It’s 4:30 a.m.—a time when mommies should be sleeping. Savannah has been a champ at night, but for some reason after getting her back to sleep a while ago, I couldn’t fall asleep myself. As long as the house is quiet, I might as well use this opportunity to tell Savannah’s story. And then maybe I can catch some sleep before the next feeding.
One week ago, it was February 26, 2008. I had gone to bed a little late the night before because a very special friend had called (and I was so glad to catch up with her). Aaron sensed the baby was coming soon, so he packed our hospital bags a little more, just in case. I, on the other hand, went to bed expecting to get a full night of sleep. I had no signs of labor at bedtime, therefore I was very surprised to wake shortly after 2:30 a.m. breathing through a contraction. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but minutes later I woke with another strong contraction. No more sleep for me! It was time to get up and go.
Because my labor with Madeline was so fast (about 2 1/2 hours), we knew we didn’t have time to waste. We packed our last few things, called our babysitter, talked to our midwife and headed out in the snow. (Yes, I once again did my make up before leaving! I didn’t want to look yucky in the post-delivery pictures!)
The roads were slightly covered with snow, but thankfully they weren’t too bad. We arrived at the Midland Hospital just after 4 a.m. My contractions were still about 5 to 6 minutes apart at that point, so I was pretty sure labor wasn’t going to go quite as quickly this time. Based on my last two labors, I guessed that I was dilated to about 5 to 6 cm. I was right! When Lynda, my midwife, checked me a little while later, I was 6 cm. dilated. Our nurse took us to our room, and we settled in. For the first time, we actually had a chance to relax and hang out between contractions. With Kayla my labor was too intense, and with Madeline it was too fast. But this time we checked our e-mail, played cards, and talked. It was really fun! (The nurses thought I was crazy when I told them I thought labor was fun. I guess they don’t usually hear that sort of thing.)
Around 7:30 a.m. I was about 9 cm. dilated, but my bag of waters hadn’t broken. My pain was also increasing (it really hadn’t been too bad up to this point). It turned out that little Savannah was trying to come out the wrong way! She was in the posterior position, meaning she was trying to come out face up. No wonder I had been experiencing so much back pain and pelvic pressure with contractions during the previous couple weeks! And no wonder I could see her fingers moving on my belly! She had been facing my abdomen for quite some time, but now we needed her to turn.
Lynda has me experiment with several different positions: lying on my left side, sitting on the big birthing ball, and sitting “Indian style.” Still no change. She also had me push a little bit to try to get my water to break. No change there either. The pain was getting pretty intense and making me nauseous, so Aaron had to keep the bed pan close. (Thankfully I didn’t end up needing it, though I may have felt better if I would have just given in and thrown up!) Lynda said my bag of waters was like steel, so she finally broke my water at 8:24 a.m. Shortly after that she wanted me to turn onto my right side to see if the baby would flip into the right position. I started pushing, she flipped (yea!), and then with a few good pushes out she came! Toward the end I didn’t think I could do it or take much more, but as always, God gave me the strength I needed. I was so glad Savannah was born! I asked my famous two questions: Is she ok? and Is she a girl? The answer to both was yes, and then the nurse put my screaming baby girl on my tummy. Aaron cut the cord and then snapped a few pictures. Savannah Grace was here! We were so happy.
So that’s the story! Overall it was a peaceful and wonderful labor; it just was a little more challenging and painful at the end. We thank God for His goodness to us. We are so blessed to be the parents of three precious daughters.
P.S. Savannah shares a birthday with her Aunt Rachel! The day Savannah was born, Rachel turned 21!
Wow–good job Jenni! And to Aaron for being supportive and by your side the whole time!