I seriously thought I’d be pregnant forever. After almost 43 weeks in my belly (yes, you read that right), Ruth Margaret Gable is finally here!
After that last post I wrote, I was sure I’d be going into labor at any moment. Like I said, since about 37 weeks, I had been having a ton of false labor pains. I’d sit through a few hours of contractions, getting more and more uncomfortable, sometimes I’d make a call or send a text to my midwife to give her a heads up, and then pfffffft. Like clockwork, they’d fizzle out and I’d go to bed with the sads. I had made up my mind since the very beginning though. I wasn’t going to get my little grubby hands involved in any way this time. I wanted my labor to start naturally and to have as little medical intervention as possible. I realize this might not be an option for everyone, so I’m very thankful for the chance to experience pregnancy, labor and delivery in the way I felt the most comfortable and in control as I was able. After two previous forced starts to labor (castor oil and pitocin), I really wanted a different experience. I have to fess up though… I did drink a bit of castor oil somewhere around 41 weeks in a moment of weakness, but most of it immediately came back up and gave me nothing but a bad case of gas for a few hours. Which, let’s be real… wasn’t all that different from every other day of the pregnancy.
On the morning of August 2nd, I woke up feeling a little off. I was just sort of lounging on the couch all morning watching HGTV and was feeling some period-like cramps, which I pretty much dismissed as another bout of false contractions. I was going to be pregnant forever, remember? Around 11 or so, the four of us got up and around and took a trip to Walmart to get some plumbing parts for our leaky toilet. I said something to Justin about how funny it would be if I was really in labor and didn’t have a working toilet. HAHAHA, SOOOO HILAR.
Walmart was Walmart and I wanted to leave after about 3 minutes. I was more agitated than I had felt in a long time and was still feeling contractions, but I wasn’t quite convinced they were the real deal yet. On to Target we went.
It was about the time the kids were looking at a giant book about Legos that I realized. I timed a good handful of contractions with an app on my phone as we leisurely strolled through Target and they were about 45 seconds and 4 minutes apart. Welp, I guess it’s time to grab that gigantic tub of licorice I’ve been craving and skidaddle.
In the parking lot, I called my midwife. She had checked me out the day before and I dilated to about a 4, but after discussing it and considering all the starts/stops, we decided it’d be okay if she headed out of town to go to her granddaughter’s birthday party for a day. By the time I called her to let her know I thought this could be the real deal, she was already in her car with her husband and on their way. I had a back up midwife lined up if anything like this happened, so I wasn’t really worried. Plus, I kind of still didn’t really believe I was really in labor. I KNOW. Looking back and thinking about how I had to stop and breathe through contractions and how I even passed the makeup aisles without so much as flinching in their direction, HOW COULD I NOT HAVE KNOWN? This is the third time I had done this, for Pete’s sake. It’s almost like I needed it in writing, signed by the President or something.
My midwife suggested I go on home, take a bath and eat some lunch. Usually, relaxing a bit will cause false contractions to ease off, so that’s what we were trying to do. I did what she suggested and while I was in the shower, Justin was scrambling around the house, straightening up and making a bed for me on the couch. He also fixed the toilet at lightning speed and I am forever grateful. He was such an angel throughout this entire thing… More on that later.
So after being home for only about half an hour, I was starting to feel legit pains:
(Apologies if the exposed midriff is causing you to stumble.)
After Justin took that photo, I had to use the bathroom like whoa, so I hung out in there for about 20 minutes (TMI, don’t you love it? Poop and labor = BFF). I could hear him pacing the living room and making some phone calls. My midwife, who was still on her way out of town, gave him the number for the back up midwife. He called her and she was 40 minutes away. Yikes. Next was a phone call to my parents, who were supposed to pick up Maddie and Jack at this point, but they were 2 hours away. Then a call to my doula, who was busy at another birth. I remember leaning on the bathroom counter and Justin came in to tell me that we were on our own for at least the next 40 minutes and we seriously just laughed. During the pregnancy, we talked about what would happen if he had to deliver the baby and they covered it in the home birth class, but we never formally planned for it to ACTUALLY happen. I can’t describe what was going on in my head at that moment, but even though everything I had envisioned was seemingly slipping through my fingers, I somehow knew it was going to turn out more than fine. The peace was indescribable… as were the poop pains. Back to the toilet, brb.
A few minutes later, I emerged a new woman — a woman in honest-to-goodness active labor. I ended up on my knees on the floor in front of the couch, leaning my upper body over the seat cushions. I have no idea how I chose that place to have the baby. I had tossed around a few possibilities beforehand, thinking maybe it would happen in our bedroom or bathroom. The tub, perhaps? Candles lit and relaxing music playing? The fact that I landed in one of the most random spots in the house without any recollection of consciously choosing it proves what I had heard about home birth and your instincts just leading you to settle in the right spot for you to birth the baby. Sounds kumbaya my Lord, but honestly, it did end up being the best place for me to have the baby. By the way, there was no time for candles or music. I labored to the soothing sounds of Jumanji on TV in the next room where my kids were hanging out. Screeching monkeys really puts you in the frame of mind for birthing, FYI.
Justin called my midwife, put her on speaker and set the phone on the couch about a foot from my head. I clearly remember NOT wanting to talk or be helped in any way. I wanted to be done. I screamed, I cried a little, and she calmly coached me through it. She told me to put my pain to good use and bear down through the contractions. Justin was behind me (sorry, honey) and was doing everything my midwife instructed him to do. I’ll spare you some of the details there. Water had started leaking, he was checking for the baby’s head, you get it. I can’t remember exactly what he was doing that whole time, but he was encouraging and sweet throughout it all. And remarkably calm! I felt so safe with him there.
I felt the baby’s head move down at one point, then again during the next contraction. I was like, “ohhh craaaap, this is really happening” and my midwife could tell by my screeching what was going on. The baby was almost out. She said, “Okay, Justin and Morgan. I need you to look in each other’s eyes and agree that you still don’t want to call 911. Are you ready to do this?” Through blurred, mascara-teared eyes, I looked at Justin and we both said “Yes.” I’m sure I looked so hot in that moment. Like, irresistible even. Justin’s expression was the best though. I’ll never forget it. Excited, a little nervous about the unknown, but still confident. And dang cute. I think he looked the cutest he’s ever looked to me on that day.
You guys, it felt like I had to take the biggest poop of my life. I knowww, I’m sorry for the repeated mentions of poop, but it’s honestly what it felt like! The pain in my butt was literal and it was something I hadn’t felt with the previous epidurals. It. Was. Intense. But it didn’t last long.
I pushed once and the baby’s head came out. No time for 911 anyway at that point. Justin held it, as I was still leaning over the couch. Right at that moment, the back up midwife busted through the door, slid across our living room floor while simultaneously snapping on her gloves. It was kind of Matrix-y and awesome how she flew in like that. She put her hands down there to catch the baby as I pushed her out. She passed Ruth through my legs and I held her for the first time. Baby Ruth. She was here and she was perfect!
Don’t be fooled by this picture. This was about 10 minutes after I had Ruth, I totally wasn’t wearing pants and still had to deliver the placenta. Buckets of fun! That part took three flippin hours and was honestly the most painful part. My back up midwife kept saying, “How do you spell relief? P-L-A-C-E-N-T-A” and she was not joking. Getting that thing out was the best feeling ever. Then I could actually take a shower, snuggle my sweet baby and eat some Chipotle.
Our sweet Maddie and Jack were in the next room the entire time, poking their heads in and out to check on me. Maddie even unlocked the door for the midwife and handed Justin a few things during the crazy part of my labor. Justin and I had done our best to prepare them, but I think my screaming kind of took them by surprise. They were incredibly sweet to the baby when she arrived though, and that hasn’t stopped since.
More posts to come, as I’m sure I forgot a few details and I’ll have some questions to answer. I’ll get to that soon. For now, know that we’re in heaven with our family of 5 and are all enjoying every second with our precious Ruthie.
No belly photo this time… just close your eyes and picture a hippo wearing a maxi skirt and I’m sure it’ll be close.
This is all new to me, this waiting game! When I was pregnant with Maddie and was baaaarely a day over my due date, I decided to drink a nice little castor oil cocktail. It sent me right into labor and I had her 12 hours later. And then with Jack, I was induced for no good reason a few days before my due date. So yeah, this is different. I’ve been having tons of false labor start/stops since about 37 weeks, which has been super duper fun and not at all leaving my loved ones sitting on the edge of their seats. I’ve been doing my best not to let impatience get the best of me and just let it happen on it’s own, which is so NOT the way I’m used to operating. It’ll be best in the long run, I truly do believe that.
Honestly though, you know what just plain sucks? Watching as all your friends who were due close to your due date having their babies like, a month ago. Every time I see another one on Facebook give birth, I’m just like Napoleon Dynamite…
For the time being, I’ll just continue bouncing on the exercise ball, hoping it doesn’t explode underneath me while watching One Tree Hill on Netflix and reminding myself that I won’t be pregnant forever. And that my boobs WILL stop growing at some point. (Right? Please tell me I’m right.)
And just like that, I’m in my 8th month! (Today is 33 weeks, 3 days)
Time flies when you don’t post weekly pregnancy updates, doesn’t it? It’s been kind of different/weird, to not be giving the social network every detail of this pregnancy, because last time and the time before that? Well, I basically shared everything, down to the nitty-gritty-no-one-really-wants-to-know-how-much-facial-hair-you-are-growing. But it was fun, you know? Talking and sharing and connecting… and yes, complaining every waking hour of the day. That part was like, SO healthy for my mental state. :) This time, and I know I’ve said this a gillion times, but this time it’s just SO dang different.
The past year has been kind of a season of separation from some social types of situations. A time of being more guarded with my words and really placing a lot of value on what I say and what I do. A time of maybe being a teensy bit radical in some ways. I know those close to me have noticed some stuff changing and may be kind of weirded out and concerned by the sudden nature of the shift in priorities, but honestly, so much greatness is coming of it. I know it’s just a short period of this, to really gain perspective on where I was living — in such a negative, harmful, hurtful and painful place. To step out of that for a bit, to really gain some understanding of why I was the way that I was, so when the dust settles and things get back to ‘normal’, I will be much more grounded and sure of who I am. So I won’t be so shaken up by little things that may go awry in my life. I’m feeling that change right now and it’s good. It’s really good. I’m not telling everyone to go out and do this because wow, stuff really gets stirred up! It’s a very purposeful thing for me and my family, with an end in sight. So I’ll be back here writing more regularly at some point in the near future.
With all that said about guarding my words, you guys know I haven’t had an ultrasound, right? WHEW, I went there! Guard momentarily down! Nope. Haven’t been to the doctor either. Midwife care, yes, traditional OB, no. Huh? What was that you just thought? It’s okay, gurrrl. If you want to unleash the beast, go for it… I’ve heard it all at this point! I can do this dance. I’ll even dip you and give you a kiss at the end because seriously, after hearing what I’ve heard over the past 8 months, nothing could bother me at this point. I’m not being unwise or reckless. There’s a plan and there’s safety involved and this is another very purposeful thing we’re walking out right now. Different? OHHH yes, especially for me, who once held the title of The Queen of Unnecessary Ultrasounds. But again, good things coming from it!
One small example, not going to the doctor means I haven’t weighed myself in several months. Like maybe, twice during this entire pregnancy. It’s been freeing in a lot of ways, but you know, a funny thing happens when you don’t obsess over the number on the scale — You STILL find ways criticize yourself!
Behold… the woman with a hundred chins…
Such a sweet picture of me and Jack Boy, but I still zone in right on those rolls. Count em up! One two, skip a few, 99, 100! I’d love to say that I’m at a place where weight gain doesn’t bother me, but LEZBEREALHURR. It’s a process, people. I am enjoying eating though. I like, really, really enjoy eating. And snow cones. Something about snow cones just does it for me these days.
Oh also, has anyone seen The Business of Being Born? Or any other home birth type documentaries? Would someone please tell me WHY every woman seems to give birth topless??? Enlighten me, por favor. Yes, I will be giving birth in the comfort of my own home and it’s nothing my midwife and husband haven’t seen before, but I can’t. I assure you, I will be covering these monstrosities. My kids have seen me getting into the shower and seem to think something about my physical state is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. Not that my kids will be there for the birth, I just mean there’s a common theme of “LARGE” going on with me right now and I think I’d even distract myself mid-push and start laughing if I was completely nekkid. We’ll just leave it at that.
On that delightful note, I’ll wrap things up. No wait, look at this photo of “beautiful scenery” first and get that other image out of your mind:
The next time you hear from me, I’ll probably have this baby! Woo!
There’s something that’s been stirring in my heart lately, something that is so hard to explain… but you know I have to try.
I call her The Facebook Christian. “Her”, because I see a lot of myself in her words and actions. Well-intentioned. Heart for God. Convictions firmly planted. Loved by many. Lover of many. Defender of many. Offender of many. Something’s just a little, teensy bit off. Don’t get me wrong… right off the bat I can say I’ve brought my Facebook/blog to hell and back, so no one’s condemning here. There’s just a little something off.
We all have morals, values, beliefs, and Facebook is undoubtedly the platform of choice for many of us to voice these openly. As a place to feel — if only for the brief second it takes to click ‘enter’ — Free. Bold. Entitled. It’s OUR page, after all.
But what if we’re not using it in the way that paints the best picture of Christians as a whole? I’ve been guilty, so to speak, of using Facebook as my spiritual checklist of sorts. I say ‘spiritual’, but it’s really more religious… works and striving and doing doing doing and pressure to be better and having checklists and feeling guilty for not being perfect or saying the right thing… that’s just plain miserable. That’s not what I want for my life, online or off.
I’ll give a few examples of some very basic Facebook Christian behavior:
- Post a Bible verse today. Check.
- Share/like a political/inspirational/Jesus-y quote, article or story. Check.
Ahh, feels good to be a Facebook Christian. So fulfilling to stand up for what I believe! Sort of. Let’s try it some more! (And this is where the lines start getting blurry… naturally. We’re human.)
- Leave a comment on a charged post about homosexuals, Duck Dynasty, The Election, rear-facing car seats, vaccines, breastfeeding until age 5, Chik-fil-A, etc. Check.
- BONUS POINTS for use of a Bible verse to prove your point. Check.
- Passive-aggressively ‘like’ a photo of the friend who you’re in a fight with, juuust to let her know you’re still keeping tabs and that of course you don’t mind that she’s having fun without you! (But you totally do mind.) Check.
- Stalk an ex. Only a quick peek… Check.
- Message an ex. BUT! just to see how life is treating them. Check.
- Post a borderline cleavagey girl’s night picture where you hid the margarita out of the camera’s view. Check.
- Intentionally hide a post from your parents, boss, church friends, etc. because they’d “judge” your behavior. Check.
Again, I’ve done all of these at some point and I’m not pointing fingers at any one person (SERIOUSLY. I love you all and am trying to look inward here.), but are you sort of getting what I’m trying to say? We do these things that aren’t necessarily fabulous one day, and still expect the world to listen when we have something to say that is actually meaningful, with purpose, with true LOVE as a motivator. Because we all know that DOES happen sometimes! We do have good intentions and a heart for God! No one is arguing that here. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with things. I’m sad to say though, the world probably doesn’t always listen to/read those pure, good things we have to say. They may roll their eyes. They may think, Bigot. Hypocrite. Preachy. And when we think we’re being neutral by posting photos of our kids, all they can think is, “Oh there’s Bigot’s kids! Too bad. They’re cute.”
I’m not meaning to sound harsh, again. And yes, I know ‘persecution’ is all part of the job, but if I’m going to be persecuted, I want to have my side of the street clean so it’s ACTUALLY persecution and not just something I had coming because of my big mouth or because I flew off the handle about abortion in a moment of sleep deprived rage.
Personally, I’m just done doing the Susie Christian Facebook thing. I love the Lord and people know it already. I’ll talk/share when He leads me to do so without regret, but never again out of anger. That’s not God. Never again if it’s going to hurt those I’m called to love, regardless of their lifestyle. That’s not God behavior either because God is love. And never again because I feel the need to fulfill an imaginary religious checklist. God doesn’t have a check list for me! Or you. We are in right standing WHERE WE ARE. That’s the beauty of loving Jesus. The “work” has been done. It’s not about what we say anyway, it’s about what’s behind it. What’s motivating it. Who is motivating it.
It’s been a tough thing to put into practice, this ‘walk the walk’ thing, I’m telling you. I don’t have it down yet, but if it means not being seen as just another Facebook Christian and instead as a woman who really WALKS it, LIVES it, BREATHES it… then count me in.
And now I’m off to post this on my Facebook page… ;)
My baby just lost her first tooth!
Unfortunately, it was lost and, ahem, swallowed while she was eating a bag of Target popcorn. It’s all very fitting, really. So tonight, we’re going to write the tooth fairy a note and leave it under Maddie’s pillow, explaining the mishap. I’m sure she’ll understand.