So...the last time I updated my blog was when I was just entering into the third trimester of pregnancy. Swollen feet, bulging tummy, and so many questions running through my mind..."what will our baby look like? when will he arrive...early, on time, or late? what's the next step in where we live..." Looking back on this time it's hard to believe that was only 2 months ago. Thom and I now have a handsome, healthy baby boy named Isaac, have moved out of Rock Hill to Columbia into a house. Thom tells people "Yeah, Amy and I like to do all our transitions at once!" Tonight I said to him, "You know, one of those changes alone is enough in and of itself but we've gone through like 3 huge changes!" So...now that I have some time to sit and update this blog my tummy is smaller, my feet are still swollen :-) and I still have so many questions running through my mind. Isaac is sound asleep in the swing with a full tummy and diaper freshly changed. Time is such a gift right now. I looked at the clock and said to myself "now what?" I can...do stuff around the house, eat some breakfast, surf the 'net...awesome!
It sure has been a whirlwind of a week! It's hard for me to comprehend all that has happened in the past 6 days! Let me start back to this past Wednesday and give you a snapshot in words about all that has gone on in the Watson household. Thom and I decided to travel back to Rock Hill Wednesday night to visit our friends and join in on the fun at the middle school youth "End of Summer Bash" night. It was a great turn out and we enjoyed visiting our friends again and hanging out at a lake house. My heart was heavy as we left that night to head back to Columbia. "I really miss our friends here." I told Thom. When we drove out of Rock Hill that night it felt like leaving home again into a new city where we haven't quite found our place yet. As we said our goodbyes to our friends some of them commented on how baby is really growing in my belly and wondering when he would arrive. I said "I've been thinking he'll be late but now I'm hoping he'll come early 'cause I'm really starting to feel uncomfortable!" I had no idea after saying these words what would happen the very next day.
We got home that night exhausted with me feeling worn out and ready to start maternity leave from work. I planned for my last day of work to be Friday, August 19th...so I was down to the wire with only 6 more work days left to go. That morning we went to the OB-GYN and she checked my progress to see where we were in the pregnancy. She told us I'm only a tight finger-tip dilated so if things don't progress naturally I may have to be induced if I go past 41 weeks. At this time I was 37 weeks and 3 days. I got nervous about what she said and I prayed a lot that day..."Lord help baby come on his own when he's ready. I really don't want to be induced!" I heard from childbirth class and other women that being induced speeds up the contractions so that they are one on top of the other and that did not sound pleasant in the least! We went to bed that night with my heart still thinking about our home in Rock Hill and missing friends there like crazy I just wanted to cry. I knew the Lord brought us to Columbia and He would continue to provide but it's been a difficult transition for us to leave all the amazing love and support we have there and the ministry that Thom has poured his heart into the past 4 years.
The next morning was when our life as we knew it took a wild turn! I say that dramatically but that is what it felt like. I woke up that morning around 4 a.m. with painful cramps and bleeding. I told Thom about it and he reminded me that would happen after having the doctor all up in my business the day before. The cramps were getting worse the next few hours so I called my boss at work and explained what was going on and that I wanted to call the doctor and see what I needed to do. I called the doctor on call and explained what was happening and she told me to rest and drink plenty of water and if the cramps and bleeding didn't go away to give her a call back later. I tried to rest but things got worse over the next few hours. I called the nurse too and she basically told me the same thing but to call if things progressed--I did later on that day and she told us to come on in to "Triage" so they could check me out. Thom and I looked at each other as we left the house both thinking this is probably a false alarm but I wanted to be sure. We got to the hospital that night and the nursing staff hooked me up to a machine to monitor the timing of the contractions and baby's heartbeat. It was cool to see right in front of us what was going on inside of me. What made me nervous though was every time the contractions (what I thought was just cramping at the time) got worse, the baby's heartbeat would speed up. Thom would coach me along as another contraction hit..."Ok, baby breathe through your nose...out...in...out...and he...he....who..." we felt like pro's as we just graduated from our childbirth class that Monday night! They gave me some medications through IV and checked my cervix again to see where we were. I was still only a centimeter dilated at around 8:30 p.m. that night so they sent us home. I felt a lot better with the medication running through my body and after falling asleep for awhile in the hospital room doped up. Thom watched some NCSI while we waited to see if I would have to stay overnight or be send back home. We left the hospital that night and a part of me felt foolish for even going in. Maybe it was just "braxton hicks" afterall and I'm making a big fuss over nothing. I don't have a great tolerance for pain and that is something I'm not too proud of! That night we came home and I tried to keep myself busy and distracted. As the pain medication wore off the cramping and bleeding got even worse. We just left and I realized there was nothing that could really be done but just to wait it out. I felt like such a wimp moping around complaining about my body...Thom tried all he could to distract me with alternating from bed to couch to recliner...putting on my favorite TV show "Monk" for me and doing the dishes and several loads of laundry while I made sure my suitcases were packed just in case we had to rush back to the hospital. Little did we know a couple of hours later we would be looking into the eyes of our precious son.
So...after my failed attempt at distracting myself with Monk, a hot shower, organizing, etc. I kept whining about the pain and around 11:00 p.m. that night the pain got even worse to the point where I started screaming. I am not a big screamer so for me to holler at the top of my lungs Thom knew something was up. It felt as if a knife was stuck down inside of me every 5 minutes...excruciating pain. After about 2 hours of this sitting at the edge of the bed rocking myself and falling asleep between contractions...I cried to Thom..."we need to go back to the hospital!" He reminded me we just left not that long ago and I wasn't dilated very much. When I told him the bleeding was even worse he called the doctor right away. We couldn't get a hold of my doctor who was on call that day so we decided to drive in anyway. Around this time it was 1:30 a.m. Friday morning.
It really felt like we were the actors in a movie when I kept screaming from the pain and Thom drove me downtown to the hospital. The way he served me that night and the look in his eyes at the pain I felt and how much he wanted to help reminded me why I married him. He rushed me to the car and we sped downtown running through a couple of stop lights along the way. It really felt like the baby was about to pop out and it was all I could just to keep him in and calm myself down. Things got even more dramatic as we arrived at the hospital. Thom rushed me upstairs in a wheelchair and the nurses checked me out. I was relieved to hear this wasn't all in my head and there was truly something going on when the nurse said "she's 5 centimeters dilated, let's move her down to labor and delivery!" This is it, I thought, I don't feel ready yet at the same time I'm so ready! Thom was moving the car out of the ER parking area and when he came back upstairs he was surprised to find out I was sent to delivery. What a quick turn-around in about 4 hours!
I will spare some details here as there is so much to recall from the hours of 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. but basically the staff there took amazing care of me down to calming me down. One of the funniest moments looking back was when I was crying out in pain before the epidural was administered and one of the nurses looked at me held my hand and said "Let's breathe through this...in and out...squeeze my hand as hard as you can...get angry at me and breathe...but no more yelling." I was getting pretty worked up! Thom said when he was there in the room watching all of this happen he felt pretty helpless..."you were in so much pain and there was nothing I could do." He did so much and just seeing him out of the corner of my eye (when I actually opened my eyes again) was a comforting assurance. It didn't take long for me to reach 10 centimeters and we were surprised when they checked me out again after the epidural took effect and we tried to catch a nap and the nurses came back in and said "Ok, call the doctor she's fully dilated. Let's set up the room!" So this is really it, I thought! Wow, I didn't expect to be there that early...with still 2 weeks and 2 days left until my due date.
The next half an hour was one of the most exciting and exhilarating times of my life so far. My lower body was feeling nice and numb and I felt a lot calmer so that helped out a lot. The doctor came over and the room seemed to fill up with nursing staff. "She's the only one in labor right now so we have a full staff" one of the nurses told Thom and I was well taken care of! They lifted my legs up in the stir-ups and Thom helped to steady my foot and they kept telling me to breathe and push through 10 counts...and repeat. I have never pushed so hard I thought the veins in my neck were about to pop out! It only took 20 minutes and with a final *push* I heard the first cries of our baby boy! I could see his slimy body with his hands and feet flailing in the air. Thom cut the umbilical cord and almost immediately they placed his little body on my chest. I couldn't believe the sight of it all. This little creature was growing inside of me the past 9 months and was actually here with us. It it funny to recall the first words we said when we saw Isaac for the first time. I exclaimed "he is so beautiful!" Thom was standing next to me and said "he looks like an angry raisin!"
The next 2 days were filled with new moments and emotions I had never quite experienced before. I enjoyed the room we stayed in. It was tight but we had the freedom to have Isaac stay with us or head over to the nursery. We opted for the nursery at nighttime so we could get some sleep. Thom was a trooper staying at my side on the uncomfortable pull-out chair in the corner while I slept on the deluxe reclining hospital bed with controls! I miss that bed. Staff was there every hour checking on me making sure my stomach was going down to normal and my vitals looked good. I enjoyed taking Motrin to help with pain as I didn't realize all my body went through in just a 24 hour period!
Leaving the hospital was bittersweet. Part of me wanted to dress up nice and show him off to the world...be home in my own bed and relax. Another part of me felt reluctant to leave all the staff and wondered how things would be at home without all the newborn nursery help. We walked out of the hospital that day with flowers, "It's a Boy" balloon and our bags packed up. We got to take home a lot of free stuff too for me and for Isaac to start us on the journey. That was Sunday and as I write this it's Tuesday morning. It's been a wild week that's for sure! He is only 5 days old today and already I feel like time rushes too fast. I want to enjoy every minute and pray to God that we will be loving, wise parents who raise him in a fun, encouraging environment where I hope one day he will experience what it is like to have his own child...even if he's 2 weeks early! :-)
Some snapshots of our week...