Granted, this is from a guy’s perspective so it is somewhat skewed. No, scratch that, it is totally skewed. I have really no comprehension of what this labor and delivery was like. Yes, I was there, and I think I played some small part in seeing this miracle through to fruition, but still, I’m pretty much clueless. Read this story with that disclaimer in mind.
We decided early in the pregnancy that September 23rd would be a good day to have a baby. It was 3 days past the due date, and it is the first day of Fall. We both said a few prayers with that date in mind, not really sure if God cared when the baby was born, but believing nonetheless that it would/could happen. Then, around the 2nd week of September there was a buzz in the Tidewater area about Hurricane Isabel. It was on a collision course with us, it was a category 4 hurricane, and we were all going to die. Lianne and I both looked at the whole thing as an adventure, sure it was supposed to hit a few days before the due date, and the drop in pressure could induce labor, but I was confident in my midwifery skills. 🙂
Isabel hit on Thursday the 18th, and that morning … for the sake of my father-in-law I’ll leave out the gory details and just say … there were some “signs” that labor would be starting soon. We knew there was no need for panic, but we also knew the time was short. The hurricane wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it did knock power out for much of the area for days and even weeks. Lianne continued to have sporadic, painful contractions and was having some difficulty sleeping on Thursday and Friday night. I tried really hard to wake up with each contraction throughout the night, but after keeping track contraction after contraction I usually gave out somewhere around the 3rd one of the night and went to sleep. 🙂 Yes, I was basically worthless during this phase of labor.
Throughout the weekend we had trouble reaching our midwife because her phone and power was out. Our power went out again as well around 10:30am on Saturday the 20th, and little had changed. Lianne was eager to speed things up and had been wanting to take a walk on the beach to help things along. We went to the beach that afternoon and Lianne and her mom must’ve walked 2 miles or more in the wet sand. Other than passing the time it didn’t seem to help any.
The rest of Saturday through Monday the 22nd passed much the same. Relatively painful contractions lasting about 45 seconds, every 15 to 30 minutes or so. Every night Lianne would go to bed convinced that the baby’s arrival was imminent, I was still holding out for the 23rd. We set up an appointment on Monday, hoping for good news. According to the midwife, Lianne was at 4cm and everything was ready, but there was no prediction on when active labor would start. Monday evening, the 22nd, we decided to leave the kids with the folks, and kind of pretend like we were going to the hospital that night. Around midnight, the contractions picked up a little, and by morning they were almost 60 seconds long every 8 to 10 minutes. This was looking similar to where we were at with Jaron, our firstborn, when he was born. Early in the morning of the 23rd we decided to head to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:00am, I think. About a half-hour later she was checked by a nurse and was 5 1/2cm. They called the midwife and we waited. Laurie (our midwife) came in around 7:30am and said she thought Lianne was really still at 4cm. Naturally, we were disappointed. All those contractions and nothing really happening. Well, now we had a decision to make. Laurie said she could break Lianne’s water, or send us home. The disadvantage to breaking her water was that we would be committed to having the baby that day, and induction might be necessary if things didn’t progress. We couldn’t make a decision so we compromised. We agreed to wait a few more hours at the hospital, and Laurie would come back and see how we were.
The next few hours passed rather quickly at the hospital. The contractions didn’t really pick up until 11:00 or so, but they were still about 60 seconds long and 8 to 10 minutes apart. They were more painful, however, and Lianne was starting to get worn out.
Incidentally, we had a neat thing happen at the hospital during this time. The nurse we had with Jaron, named Jan, was our nurse for the day. Although she wasn’t there the whole time, it was neat having her around, and she was there for the delivery.
By the time Laurie came back around 11:45am, we weren’t too optimistic about the progress of the labor. Surprisingly, Lianne was at 9 1/2cm, and had a bulging bag. She was ready to go ahead and have the baby, but Laurie told her to hop in the shower. She reluctantly agreed, and a short time later she’s yelling something about being ready to push.
We got her back into the bed and I think it was 3 contractions later that Davin was born. That seems too simple, too quick, but really all of the previous 5 days of stress and work boiled down to that one magical moment. Davin was 9lbs 3oz, 20 1/2″, and everyone, including yours truly, was amazed at the size of him, especially considering the natural birth. Lianne is absolutely perfect both physically and mentally, for delivering babies. She never lost control, hardly made a peep, and I’m in awe even now.
Davin didn’t have any real problems. They were concerned about his glucose levels because he was so large, and they had to prick his little heel a bunch of times. Lianne also had some problems with her uterus bleeding which required pitocin to help it contract properly. Other than that, the whole experience was perfect.
For pictures of the momentous event, check out our Photo Album
He really is a cutie!!