Yet, no activity. Nothin. I had been having contractions consistently for the last 3 weeks--breaking through the medications used to stop the contractions. Everyone, including our doctor, predicted that I would go into labor within hours of stopping the medication...but nothin' doin'...you had gotten cozy again and there were no signs of progress. So i started to prepare to go back to work. Which sounded completely overwhelming to me. For the last month, I had not walked further than the distance between my couch and my kitchen. And i had gotten really good at puzzles. So the thought of having to be on my feet and use my brain for a 10 hour day sounded more than daunting.
That week a friend had asked what would be "good news" for me in all of this? What could she pray for specifically in regards to your birth day? And I answered... if i knew that you would be ok... If i knew that i could avoid the NICU and you would be well and healthy and have everything you need to thrive outside of your internal home...good news would be for you to come before i had to go back to work....which consequently, was the following Monday. Just a few days away.
But before Monday, was Saturday, March 26th and KU was playing in the elite 8. Oh also- it was your Daddy and I's 6th wedding anniversary. So we decided to celebrate on Friday the 25th, to avoid having to spend our anniversary celebration watching the KU game at a bar. Romantic...but not my jam.
We went to the plaza and walked around. I wore a dress. We ate at season's 52 and had 4 desserts. We went shopping on the plaza and took selfies in the dressing room, completely unaware of what was going to follow in the hours to come.
You had different plans.
1:45am--I had been in bed for about an hour and your daddy was just climbing into bed. I got up and went to the bathroom, as i was getting back into bed, i felt a sudden, gush of fluid.
"I think my water just broke!"
And so you began your entrance into this world.
Your daddy started running around the house in a bit of a panic trying to get everything ready. And i sat, on the toilet, trying to figure out how to get up without making an amniotic mess.
2:20am- We were loaded up in the truck and headed to the hospital. I had called your Nanny and your aunt Jamie to let them know you were coming and instructed them on how to rally the troops.
We checked into the hospital.
3:00am- Sitting in triage, the nurse checked my progress--Only dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced--not much change from the last few weeks. Contractions had started, coming about 5 min apart. They were painful, but manageable.
4:00 am- We got to our room and i started walking around in between contractions. I remember thinking to myself, and actually saying out loud as i paced, "i can do this." "I got this." "This isn't so bad." The contractions were terribly painful, but i had a nice break of a few minutes in between. This was a doable.
The nurse told me she would check me again around 6am to see if i had progressed, but assured me it was only because Dr. Kimmel wanted to know where i was at, and that i shouldn't expect much progress.
2 hours. I thought we should get settled in and try to get into a rhythm, thinking we would be at this a while.
4:50 am- less than an hour later- things were happening. I was starting to feel a lot of pressure and was having a hard time managing the intensity and frequency of contractions. I asked your daddy to have the nurse come in. She put me on the monitor and said that contractions were picking up, lasting longer and coming faster. I asked if i could get into the bathtub. The nurse had originally told me i shouldn't get into the tub "too early" into labor as it can tend to slow labor if i wasn't far enough progressed. At this point, I was sitting on the birthing ball and my body was shaking uncontrollably. She mentioned she thought maybe i was in transition... the final and most intense stage of labor... I heard her, but thought to myself, it's only been like 2 hours..there's no way that this is almost over. She suggested that the tub would be a good idea at this point.
I got into the bath and continued to labor with the help of your daddy. He called your Nanny, Aunt Kelsey and Aunt Jamie and told them if they were going to be here for your birth, they better get here quick. Nanny got to the hospital sometime while i was in the bath. A few min later Aunt Kelsey arrived.
I didn't notice. All of my energy was focused on the work that was upon me and before me.
Pain would come in waves, i would lock eyes with your daddy who would calmly nod and whisper, "just like that. you're doing great. yup just like that."
5:30am- I had been in the bath for about 30 min and your daddy thought it was time to get out. Something was changing again. We called the nurse and she came in. I asked to be checked again.
7 cm. 0 station. 100% effaced. You were coming.
"have you called Dr. Kimmel?" I asked anxiously. Shoot. 4 cm in 90 min...she better get here FAST.
"I called her a few min ago, she's on her way."
I have no idea when she arrived, but i remember hearing her voice and a wave of reassurance rushing over me. She was the most calm and steady woman. She brought with her peace and confidence. Just the things you want in the woman who is helping you bring your baby earth-side.
6:15am- your Aunt Jamie arrived.
Dr. Kimmel checked me again- 9cm. She let me have another few contractions and then it was time.
The pain and tension between 7 and 10cm was unlike anything i had experience thus far. The pain of contractions, everything in my body, surging to expel the being inside me, and the knowledge that if i did before i was ready, i would do damage to my body, causing me to have to hold back. Tension. That's the best word to describe it.
i was told that pushing would "feel good" because it would take away the pain of contractions.
Did it lessen the pain of contractions? Sure. At least i think it did.
Did it "feel good."
I won't go into detail--but if you so desire- you can inquire about "the ring of fire" to any woman that has had a baby without pain meds....they'll tell you. Oh they'll tell you.
However---8 min later---8 minutes of pushing, ended when i heard your heart rate drop on the monitor and was told that if we couldn't make some serious progress with this next push, scalpels and stitches would be needed to get you out.
Hell no again.
I gave it my all, with the thought of you, and the desire to avoid unnecessary incisions, out you came.
Those watching said it was a good thing Dr. Kimmel was a good catcher, because neither of us wasted time--you would ready and so was I.
Bowen Thomas Blake
Born March 26th, 2016 at 6:47 am--three and a half weeks early, but right on time.