So when Genevieve (and each of our other girls) emerge, our world stops spinning, until we hear these few and wonderful words from the doctor….. 'Ahhh. Jennie…. Brian look here….she's….PERFECT.'
Birth with drugs...
So now, here it is, on her 2 month anniversary and I am finally finishing it up. I sneak away from time to time to recollect that day. To write it down...And I'm finally done.
The pedicure was good. The massage chair was great. I went back to get my girls from the party and we drove home. I think we got home around 10:30pm or so. Of course, the girls fell into bed. And so did I. I laid in the bed and Brian and I discussed names for our unborn baby.
Minutes later, he brushed his teeth and crawled in bed beside me. It was almost midnight. I listened as his breath slowed and he quickly fell asleep. A few more minutes later, I had a whopper contraction. A doozy. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months. Especially when I taught aerobics. This was NOT a Braxton Hicks contraction.
10 minutes later, I had another one.
10 minutes later, another.
I knew after these first few contractions that she was coming. I just wanted to get a little sleep. It was 12:30. I was tired. It'd been a long day. I couldn't figure out how in the world I was going to find the energy to labor and push a baby into the world with no sleep. So I did what any girl that has had 5 other babies does….I updated my Facebook status that I was in labor and fell asleep for 9 minutes. And so it went. Doozy contraction and fall back asleep…for 9 minutes.
Strangely, the way I knew this was the real deal was because I heard myself doing labor breathing through each contraction. I was breathing so loud, I couldn't believe I wasn't waking Brian up. He was laying 6 inches away.
3:30am - The contractions are closer and I wasn't falling asleep between them anymore. I was ready to go to the hospital.
So after hours of contractions, I woke Brian up and told him it was time to go.
His response; 'Take two Tylenol…and try to fall back asleep', said like only a sleep deprived Dad could say.
I assured him this wasn't a false alarm.
'Brian, the baby is coming…. this morning.'
That got his attention. I called my precious friend and babysitter Rachel. I told her to take her time, that I still needed to pack a bag, but if she could head our way in the next half hour or so.
She arrived quickly.
She walked in the bedroom just as I was having a contraction. I was laying on my side. Brian had just gone upstairs to get a few things for the hospital bag. She rubbed my back and listened to my breath as I fought through. She tells me later I was the first women she'd ever seen in labor and that watching a woman endure a contraction made her realize how powerful and strong I was. How powerful and strong women are.
Brian and I each got a bag together and strolled outside into the cool morning. It was in the 60's, a cool breeze blew through my hair. I could NOT get over how good it felt. It was such a dichotomy between the hard, strong, debilitating contractions and the sweetness of the breeze blowing over me cooling me and comforting me. I was full aware that the weather had to have been a gift from the Lord for me. To ease some of the toughness of labor. I prayed, thanking the Lord for the cool morning. It's August. Temperatures hover in the high 90's / triple digits during the day and in the 80's and 90's at night.
I was hesitant to get to the hospital because I knew they'd put me straight in an uncomfortable bed. My freedom would be gone and I would be at their mercy. But the strength of the contractions were only increasing. And while I had thought about home birth, it wasn't in the cards. I was a chicken. What if something went wrong?
I had a few contractions standing in the driveway and then had a super strong one. I knew it was time to go.
I sat down in the passengers seat and without a word, Brian slipped in the drivers seat beside me. He pulled out of the garage. We went over the big hump at the end of the driveway onto the street and it gave me another whopper contraction. Worst one yet. I was the exact opposite of how they depict women in labor. I asked Brian to please drive super slow. We rolled the window down and whispered, 'this is the last time we will be a family of 6.'
I've never enjoyed a cool breeze more than this morning. We arrived at the hospital around 5:00. He asked me if I wanted him to drop me off. I said no. We parked and he asked if he get me a wheelchair, and of course, I said no. I thought 'I can do this.'
I was happy to have the wheelchair. We went up to the 4th floor. As he wheeled me around the corner, one of the nurses at the desk said, 'Jennie. We've been waiting on you. I saw your Facebook status 5 hours ago. I can't believe you're just now getting here.' I think I smiled weakly at her.
They started an IV with fluids only and I got in the bed. My least favorite place to be when in labor….except this time.
I was SO comfortable. SO comfortable that I cold turkey stopped my labor. Somehow I found a spot to sit on that bed that was comfortable. Crazy.
I know that Brian has rational thought. I know that he is the only one that can think rationally. I. Can. Not.
No surprise. This baby is coming. She leaves again.
And then over and over I repeat….'Thank you Jesus…Thank you Jesus…Thank you Jesus….'
'Come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my DELIVERER; LORD, do not delay.'
The nurses and even the doctor wait. There was a moment of profoundness that happened as we all felt the goodness of the Lord. They are all still staring at me. At my baby. It's silent.
So, here we are. A family of seven. Six of us are girls. Life has changed. We don't get out much. I feel like I'll be home forever changing diapers with spit up on my shoulder. But somehow, one day I know, we will grow out of this. These little ones will grow up quicker than I'd ever want them too. Baby Genevieve, my sleepy girl, will soon wake up and I'll miss the days of a sleepy, snuggly, nursey girl. I know that this really are the 'good old days'.
One day when they are teenagers, or in college, or married with their own families and spread out all over the city, or state, or world…I will long to come back to these days. Even these sleepless nights. The nights that I can walk upstairs and see them all tangled up in a heap of blond hair, pink blankets and jammies. They are breathing heavily and all is well. They are quiet and all safe and my world is quiet and perfect for now...
I sometimes wonder if, when I was a young, self-centered college girl dating Brian, if God had allowed me to just take a glimpse of what my life would look like now. Five children. Five daughters. 14 YEARS of marriage. What in the world would I have thought? I'm pretty sure there is a chance I would have run the opposite direction. Good thing God knew me. And my self-centered heart.
I wouldn't want to miss out on this life for anything.