When one of my friends visited us in the hospital, she asked for the “short story” on my labor and delivery with Madeline. Well the entire story is pretty brief, since my labor only lasted about 2 1/2 hours. On Tuesday, April 18 I woke up feeling different than the day before. I felt more pressure in my pelvis, and when I had a contraction, it felt more crampy than usual. My contractions were still very irregular, so we went about the events of our day as usual. This included taking a trip to the hospital with Kayla to visit our friends Andy and Patty who had just delivered their baby the night before. I took a nap that afternoon, worked in Baby Church that evening, and went to bed as usual.
Sometime around 3:30 to 3:45 a.m., I woke with pretty strong contractions. They required me to focus and do my breathing exercises, so I decided I should time them. They seemed to be about four minutes apart. I woke Aaron around 4 and told him what was happening. I was still in denial that this was really labor though. With Kayla my water had broken at the start of labor, so I was waiting for that to happen again. Also I still had 8 days until my due date. Since Kayla was born right on her due date, I was expecting Madeline to be born closer to her due date, too.
So anyway, it was 4 a.m., and we started getting ready. I put on my make up while Aaron took a shower. Then we started packing and making necessary phone calls. Our friend, Megan, was “on call” in case we went into labor in the middle of the night, so she headed over around 4:30. Aaron’s parents left from Grand Rapids shortly after that. My contractions were still about four minutes apart, and besides being a little mentally distracted, I was quite calm. We peeked in on Sweet Kayla and got in the van for the hopsital at 4:55 a.m.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:20, almost hitting a deer on the way. (Praise God the deer turned the other way!) We checked in and went straight to the OB Unit, arriving there around 5:30. I got into my gown and the nurse checked to see how far along I was. “You at an 8” she said. (My cervix was 8 cm dilated, with only 2 more to go). “A what?” I asked. I was surprised I was that far along. The nursed called my doctor right away, and everyone scrambled to get things ready.
My doctor arrived probably a few minutes before 6, at which point I was dilated to 9.5 cm. In the midst of a strong contraction he said, “the only thing that’s keeping this baby from coming is your bag of waters. We can wait, or I can break it for you.” I was ready to be done with the contractions, so I said to go ahead and break it. He did, and just moments later I was pushing. It didn’t take long (though it was still incredibly painful), and then Madeline Joy came into the world at 6:18 a.m. They put her on my tummy, and Aaron cut her umbilical cord. She cried for a while after delivery, but once I nursed her she was very content.
So that’s our story. Less than one hour at the hospital, and a completely natural, healthy delivery. We are very blessed indeed and praise God for this new little life.