In preparing to write Natalie's birth story, I realize that I have never shared Zachary's birth story, other than this Labor Day meme a little over a year ago.
So these posts will intertwine both stories, a study in similarities and contrasts, and also what I have learned about myself through the hours I have spent bringing my children into the world.
To start out with, Z was 'overdue'. Just a little teensy bit - actually, the first sign of labor happened on the evening of my due date. And his labor was quick - from that first sign until the beautiful, miraculous end, was only 23 hours. From the time I first felt a contraction for sure, after my water broke at 4:30 am, until his head lay on my chest, was only about 15 hours. So I expected my labor with Natalie to be very similar, and equally quick.
I went to my doctor on December 15th, three days before Natalie's due date. And just as she had on Zachary's due date two years ago, she did something to get things going inside of me. I scheduled my OB appointment for the next Monday, just as a formality, of course. And when I came home, after feeling 'crampy' all afternoon and evening, the first sign of labor appeared! Contractions came gently every 15 minutes or so, and I was sure that this was it, and Natalie would be in my arms before her due date even arrived. I slept on an extra waterproof crib mattress pad 'just in case' my water broke during the night. And the next morning, when I woke up without any more signs of labor, I was rather mystified and disappointed. But I stayed home from a Christmas party that Wednesday morning 'just in case' - I mean, how embarrassing would it be for my water to break at someone else's house???
That next afternoon, I headed into town for a non-stress test, to make sure that Natalie was still thriving in spite of my gestational diabetes. The test went smoothly, and I had two contractions during the half hour I was hooked up to the monitors - 15 minutes apart again, but hardly felt. I did some Christmas shopping, and headed home. I remember having to breathe through two contractions on my way home, and being excited about their intensity (but rather distracted while driving).
Over the next few days, as my due date came and went, my contractions did the same. At times they were ten or fifteen minutes apart, but for hours at a time, they were barely noticeable. One night, I had an hour-long spell of contractions that were close & intense, and I got excited, waiting, breathing, and then they went away. I woke up rather discouraged. I felt that Natalie would NEVER come out. My parents arrived, to be here in time to take care of Zachary while we were in the hospital, and we went on walks, and read countless books, and played with toys...and waited. On Sunday, God gave me a swift attitude adjustment at church, and on Monday morning, Hubby and I headed to my scheduled OB appointment. Which turned out to be my last!
...more to come as I have time between disciplining and loving on a 2-year-old and feeding and loving a newborn!!! :)