Sorry this has taken so long to post. I just wanted to make sure everything was right. And it's a pretty long story (17 hours worth, to be exact) so it's coming in parts :)
Everyone was waiting, watching...I was expecting. REALLY expecting. Five days had passed since the day he "was to arrive." In a culture where no one waits for their baby, people threw every comment they could my way. Like baseballs that I couldn't seem to avoid, hurled towards my face at top speed. "You haven't had that baby yet" or "You look like you're about to pop" or maybe "When are you going to have him?" And I thought to myself, "He'll be here when the Lord wants him to be here. God already knows his birthdate." And smiled and nodded and yes, I even laughed sometimes at the questions...when I had gotten enough sleep the night before, and was able to answer without crying.
Hormones raging, I walked into my church building and over to the pew where we usually sat. It was our Thanksgiving service and I had dodged every "baseball" I could that night. I briskly waddled over to my seat. My parents were there, his parents were there, and a handful of other faithful believers came filtering through the doors. Soon the service started.
This was always my favorite service of the year. Our church family gathers two nights before the special holiday and give thanks together to the One who "freely gives us all things" and it is beautiful. Tears flow as cancer survivors stand and praise God for His marvelous healing, while others thank Him for walking with them through their fiery trials.
This year was so special. I was to have a baby boy to thank the Lord for! But, he hadn't come yet. I told myself I wouldn't worry. Wouldn't let it get to me. But it did...a little. "That's OK, he'll be here soon," I told myself.
And the days dragged on...and the phone calls kept coming. And my cell phone was turned off. So? They called my parents. And my parents answered "Well, not yet" *Cue look towards me sitting on the couch, belly bulging. And Thanksgiving Day came and went. And the outfit I had bought him went back into his closet, along with the pilgrim hat and turkey bib.
Day after Thanksgiving we decided to go shopping. I know, what was I thinking? "Eight days passed due" was what I was thinking. I needed to walk. "Maybe his head is stuck and walking will bring him down?" While we were out, Tyler bought me a beautiful, black dress. "You deserve it," he said.
I called my Doula, Hannah. She said to let her know if anything happened. Later that day, we went to the hospital to have the baby monitored. I laid on the hospital bed, belly bare except for the EFM, I thought "Little guy, you better be OK. And you might want to show everyone that you're OK, so that we can keep waiting on you." No sooner had I thought this, than Tyler looked at me and said "Are you having a contraction right now?" And I said "Ya, but just a little one." He said he could see them on the screen. All of the sudden, they started clipping along at a steady pace. Mind you, I'd had next to nothing until now. So I got kind of excited...and so did Tyler. The nurse came in and checked on me, said everything looked great and that I could go on home. "Come back Monday and we'll check your fluids. Until then, take it easy, no more shopping," she said with a wink. So I took her advice and went back to his parent's house, where his and mine waited for us.
I kept having little contractions here and there for about 10-15 minutes and then they would stop. Finally, around 9pm they were done for good. And I was tired from the days events. I said goodbye to my brother and Tyler's brother and my brothers girlfriend, who were leaving to go back to college the next day. They all said "Make sure you call us if you go into labor and we'll stay around instead of leaving!"
The contractions had stopped and we were both tired out from a day of shopping, eating, anticipating. As I laid my head down on my memory foam pillow, legs nestled around my body pillow and large belly hanging over the top, I thought "tonight could be the night." Something inside me always though my true labor would begin in the night. That I would awake from my sleep with a cramping feeling, and my sheets slightly wet. Little did I know, how wrong I was.
I woke at 5am Saturday morning with small contractions again. As I got up to get a drink of water, I tried hard not to get too excited. I ate a little something (It's amazing how hungry you get when you're pregnant) and headed back to bed. After sleeping another two and a half hours I woke to feel my uterus contracting again, but nothing more intense than earlier. I told Tyler and he decided to stay home with me.
They were getting pretty regular and around 9am my brother called. Tyler answered the phone, "Hey man, is Tori gonna come over and say bye?" "I think we're gonna stay here," Tyler replied. "She doesn't want to do anything that might throw her off again." My brother understood, but offered to come to my house to say goodbye. I didn't feel comfortable having anyone at the house. I was hoping to keep these contractions going for real. Tyler told Ransom that I loved him and that we would be praying for his safe return to school.
Around 11:30am they started to ease off. Then they slowed to a complete halt. My heart was sad. I thought "Not again. We keep doing these 'fake' things. It's driving me crazy!" I called my doula, and she said to maybe go for a walk. So we did. Around the street one time, stopping now and then when I would have 'a good one'. Back at the house, I was tired and Tyler was still being such a help. He was making sure I had plenty of water and getting things ready for just in case.
It had been an a few hours since a good strong contraction had come, and I was getting antsy. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Wooah," I said to Tyler. "That was an intense one. Haven't had one like that yet!" And it eased and then another and another. He looked at me excitedly, "What do you want to do? Lie down?"
"I need to eat," I said very matter-of-factly. It was like something inside was saying "Get some nourishment NOW, you're gonna need it."
We walked to the car, in between contractions. Once we were in, we headed to Chicken Express. It hilarious, cause it's all I wanted during pregnancy, and it's all I wanted here in labor too. As we pulled around to pay and get our food, I remember having a real tightening and saying "Oh no, here one comes, I'm gonna be loud." And Tyler looked at me and said, "It's OK, go ahead." And I did. I was mooing like a cow at the pick-up window of Chicken Express and pretty sure the cashier heard me and gave Tyler a honestly worried look.
We headed home, where I downed my meal and got to work.
More to come soon...