Well well well, what have we here.
Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to staaaart FOCUS.
Late summer, I was hit with the overwhelming panic that I was pregnant. I wasn't pregnant though. It was impossible for me to be pregnant when I thought I was, far too early. But still, I bought a lot of tests, wasted a lot of money, did a lot of googling, panicked a lot. I finally reassured my brain that it was just random panic, that I wasn't really pregnant, that I could calm down.
Until two weeks later I WAS pregnant. I cried a lot. I was really scared, I won't lie. I'm a planner, as I've been saying a lot lately, and this was definitely a big change in plans. Our town home was too small, the Lion was too young, and I was NOT mentally ready.
But 40 weeks and 4 days is a long time.
The pregnancy was very easy. No sickness. Very little weight gain. My hair grew like a glorious weed. I had a thought about the nature of my child, that he was determined and driven, but that he was also very considerate and sensitive. My gallbladder went on the fritz a couple of times, but since the new one has been born, I haven't had any problems there either. All in all, there were a lot of tender mercies sent my way during a really scary time for me.
Which worked out in our favor, as we had been asked by our landlord if we could possibly be moved out of our apartment on our due date... and we were being asked this just 6-7 weeks before said due date.
So the stress picked up. Lots of prayers asking this baby to stay put were said.
And those prayers were answered. We moved in and unpacked. My mom came to town to help with the oldest and watch him when we would inevitably drive to the hospital. And the baby stayed put.
I became very frustrated when I was checked during a weekly appointment, at 39 weeks, and was told that I had zero progress. I took some deep breaths and resolved to go to the front desk and schedule an appointment for 40 weeks, on my due date, and to, at that appointment, schedule an induction. After all, my mom couldn't stay in town forever. We needed to have an end in sight. Alas, the front desk was unable to fit me back in for another appointment until I was a week over due.
And while those 39 weeks flew by, suddenly time got mixed with a bowl of honey, and things came to a near stand still. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. I just convinced myself that pregnancy was a state of life that I would be stuck in forever. After all, I've spent the majority of the last 2 years pregnant.
But the signs were all there. Every night I'd experience regular contractions. Painful enough to wake me up, but not painful enough to stop me from sleeping. And no closer than 10 minutes apart. This went on for several days. I expressed my exhaustion and frustration to a friend of mine, Amanda, a doula, a saving grace who lived a state a way... (check out her business here, Utah friends. She is incredible.)
Amanda suggested that maybe the baby was posterior. Which explained 100% of what was going on. The oldest child was also posterior, so this made a lot of sense. She sent me some articles with suggestions of how to get the baby to turn. I put said practices to work, and that night was not cursed with the contractions! I slept! Through the night! No contractions! I was relieved, but also a little sad, in a way. The contractions were telling me that I was close. With them gone, I had nothing to tell me an end was in sight.
Until 8pm the next night, the day after I, presumably, turned the baby. 5 minutes apart, going steady. I worked out a lot of pain management techniques on my own, enough to let Joe sleep. I didn't really, at any point, tell Joe what was going on. I didn't want him to get his hopes up and lose sleep if he had to go to work the next morning. So I labored on my own until about 10pm, when I got one blessed hour of sleep in which I dreamed that I sold my soul to the devil for that one hour of sleep. Woke up at 11pm to the contractions coming on strong. I managed the pain on my own again for one hour, as they grew closer together, 3-4 minutes apart. At the one hour mark, I woke up Joe and asked him to help me put the last few things in our hospital bag.
He helped me, or did all of the work as I screamed into a pillow.
"But Lara, are you emotionally prepared for them to send you home if it's not time?"
"They are NOT sending me home. I can't TAKE THIS PAIN. I will tell them I'm almost a week past due and I will throw a fit until they keep me."
Oh, I was GBS positive too, which meant I had to receive two rounds of antibiotics, which would take about 8 hours.
I went into my mom's room and told her we'd be going to the hospital and I went into my oldest's room and held a very confused him as I sobbed into his cheek and smothered him with kisses and thanked him for being my first baby, and promised him that he would always have that special place in my heart, that we would always be a team, him and I.
I forgot to mention that during that day, the Lion child was sick with quite a high fever. We battled it with Motrin, but my heart broke, leaving him, worrying about him...
A 25 minute drive to the hospital with Joseph prying my fingernails out of the back of his hand.
We get to the hospital and the nurse tells me she'll check me to see how I'm doing. I was pessimistic.
"I'm famous for not progressing ever... so..."
"You're at a 7!"
And I almost cried. I never expected to hear that. I had the terrible adrenaline shakes and shivers that people don't tell you about, but I assumed it's because by that time, it was 2am, and it was cold for Arizona.
The epidural was heaven send, because at that point, my pain management techniques were failing me in a major way. That epidural was like chocolate to a person that just ran across a dementor. It warmed my very soul. And literally warmed me too, I was a little freezing.
The nurse, bless her heart, started me on the antibiotic drip at around 2:15am and then let me sleep. She'd come in to help me move to a new position every now and then as this poor baby was stressed and his heart rate kept dropping.
A little before 6am, the nurse very briskly started moving around the room, very nervous about baby's heart. She called in another nurse to help try to get his heart rate back up. While the nurse was coming, she checked me again, and I was at a 10, and ready to go. Which explained the baby's stress!
The doctor came into the room and everyone was set. Well...
I was so nervous. I'd been up all night, it was so early, I was exhausted, I was TERRIFIED, and the baby's heart was not handling labor well, to that point. And the antibiotics hadn't had enough time. I didn't really want to talk much, I was mentally preparing myself for a c-section, because I didn't think I had the strength and energy to get the baby here before he became too distressed.
Until about 5 minutes later, after 3 pushes, when my second born child, another son, a beautiful baby boy joined our family at 7lbs, 14oz, 21.5 inches, 6:09am.
And I cried. I didn't cry with the first born. But a hole I didn't know was in my heart was filled in that moment, when I held him for the first time. And we cried together a bit. And I whispered to him how loved he was, how wanted he was, how I would be there for him for the rest of his life, and how we've prepared a spot in our family, just for him.
And now we're a family of four. And our family feels whole.
Welcome to the world, little one.