Thursday, July 14, 2016

Welcoming Haven (Part I)

*do not read if you are pregnant and have not yet given birth.

The closer I came to August 6th, the further away it seemed. The weeks stretched on while everything in me yearned to meet this little girl who would, somehow, be our own.

When I woke up with Contractions at 5:15 last Wednesday, my only thought was; "Oh, no..."

Five weeks was too early. I wanted early. Not this early. The house wasn't ready, Auntie Kara wouldn't be able to make it in time, I hadn't had a chance to put meals in the freezer for when my family came, the cabin needed cleaned (all of our energy had been poured into the new house for the past weeks), I hadn't even ordered any nursing tops.

Worse than that: what if she wasn't ready.

What then.

Most of the day was spent in bed. Every time I got up, the contractions came a little stronger. I was doing everything to slow them down and keep her inside for even ONE more, precious day. When my water broke at 1:00, I gave up and started packing.

With no reversal or delay possible now, a calm came over me as I set about to prepare for what was coming. My sister in law (a labor and delivery nurse) brought some gadgets from work and came over to confirm my suspicions. Yup. It was the real thing.

I allowed myself to be excited.

I texted Ethan that my water had "broke," but there was no need to rush (I wanted to wait for stronger
contractions before leaving for the hospital.) He rushed, anyway. When he came up the cabin stairs and opened the door he looked at me with relief. "And you're just standing there..."

We ate supper, put the car seat in the car, took showers, unpacked the last of the baby shower gifts - and then the contractions started to become slightly more substantial. We stopped by my personal nurse for a quick consultation, then headed off into the stormy night.

It was 11:00 pm

In the car my contractions sped up to five minutes apart and 1 - 2 minutes long. As soon as we got to the hospital, they slowed to ten minutes apart. Talk about frustrating.

The Midwife (I was so thankful that a woman was in charge of me: answered prayer! Not to mention the fact that she was a MIDWIFE!) came in before they showed us to our "suite" upstairs, and said that if the contractions didn't become more regular before 3:00 am, petosin would be a good idea.

Now, I am a first-time Momma, but I did know a little better than that. Conversations that I'd heard and overheard since childhood firmly suggested staying away from petosin at all costs, if you plan on laboring naturally. Nuff said.

I began to pray, and walk the halls.

With each turn around the aforementioned hall, I felt progress. But finally, progress didn't feel so great. I took another turn and realized, wide-eyed, that walking was, perhaps, a bit less of a necessity than I thought. Bed sounded wonderful. But I knew it wouldn't help.

I begged the nurse to check me again.


Well, that's better than "two" when I had first come in. I was satisfied that I had made progress.

What did it feel like? I can't really call it pain; pain, in my mind, is piercing and sharp. This was a dull ache in my back and low abdomen that turned into an ever-tightening, ever-brightening climax. It climbed up into the torso, and deepened to cramp all the way to your ankles. When you really couldn't handle the giant muscle-tensation anymore, it went on foreveeeer, then slowly ebbed to release.

Walking and swaying and showering would help. But the nurses needed to monitor my contractions again; which meant lying still in bed again.

I tried. I really tried. Labor was really, exactly what I had imagined it to be. Not less, and only a tad bit more. I had always had it in my head that I would be as natural as possible; but I had also decided that if it was too much, medical "help" wasn't out of my range of thought.

The nurses re-attached me to the monitor, and I set my head to handle 20 minutes of lying in bed. Ethan stayed with me, holding my hand; silently supporting.

And then all my good intentions were gone. Smashed. Demolished. The hardest contraction of my life took hold.

"Slow down, hon. Deep breaths."

Slowing down and deep breathing seemed a poor choice at the moment.

It stretched long...and longer...and I kept waiting for it to let go.

When I could take no more, I felt the tension ease.

"Ethan...Would it be wrong," I mumbled, weakly, "to get something for pain?"

"No..." He said more, but I don't remember it.

Another contraction came crashing behind the first.

"Get the nurse," I panted. "Quick!"

She did come quick; mercifully.

She said something about "sweet girl", but I didn't catch the rest.

"How long until it starts working?"

"About a minute and thirty seconds - "

"Thank you, Lord", I prayed aloud, as the contraction eased off under the medication.

Or so I thought.

Another tightened, equally as intense as the last two. "Ethan!" I begged, "they must have got my weight wrong - it's not working! Tell her to come back!" (Yes. I was loopy. As it turns out, the medicine she gave me was designed to allow the pain to continue - but make the patient sleepy.)

I'm sure Ethan must have chuckled to himself. I did, afterwards. Thankfully, "afterwards" was coming sooner than even the nurses suspected.


Sarah said...

What a cliffhanger!!! :-) Congratulations, Ethan and Anna!!! Welcome, sweet baby Haven. You are loved by so many, what a wonderful family to be cherished by. :-) Can't wait to hear the rest of the story and see pictures!!!! God bless all three of you. With much love from Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Yay baby Pritchard is here! It's so exciting!!

Justin and Kaitlyn said...

Congratulations Ethan and Anna! Looking forward to more pictures of your little bundle :)