Early Thursday morning- as in 1am early, I woke up having to pee. Not shocking. But, I had to pee and I had a really weird feeling in my... I don't know what. Pelvis? Abdomen? I couldn't tell. But it happened again at 2, and then 3, and again at 4, and I think I slept through the pain and the urge to pee at 5, but I woke up again at 6, and finally at 7. By the time it was 7, I got up and felt really weird. Now the pain was in my back and in my butt. I thought I was really constipated cause I ate a lot of chicken and bread and potatoes the night before. So I tried to go tot the bathroom. Nothing happened. I looked at the clock, 7:15. Weird pain. Took a shower and felt ok. Came out of the shower at 7:30. Chris was in bed with Lily at his side. I told him I felt weird. He said ok and took a shower. He came out, asked how I was feeling, and I said I still felt kinda weird, looked at the time, and it was 7:45. We were supposed to have a nurse come by the house to take blood and urine samples for our Life Insurance stuff. The nurse called and said he would be at our house at 8:30, not 8 like he was supposed to be. We said that was fine. It was Chris' mom's birthday and I was going to go to work for half the day, then we were all going to have lunch and then go down to Queen Creek- a slightly remote, but growing 'burb where we are hopefully/probably going to live once we sell our house. I told Barb about my pain- that it was in my back/butt and kinda in my crotchal region as well. She just shook her head pensively. I told her I didn't know if they were contractions cause I never had them with Lily.
As calm as can be, Barb and Jerry took Lily on their morning walk to get the paper and some coffee. Chris and I waited for the nurse and decided it was probably a good time to pack our hospital bag, just in case the baby decided to come sooner than later. By now the pain was getting a bit more intense and was coming a bit more frequently. Every ten minutes. So then we called and cancelled our appointment with the nurse and tried to concentrate on what we were now 'pretty sure' were contractions. Chris was so great and so calm and trying really hard to appease me. 'Make coffee, get me some cereal, come and rub my back, can you get me that book from the hospital about labour? No not that one, the other one. Come and eat with me. Grab the bag, I think we need to go to the hospital.'
It was 8:30 when we got in the car. Barb and co were not back yet, so we called them and told them we were going to the hospital and that the front door was unlocked for them. Then we called Chris' dad to tell him I probably was not going to make it into work that morning. he thought/hoped/prayed that we were kidding. (Remember, he is my boss and it is tax season). Chris called Robert, who also thought we were kidding, and I tried to call Jeehon who didn't answer her phone. By now the pain was coming every five minutes and it sucked! I really wanted to have this baby naturally, but these contractions were really kicking my butt! If I couldn't handle what I thought were 'beginning stage contractions', then how the crap was I going to make it through hours of labour and then an actual birthing of a child? One of my girlfriends, who is all about natural childbearing, once told me that if you think you can't do it, then you can't, but in reality- everyone can. So, I was just trying to tell myself that over and over again. Thanks Kendra- great advice.
We got to the hospital and Chris dropped me off at the front where I thought I was supposed to check in. Last year, when we were going to the hospital to bring Lily into the world, we were chillin like vilains. The hospital already knew we were coming, Chris and I walked in there hand in hand, cool as cucumbers. This time- not so much. When I got into the hospital, a volunteer behind the check-in desk stopped me and asked if I needed help. I told her no. I just needed to check in. So she told me to wait while she got a wheel chair. This woman was so sweet and helpful, but dang was she slow! I was having another contraction so I didn't have the energy to yell at her. She got back to me with the chair just as Chris walked in. We went and checked in, and she insisted on escorting us up to the maternity ward. Very. Slowly.
We were finally upstairs and they brought us into a triage room where there were about three other pregnant women waiting. After getting changed into the hot gowns they give you at the hospital, I thought I was dying. Now the contractions were every few minutes and kicking my butt even harder than before. Lots of tears and screaming ensued. The nurse checked me out to see how dialated and effaced I was. After she announced that I didn't really have a cervix left, everyone started operating in high gear. They took us out of triage, brought us into our delivery room, were calling for the doctor, and strapping me up to machines and monitors. All I could think was 1. This was all Chris' fault. and 2. I hope I don't poop chicken, bread and potatoes on the table. I told Chris to stay focused on my upper-half during the birthing process and he agreed.
The doctor came in and we were rolling. The doctor was actually the same one who delivered Gabe six weeks ago. She, unlike some of the other doctors at my OB office, was big on natural birth, so I was so very happy to see her come in. Praise Jesus. She was very good cause she told me to focus and push when it was time to push, and she actually told me not to push when it was imperative to not push. 11 long and psychotically painful minutes later- Topher was outta my belly and in the world! I was in shock. I did it! And no drugs! I coulda used some drugs when they were stitching me up (only had one tear! Praise Jesus again!) but I was not able to complain. Even at two and a half weeks early, he weighed in at a hearty 6 lbs and 4 oz. And measures 20 inches long.
Everything happened so fast, and insanely that I could not believe it. In fact, I still can't believe it. I really didn't want Topher to come early, but now I am so glad that he did. God's timing was so perfect on all fronts. If Topher had come the day before- Chris would have been at training, and if he had come the day after, Chris would have been at work. Either case, Chris would have missed the birth of his son. And how awesome is it that Topher's birthday is the same day as his Nana Barb's?
So, Topher is here, and everyone is doing great. Lily is very interested in the baby, though still not completely sure what to make of him; Chris has been superhusband/superdad to me and both the kiddies. Last year when Lily showed up, he had no idea what to do with her. Now with Topher, he is all over the whole diaper changing scene, making sure he is swaddled up properly, it is amazing. And he is so attentive to Lily to make sure she isn't feeling left out, it's a beautiful thing to witness. And as for me, I have minimal tearing, and NO HEMROIDS (can't spell it, but glad I don't have it. Another answer to another very specific prayer!) so I have no complaints. We came home after just a night's stay at the hospital. And when we got home, it was not the same home I had left! Barb and Jerry cleaned and did laundry and got Topher's clothes ready (they were in bags in the basement. I was so very unprepared for this little guy!). and all this while watching Lily too. I am SO VERY indebted to those two.
So that's the story of how Topher came into the world. Twas a day I will never forget. Chris Sr. either. And Praise Jesus for it.
Ps. Topher's most amazing feature, besides his being built like a bullet, is this tiny tuft of blond hair right in the middle of his head in the midst of all the black. He is truly Chris' son if there was any doubt!