I’ve been away from my blog lately, but I have a good reason. A very cute one, actually. Our second baby joined the family a little early, and with his arrival comes a great birth story. It was nothing of what I expected, but everything I should have come to expect from God.
Most of you who know me in person heard my many worries about this birth as the due date approached. Our childcare for the two year old was coming from about 2-3 hours away, and our hospital was about an hour away from our house. Our doula Amy, who I had come to depend on during baby #1’s birth, would be on a trip up until 5 days before the due date. How on EARTH would everything fall into place? Especially considering the possiblity of false alarms and the fact that babies make their own schedules.
Despite all my worry, let me tell you how it all worked out–every last detail, down to the last possible moment. Like detailed brush strokes from an artist who knows exactly what he’s doing.
I had two nights of prodromal labor (when non-braxton-hicks contractions start up, get regular, then die out). I warned my dad and his wife (Elena’s childcare) that baby would probably come early and settled in at home. On Sunday they started up in the afternoon rather than at night. My dad offered to come up, just in case, and I waved it off. “Nah, it’s ok. This could last for weeks.”
Nope. (Baby was born within 6 hours of that phone call.)
I sat outside with Elena and Vince as they drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. We picked berries in the yard, walked and talked… with mom pausing every once in a while for a contraction. Finally I realized they were about 2-3 minutes apart and we decided I should think about going in. (“This is real labor!” Vince had been saying for hours. Yes, I should have listened.)
I called my doula and debated with her about if it was true labor or not. I told my dad to go ahead and start heading toward our house and I’d go get checked out at least. They were scheduled to arrive around 9pm but by 8 or so, I decided we needed to leave–THAT SECOND. Vince got everything in the car and we told my dad to meet us at the hospital and we’d hand Elena off to him. Told the doula we were on the way. I curled up in the car and, quiet as I am, almost slammed my fist into the car horn as Vince double and triple checked everything in the house. It was definitely time to GO!
Then we had an hour-long drive to the hospital. About 15 minutes into that drive, baby decided it was time to make an appearance–right that minute. Throwing out all my training about relaxing through contractions, I tensed every muscle I had to keep that baby inside until we got there! That’s an agony I never want to feel again. I begged Vince to drive faster (poor guy was already moving pretty fast through a construction zone!) I told Vince not to bother switching Elena’s carseat and everything when we got there–that could wait until after the baby came or he might miss it.
And then everything came together with the precision and amazing timing I’m coming to expect from God–especially when He wants to prove to me that He had it under control the whole time. (Maybe next time I’m in an anxious spot I’ll worry less. Maybe.)
My dad and his wife arrived at the hospital FIVE MINUTES before we did. Cindy came out with a wheelchair when we drove up. Our doula, who was hours away from leaving for a week-long trip, came sprinting through the parking lot as we arrived. She stayed with me in triage while Vince got Elena set up in my dad’s car. When I finally got wheeled to a delivery room, they had me sign all these forms (which I wanted to hurl at the wall and scream at them to let me push already!) Being so thoroughly Norwegian, I bit back the screams I wanted to let loose and compliantly signed every form they shoved in front of me. In silence. Hopefully I didn’t sign away my home or anything, because I sure didn’t read them!
I don’t remember the rest in perfect detail, but it went something like this: “Ok, I’m going to check and see if you’re dilated enough to stay yet… Oh look, HAIR!” At this point I think Vince showed up. Just in time. With one contraction my water burst like a pressurized water balloon, then another contraction or two and our baby Levi arrived at 10pm. I think we were in the birth room about 15 minutes total when he was born, and we called to let my dad know… while he was still driving to our house!
Despite my anxiety about all the variables, all the possible crisis situations, everything fell exactly into place. Down to the minute. My doula was there to help, Vince did not miss the birth, Elena was taken care of, and we even managed to make it to the hospital! And meanwhile God is chuckling at all my senseless worry.
Levi’s birth left me in shock. I laid in the birthing room shaking, thinking “my baby’s here already. He’s here. He came out. We did it.” And just a few hours before, I had been debating with my doula if this was the start of real labor or not. It was amazing, intoxicating… humbling. Never again will I doubt God’s utter sovereignty. (Ok, not NEVER. I’m still human. And me.) And never will I forget the way He so perfectly orchestrated Levi’s amazing birth–and blessed me with every little thing I worried about not having right.
And at the end, I am left to cuddle my sweet little boy, the newest piece of my heart. <3