It was 11am. I’d stayed up until 4am the night before, just like every other night. I heard the shuffling of the family around 8am, but decided to turn over and go back to bed. Something told me to get in as much rest as I could this morning. It’s amazing how your mind and body know exactly what you need. They both knew, my body especially, that this would be the last morning I could lounge in bed without interruptions.
Once I dragged myself out of bed, I felt even more exhausted. I was rested, but my body ached, especially down in that pelvis area. During my doctor’s appointment a few days before, I wasn’t dilated but I knew my time was winding down. I shared with my doctor that I’d predicted the baby arriving August 30th. Since I knew he was a boy, that date had haunted my mind. He laughed and said “maybe so,” then sent me on my way to make next week’s appointment. As I walked through the hallway from our bedroom to the front of the house, I remembered that conversation. Then I remembered the date: August 30th.
Once I reached the kitchen, my husband was there to greet me with a smiling face.
“How did you sleep?”
“Horribly. I mean, I feel rested but my body hurts. I’m ready to sell it to someone else.”
“Are you hungry? What can I make you?”
” Yes, I’m a bit hungry but I have no clue what I want. Ummm…uh oh.”
“Uh-oh, what? What’s wrong?”
“I think…yeah… I’m pretty sure my water just broke.”
That was it. I’d never had my water break anywhere but at the hospital. I knew that my bladder wasn’t very reliable, but what I was feeling was not normal. As I ran to the bathroom, I was nervous and excited. This was it! Sort of. I think. After some time on the “royal throne” and a call to my doctor, we were officially on our way to the deliver our 3rd child.
Since no one but me expected this to happen on Labor Day weekend, the other kiddos joined us at the hospital. My parents were on their way to pick them up, but we basically had no time to wait for anyone. Bags were already packed, and we were good to go.
TMI ALERT: Leaking amniotic fluid while in your car, then in a wheelchair, is gross and not at all fun. The movies and TV shows get it all wrong.
Once we were all checked in, and I was hooked up to all kinds of machines, I was 2 centimeters dilated and I did indeed break my water. Since my last deliveries happened in less than a workday, the nurses wasted no time telling my doctor to get his buns to the hospital. The contractions were steady but bearable. I thought that I might actually be able to deliver without medication, just like I did with The Duchess. That is, until the plateau contractions started. They’re the ones that show up on the chart as plateaued mountains, very similar to the mountains that the Coyote falls off of when he’s chasing the Roadrunner. With each of those contractions, I felt just like that damn coyote. I reached 5 centimeters and decided to get an epidural.
I contracted intensely during the epidural procedure, but once it was done, I felt like a million bucks. I enjoyed my vacation from pain for about 45 minutes before I was informed that it was time. Time for what? To push. Yes, it happened that quickly. The was pressure down below, a scuffle in the room as the nurses prepped, and 3 quiet but painful pushes. That’s it.
At 7:32pm, weighing 6 pounds and 5 ounces, James Howard Martin entered this world.
He was loud, small and handsome. I loved him immediately.
After 8 and a half hours of active labor, and about 15 minutes of delivery, we went from a family of 4 to a family of 5. It felt just right. Like we were meant to be.
James has turned our world upside down these past 6 weeks, but we still can’t get enough of him. He’s my cuddle bug, our baby boy. I’m so glad that we can share him with you all.