And then my water broke at 7:30am.
With this fourth pregnancy, I had yet another new doctor. He was a man from our church and school. His youngest child is actually in Phoenix's class. Despite people's glowing recommendations of him, I held out. I just wasn't comfortable having to see the guy who literally knows me inside and out on a regular basis.
When my third doctor in three pregnancies moved away, I sucked it up and went to Dr. J. Throughout the pregnancy, he was very kind, but my favorite part was his "maternity days" policy. All prenatal visits, and only prenatal visits, were scheduled for Mondays. There was absolutely no waiting for your appointment, because there weren't any women who were there for their lengthy yearlies.
At 35 weeks along he checked me in the office and found that I was at 4cm. He said that just in the past two days, there were 5 other women who measured the same. He said, "Looks like I'm going to have a busy weekend!"
He may have, but I wasn't one that made it busy.
At the next week's appointment, I was still pregnant. "Surely, you will go any time now."
I walked and walked and walked to get that baby moving.
Every night, I would go on a walk while 3, then 4 year old Phoenix rode his bike next to me (in case anything happened, the plan was for him to bike home to get Dad.) It never worked.
It wasn't until four weeks after the original check, three days past my due date, and long after all of the other 4cm women were home with new babies, that Giant decided it was time.
The kids were at the kitchen table eating breakfast while I folded laundry. I snapped a shirt, and my water broke. Once again, with no contractions preparing me for it.
I called Hubby home from work, called my mom to get her started on her two-hour drive, and got the kids to a friend's house.
At the hospital, Dr. J showed me what a birth was supposed to look like. I will forever be grateful for the beautiful way he helped us through this birth.
Dr. J knew I was hungry, so he snuck food to me behind the nurses' backs.
He didn't make me take Pitocin, but let me walk around the hospital as long as I wanted.
Many times he said, "I'm not the one in pain. You tell me what hurts and what you need to help."
For two hours there at the end, despite the fact that he was in charge of the music for that evening's 9/11 service at church, he sat with us. He told stories of his children being born. He prayed with us. He encouraged Hubby to put on some music.
And because of all of this, for the first time ever, I never needed an epidural. All through the day I kept saying, "I can't believe how much this doesn't hurt. That Pitocin is evil!"
At 8cm, I finally felt some real pain. Only then did I get into bed and have to work through it.
I kept it all together, never once saying I needed an epidural.
Until pushing, that is. Pushing hurts. A lot.
As I got to 10cm and the pushing, Dr. J was doing something, a massage or something to try to help stretch out my cervix. I growled at the poor man, "Stop touching me! You're making it worse!"
So much for keeping it together.
I really started to lose it then, and the nurse was trying to keep me focused and calm. What worked was her declaration, "There is a group of teenagers out there on a tour, and you are going to scare them to death."
Dr. J thought it was necessary for Hubby to be more than just a cord cutter for this go-round, so as I started to push, he told Hubby to don some gloves. Hubby was taking way too long for my liking, so I yelled, "I don't care who catches this baby! I'm not waiting for him to get his gloves on!"
And pushed. A few pushes was all it took. Hubby managed to get himself together just in time.
Since I hadn't had an epidural, I didn't have to have the wait time before I could move around. My legs worked fine, and I felt great.
It was the most amazing birth I had experienced to date.
(Side note: I would have stayed with him, but soon after Giant was born, Dr. J had to give up his practice. He is allergic to latex, and it just got to be too much. He had already survived two severe reactions, and his doctor said he would not survive a third. He had to tell my friend four weeks before her due date that he would not be able to deliver her baby.)
As a baby, little Giant was simple. He didn't fuss much, he didn't spit up much, he slept about the same as the others did.
|Two nephews were born within 2 months of Giant. My stepmom liked buying them matching outfits.
As a toddler and preschooler, he was what they call a strong-willed child. Except worse. They were some very difficult years.
This cute little thing got to the point that people refused to watch him for me. Relatives included. My sister once took him for a weekend when he was three years old, and he didn't give her a moment's peace the entire time. At one point, they had gone out to eat. He actually got under the table, held on to the leg of it, and would not let go, even when it was time to leave. They pried him loose, only to drag his screaming self out to the car, where it took three adults to get him strapped into his car seat. The change in routine, combined with being without me, sent him into a tizzy he just couldn't get out of. For two whole days. It's a wonder my sister still talked to me after that. She spoke to me, but never had him over again.
Giant made me work harder than any child before or since. Finally, just before he turned four years old, I really started to figure him out. I realized that he sees things as black and white. He doesn't understand grey areas. I learned that he craves organization and order. Making him fly by the seat of his pants makes him anxious. He likes to know the schedule, even better if he gets to help plan it. He likes clear directions and expectations, and thrives on fulfilling them.
Once I figured him out, and he grew a bit more mature, our lives changed immensely, all for the better. You can read about all of this, as well as some tips on helping/raising a strong-willed child here.
Today, my dear Giant is a gem. Of the five love languages, his is most certainly service. I frequently find that he has done something for me, just because he knows it will make me happy. He forever looks for ways to help people. When we went to the Cincinnati Reds game, he and his brothers were sitting up under the sign. At one point it started to rain, and other people started to move under the sign where it was dry. Giant noticed this, and knowing that we had ponchos and umbrellas, he moved out from the cover and told his older brothers to follow suit.
Giant is an exceptional soccer player. (I didn't know this or believe it until many, many people told me so, and his coaches told us we needed to move him up to play with older kids.) When he plays with kids his own age, he doesn't make them feel inferior. In fact, I've had parents with new players let me know how much their sons appreciate the welcome and help that Giant has given them.
My dear Giant is a very hard worker. He has an innate desire to work and to do a good job. When I'm doling out chores, he always gets the ones that involve organization or detailed work. He is so thorough that he usually does the jobs as well as I would do them. (If you have children, you know that this is rare!) I don't feel bad about giving him these jobs, as he actually likes doing them!
I look forward to seeing what the future holds for my little boy who has now entered the double digits. He is excited for more freedom, but also the responsibilities that come with them. He will do well at whatever he chooses, no doubt about it.
It is just like Giant to wait until 9/11 to be born. It was the very first of many, many gifts he has given to our family. While we do remember and pray on this day, Giant has given us a reason to look forward instead of back. To celebrate the fact that despite difficult times, despite horror, destruction, and hate, good things happen. Good people are born. God is still here to help us heal.
Have a lovely day!