Happy Birthday to my little Ray of sunshine :)
11 years ago, from right now, I was getting into the groove of hospital labor. I had seen the midwife on May 6th for a 2:00 appointment and by 4:00 that afternoon, I knew that it was almost time.
I called Henry at work and told him there was no need to rush home but not to dilly-dally when he got off at 5:00. We didn't want to just sit around doing nothing so we drove up to Shoney's for supper. I don't know why Shoney's, but that's where we went and enjoyed our last pre-kid family meal. We saw a friend from school (Cassie F for those who remember her) and she asked, "When are you due?" and I answered, "Well, I think I'm actually in early labor now!" I think it weirded her out!
At 10:00 that night, I rationalized, "We should go ahead and call our family and go to the hospital. It'd be easier to tell everyone now before they all go to sleep for the night."
So we called everyone and headed towards B South Hospital. Most of the family arrived the same time we did! Being the first child born on both mine and Henry's sides of the family, EVERYONE was as giddy with excitement as we were!
So I went through all the normal checking-into-the-hospital things and got hooked up in the bed. Since my water wasn't broken, I was free to get up and go to the bathroom as needed but at all other times, I was required to be in bed and hooked up to the monitors.
Of course, I didn't know NEARLY what I know now and was 100% fine with all routines. And because my contractions were pretty regular, I was pretty much left alone once we got situated. I think they were just gonna let me labor the best i could through the night and then handle any possible delays in progression when the sun rose.
THANkFULLY, Ray kept moving down her pathway. Contractions were pretty regular and somewhat painful but I was able to get into a trance-like state and handle them. I remember staring at cross-sections of the white panel ceiling during each contraction. I also focused on breathing and as the pains got stronger, i would work harder at keeping my inhales equal with my exhales. That was the worst thing I did and as contractions got closer and closer, I began to hyperventilate. It was awful. Really awful. My face and hands were tingly and I had to have a paper bag to breathe into. When I got to the serious stages of labor, I had to really focus on handling the contractions and I had to have someone hold the paper bag over my nose and mouth until the contraction was over. That little pattern of breathing into a bag during each contraction really helped a bunch.
I also remember my Mom rubbing my feet and legs a little bit because they had some tingling sensations, too. And as things got more obvious that a baby was on her way, Henry started fiddling around with cameras and tripods. He had that nervous activity thing going on but also did a good job with helping me through the contractions. I think he liked being able to hold the bag ofr me because it gave him something productive to do.
A little before 8AM on the 7th, the midwife came in to check me and little did I know, go outside and tell my waiting family that it would be a while before there was any baby.
So breakfast became the topic of ocnversation. I remember people coming in and out of my room asking Henry what he wanted and that they were all running out to get some breakfast. I remember being hungry and mad that they were talking about food in front of me!
Mom and Dad went downstairs and wanted to speak to a friend who works at the hospital and knew he should be on his way in since it was right at 8AM. As they were getting off the elevator to find their friend on the 1st floor, before going to get breakfast, they were told by a lady at the desk that they needed to get back upstairs because their grandbaby was about to be born.
Since the message came via the hospital staff who said Mr. Trippe (Henry's Dad) was calling, my parents thought it was a joke. Mr. Trippe is quite the joker and if he had thought of it, he probably would have played this little prank. It wasn't a prank, though! After my midwife had checked me and left to tell everyone that a baby was a long ways away, the nurses helped me roll over in the bed to get some rest.
That roll made family history!
As I moved from my back to my left side, there was a loud POP and a little head receiving a crown :)
Ray was born at 8:11 AM after just 3 little-ish pushes!
This birth experience was such an awesome one that I started thinking about how I could share with pregnant Moms that not EVERY birth experience is a horror story. Good labors and births are totally possible! Even natural ones!
Even though it took me a little while to become a doula and eventually a homebirth advocate, it was definitely this experience that got me started thinking.
And it was this BABY that got me realizing that being a Mom is definitely one of the greatest blessings in the world and that I am SO HAPPY with this calling.
Ray, you are a precious jewel and I just love you to bits! You will always be that special introduction to the best part of my life...being a Mom! You are beautiful and oh-so-smart, and encourage me with your spirit and love of the Lord! I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!
1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
2 May he send you help from his sanctuary
and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
3 May he remember all your gifts
and look favorably on your burnt offerings.
4 May he grant your heart’s desires
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.