Towards the end of this pregnancy, I was going 100 mph trying to do as many fun things with Lucy and Bridget as possible, since I knew our freedom was about to come to a screeching halt. In the week before Josiah was born we went to the zoo, to the pool many times, to swim lessons almost every day, etc. We had also hosted a few out of town guests. The day he was born, my sister Summer was in town. That morning we had all gone to Lucy's back-to-back swim lessons (one was a make-up), and also swam at the Y with friends afterward. Looking back I didn't "feel" like staying and swimming but decided to do it anyways so Lucy, Bridget, and Summer could have fun. I had been feeling pretty uncomfortable during the last few weeks or so but had figured that was all just part of the end of pregnancy. We got home, I made lunch for the kids, and helped Summer find all the ingredients she needed to make turkey meatballs (she was planning on cooking for us that evening).
While I was doing the dishes, I started to not feel very good and took some Tylenol - which was rare for me. Then, after all three kids started taking their nap, I started to work a little bit on a side website project I was doing. Pretty soon after I started working, around 2:30 - I felt my first contraction. I have never had contractions during pregnancy with any of my kids. From the first contraction - it has always led to a baby being born in the next 24 hours. Still, I thought that I was only 37 weeks - this couldn't be the real deal yet. Then, I realized that if it WAS the real deal, I had to get my work project finished! I started working as quickly as possible while timing my contractions. Looking back, I had about 1:00 - 1:30 hours of manageable contractions where I was timing, but still able to work on my computer. But by the time the kids were getting up from rest - 4:00 - they were definitely coming more quickly and were feeling more intense. It was at this point that I texted Jason, and my mom and sister to tell them that I thought I was in labor. Jason wasn't by his cell phone, but my mom and sister called me almost right away to figure out if they needed to start driving to Augusta. Throughout these phone conversations, and figuring out logistics, I also talked to my neighbor Liz who watched the girls for me that night. Even while on the phone I was having to pause and deal with the contractions without talking. Finally, Jason called me and told me he would be leaving work soon and asked if he could finish up his notes - which would take about 10 minutes. I said "Sure" since I realized I STILL had to pack both my bags, plus stuff for the girls and Jason! Meanwhile, Summer watched the girls for me after I turned on the movie "Tangled" that we had started a few nights before. By the time Jason got home, the contractions were really bad. I could barely pack even between contractions, so in the end, my packing job was pretty poor - haha. I did manage to get a pile of the girls clothing on the dining room table for Liz to pick up, and Jason quickly got the car seats out of the car for Liz in case she needed them. We left around 5:00 pm for the hospital. Summer watched Lucy and Bridget from about 5:00 - 6:15 when Liz picked all three of them up for dinner and hanging out at her house.
I had a fair amount of contractions in the car - and the drive was longer than our previous drives to Doctor's Hospital for Lucy and Bridget. Then, once we got to the hospital, we couldn't find the right place to park so Jason dropped me off in the lobby, and parked while I tried to figure out where to go. The website had said that Labor and Delivery was on the 7th floor, but when I hobbled over in between contractions to look at the elevator - it only went to the 5th floor! I was pretty annoyed that I was lost and couldn't figure out where to go WHILE in labor! Quite an inconvenience! I asked a nurse for directions around the time Jason got there and we found out we had to go to the 2nd floor, walk across the hospital a ways, then go up a different elevator to get to the maternity area. That walk was long and painful for me and I had to stop multiple times to deal with contractions. The first elevator that we came to was only for medical personnel!!!!! More walking, then FINALLY we found the proper elevator and made it to labor and delivery. Of course, the front desk told us that all the rooms were full, then another lady in a wheelchair who was 38 weeks along came up right behind me. I was REALLY hoping in that moment that they would find a room QUICKLY for me, and that I would get placed before the other lady, even though she was further along than me - since I was experiencing contractions and it didn't seem like she was. To my relief, they got me placed within about 5 minutes in a room that they normally used for OB surgeries. It was a really large room with two beds and a large window. It was weird for me (and Jason) that I was in labor during the day - since with Lucy and Bridget this phase all happened in the middle of the night.
The staff did a great job at getting me taken care of quickly. From the moment I was placed in the room until he was born, there was probably at least one person helping us out with something. First, it was getting my IV in and getting blood work done to qualify me for an epidural. They botched my first IV (and I still have a bruise from it), and had to try again on the other arm. The OB resident came in and checked me - which was pretty painful - although not as painful as the contractions were at that point. She shocked us all when she told us I was 7 cm dilated! When I told them that I DEFINITELY wanted an epidural, the resident told me that he was going to try and expedite things and give me one without the labs coming back since I had no health problems and a problem-free pregnancy. However, after he checked with his boss, that was a no-go and I had to endure another hour or so of EXTREMELY painful contractions. I was sitting up in the bed to endure them and would just count to 10 or 15 in my head while breathing in and out really strongly. I was doing so much huffing and puffing that my mouth was extremely dry but I couldn't drink anything. :(
It was during this point of contractions coming pretty close together and lasting a long time that I realized I might have to have the baby without an epidural! My greatest fear! I just couldn't imagine having a long enough break between contractions for my body to relax enough to be still enough to get the epidural in safely. I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would allow me to get some pain medicine in me before the baby was born. I was so scared but started quoting "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," in my head over and over. Jason also tried to prep me for having the baby naturally but I didn't really want to hear that news from him - lol. I just told him to pray that I would get the meds in time!
FINALLY, the anesthesiologist arrived with the news that I was cleared to get an epidural. Then, it seemed to take forever for him to get "prepped." I went through many more contractions while he was getting ready. I kept wondering how many more I'd have to go through before getting relief. When it was finally time, my nurse helped me hunch my back over (like a cat), and my prayers were answered. I had a really long break between two contractions that allowed him to get the epidural in just fine! I was so relieved! It took about 4-5 more sets of contractions before I couldn't feel them much anymore. Then, in no time, my OB was there, checked me, told me I was complete and asked if I was ready to have the baby! This was my first time that I was given the little button that I could push to get more pain medicine, so I pressed the button a lot right before he was born - haha.
We did a practice push and she said he almost was out! I pushed one or two times with virtually no pain and he was born! I couldn't believe that it was possible to have a baby with that little pain during the moment of birth! I guess I had paid my dues with all of those contractions! As soon as he was born they wiped him off a bit and handed him to me. It was an AMAZING moment as they handed me a beautiful, healthy, completely perfect baby BOY! The miracle of life gets me every time. Psalm 139:14 has been repeating in my head ever since he was born as I inspect his tiny body, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." God is a master artist - I have had the privilege of playing a role in bringing three of his beautiful creations into the world. I feel unworthy of that privilege, but oh so thankful.
Josiah Daniel Baareman
June 7, 2016 - 7:49 pm
8 lbs. 6 oz., 20 3/4 inches
My parents got to the hospital about 30 minutes before he was born. They had been about to spend the day/night at Reynold's Plantation when they found out I was in labor. They left when they didn't hear from us and assumed he was coming quickly. My sister got there about 10-15 minutes after he was born - she had to drive further - from Atlanta. I'm so glad they were all there to meet him.
My recovery has been pretty good overall. The only weird thing that happened is they forgot to turn off the epidural, so I had numb legs for about 2 hours after he was born, until I realized something was wrong and they turned it off! Then, the numbness took a really long time to wear off. Especially in my right leg. I didn't regain feeling in that one until about 4:00 am the next morning! So I had to have help doing almost everything.
Since his birth, Josiah has proved to be very very sweet. He whimpers when he is hungry, then if he has to wait more than a minute or so, he starts crying. He is a really good eater and I've never had too much trouble getting him to stay awake for feedings. He lost a fair amount of weight in the hospital (went down to 7 lbs. 7 oz.), so we almost weren't able to go home on Thursday. But the pediatrician decided to let us go since I had a history of breastfeeding. We just had to have a weight check on Friday (then he was 8 lbs. 3 oz). He had another weight check the following Friday and he was up to 8 lbs. 13 oz.
The girls were SUPER excited to meet him when they came to the hospital with Jason on Wednesday. It was my first introduction to how life was going to be with two hyper/energetic toddlers and a sleepy/peaceful newborn. They have been really sweet with him and I haven't seen any jealousy. We have just had to set a lot of ground rules for Josiah's safety.
I'm so thankful I get to be this sweet boy's mom. I am LOVING all the baby snuggles. Thank you Lord for this precious gift!