Week 38 came and went with only a little progress made (2cm, 50-70% effaced, -1 station) and I was beginning to panic after the nurse at my doctor's office asked if I had considered my induction options...yikes. Thankfully, my doctor is really supportive of natural childbirth and didn't seem to be in any rush to push for scheduling something, but we did decide to sweep my membranes that day (probably me more than him) to naturally "encourage" labor. That was Thursday, November 20.
I had decided to start my maternity leave the next day because I was still sick and just wanted to spend time with Silas and try to relax. We spent that Friday doing pretty typical things including a play date at Chik-Fil-A, time at the park, and my Pilates class.
*Fun fact: my Pilates class is awesome! I've been going since I was 6 months pregnant with Silas. Not only are the women (and a man named Tom) funny, but they're super supportive; no one complained with the crazy amounts of weighted squats we did for weeks, my teacher, Jana, would text me in the middle of the night to tell me she was praying for me and has encouraged me for months in my task of raising two little boys to be godly men. Jana also took me for a brisk walk and two rounds of walking up and down the stairs at Big Spring Park after class that Friday to encourage labor; she's a wonderful lady.*
I started having inconsistent Braxton Hicks type contractions right as I was laying Silas down for the night. They ranged from 10 to 8, even 5 minutes apart for almost 2 hours, but that had happened before and I had no intention of calling Adam (who was at a soccer game) or anyone else because I just knew nothing would come of them.
By the time Adam came home (around 10:30) the contractions had stopped and I was resigned to the fact that I would be pregnant forever. Adam suggested we watch a movie and relax, so we started watching "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and a few minutes into the movie, another Braxton Hicks came while I started coughing very violently. Mid cough, I felt a distinct "pop"...my water had broke! I uttered a curse word and told Adam, who didn't believe me until I stood up...definitely no mistaking that puddle. *Adam likes to retell this portion of the story as him saying "Cowabunga!" when my water broke...for the record, he did not. :)*
We started contacting everybody because we knew I was group B strep positive and needed to get to the hospital sooner than we did with Silas (this was about 11:15). We took a shower, threw some things in a bag, and waited to hear back from the doctor on call. Turns out, the doctor that first contacted us was not the doctor on call for private patients (our doc is with a teaching practice at UAB) so we had to call the answering service back and wait for the correct person to tell us what to do.
Last belly pic taken after my water broke.
This cracks me up! Adam drew the "9" on the board and was very proud ;)
While we were waiting, our awesome neighbor, April, came over to stay with Silas while my family was driving from Chattanooga. My contractions started coming closer and closer together and we decided it was time to go even though the doctor hadn't called us back yet. The hospital actually had wheelchairs this time, which was great because contractions were really starting to hurt. Winnie, Kayla, and Marcelle met us at the desk and then we were off! I think it was about 1:30-1:45am by that point.
Kayla, photographer and friend extraordinaire.
Painful walk from the bathroom after changing into my lovely gown.
Adam and I laughing about the "no water" labor rule.
Winnie was excited to assist if I vomited.
Once I had changed and laid in bed, Marcelle checked me and I was 6cm, -1 station. They started my IV for the antibiotics, but had a little trouble getting a vein. That was really hard to lay still with a needle being placed! I felt sick, as though I needed to vomit and I was having horrible heart burn which made it hard to relax, besides the fact that my contractions were coming so close together. Heart burn during labor is a nightmare.
Marcelle and my other awesome nurse searching for a vein.
My fantastic coach encouraging me.
I really love him.
Maybe 20 minutes after Marcelle had first checked me, I felt like my body was starting to push. She checked me again and I was 7-8cm, 0 station. I heard them calling the doctor and rushing around and less than 5 minutes later, I was pushing...or my body was pushing...or both; I have no idea how much I actually pushed. Honestly, by that point, I was screaming, grunting, and wishing for an epidural because I had no breaks between contractions...they were so intense and so fast. I felt completely out of control.
I wanted to move, thinking that I'd feel better, but it would just send me into another contraction. I asked for the squat bar, but I couldn't get into position even with Adam attempting to help because Elijah was coming fast and furiously and the doctor had not shown up. I remember Marcelle telling me to breath through a contraction so I didn't "blast him out"and that was the only relief and control I really felt during the last part of labor. Poor Adam had no idea Elijah was coming until Marcelle said she could see his eyebrows! To be honest, I didn't think I was that close to being done until I heard that too. Sweet, little, Elijah came a few seconds after that and his warm, slimy, body was placed on mine and all of the pain (and fears I had of loving another child as much as Silas) faded away.
Marcelle delivered Elijah because the doctor never came. They had to pull another doctor from another practice (away from another delivery) to check the placenta and me for any tears (none..yippee). The doctor on call for my practice was asleep down the hall and showed up about 20 minutes after Elijah was born, but that was fine because I think it is so special he was delivered by someone we know and love :). Elijah was born at 2:29am, less than 3.5 hours after my water broke, at 7lbs, 1oz, 18.5 inches of perfection.
Marcelle makes labor and recovery way more fun! She's the best!!
Winnie and Kayla took all of these amazing pictures and video. We are blessed to have such loving and talented friends to spend the wee hours of the night in the hospital with us to document Elijah's arrival. They are also great comic relief; they were cracking me up, the best medicine after giving birth.
He still despises bath time.
Daddy holding Elijah for the first time.
...and Winnie posing for pictures.
Adam and I have decided that one of the most exciting things about having Elijah is getting to see Silas interact with him. Seeing our two boys together is the sweetest thing because we are seeing our prayers being answered, that Silas would love his brother well and would welcome him as a best friend. Yes, Silas is sometimes not nice to Elijah, but he's not perfect and we don't expect him to be. The important thing is that 90% of the time, Silas dotes on his little brother and he often tells us, "No, that's mine!" when we pick Elijah up after Silas has been "playing" with him. He also loves to kiss him and hold his hand.
Our little family of 4!
Proud big brother :)
Proud parents taking Elijah home!
I love our little family. I'm excited for the Lord to bless us with more itty bitties...in time ;) Right now, we will just snuggle our early Christmas gift.
Merry Christmas from the Elmore 4!