Ali said...

Josh has been making a playlist for our labor for about a month now. But I'd love to know what songs were on yours. Perhaps a near-future post??