Another pregnant day was in the books!
As a crawled into bed, a week overdue, I noticed a new text message. My heart skipped a beat as it was from a friend that was awaiting the arrival of her little one as well. I opened the message to find pictures of a sweet little boy, Wilson. The name they picked was so close to our boy name, which sent me down a train of thoughts.
Mike and I said our goodnights and I continued to lay there looking at his pictures. My thoughts wandered to my own baby that was wiggling inside. I wondered if it were a boy or girl, I wondered when it would make its own debut, and of course I wondered what kind of birth story this baby would have!
I finally turned off the lights around 10:30pm. I thought, if baby weren’t coming tonight I should at least get some sleep.
I tossed and turned. Right side. Left side. Up to pee. Back to left side. Up to pee again. Right side. Semi-right side. Up to pee. Back to left side. On my head....ha!
Ugh. This was going to be a long night!
This scenerio continued several times before I started to wonder if something was going on.
And then it hit me. A contraction. Not a braxton hicks contraction. A REAL, 'I need to breath through this' contraction. I looked at the clock: 11:37pm.
Two minutes later another hit, although not as strong. "Hmm, could this be labor?”
I sat there on the side of my bed. My husband fast asleep. Madeline, 14 months old, sleeping soundly in her crib. I thought about all the things I needed to do if this was indeed labor.
I needed to call my sister, Stacey, to come over. I needed to finish packing. I needed to make sure everything was set for Madeline. I needed to…
Whew. Another strong contraction grabbed my attention.
Within 10 minutes, I had 5 contractions. I decided that it was probably labor, but I still wasn't certain! You would think after having been a nurse on labor and delivery for 8 years AND being on my second rodeo myself, that I would KNOW!
I finally rang up my sister. I asked her to come sleep on the couch, even if this wasn't labor. I knew it would take her about 25 minutes to get to our house, so I figured that would give me time to figure out what was going on.
I got off the phone, had another strong contraction and decided I better wake up Mike! I had decided to wait to wake him up until I was pretty sure I was in labor, as he had told me that once I started contracting, he was pushing me out the door IMMEDIATELY. (If you didn’t know, my first labor was only 3.5 hours and Mike had a hard time getting me in the car to go to the hospital!!)
"Miiiike. Hey Mike,” I said softly.
A groggy, "Yes?"
"I think I'm in labor."
"You THINK you are in labor?"
"What does that mean?"
"It means, I think I'm in labor. I'm having contractions every couple of minutes."
"Oh." Followed by silence and still no husband getting out of bed.
"Are you going to get up? You probably should pack the car." I say it with more push and urgency.
"Ummm. So, you ARE in labor or you just THINK you are in labor?"
"Um, I'm pretty sure. And I think you should get up."
At the time I was irritated about this conversation, but now I can laugh at it. Mike had just fallen into a deep sleep when I woke him! As he packed the car he even asked if we could stop at a gas station along the way to get an energy drink for him. I think my face (and the contractions) gave away the answer.
Stacey arrived at our house just in time. I knew we needed to get going out the door.
The ride to the hospital was so different than my first baby. Really the whole labor was different since it started with contractions instead of my water breaking. Contractions were more like 2-5 minutes apart versus the every 1-2 minutes apart that I had experienced with my first. So I remember this ride more and had time to think about what was to come!
We called the labor and delivery unit on the way to let them know that I was coming. My old co-worker Jaci was coordinating that night and answered the phone. I was so grateful, as she was there when Madeline was born too :)
We arrived at the hospital just after 1:00am. I was greeted by my birth team. Another old co-worker, Natalia, was my nurse, Erin was my mid-wife, Jaci was coordinating (as stated before) and my friend/photographer Kari was there to capture the experience! What a great, Godly team that the Lord provided for me :)
After answering a few questions, Erin checked me.
"I'll call you 4 centimeters, 100% effaced and -2 station," I think she said.
4?! Did she get that right?
I was already 4 in the clinic so I had hoped to be more. A feeling of disappointment came upon me. I was hoping to just come in and have the baby quickly again. (Last time I was 9 upon arrival.) I began to think about my birth options. Maybe I’d need an epidural this time. Maybe I should have waited longer to come in. Maybe, maybe, maybe….
My thoughts were interrupted when Natalia asked if I’d like to try sitting in the whirlpool.
Yes. I’ll start with that and go from there.
Over the next hour-ish, I labored in the tub, never really able to find a position that felt good to me. I finally decided to get out to use the restroom, and the whole process felt like an eternity! As I sat on the toilet, a feeling of disappointment again swept over me. I no longer wanted to do this naturally. If I wasn’t making much progress, I wanted an epidural!
I requested that Erin check me.
“Oh Heidi, you are complete! You can start pushing if you’d like or you can just listen to your body.”
Oh boy. Oh NO! I had set my mind on needing an epidural. I really thought that I wasn’t dilating much. And now I needed to push this baby out without any help?!
“I don’t think I can do this!” I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get an epidural, but I just had to say that. The contractions were so intense but I didn’t have the desire to push yet.
At this point I had a huge mental block. Like I mentioned before, my contractions were far enough apart that I had time to think about my situation and who was all in the room. And while I appreciated everyone that was there, I was nervous about pushing. You see, I KNEW I needed to have a bowel movement before baby would come down. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to get up to the toilet, but I knew I physically couldn’t at this point. Every movement hurt! I now know how all the women I’ve coached through labor, have felt over the years. I cannot count the number of times I heard, “but I don’t want to poop!” And I would say back to them, "Just poop already!"
Finally, I couldn’t take it any more. The pain was too intense to keep laboring. And I started to push. And Push. And PUUUUUSH with all my might. My body emptied every bodily fluid and then baby’s head came sailing down.
I think I pushed around 20 minutes, but I really have no idea. Maybe it was 40. Maybe it was 10. Who knows! All I know is that when I really started to push that there was no going back!!
“Ok, easy pushes here. The head is coming.”
There was no ‘easy pushing’ for me.
I launched baby out at 2:54am and found myself staring at testicles!
I launched baby out at 2:54am and found myself staring at testicles!
I then heard Mike say, “It's a boy! It's William!”
I was definitely in shock. I not only thought we were having another girl, but I was constantly trying to prepare Mike for another girl. Whenever Mike talked about the baby inside, he used “him and he” and I would always correct him with, “you mean her and she!”
I ended up with a ‘unique’ tear again so we called in the OBGYN, Dr. Kemper to do my repair. You see, Mr. William came out ‘superman’ style with his hand up by his head. He was also 8lbs 11oz!
And with that, we had ourselves a precious little BOY! And another 3.5 hour, natural labor in the books!
William Steven Vetter. I grew another heart the day he was born. He was named after Mike’s two great-grandfathers, William Vetter and Wilhelm (William in German) Behnke, and Mike’s dad, Steven. All great men of great faith. There is a story passed down of William Vetter. He was a farmer. He once saw a hail storm heading towards his fields. He prayed and asked God to spare his field. He watched as the storm approached and literally went around his field, damaging other fields, but leaving his untouched!
We pray that our little William will have that kind of faith in our Lord Jesus! We are so thankful for our sweet boy :) He is truly a gift to our family.