On February 2nd, I was two days past my due date and entirely frustrated while sitting in church. I wanted to meet the little human that had been growing in me for the last nine months! He was measuring further along, so I was hopeful he would make an early appearance.
At 3:30am on Tuesday, February 4, Noah and I drove to the hospital. Shortly walking through the doors, Ashley, my nurse for the morning, put an IV in my hand and started pumping my body full of Pitocin. Contractions started, but they were bearable. Noah and I took a walk around the birthing center, I sat in a tub, and I even tried sitting on a birthing ball. Right around noon, my contractions became stronger and much more frequent. For a while, I endured the excruciating pain, but eventually I had to try morphine in order to experience some reprieve.
Nope! That had zero effect.
It was time for an epidural. If the pain was this intense at 7cm, there was no telling how painful 10cm would be! About 20 minutes later, the anesthesiologist walked in with a cart full of torture devices. It took the poor man roughly 5 minutes to find the correct location for the epidural. As each contraction came, I gritted my teeth as he dug around my back looking for the site. I'm pretty sure Noah was ready to punch the guy! Once the drugs started kicking in, labor was a breeze! I even took a nap... while Noah watched on with an odd mixture of concern and fascination.
A couple hours later, Megan, my champion of a nurse, told me it was finally time to start pushing.
The process started at 4:15pm. Right around that time, Noah, who had been up since 2:30am, was running out of energy and ready to sleep. He sat on the couch while I was in the first stages of pushing. I couldn't lose my primary source of encouragement, so he downed 2-3 cans of Pepsi for the sake of caffeine! I was told with the way I was pushing the baby would be out soon! Doctor Olson would even be able to deliver him. I think Noah and I were both relieved to hear that!
Doctor Olson came in around 5:30pm to check on the progress. Though his head was visible, I still had to get him past the pelvic floor, which is the hardest part.
I was told to push a few more times and then help would be administered to get baby out.
Again, not so!
Doctor DeWitt walked in and assumed responsibility over the birth. At 7:15pm, she told me she would wait another 20-30 minutes before offering any outside assistance. Defeated, I kept telling Noah that I was simply too tired. I couldn't keep pushing with this level of intensity, not when I hadn't eaten all day and I had already been pushing for 3 hours.
From there, everything was a blur; I was delirious with exhaustion. I would feel a wave of pain settling in and hear Noah count down when I should start pushing. Then a chorus of voices from Dr. DeWitt and the nurses would chime in with encouragement. At one point, I heard, "Look down at your baby." I opened my eyes and saw a MASSIVE baby being lifted up and placed on my chest.
Shock, relief, and joy overwhelmed me, and the tears began flowing down my cheeks.
Ezra Meade Prins was born at 7:50pm, weighing 9 pounds and 1 ounce and measuring 22 inches long.
Noah quoted it best when he said that our hearts now live outside of our bodies. I've never known a love like this before. Marriage calls us to selfless love, but there's always an internal war to live into that calling. With Ezra, it feels like the most natural reaction - selfless giving of my body for the sake of his well-being. I'm amazed by his presence in our lives and am so very thankful that God chose Noah and me to be his parents.
Cheers to the biggest leap out of my comfort zone to date! ;)