Easter morning this year dawned white and crisp. A few inches of fresh snow fell overnight, and it was beautiful. The ground was wet, not frozen, temperatures were expected to warm up throughout the day, and I knew the snow wouldn’t last long. We had several new calves born at the farm, and I tried my best to hustle through chores so we wouldn’t be late for Easter church.
I made a few notes of animals to check on when I got back to the farm, and then I showered and put on my only still fitting long cotton maternity dress.
Sitting quietly in the pews at church I took in the music and the sermon, but I kept thinking about how my belly was getting more and more painful. I’d been having more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions the past week, and I wondered how much different they felt than the real thing.
As JR and I climbed into the car he remarked I seemed pretty uncomfortable during church. I told him I’d call the clinic Monday if it kept up, and we pulled out of the parking lot.
Several minutes later I knew I wouldn’t be calling the clinic on Monday. We were going to the hospital. Now. My water had broken.
Less than five minutes later I walked into the hospital entrance with JR close behind. They asked me how far along I was, and I nervously answered, “38 weeks 2 days,” as I tried to process the situation. I was going to have a baby very soon. Maybe even an Easter baby.
They got me settled in a room and started taking vitals and hooking me up to monitors. JR left to get my (mostly packed) hospital bag. Contractions got intense pretty quickly, which makes sense since my water was broken. Everything was going fine except my blood pressure. I haven’t had anything but normal readings my entire pregnancy, and somehow now it was through the roof. I didn’t realize how high it was until later when I wanted to trying walking around during labor. They apologized that I had to stay in bed, but I needed constant monitoring because I was on a magnesium sulfate IV.
JR was back soon, and we talked through a few things to check on at the farm and he made some phone calls. While not exactly convenient, everything would get taken care of!
Between the worsening contractions, the side effects from the IV, and my confinement to bed I decided after several hours I would get an epidural. JR and the nurses were helpful and encouraging, but I simply wanted and needed some relief.
The epidural stung going in, but it was amazing how quickly I felt like a human again. I watched some TV, tried to take a quick nap, and I texted our families I was in the hospital. I had been to my parents just one day earlier, and I was sure it would be a little while before baby showed up. Needless to say I think everyone was surprised.
Things progressed pretty quickly at the hospital in the late afternoon, but then stalled for a few hours. My oldest sister stopped by the hospital to check on me on her way home from Easter, and when she left I was back to wondering if baby would come before midnight.
After several more starts and stops my doctor announced at about 10:45 I was finally ready to push. I’d had to get my epidural drugs refilled about an hour earlier, and I was left with a searing, painful spot on my right side that never numbed up. Still, I focused on the job I needed to do because I couldn’t wait to meet baby.
The sound of finally hearing your baby cry as he enters the world is beyond even what I imagined. My doctor kept assuring me I was, “So close” and eventually I could tell I really was. My heart and lungs were working hard, my whole body exhausted, and I prayed out of faith and frustration for baby to please come.
I remember looking at the clock continually as the minutes ticked by, and finally I was also sure the next push would bring baby. I heard a sweet, sharp cry, and my doctor proclaimed, “It’s a boy!”
Our little Easter baby boy arrived healthy and well at 11:43 p.m. on March 27, 2016.
Griffin Edward. 7 lbs 9 oz. 21 inches.