Well, I’ve been itching to write again, and I have much to share. Benjamin Walter Rodriguez was born at 3:27pm on April 2nd (his due date). He was 6 lbs, 14 ounces, 20.5 inches long and had a full head of dark hair. We are still beside ourselves with joy that God has chosen us to parent this tiny, beautiful little boy. He’s grown and changed so rapidly these past almost three months, and he’s just more fun each day. So, without further ado, here is the story of Benjamin’s birth…[Disclaimer: If birth stories freak you out, consider stopping here. I will include some details, because I appreciate details when someone is telling me a story.]
My last day of work was March 20th, and I had somehow gotten it into my head that the baby would come early. My OB had me do an ultrasound at 36 weeks, and he was measuring in the 78th percentile, so when she asked if I wanted to schedule an induction, I chose his due date without giving it much thought. It didn’t occur to me that I might actually have to be induced. I never expected to make it that far. I woke up every morning surprised (and disappointed, truth be told) that labor hadn’t started during the night. I felt huge and swollen and was still having terrible heartburn every day. Braxton Hicks contractions were coming occasionally, and I was starting to dilate, but I just wasn’t going into labor. Ben is the first grandchild on both sides, so even though I wasn’t overdue yet, our families were getting almost as impatient as I was.
We went for a lot of walks. I did lunges and squats. I made spicy “kick-start your labor” cookies and ate pizza from a local place that’s supposed to help (seriously?). We tried everything except castor oil. I just couldn’t do that. Nothing worked. The week of my due date began, and I started to realize that I needed to make peace with the idea of being induced. As much as I wanted the baby to come on his own, it looked like we might make it to Thursday morning. I considered canceling, but it was scheduled, my mother-in-law’s plane ticket was purchased, and everyone was ready to meet this (supposedly large) baby. So, I just prayed a lot.
Finally, at about 7am on April 1st, I felt some strong cramping and thought my water might have broken. I called the doctor’s office and explained that I couldn’t time contractions. It was more of a constant pain. The lady on the phone said that when the contractions were measurable I would know, but that I should go ahead to the hospital to be checked. We called my dad who was standing by to pick Bryan’s mom up from the airport in case this happened. When we got to the hospital, they checked me and found that my water had not broken, and I was at a 3. The nurse was very nice and said I was close enough that they would probably go ahead and admit me except that they only had one room open. It was hospital policy to keep one room open for women who come in and are like 9 cm and ready to push. So, she suggested that I go home and rest, have lunch, etc. She explained that women progress at different rates, and I might be back in a couple of hours or later that evening. I thought to myself, “Lunch sounds good.” Haha. So we left the hospital about 2pm to pick up lunch and meet my dad and Bryan’s mom at our house. About 2:30, I started to understand what the lady on the phone meant by “you’ll know“. I started recording my contractions on an app on my phone. They were 5 to 8 minutes apart, and intense enough that I couldn’t talk during them.
For the rest of the day, we had lunch, spent time with Bryan’s mom, had dinner, went for a walk and rested while I continued to labor.
[Side note: We moved into our house at the end of January, so we’re still getting to know the neighborhood. On our walk, we passed a mom with a 6-week old in a stroller, and we ended up exchanging numbers. Now we go for walks each week with our babies. She is awesome. What a great “how we met” story, right?] The contractions were still 4 to 5 minutes apart, so I was able to have conversations with Bryan and my mother-in-law between them. They were, however, getting slightly stronger, so I took a shower and we loaded up in the car to head back to the hospital. I felt more excitement than anxiety on our way there. My spirit was calm, and I was thrilled at the thought that I was about to meet my son! I was admitted at about 12:30am, and I realized at that point that not only did I not have to be induced, but also my son would likely be born on his due date. April Fool’s Day was over. I smiled to myself and said a prayer of thanksgiving.
To be continued…