Hope was born on November 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm.
Hope was conceived after two miscarriages, several failed attempts at hiring a replacement for me at work, three trips to the hospital, and five days after my due date.
But even though November didn’t appear to be a good time to have a baby, it was perfect in God’s timing.
On November 6, I was watching our kids and four “extras” by myself. By the time the parents came home, we were making arrangements for Henry and Harmony to spend the night with the friends. But by 2 am, we were back home…while I was having contractions every 3 minutes, I wasn’t making “progress”, so they let me go home to sleep in my own bed. In the morning, the contractions were gone.
November 11 was my due date and my grandmother’s birthday. It would have been a great day to have a baby for many logistical and honoring reasons. I tried going for a long walk to encourage things. And while I did start having contractions and the OB sent me to the hospital (and the kids had another slumber party at a friends’ house), once again they went away. No Veteran’s day baby for us.
I was a very miserable, emotional time bomb for the remainder of the week. My mom came, hoping to meet a baby, but no dice. I may have even made another trip to the hospital on that Thursday, but same story. Every trip they offered to break my water in the morning, but considering I had ruptured waters with Henry for two days before being induced with Pitocin, I wasn’t very interested in that route.
Sunday morning I was having contractions—the first time I had them at the beginning of the day. My mom took the kids to church (their last time there), then to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch and playtime. Meanwhile, we walked around WalMart—I wanted to be completely, absolutely sure I’d deliver before going to the hospital. We saw several people we knew (You’re still pregnant?), bought a few things, and ate a final meal at Burger King.
When we got there around 2:30, the nurse-midwife was on duty and checked me. I was at 6 cm—no way I’m going home now! She checked me again at 4 and I was at 78cm…yes! Progress! It definitely got intense, and Patrick and I did “the labor dance” for a while. At 5:30 I was ready to push. Her chest was bigger than her head, so delivering her body was almost as intense as the head. The midwife did a great job making sure I didn't tear. She was born at 5:58 pm.
The midwife's comment was, "if your day job doesn't work out, you should teach the lamaze class"...somehow I doubt that, but I was glad that once everything FINALLY got going, she came quickly.
Patrick's parents got there about 30 minutes later, the kids and my mom 15 minutes after that. Since we knew they were coming, I got up when they took Hope to the nursery to weigh her (gone less than 5 minutes) so they could clean up the bed (and me a little). I was surprised by how badly I was shaking. With Henry I had an epidural and didn't get up for at least an hour, and with Harmony, I was in surgery right afterwards, so I guess I hadn't tried walking after the others!
We had a great hour or so with the kids and grandparents, meeting Hope. What a beautiful addition to our family!