(Trust me. You don't want to read the four page version that I typed up over the past few weeks. This one will do just fine to fill you in on the main points of Justus' birth.)
February 3: last day of work – I made it!
February 4: shopping and pedicure with Chris
February 5: church and Super Bowl party with the family at Brad & Lori’s house
February 6: first Monday off of work! . . . relax on the couch all day and small group in the evening
February 7 - it all begins
- Woke up abruptly at 1:30 a.m. with painful contractions in my lower back, 7-8 minutes apart
- Contractions were 3-7 minutes apart by 5:30 a.m. - Bryce called the doctor and we left for the hospital at 6:20 a.m.
- Admitted to the hospital at 7 a.m. - I was 3-4 cm dilated at this point
- Settled in my room and took a few (painfully slow) laps around the labor and delivery unit
- Contractions were becoming unbearable so I asked for the epidural at 9 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. I was feeling wonderful (what contractions?)
- Water broke at 1:37 p.m. - I was dilated 6 cm and contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart
- Took brief, restless naps, ate ice chips, played around on Facebook, texted people, listened to music, chatted with my parents
- Let's speed this up: 2:30 p.m. dilated 7 cm, 3:30 p.m. dilated 8 cm, 6 p.m. dilated 9 cm!
- But then I got stuck
- 9 p.m. still at 9-10 cm dilated so they started Pitocin (to strengthen the contractions)
- It worked! 11 p.m. time to start pushing!
Bryce half-seriously suggested that we wait a bit longer so that the baby would be born on Justin’s (his brother's) birthday, February 8. I looked at him with astonishment – are you serious? Here we are finally ready to do something and you want to wait longer! I said – no way. If they say I can push, I’m pushing!
February 8, 2012
Good thing we didn't wait. I pushed for two hours, the toughest and most exhilarating work I've ever done.
12:51 a.m. - Justus Daniel was born. All 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 22.5 inches of him. It was/is such a blur. I remember crying when they put him on my chest and crying when Bryce held him for the first time. Such a beautiful moment. My son. He was screaming but it sounded like "hallelujahs" to me.
My "laboring" passage:
Hear, O LORD, and answer me . . .
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
And He did indeed answer, bringing me great joy. Welcome, Justus Daniel.