Note: This is Part Five. To start from the beginning CLICK HERE.
November 5, 2012
I woke up having terrible contractions. Again. I’d been having the same contractions off-and-on for at least 4 weeks. It was getting old, and I was really hoping this was it. Within a few minutes, I was pretty certain it was. Not that anything felt different, I just knew. Little One had been waiting for Daddy. Sure enough, by 3:30 they were getting a little stronger, but not more regular in timing. I woke Steven up and asked him to help me pack a suitcase for our two boys. After we finished that, I sent him back to bed for a while. When he got back up, I assured him I was fine, contractions were not terrible, averaging 7-9 minutes apart, but some were still 20-30 minutes apart, and he left to go return the rental car. My mom brought him back to the house and picked up the boys. My sweet babies had no idea that the next time they were at their house, they’d both be big brothers!
Around noon, the contractions were definitely stronger, but still all over the place. I was starting to get discouraged, thinking this was just another round of painful contractions for nothing. I called my midwife, to check in and as her if it was possible that my contractions might not ever be “regular.” She said it was possible, but she didn’t sound like it was a common occurrence. I asked her to come over to do a bit of monitoring just to see what was going on. She got there a few minutes before 1:00 and informed me I had progressed to 4 cm! We figured we still had a while to wait, based on previous labors, so I sent her back home and we headed into town to check on our boys. I didn’t want to sit around the house, pacing in circles all day. I also knew if I kept walking, it would probably speed the process up a bit. Next we went to Lowe’s. We were considering remodeling our kitchen in January. I remember being at the back of the store, looking at countertops, and Steven kept cracking jokes about my water breaking right there. He’d make me laugh and it would start another huge contraction. By the time we got back to the front of the store, I was holding onto his arm for support. I was afraid if he got too far from me, I’d panic and fall, or scream. I was much more afraid of screaming in public. We had already planned to go by Kohl’s for a few minutes, and I assured him I’d be fine and I really did want to go, for just a few minutes. (I know there was something specific I was looking for, but to this day I haven’t remembered what it was.)
When we got to Kohl’s, we made it to the shoe department, and down one aisle of shoes before I told him we had to leave. Right then. And I might need to be carried to the car. I did manage to walk to the car myself, but by the time we got outside the store, I was holding onto his arm again and walking very, very slowly.
When we got home, I rested for a bit while Steven called Tressia, my midwife and gave her the update. She got there a little before 6:00. By then I had made it past 5 cm, almost to 6, so we decided to have her stay.
Another wonderful family from our church family had already planned to bring us supper that evening, and by the time they got there about 6:30, the birthing tub was being filled and I was miraculously between contractions while I stood laughing and visiting with them in my kitchen.
After they left, everything was a blur. I remember watching Dancing with the Stars and joking that this baby had to arrive prior to 9 pm, or during a commercial break, so as not to interrupt my viewing of Castle. (She cooperated by the way.) I remember going to the kitchen and eating a plate of leftover spaghetti. (Thank you Elizabeth!) I remember drinking a glass of apple juice and suddenly having no idea where I had stored all the newborn hats, even though I had put them “somewhere I would not forget.” I remember staring at the huge portrait of my husband and I from our engagement session, hanging over our dining room table. I remember holding my husband’s hand, and being excited to meet our newest little one. I remember him whispering in my ear that he loved me and reminders to breathe through the pushes.
Our little Sylvia-Kate Marie entered the world and was placed in my arms. Dark hair, chubby cheeks…a girl! Perfection. Less than 24 hours after Steven walked in our back door, we were holding our beautiful baby girl. She was 4 days late by today’s medical standards, but she was right on time. God’s timing is perfect. I was so thrilled. To this day, everyone asks me if I’m loving having a girl. I am, but not for the reasons everyone thinks. As I held my sweet Sylvia-Kate in my arms that night, all I could do was stare at my husband and say, “You got your girl.” I silently thanked God over and over. After being blessed with two sons, I knew Steven wanted a baby girl to add to the family. When we were shopping in Target, I could barely get him to look at girl clothes, as he didn’t want to get his hopes up. We both knew he would love a third boy just the same as the other two, but he also wanted the opportunity to have that special daddy-daughter bond. I was so happy to have a baby girl, not for my sake, but for his. I watched him cuddle her as tears fell down his cheeks, just as they had when he had first held each of our boys.
For those first few minutes with Sylvie-Kate, our world was perfect.
**Photography by my sweet, talented friend Emily Cottingham of Captured by Cottingham. 🙂