The day before I met Eliza, I started having regular contractions around lunchtime. It was Sunday. My sister Grace had come to visit so that she could watch Phoebe while Eliza was born. I didn’t let Randy and Grace know about my contractions until the evening, when I started to not be able to ignore them.
“Guys, I’m having regular contractions that aren’t going away when I change position. I think tonight might be the night.”
They both whipped their heads around to stare at me with mouths hanging open.
We went to bed at our normal bedtime. I was excited, but wanted to make sure that I got rest in case I couldn’t sleep later during the night.
I had contractions all night long. Isaiah 40.11 played through my mind, over and over. I meditated upon the mental image this verse gave me. I imagined myself a ewe, being lead through each contraction. While I was laboring with Phoebe, I had wanted to lay on my back. This time, my side felt best, and I HAD TO HAVE my hand stuck underneath my pillow during the contractions, especially at the toughest parts.
Randy had come to bed with me, but his usual moving in his sleep bothered me too much during the contractions so he ended up on the floor. Oh! the things our men do for us! Even feeling the vibrations of the floor moving when someone walked around the room bothered me.
Around 2am, I told Randy that I thought it was time for the baby to come and we had better call the midwife. They got here and were here for a couple hours but I did not move closer toward having Eliza, even though my contractions were storng and closely timed.
It was at that point that I found out that I was only dilated to one cenimeter. When they told me that, I’m sure my eyes bugged out of my head. The contractions I was experiencing with Eliza were worse than the ones I had felt at the end of my labor with Phoebe.
I was given a shot of benadryl to try to relax my body. The midwife told me it would help me fall asleep. When I would wake up, then we’d know whether I was really in labor or not based upon whether or not I was still having contractions. They’d come back if I woke up and was still in labor.
People, I never fell asleep. Those contractions were so strong that, even though that benadryl made me feel like I could doze, I did not sleep five minutes.
At 6am, I couldn’t take laboring myself any longer and woke Randy up. I told him he better get that daggum midwife back over here before this baby popped out. Not my literal phraseology, but you get the idea.
The first one to show at the house was a medical assistant. She quickly came in and sat on the bed. BIG NO-NO. Then she proceeded to grab my hand, stroke it, and try to talk to me. EXTRA BIG NO-NO. I couldn’t get any words out, and just snatched my hand away while Randy politely told her that she should probably get off the bed.
Half an hour after the midwife showed up, I felt like I had to the go to the bathroom. One of the assistants lead me by the hand into the bathroom. I sat down, still contracting, and my water broke into the toilet. I let the assistant know and, in my labor-induced stupor, just sat there. I could tell that everyone was running around.
By this time, I had also realized that Grace and Phoebe were awake and were watching a movie in Grace’s room, across the hall from the bathroom.
The midwife, her two assistants, and Randy crowded into our little bathroom. I, of course, was still on the pot. The midwife coached me through pushing.
If you’ve never pushed a baby out, let me tell you that it is very surreal. For me, both deliveries felt about five minutes long. In reality, they were both about half an hour. But time seemed to speed by as all my focus was on getting the little nugget out into the world.
I remember looking up at Randy during labor. Eliza’s head had just started coming out. He was beaming at me and told me that I was doing a good job. That gave me the will and extra oomph to get her out the rest of the way. The midwife caught her and scooped her up to me.
Boy, was she big! That’s what I remember thinking! That, and, get me back to my bed.
They helped me back to the bed. Randy cut Eliza’s cord. There weren’t any issues with her or I. We just enjoyed the rest of the day and getting to know our new precious bundle.
It happened that, while I was in labor, my parents and sister, Priscilla, were on there way to our house to drop off Mom and pick up Grace. Perfect timing! They all got to meet Eliza on the day that she was born!
It was wonderful to have Eliza born in our home. It was less romantic and more real than I had anticipated it to be, but we got our girl. That’s what counts!
Eliza – Oath of God
Charlotte – Free
Sophia – Wisdom