I’ve just given birth to my third baby . . . Andrew Gregory was born on August 10th and is almost 4 weeks old. As I’m making my final edits this morning he is paying his respects by spitting up all down the front of my nursing cami and I’ve changed 4 diapers in the past hour. This is my life. I have two beautiful girls as well, Ella (3 1/2) and and Avery (2). After each of them were born I wrote a detailed blog of their labor story. I’m so glad I did! Although it may be helpful and interesting for others to read I’m not gonna lie its mostly for me and for them to read one day. Andrew is our first boy, he was 10 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches long at birth, and he came with quite a story to tell. If you stick with this story you will see a message from God that came through so clearly. Walk with me, this is good stuff.
As I approached the end of my pregnancy with Andrew I had two main fears. The first was the fear of having another large baby. Every one of my babies has been large. Ella was 9 lbs 13 oz and Avery was 9 lbs 1 oz, both delivered naturally. So this time around I was really hoping for just an average 8 pounder. That would have been glorious. I knew I could give birth to another big baby somehow because my body has already done it twice, but I was scared to. Underneath it all was a real fear that if this baby was too big the labor would do more damage to my body and without going into too many details that was not a pleasant prospect!
In addition to this fear of having a large baby was the fear of having a large posterior baby. This is a pattern for me. My first baby was posterior (head down but facing basically front instead of toward my back) until the bitter end when she finally rotated and came out face down after almost 4 hours of pushing. My second baby was actually delivered facing up, or posterior. That was not a pleasant experience for me, although it was shorter, the delivery process was more painful in some ways. So as the due date grew closer I was really hoping and praying for an early delivery. Once I passed the 38 week mark I was trying all kinds of things to get this baby to come. All factors pointed toward the very real possibility that I could go into labor any time and that thought thrilled me. I knew the baby was plenty big and full term, so green light!
A hindering factor however was arranging overnight childcare for my two young girls. We talked to my parents on the phone and their already scheduled arrival to San Jose from Alabama was August 4th. My due date was the 7th. I made me SUPER nervous to think about them not being here on the ground when labor started, so after much discussion we all decided to move their tickets up 6 days to arrive on July 29th. This decision greatly reduced anxiety for me, and also built in extra time for them to be with the girls and visa versa, learning the bedtime routines and lunch foods and quirks that all toddlers have! We all figured it would be good to give them a few days to get into the routine and make everyone comfortable with the arrangement PRIOR to imminent labor. There was a peace and even seemed to be a spiritual confirmation that this was the right move. We felt this was a possible sign that things might be getting ready to happen!
Over the next two weeks I experienced the most up and down emotionally draining journey waiting for this baby.
- At my 38 week check I was starting to dialate and was 4cm and 70% effaced by my 39 week check. (I know this can be the case for weeks but its just another factor in a long list of things)
- At my 39 week check my midwife offered to meet me across the street at the hospital and break my water to get things going. (Tempting, but felt too aggressive to me, like I’d be taking control in a way that was too aggressive, since there was no medical reason to do so).
- Multiple trips to chiropractor who expressed her belief that this baby would come any day. She used “inductive” techniques that are pretty effective for bringing on labor).
- Mucus plug passed on Saturday August 1st! (typically believed to mean labor is 48-72 hours or less)
- I have SEVERAL scrap pieces of paper lying around that have my record of timing contractions. I was having contractions 7 min apart over a week in advance. Not just one day but almost every day!
- I purchased and was taking an all natural labor tincture suggested by my doula, I know its effective because I used it in lieu of pitocin with Avery’s labor and it worked like a charm to bring STRONG contractions. This time I took it for 5 days with no effect, at least that I could tell.
So here’s the situation. Every day for 12 days we all went to sleep hoping and expecting to wake up in labor. Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? You know, Bill Murray waking up to the same song and experiencing the same day over and over? We lived it! My parents would come out in the morning day after day and we’d all look at each other and say well, here we are, what do you guys want to do today? Here are some pics of how we spent our days. We had a fan cleaning party, went to breakfast, played with sidewalk chalk, set up the water table outside for the girls, my mom went to my Breaking Free Bible study with me not once but twice, and we did lots of just, well, nothing.
Nothing made sense to me. I didn’t understand why God did it this way . . . until it was all over. Often we don’t get to have that clarity in hindsight, and we never do understand why things happen the way they do. But this time I saw. And I want you to see.
Come back tomorrow for part 2, I’ll share with you two clear and specific messages that God communicated to my heart during those days of waiting. Have you ever had this experience? You are swimming neck deep in your own thoughts and then BAM! There it is. A perspective from God that demonstrates how well He KNOWS you and what is in your brain.