We are 6 weeks into her newborn life so obviously these time stamps are ballparks. Also, my thoughts and prayers were a lot more repetitive, animated and desperate in the presence of the Lord (which is how He and I roll, me being honest and Him being wonderful).
11:30am – I realized the occasional back pain I was feeling might be real contractions. Went about my business.
12:00pm – Called John and asked him to hurry home because I was definitely having real contractions.
12:30pm – Waiting for John, timing said contractions. 2:30 minutes apart. Walking around the house grabbing all the things I thought we might need, stopping every few minutes to wait out the contraction.
Me to God: Okay, this is intense. I’m freaking out a little. How long will it be like this? Help, Lord. Please provide what I need.
God to me: You aren’t alone. Trust me. Trust my care and love for you.
1:00pm – En route to University Hospital. John encouraging me. Me counting trees, road signs, my breaths, whatever I could do to occupy my mind.
Me to God: This is insane. I don’t think I can do this.
God to me: I’m with you, you have nothing to be afraid of. Do this with me.
1:15pm – Walk into the hospital in spite of the quick and painful contractions. Many people were staring. (My mindset was: the faster I get inside the faster we can get this show on the road. Ha!) Also, I was real saucy with John at this point, and those of you who know me know I am usually a pretty gracious + chill person. No no. I apologized after basically throwing my purse at him when the nurse asked for my ID and he responded with “You can’t hurt my feelings today.” Bless. Him.
1:30pm – Triage nurse tells me I’m EIGHT CENTIMETERS DILATED, and marveled that I walked myself into the hospital. She asked if I wanted an epidural (in the weeks prior, I had many conversations with friends and John and my doctor about the epidural.. I went in open to either possibility: with or without). When another contraction hit, I quickly and confidently said yes, I want it.
Me to God: 8 centimeters! I wonder if the epidural will even take! I don’t know how long I can sustain this pain. But I trust you.
God to me: You are not alone. I’ll help you. Nothing is impossible for me! Breathe with me.
2:00pm – Wheeled to the room to meet other nurses and the anesthesiologist who performs the epidural.
Me to God: Please let this epidural work. I don’t know if I’m strong enough for this. And I don’t know what is ahead but you do. You’ll take care of us.
2:30pm – John and I have about an hour together, with various family members in and out of the room. The epidural did work marvelously and “put a smile back on my face,” as John said later. I am super thankful it worked well because we had a chance to talk, pray together, relax and marvel at our current reality.
Me to God: Anything could happen. I can’t believe I’m about to have a baby! I have no idea what I’m doing.
God to me: I am with you. Focus on me. I’m caring for you and for her. I love you. Rest with me.
3:30pm – Nurse comes in to help me learn and practice laboring and delivery with the epidural. John and I thought the contractions had stopped because I wasn’t feeling them. We thought it had slowed my labor down. Far from it. Our wonderful nurse reassured us they were in fact still happening, and close together! She checked, taught me things that would be helpful and kept an eye on the screens monitoring me and baby.
3:50pm – Doc comes in.
4:08pm – Anna is born! (Obviously many other details could go here but are unnecessary for a public space. If you’re curious and we’re friends, feel free to ask.)
Me to God: Wow, we did it. You did it. She’s beautiful. I can’t believe it. Wow, I’m a mom. She’s healthy and whole and crying and wow. So much love! Is this how you feel about us?
God to me, smiling (in my imagination): Rest in my love. It’s bigger than even this. I’m here.
As always, His presence was the difference maker. It was a gift of a day, and I’ll look back in gratitude and wonder for His watchful, merciful, kind care of us.