As November was coming to a close, I was totally over being pregnant. I mean, actually begging God in prayer to please bring this baby already. Seriously. There may have been a few tears. Or more than a few. The weekend after Thanksgiving, I decided to go ahead and put up our Christmas tree, mostly in hopes that the baby would come and it would be done. We actually got up our tree in November, people. November. That has never happened.
That Saturday evening I started having quite a few contractions. I was really hoping they meant that it was baby time, even though Jeff had a full day of obligations the next day. He was teaching a new members class in the morning, then our regular worship in the afternoon. I didn't even care - I just wanted the baby to come. Of course, the contractions just petered out and nothing happened.
Sunday evening I had a few more contractions but I went to bed bummed that again, nothing was happening. Around 3 or 4, the contractions woke me up. Right away, they were painful. More painful than I remembered. I started thinking about how much I was looking forward to an epidural, but they were not very frequent - every 7 minutes or something. I always tell my patients to come in when they've been having contractions every 4 minutes for an hour, so it didn't seem like this would get anywhere. Around 5:30, I woke Jeff up because I figured we needed to get the kids dropped off soon if we were going to the hospital. The contractions were still very painful, though not any more frequent, but I was worried we might run out of time if we waited until they were more frequent. I called my friend who was going to watch the kids soon after (bless her for taking my pre-6am phone call) and we got the kids in the car a little after 6.
Although I know that the 7am shift change is just about the worst time to get to L&D, it couldn't really be helped. I actually got lost on my way to L&D since I had never been in this hospital before. I had tried to pre-register, but apparently my email never got to the right person, so I stood there at the desk, hurting while they took my info. Then I was put into the triage room and the nurse told me I was 4cm. Hallelujah! That meant I could stay and the baby was coming.
As soon as I got to the room, I told my nurse I was ready for the epidural. After my labs came back (about 30 minutes or something) the anesthesiologist came and put it in. I was really hurting with every contraction while I was waiting and I wished I had taken some kind of bradley class or other childbirth class to help. Looking back, I realize I was actually in transition and even though I got the epidural as soon as I could, I still would have really benefited from some better way of dealing with the pain.
Just like with Judah, the epidural never really worked well, and almost not at all on my left side. Just after they put it in, the baby's heartbeat dropped for several minutes, which was a little scary, but with some oxygen it recovered.
Just after this, the nurse checked me and told me I was at a 9. I was shocked that it had gone so quickly. She called the doc again to make sure she was coming. Jeff had stepped out during the epidural placement, so the nurse went and looked for him. By the time he got back, I was feeling lots of pressure, like I needed to push. The nurse tried to get me to wait since the doctor was just a few minutes out. I was very thankful that the OB I had been seeing was on call and came for the delivery. As soon as she got there, it was time to push. The baby's heartrate dropped again so they encouraged me to push quickly. Just a few pushes and there he was!
Like my other babies, there was meconium, and with the low heart rate, the doctor and nurses were not really focused on the baby's gender. I pushed him out, and then had to ask if it was a boy or girl because I couldn't see that part of him. Jeff's voice cracked as he told me it was a boy. Hooray! Thankfully, he came out crying so I got to hold him for a bit before they cleaned him off.
(Not a pic from the delivery day, obviously.)
Because of how fast everything went, I didn't call my mom or anyone to tell them I was heading to the hospital. I had planned on doing it after the epidural when everything calmed down. But since that never happened, my first call after he was born was to my mom, to tell her she had another grandson.
We named him Ezra, which means "God is our Help, " something that has certainly been true during this cross-country transition. It's also been a good reminder to me as I have been realizing that having 3 kids is no walk in the park. I mean, I love them all, but some days are really hard. His middle name, Major, is after my granddad - a Godly man who loved his wife and family and could fix or build almost anything. Ezra also shares a middle name with my younger brother Abram, another great guy we can't wait for Ezra to get to know more.