Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
We welcomed baby #6, LL (Littlest Little), into our arms on February 21, 2013. He is a beautiful boy, and his birth will always be memorable. But lest I forget any little details, it’s time to write it all down.
Being as this was #6, I thought he’d come early. That’s what babies are supposed to do – after the first one, they come early. My history has been mostly 4-5 days early. LD was the only one who was 4 days late. But LL did not get the memo. In fact, I had his birth all planned out. He would be born on February 15th or earlier. That way he’d be several weeks old by the time CC started for the last 6 sessions. Ha!
My mother-in-law has been going to Indiana one week every month. We were deciding which week would be best for her to be gone, and we picked 2/20-2/27, believing that the baby would be at least a few days old by then.
Well, LL decided to stay in the nice, comfy, warm womb. My mother-in-law flew hundreds of miles away. And all my kids got the stomach flu. I went to see my doctor, and he stripped my membranes and I started taking black & blue cohosh. That was February 18th. (My doctor had told me that if the membrane stripping didn’t work, we could schedule to have the baby induced or I could wait it out. I opted for induction. We set it up for February 21.) On February 19th, 3 of the Littles started puking. I left poor MM to do all the cleaning up, while I stayed securely locked in my bedroom.
On February 20th, my father-in-law called to say he had the stomach flu and wouldn’t be able to watch the Littles in the morning as planned (while MM and I went to the hospital). They were still puking off and on, and I was just praying I didn’t catch it. But now we had no one to watch the kids in the morning, and no one that we could ask. A good friend of mine that would have done it for sure was in Colorado on vacation. My sisters both work. Any friends we could think of had little kids and wouldn’t want to come watch a house full of sick kids.
As we sat around dinner on the 20th, MM mentioned that maybe I should go in for the induction and birth by myself. I ate the rest of my dinner in tears, saddened by the thought of being alone at the hospital.
Thankfully, my mother-in-law had called a mutual friend and let her know that we might need help. We called Michelle and asked her if she’d come watch the kids for us on the morning of the 21st. She agreed! (And she did end up with the stomach flu 2 days after watching our kids. But what a blessing to have a friend who would knowingly walk into a sick house to help us. Thanks again, Michelle!!) We finally had a plan in place to have this baby!
Wednesday night (the 20th), we thoroughly cleaned the house with bleach – every surface, every floor, every piece of furniture. We washed all the sheets and towels. Then we did devotions with the kids and reminded them that they would have a new little brother in the morning. We told LB, “We’re going to go get Baby LL tomorrow.” She was so excited, but kept asking us to “go get him tonight.”
Thursday morning we woke up early. The Littles all woke up early, too. Everyone was excited. Michelle got there early, we left for the hospital, and arrived there around 7 a.m. The nurses were very nice, and we went right into the very tiny delivery room. I immediately stated I wanted an epidural (hey, if this one was going to be in the hospital, I was going to take advantage of modern medicine). They hooked me up to the monitors, and then we waited. Unfortunately, knowing that I wouldn’t be given anything to eat or drink once there, I had consumed a cup of coffee and a large water bottle. It is no exaggeration to say that I had to pee every 10 minutes, which was a big ordeal (unhook monitors, go potty, come back, get situated, re-hook monitors).
My doctor arrived at 8 a.m. and checked me. I was still only 3 1/2 cm. He broke my water, and there was meconium in it (first baby to poop in the womb!!). I don’t remember why it took so long, but the pitocin finally started at 9 a.m. I was still mentioning that I wanted my epidural. (I had been induced way back in 2001 with LW and I knew that pitocin-induced labors were hard and painful. I didn’t want to experience that again.) The nurse let me know I was next on the list, but it’d be about an hour.
I was dreading that hour, but honestly, the contractions were not bad. The nurse had kept her word and only a small amount of pitocin was dripping into the IV. The anesthesiologist came up about 10 a.m. and I got my epidural and the pitocin drip was turned up. From that point on, I had no labor pain. The only blip with the epidural came about 10:30 when my heart rate jumped into the 130’s. We called the nurse and the anesthesiologist came in to check, but I was assured that was normal and not to worry. It never went up like that again.
While I didn’t have any labor pain, I still had a lot of pain and discomfort where LL’s head was descending. Wherever his head was at, I had a strong sensation of pain. I let the nurse know, but she said that sometimes the epidural didn’t reach that low. But that was a “good thing” because then I wouldn’t have any problem pushing.
Well, about 11 a.m. the nurse checked me and told me it was time to call my doctor. He got there around 11:20, and I was 9 1/2 cm dilated. The respiratory doctor came into the room as well as the baby nurse. The OB told me to push (I didn’t need to be told as I could feel the pain and pressure of LL’s head). One push and I was 10 cm and the head was crowning. One more push and LL’s head was out. I had to wait as the doctor was suctioning out LL’s nose and throat. One more push and LL was born – all 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and 21 inches of him. He started screaming, so we knew his lungs were healthy. The respiratory doctor left, MM cut the cord, and the baby nurse took over.
I missed my midwife Connie so much during this pregnancy and birth. And as soon as the baby was born, all I wanted to do was go home (which I did after about 36 hours in the hospital). But I just felt that after my year of health issues,I wanted to be in the hospital for the birth. I knew in my heart that everything would be okay, but I also knew that I would have anxiety and that just being in the hospital would ease my anxiety. And after the stomach flu hit the house, I was happier than ever that I would be away and not in the middle of it while giving birth. I’m glad we chose the induction as he was obviously big enough and obviously done cooking (as evidenced by the meconium). So even though I truly believe natural homebirth is the right thing for moms and babies, now that everything turned out well and we were both fine, in this case I am glad I chose the more medical route. And in the end, Baby LL is still a perfect reward from the Lord!