Finally. Here we are. Only 9 weeks from her birth. Her story. Eden Hope’s story.
Born: December 27th at 2:44am
Weight: 6lbs, 1oz
Height: 19 inches
Ok, her story begins the week before she made her appearance. But let’s recap first.
Eden is my 5th baby in six years. I’ve carried and delivered naturally (no c-sections) five babies. Five. So this isn’t what you call my first rodeo. I know a thing or two about having babies.
Says the mama who’s about to have experience thrown in her face.
Back to one week prior.
I should also say that I have never experienced false labor. For me, once the first signs of labor started, baby was on the way.
Ok, back to one week prior. (Oh my gosh, I’m driving myself crazy.)
Eden was born late on a Saturday night but that previous Monday I had taken all the boys to the Y to have a break from parenting and to walk the track. That had been my routine for some time but that day as I was walking I kept having to stop and breathe through painful…pain. I wasn’t necessarily terming them “contractions” yet. But it eventually got to the point that I barely made it down the stairs and to the bathroom to call my midwife’s office.
She wanted me to come in right away so I gathered all the boys and took them to her office. It was only right in the middle of lunch and nap time so not a big deal at all. Optimal time really. The pains continued and while I was there she said I was dilating and definitely in the early stages of labor and didn’t feel comfortable with me driving myself home to pack our things so to have Matt leave work and come get me.
Well, this was big because Matt has patients scheduled and his time off wasn’t set to start for another week so it was going to be a huge deal if it turned out to be nothing.
I bet you can see where this is going.
So we grabbed lunch, went home, I took a shower, packed my bags and then…nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not only had that never happened to me before but now Matt had canceled his patients for the entire week and it was looking like it was all going to be for no reason at all.
Ugh, the frustration.
(And I know, I know, babies will come when they’re ready but this is my story so blah, blah, blah.)
There’s a lot that happened during the following days (stripped membranes, walking, jumping jacks, etc.) but let’s move ahead to Saturday or we’ll be here all day.
Saturday morning (the day after Christmas) Matt and I woke up ready and recharged to walk this baby out. So we took the entire fam to the Y again where I speed-walked a mile and a half; whatever I could to encourage the whole baby actually coming out thing.
We decided to skip naptime and hit the mall and run errands and then we decided to go sledding again. We had already been sledding several times that week but I had just watched every time. But this time I decided I was going to sled too. And it was so much ridiculous fun. I belly laughed every single time I went down. It was one of the most fun times of that week for me.
We got back home a little after 5 and within an hour contractions had started again. But after my previous experience I was terrified to get my hopes up. We did alert our moms just in case it was the real deal and I walked our house while watching worship from Passion 2015. It’s such a sweet memory for me, walking the house in the dark with snow outside and worship inside. I love those kinds of memories that stay with you.
The contractions continued to pick up in intensity and were getting closer and closer together so we finally headed for the hospital around 8 that night where my midwife met us. They immediately got me checked in and hooked up, and when they checked me I was a…3.
A three. A measly, small, insignificant, tiny 3. Little bitty 3. Just sitting there, so cute, in its teensiness.
I was truly shocked. At the level of pain I was experiencing I expected to at least be a 6 or 7, based on my previous labors. Again, maybe I’ve had kids before? I don’t know. I was starting to second-guess my entire existence. I’ve had an epidural with every labor but I’ve gotten them when I was dilated to 8s and 9s, not baby-faced 3s.
Anyways, that set the precedent for an entirely different labor experience.
My midwife broke my water to keep things going and I turned down the epidural until I felt “like I needed it.” (Future me hates past me for that.) Matt and I walked the halls to keep moving and after one particular contraction that doubled me over in the halls, I said, I want to go back and get the epidural now.
So we made our way back but every contraction that hit doubled me over until I barely made it to the room. Matt let the nurse know who then made her way to me and what I can now recognize as that tone of voice you use with unstable people said, He (the anesthesiologist) just went next door.
Next door, like another building, next door? I asked with crazy eyes.
No, next door to another laboring woman’s room, she responded with such the utmost care.
Commence literally the most physically painful hour of my entire life. Listen, I’ve experienced transition pain. I know what contractions feel like. I love natural births and home births and birthy births. I love everything about them. Never enough to experience one completely, but I still love them.
No. Not after this. Honestly, this is the one labor I don’t look back on fondly, except for to be glad it’s over. I have never panicked like I did with Eden’s labor. Every time a contraction would begin I would start crying all over again and sink into a dark pit of despair. I literally (I can’t think of another way to describe it) felt like my bum was going to split in half.
This continued for an hour at least, during which time I may probably have said things like, I just hate her. Her being the laboring woman next door. And, Babe, please just go in there and ask him what’s taking him so long. There being the laboring woman’s room.
|Matt was amazing. So steady and calm and ready to help however I needed him. Except for barging into our neighbor’s room. He drew the line at helpfulness right there.|
Finally (FINALLY) he came to our room, I loved him at first sight, he placed my epidural, and I settled in for some rest. (I don’t know what time this was, but after 11 I think? Maybe later?)
At 2:30 in the morning on the nose, I felt something in my body drastically shift and change. I asked the nurse to check me and she said I was a 6, maybe a 7. Seriously, again I was so shocked. I expected to be complete with the way my body felt and the way I was feeling the contractions and bearing down, even with the epi.
Turns out I did know a little something about labor because 14 minutes later, Eden was born. In 14 minutes, I went from a 6 to complete to a baby in my arms.
Oh, that relief to hold her! To finally have my sweet baby girl in my arms. I cannot even describe it. I didn’t even cry, I just stared and stared at her face, just overcome and overwhelmed that she was finally here.
And she was so tiny! Barely cracking 6 pounds, a teeny squish of delight.
Unfortunately, after her birth things went downhill very fast. Matt said it looked like a scene out of a movie.
|Eyes swollen shut, barely out of surgery, oxygen in, massive blood loss, and all I kept asking for was Eden. Amazing how deep God makes a mother’s love.|
But I’ll have to save that for Part 2! Coming soon, I promise!
Part 2 here.