I’m here still in the hospital having just nursed little Will and thought I’d update with more details for those of you who are curious.
It all started, well, I don’t know when to say it all started. By God’s great design he blessed me with several evenings this week of “prelabor” which were not painful, but were causing early changes and preparations for labor. Wednesday, I woke with light contractions. All day Wednesday I had early labor contractions, but they were far enough apart that I did not consider myself in labor. In the evening they began to get closer together. It was not until 11:00 pm when I headed to bed and couldn’t sleep through them that I began to know that the baby was definitely on his way this time. Unfortunately, John and I didn’t sleep at all Wednesday night. Not only were the contractions uncomfortable enough to prevent that, I must say that even after all my impatient waiting these last couple of weeks, I panicked when I knew that labor was definitely here. I remembered all too well my last two labors and knew I didn’t really want to do it all again.
We labored all night, with my doula Lucy coming around 4:00 am to keep an eye on my progress. At 7:00 am we headed to the hospital (Willow Creek). I was not admitted right away because I had not shown a tremendous amount of progression, but after walking the halls for one hour, it was obvious that things were changing. After that point, things changed in an amazing way in comparison to my last two labors. I about gave up, wanted an epidural or something, but by the time they were ready to give it to me, I was well into transition and knew that it wouldn’t be the smartest idea at that point. I am afraid to say that I fought labor with all my might during those last few hours. I found it almost impossible to just relax and let my body do the work it needed to do. It was hard and painful, and pretty intense by the end. But finally at about noon, I was given the OK to push. We had a bit of difficulty at this as Will was stuck on my pubic bone, but after a change of position he slid right past it (but not without several bruises to show his trip). After that he came out pretty fast. I pushed for about 1/2 an hour. He is so big, not in a chubby way, but just a well filled out way that his chest is only 1/4 ” smaller than his head. Because of this the doctor had to really work him out, but amazingly to me, he did finally arrive and was placed on my stomach. I think the first thing I noticed when the doctor lifted him up (upside down) was that we indeed had our fist son. Then when they lay him on me, I noticed his weight. This whole pregnancy has been unreal in a way. I have found it hard to really bond with William before now, and so in a way I was surprised to be holding this little boy that I couldn’t imagine could be mine. I am still having a hard time believing it.
God did bless me in my labor, thanks so much to the prayers of many of you. It turned out to be about 13 1/2 hours, which may sound long until you realize that it is a mere half of what I have experienced before. I am recovering pretty quickly from the work of labor (no wonder they call it labor!). Already today I feel much better than I did yesterday. My doctor will be unable to come to discharge me until tonight as he delivered 3 other babies last night in Siloam. So I am in the process of making sure I can still start my anti-depressants today as that is an important step in our plan to manage post-partum depression. I am feeling emotionally well right now though, still floating on the high of birth and a new baby. I shed tears during labor for my darling Emma, but since Will’s arrival it has seemed so different than hers that it is hard to even compare the two. Which I imagine is a special blessing from the Lord.
Will is doing well. He kept me from getting too much sleep last night as we discovered that he is a born nurser and wants to practice quite frequently. I am glad that he is so easy to please though. When he is not hungry he is pretty content, mostly sleeping, thought we’ve seen him awake for at least an hour at a time, exploring the new world with both his ears and his eyes. He loves to be held, and of course loves to nurse, and apparently does not like pacifiers. They are a poor comparison in his opinion. 🙂 He shows every sign possible of being healthy and strong, from lusty cries and girlish screams (when he is taken from his favorite pastime of nursing), to good color and amazingly strong muscles. He has huge hands and feet, an extremely long torso, and stocky legs. His Nana says he looks like a little wrestler. He shares the same nose his two sisters have, though a bit pointier, so shares in resemblance to them, but at the same time displays a very definite boyish quality in his features. They were extra careful in his nursery checks yesterday owing to Emma’s history. He received a chest x-ray and some oxygen monitoring, but passed all with flying colors. Because he is so big he also was required to pass three blood sugar tests, which he did.
Well, this has gotten long. It is amazing how natural it is to brag about my little son. Thanks for your prayers about labor and delivery, which God has answered. Please continue to pray for the postpartum depression issues. It is still too early to tell how much we will be dealing with, but I know that God has the power to answer those prayers as well.