Enzo's Birth

I have heard many times before that just as every child is different, every pregnany and birth is different, but I didn't think much of it until I experienced it.

It all started Monday the 14th of December. I had 7 hours of very uncomfortable contractions and while I knew they were only Braxton-Hicks I also knew that it was definitely something to bring up to my midwife at my next appointment. I went in on the morning of December 23rd for a routine check-up and discovered that I was 90% effaced. Despite the fact that my parents and two younger siblings were arriving that day and lots of preperations were still needed I was prescribed bed rest. Thankfully my midwife understood that would be quite difficult and so put me on "recliner" rest but that's where I spent the next week - through Christmas festivities and everything!
Praise the Lord that my family was staying through the 2nd of Jan. because my mom was a huge help with taking care of the house and Ruby because Chuck was unable to take any time off of work the week after Christmas.

I went in to the Birth Center again on December 31st hoping to hear that I had thickened up and could go back to light activity (like getting some fresh air!) but instead we discovered that not only was I still 90% effaced I was a "generous" 3cm dilated! This time I went home and went to bed. We weren't worried about mine or Enzo's health at this point but knew that every day meant he was bigger and stronger so it was worth it to me to rest - there was no need to rush things and get him here earlier than he was ready for.
My family left the following Saturday morning and Chuck, Ruby and I had a nice weekend and began to plan the following week. Chuck was scheduled to be out of town for work Wed-Fri but thankfully his mom would be able to stay with us.

I was losing my mind being stuck in the back of the house so Monday I spent my time on the couch - horizontal of course - and worked on more knitting. Monday night I began feeling more contractions that I had on previous days, nothing regular or longer than 30 seconds, but I knew that every contraction was working to get my body ready for a baby but it was already too ready! I kept a close watch on things and the next morning when the contactions were still quite frequent I decided to go get checked out.
The midwife assured me that I was the same but not to hesitate in calling her if I had any questions or concerns. I went back to the couch but the contractions didn't go away.
My friend Holly came over for lunch, Emily brought over soup for dinner and Suzanne got our produce coop picked up and sorted - all the while a feeling kept growing inside me that Enzo wasn't going to wait until Saturday.

Chuck and I went to the Birth Center at 5pm to checked out again and I was 5cm. We could either go back to bed and wait things out not knowing if Enzo would get here in a matter of hours or days or we could go home, go for a walk and get checked again in two hours. We decided to stay out of bed and when we went back at 7:30 I was softer and almost at 6cm so we checked into the birth center and began preparing to have a baby!

Over the next several hours my contractions went from intense to merely annoying, from 5 minutes apart to 2 and I got very tired of walking back and forth in the birth room. It was far too cold to walk around outside.
At 11:45 I was only a generous 7cm and while Betty felt confident that I would progress naturally I was getting tired and new that if it took another 4 hours to get to the point when I was pushing I wouldn't make it. I knew what kind of strength I needed and I didn't think I'd have still have it. I must confess that I was having a hard time trusting that God was in charge of all of it - I was so sure it would go faster!
With all of this in my mind I decided that I would rather Betty break my water. She agreed that that would be a fine course of action but also made sure I knew that the contractions would be much harder.

Betty broke my water at 12:30. That first contraction instantly brought my mind back to when Ruby was born and I knew that it wouldn't be another 4 hours. I was grateful for this but after 4 more contractions I was on my knees on the bed pleading with God to make it much less than 4 hours or 2 or even 1. My prayers were answered swiftly because after 1 transition contraction and 4 minutes of my body pushing (Betty actually had to tell me not to push anymore than my body was) Enzo was here at 12:54am!

I couldn't believe it! I don't think I was quite ready for it to go that quickly. I was in shock when they placed him on my stomach but it didn't take me long to snuggle him close and thank God for miracles and mercy and family and everything I could think of.

We all thought I was 37 weeks and 4 days but based on Enzo's exam, Betty assessed that he was between 36 and 37 weeks. Praise the Lord that his lungs are healthy and I rested to give his body more time to grow. Praise the Lord for His love and His plan and all the little joys we get to experience in this life.

Chuck canceled his trip and we're all resting, enjoying Enzo and praising God for each moment. Ruby's still trying to figure it all out and recover from all the attention and lack of routine of the holiday's and the last few days but she loves seeing the baby and giving him kisses.
Check out Chuck's blog for more pictures!