Part one of three of Heath’s birth story because you know I can’t keep anything short. Everything in italics is from Steve’s point of view. Enjoy.
At 41 weeks and 1 day, Tuesday January 31st 2017 started out exactly like the previous 288 days started out. I woke with an ever-growing belly and absolutely no contractions.
I was getting pretty discouraged that you weren’t going to come on your own at this point because we were quickly approaching 42 weeks. We had passed 40 weeks and 4 days–the longest I had previously been pregnant, I was having no painful contractions, I felt great–honestly like I could’ve carried you for an entire extra month, and in a 2 week time span at full-term we had a snow storm followed by 70 degree weather, multiple thunder showers, a new moon, all 3 of your due dates, AND a full moon that was, of all days, on Friday the 13th and you did n.o.t.h.i.n.g. Nothing! Everyone else in Charlotte delivered with all that cosmic craziness, yet you stayed nice and comfy. How is that even possible? It’s laughable really.
That morning I got up for my last prenatal visit knowing I was going to be scheduling an induction and just praying that I wasn’t going to have to go straight to the hospital because of low amniotic fluid levels. We were having my fluid level measured because my belly had been measuring a couple weeks behind, which made me figure it would be low. And it was, 5.1 and you want it to be at least 8. Luckily it wasn’t low enough to warrant an immediate induction, but between that, your due date being a little iffy, and a belly that was measuring behind we scheduled your induction for the following night February 1st at 9pm.
I was pretty sad.
Sad because I knew my body could do it, it had done it with your sister, and I wanted it to do it again. There’s something so powerful and beautiful to me about the way a woman’s body knows what to and when to do it when it comes to labor. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to see it day in and day out in my profession and I spent 10 months letting the excitement build that it was soon going to be my turn to be on the opposite side of the bed rails. I was ready for my body to feel all that power. I was excited for labor and I didn’t want any help getting there.
Sad because I felt I had given you every opportunity to come on your own. I had passed up offers to be induced early, I went on long walks, ate spicy foods, and filled all my days surrounding your due dates with plans to see people, days to work, and way more to-dos than I ever thought I’d possibly be able to accomplish all with the hope that “you make plans and God laughs” and you’d come somewhere in the midst of all that “messing up” my plans.
And sad because my only birth plan was to not have a c-section and I’ve seen far too many inductions lead to them. I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced, which I had been for about 3 weeks and it was not the most ideal place to start for a successful induction. Plus being a nurse there seems to be a black cloud around our labors and deliveries, and there also seems to be a cloud around anyone with a birth plan, as in basically your birth goes the exact opposite of your plan. Granted not having a c-section isn’t much of a birth plan, but still, I was convinced that if I had to be induced I was going to end up with a section.
Before leaving the office I had my membranes striped in a last-ditch effort to get you here on your own. I held back tears as we left and then called your grandparents and a couple friends to let them know what the plan was. Everyone’s excitement was contagious and as the day went on I got more excited and accepted that it wasn’t in the cards for you to come on your own and that was okay. Okay because really the ultimate birth plan was to get you here safely, happy and healthy. It also meant that you would most likely be born on 2-2-17 and that would be cool since your sister was born on 10-14-14 and I like when numbers work out like that. And most importantly it would mean that we could have you and be home in time to watch the Super Bowl from the comfort of our own couch on Sunday. Kidding. Kinda….but the falcons did blow a historic 25 point lead…just another crazy thing that happened.
For the rest of the day I took it easy. I went to lunch with your sister and Grandpa Grumple, didn’t go on any long walks, didn’t do any cleaning and didn’t do anything to try to get you here quicker. I just completely enjoyed you being in my belly and the start of what I thought would be the last 36ish hours with your sister. While we went to lunch your dad worked on a console table for me that I had been asking for for Christmas. I really wasn’t expecting it to be finished before you arrived because he only started building it a couple days after your due date, but around 3 o’clock it got moved into the house. He’s super impressive! I put your sister down for her nap and then you and I went to Target to get a few decorative pieces for the table.
As we were perusing the aisles I started to feel my belly tightening, which I thought nothing of because we had gone through this every night for the past week. I would have completely painless contractions all night and they’d disappear with the sunrise. Granted they didn’t usually start so early in the night, but still no biggie. At this point I had accepted that we would be moseying into the hospital after putting your sister to bed the following night and I didn’t give the contractions a second thought.
After spending too much time and money at Target like I always do we made our way back home and decorated the table. Your sister was occupied by your dad and Papa Nubie, which meant I truly had nothing to do but to sit down on the couch with my feet up. Then at 630pm I felt my first real contraction. It wasn’t anything that took my breath away, but it was way more than the tightening I had been experiencing. At 636pm another one came and I texted your dad telling him that maybe we would be going to the hospital before our induction after all…..