Who knew that giving birth would keep me away from blogging so long? Well, it wasn't actually giving birth that did it, since that only took a couple of hours. It's all that stuff that happens after you give birth. Okay, that brings up some very icky and vivid pictures in my mind. But I was actually referring to the stuff like nursing a baby, trying to coax a smile from a jealous two-year-old, attempting to keep your eyelids open after many not-so-sleep-filled nights, and changing diapers. Heavens! How do newborns go through so many diapers and clothes? If it's not poop, it's tee-tee, and if it's not that, it's spit-up. Those tiny bodies can produce lots of icky things.
This would be me thinking, "PLEASE get me an epidural."
See, it's taken me two days to get to this point in this entry. It's been a wonderful transition, though. God has richly answered my every prayer. Though there have been hard moments and hints of hormonal blues, I really think this has been the easiest transition of growing our family so far. Now, in a couple of weeks, when Sam is awake more and I actually have to plan and cook a meal for my family, I may be singing a different tune.
The Lord really has so graciously answered my every desire for this period of my life, and I just have to acknowledge that. My desire was to go into labor (and not wait until 39 weeks, which really felt more like 45 weeks, and be induced), and boy, did He answer that one. So, at 38 weeks and 1.5 days, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning not feeling so hot. I waited a little while, because this same thing had happened a few days earlier and turned out to be a false alarm. Once I started timing the contractions at 5am, I saw that they were regularly 5-6 minutes apart, so I made an important decision. I had to wash my hair. It's always important to be ready for all those pictures and guests that happen in the moments after giving birth. Priorities, people. I also called in the reserves (a.k.a. grandparents) to come watch over our little sleeping angels, and to wake them up and get them dressed and ready to meet their new little brother. By the time I was presentable, my bag was packed, and Papa arrived, it was 6:15, and I was in pain. However, the contractions were still five minutes apart, so I kept telling Chris to quit being dramatic and trying to drive like he was at Talladega. "It's not a big deal." Ha.
So, we arrive at the hospital a few minutes before 7am, and I walk to the elevator and down the 2nd floor hallway, where I'm told, without so much as a "how do you do" to walk to the 3rd floor. So, back to the elevator and down another hallway we go, where I'm greeted in a friendlier way, but then led on a walk to the building next door. Everyone is so smiley and calmly asking me questions and saying how tiny I am. But all that changes when my doctor walks into the little triage room I'm in (and my contractions are suddenly much closer together), examines me, gets a funny look on his face, and announces, "She's 9 centimeters." All thoughts leave my mind save one: "Oh, crap. My epidural!" The calm words and sweet smiles give way to at least five RN's (which I'm told is a lot) swarming around me, getting me to a real room, trying to find an anesthesiologist, starting an IV, plying me with important questions such as "So, how much weight have you gained?", and saying, "Stay calm. If your water breaks, it's all over." All that meant to me was, "If your water breaks, you're going all natural, girl."
This would be me thinking, "PLEASE get me an epidural."
I know some people's heart's desire is to experience natural childbirth. My heart's desire could not have been farther from that, but I was trying not to freak out. Thankfully, a kind doctor was found who was willing to give me an epidural without all the bloodwork usually required and was also willing to give me a big burst of super strong, fast-acting medicine. I got my epidural (another prayer answered) and got some relief from contractions (which weren't as bad as you'd think at 9-10 cm). Unfortunately, I was soon to find out that the medicine wasn't really as helpful from the hips down. Let's just say I came away almost feeling like a real woman and very certain that, however much that epidural did help, I didn't want to experience anything beyond that.
So, by 8:28am on Tuesday, September 28, Samuel Aaron had made his grand, fast, dramatic entrance into this world IN THE HOSPITAL, not the car, thank the Lord above. It seemed like I'd gone from days of thinking he'd never arrive to holding him in my arms before I could blink. God granted me a fun and memorable birth experience and blessed me with yet another healthy boy to hold in my arms. As miserable as pregnancy can be, I do love the experience of giving birth. It is indescribably miraculous, and to think I've been blessed to experience it four times is just unbelievable to me.
There are so many other ways that God has been so faithful to answer my prayers. Sam is healthy and beautiful and he is nursing really well (which, with my past experience, is a miracle to me). Luke had a few rough days, but God gave Chris and I grace and patience (for the most part) to handle it, and Luke has had a really great week this week. That's a huge praise in my book! We're blessed with family and friends who have helped out so much (I think Nana has ironed 83 pieces of clothing this week), and Sam is even sleeping well at night. Hallelujah! I'm blessed beyond measure and much more than I'll ever deserve, but I'm so grateful. We're just trying to enjoy these precious, fleeting, crazy moments and keep our sanity intact. It's been a hard week in other ways, but we'll save that for another day...