Things don’t always go as planned.
As I drew nearer to my due date, I planned to continue to be healthy, to go into labor on my own, have a natural birth and a healthy baby.
I did not plan to go to the doctor at 36 weeks and discover that I had not gained weight and my fundal height had decreased from my previous visit at 34 weeks and I would need another ultrasound to check on the baby.
I did not plan to find out at 37 weeks that my baby did not appear to be growing as she should, and there was possibly a problem. My doctor offered to induce me right then, but if not I and the baby should be closely monitored twice a week, and I should not go past 39 weeks at the latest.
After prayer, deliberation, and discussion, we decided that I would be induced on Friday, August 24, when I was 38 weeks and one day. I still hoped and prayed that I would go into labor naturally beforehand. If not, I hoped that my labor could be started with a tiny dose of pitocin and I would continue labor on my own.
But things don’t always go as planned.
We arrived at the hospital Friday morning at 7:30, nervous and without a single contraction. After I got settled in and hooked up to several monitors, they started the pitocin on a low dose around 9:00, slowly increasing it every so often until I was at the highest level. A monitor showed that I was having contractions, but I did not feel them. Time seemed to crawl by as I anticipated what was to come and thought about how long I had to go.
Around 3:00 pm I was only 3 centimeters and I still was not feeling contractions beyond a mild tightness, so my doctor broke my water. My dilation continued to progress slowly, but the contractions got increasingly longer and stronger as I was put on an even higher dose of pitocin because my labor was not regular.
That evening I was only 4 centimeters and I felt like I had no break from the contractions. I was hooked up to so many monitors that I could not get up and move around. The pain was not totally unbearable, but it was exhausting and I knew I still had so far to go. Being my stubborn self, I still wanted to try to do it naturally, but mentally I was at my limit. I just wanted to turn it all off for a minute to catch my breath.
Once I decided to get the epidural I felt like I had given up on my “plan,” but I also felt a huge sense of relief. The whole process took a while, but eventually I was able to catch my breath and relax for a moment.
“I’ll be back in about an hour. Tell me if you feel any pressure or pain,” my nurse told me as she left the room after I was settled again. About an hour later I began feeling a lot of pressure. I looked at the time and thought the nurse should be returning soon. I told Mama I did not know what it meant, but I was feeling a lot of pressure, and she ran off to find the nurse.
She was surprised and told me I was 9-10 centimeters! “I’ll be back in about 15 minutes to check you again,” she told me. But she was not gone 5 minutes before I told Sam it was really strong and he went and got her again.
“Don’t sneeze or you’ll have a baby!” she told me and went to call my doctor, who had gone home to have dinner with his family. She had me practice pushing a couple of times while we were waiting for him, then had me stop. “Can you catch a baby?” Sam asked her. “Yes, but I don’t want to!” she replied.
My doctor arrived, got ready, and I began pushing at 9:25. Our sweet baby girl was born at 9:34.
She came out kicking and screaming and it was such a beautiful sound. Sam cut the cord and they placed her on my chest and I just stroked her and tried to take it all in as nurses wiped her down and gave her a hat and diaper. The next thing I knew everything was all cleaned up and everyone left for us to have our “Golden Hour” as a family of three
I could not believe how beautiful and tiny she was, and how much she looked like Sam
And it no longer mattered that all my plans had been changed. She was healthy, I was healthy, and we were all so happy.
Our sweet Mae Maureen was 5 pounds 6 ounces and 17.5 inches. She is a tiny little bundle of joy and our hearts are absolutely overflowing with love! We are so excited to begin this next chapter of our journey together as a family.
Things do not always go as planned, but sometimes it is good for plans to go awry to show me my need to depend on God and His plans, which are often not the same as my own, but they are always better.