So my due date was either November 10th or 11th, I lost track somewhere in the middle of the pregnancy, and since there was no "first day of last period" to go by, I just would switch between the two dates when people would ask when I was due. In my mind though, I couldn't have my baby on November 10th. I said, anytime before the 8th, or the 11th on would be fine. My two oldest boys were going to be participating in the Primary Program (children's organization) at Church on the 10th. They would be singing with the other children and saying their lines talking about Our Heavenly Father's Plan. It is pretty much the best Sunday of the year, and there was no way I would miss it, so I decided the baby had to wait until after the Primary program.
I made it through all of Church without incident. (Those from church might this this is funny because just the week before, another girl from church actually found out she was in labor while at church. She was originally due the week after me). During church, I just felt uncomfortable. You would too if you had an extra 50 lbs. on ya.
When we got home from church, I just wanted a nap. I don't really get to rest much, so my husband took the kids for a walk, and to my parents' house so they were gone for a few hours and gave me the chance to rest. I guess I should mention that on that particular day, I had taken several pills of evening primrose oil. Some believe it helps encourage labor, so I took some in the morning, and some more when we got home. During my "nap," I felt a few contractions, but nothing incredibly painful, just signs that it was coming soon.
When everyone came back, I think we ate dinner. Honestly, I don't really remember all of the details. I felt like cleaning, and I was just really irritable with everyone. I let family and involved friends know that everything would most likely be going down tonight and that they needed to be prepared to come over. (One friend was coming to the birth to photograph, another friend was coming to our house to stay the night and be here when the kids woke up, and both sets of grandparents would be at the birth...well, the grandmas at least).
I started putting books on the shelves in our living room. We had moved into our new house the week before (yes, the WEEK before....I am not fully recovered from this. Our garage and one of the bedrooms are a complete disaster and desperately need organizing which is driving me crazy, but since I can close the door and not look at it, I can forget for a bit and do other things like feed a screaming baby). I asked my husband to strap the bookcases to the wall to make them accident-proof, and I loaded them with books. Felt so good to get that done, but all the while, I was having contractions and they were increasing. I petitioned my friends via facebook to give me pointers on self induction using oils, and one friend mentioned clary sage on the abdomen and on the outer ankles. I went to town with that and it must have work. I kept cleaning as much as I could.
At some point we told the family and friends involved to get to our house. While my parents stayed at the house, JD and I went on a walk. It seems to be what we do when I am in labor, so we walked. Luckily, it was a nice night, and it wasn't totally freezing the way it is now. Around 11pm I was getting impatient and decided it was time to go to the hospital, so I had JD give me a blessing, and off we all went in our various cars. My friend who was going to photograph (Demarae), went home to nurse her baby first.
When we arrived at the hospital and went to triage, I was checked (which was more uncomfortable than ever) and sorely disappointed: I was only dillated to a 4 and (sorry if this is TMI) my cervix was posterior (so things were not in their proper positions yet, basically). I wanted to cry. The nurse asked how long it usually takes me to progress and I told her that once things get intense, it goes pretty fast. She said to walk around the hospital for 2 hours. TWO HOURS?! Seriously, who walks for that long? Are you kidding me? It is midnight, I am 40 weeks pregnant and I have been awake since 6am and now I have to walk. So we walked, and I danced around the halls when I felt bored. We walked and walked and walked. Saw an interesting picture from the 50s that showed a baby in what looked like a drawer. Convenient for mothers so when they wanted to rest, stick the baby in the drawer, and when you push it in, the pop out on the other side of the wall in the nursery of the hospital. Um creepy.
After walking for an hour, we went to the waiting room where our dads were sleeping. There was a tv in there. I thought I could lay down on the bench and at least rest a little bit, but no. When I tried to sit down, the pain from the contraction was so intense that it halted me. I told JD we were going back. I did not care if I wasn't that far dilated, they needed to admit me.
1:30am Got checked again. Horray! I was 6.5 (I think), and no longer posterior. I got admitted and all the fun stuff that comes with that, included the hideous standard issue hospital gown and lovely skid socks. I was introduced to the midwife and nurse, who were absolutely amazing. I didn't get the midwife I have known through my last 3 pregnancies, and I was kind of sad she wasn't able to attend any of my births, but the midwife I had this time was exactly what I needed. She read my birth plan and said she would do whatever I wanted. (During Daphne's birth, the midwife and nurse were really nervous about me deliver while standing up, this midwife was totally supportive). The nurse asked if I planned on having an epidural and when I said no, she smiled really big and said "yay!" Whoohoo! A nurse ready for a natural birth. I am so used to nurses pushing the drugs, it was nice to know I wasn't going to have to hear the question "do you want an epidural" ever again. (I just have to say this, but I don't look down on people who get epidurals, it's just not my thing for various reasons. Needles freak me out. I don't like the idea of stuff being jammed between my vertebrae. Having my lower half go numb gives me the heebie jeebies. I don't know how it effects the baby...some say it is fine, and the baby is fine, but it still makes me nervous. So basically, I am scared. Yep, that is right. For the same reason a lot of people GET epidurals, I DON'T. I am still scared of the pain, but the pain causes me to react and though I don't enjoy pain, I do want to be able to react. All that being said, labor is a hellish experience. I have been afraid of dying, at least the last 3 times. If someone wants to lessen the pain by getting an epidural, I don't judge them.)....ok, back to the story...
This is where things get blurry. I took off my glasses. I know at some point, I was laying on my side on the hospital bed to be checked again. 8. I know I was given my saline lock because I would have to get some stuff because of my low platelet count. And I remember asking if the bed could be raised because I just wanted to stand next to the bed and lean on it. The people in the room were amazing and silent. For all I knew, JD and I were the only ones in there. I am so grateful for him. Aside from the day-to-day instances when he tells me to "calm down" (which honestly doesn't work so well), he does an amazing job at keeping me calm and focused while I am in labor. He knows what is soothing for me even when I can't quite put a finger on it. I think it is just because he is what calms me. He told me later that during this labor I seemed more aware than in the last ones, like I knew which contractions were the right ones for me to push through. Somehow I just knew. I said I was going to push a few different times, then changed my mind. Certain contractions didn't seem intense enough for pushing.
When I finally was ready to push, I think I only pushed 2 or 3 times, and it only took about 5 minutes (I think...maybe one of my witnesses can correct me). This delivery was extremely painful, of course every delivery has been painful, but this one was particularly so. I am not sure what made this worse than the others (with the exception of Jude...he was definitely the most difficult delivery). Perhaps it is part of what solidified my desire for this to be the last child. (You never know what God has in store, but for me, I feel done and no one can argue with that. It is a very personal decision. 5 kids in 7 years is nothing to be ashamed of). I didn't need stitches though which was pretty amazing. Though I did need a shot of pitocin once she was out though because I was bleeding too much.
Later that day, JD brought the kids (and Demarae to take pictures again) to meet Eve. They love her so much. All of them do. Daphne is so excite every morning when she wakes up and sees the baby. They all want to kiss her all the time. Silas and Asher want to hold her a lot of the time.
So if you read all of that, way to go. Something feels complete about our family now. Things are quite intense with 5 children, but I feel complete. I am happy when I see the boys sharing with each other. I am happy when there are lot of giggles in the house. I am happy when tender little boys, and a little girl, gently press theis cheeks against the baby's cheek, or slowly kiss her on the forehead. Despite the chaos and craziness, and my insane lack of sleep, there is such an abundance of love in our house, and nothing can bring me more joy than seeing my children love each other.