Last weekend, Annalise started complaining of abdominal pain and was refusing to eat. It was really bad on Sunday morning, and her abdomen was tender to the touch, distended and she was in a great deal of pain. We took her to urgent care at noon, where they determined her appendix had ruptured and was contained in a sac. She and Thomas rode to Austin in an ambulance to Dell Children’s where a surgeon told us late that night it was perhaps not an appendix but rather a birth defect known as Meckel’s Diverticulum and would require open abdominal surgery. Despite being 38.5 weeks pregnant I had ridden down there to be with them. My midwife advised bringing all of our birth kit supplies, just in case, and she would meet us at the hotel if necessary. However, due to the emotional stress of everything, it was most likely that my body would not go into labor at all. Annalise had open abdominal surgery Monday morning where they removed the diverticulum, part of her intestines where it was attached, reattached her intestine, and removed her appendix which was right next to everything and a bit inflamed, just in case.
Her recovery was going to be at least through the week. I stayed in a hotel with my mom and Josiah, and Thomas had hospital duty with Annalise. I was up there with her during the day each day. On Wednesday night, she took her first steps (and wouldn’t stop going!) and we walked the hospital halls with her until 8:30. Walking out of the hospital that night, my mom and I had to stop twice due to strong contractions, but they were not much stronger or unlike any contractions I had been experiencing all week long.
That night, I slept great. At 2:30, I woke up with a contraction (again, not strong enough to have me thinking I was in labor), and went to the bathroom. I got back in bed, praying for Annalise and for the baby to wait to come until next week. I had a couple contractions, but I slept until I woke up at 3:30, very, very hungry. I got up and went to the bathroom again and ate some yogurt with a plastic fork, dribbling all over my nightgown. I got back in bed and fell right back to sleep. I woke up with a strong contraction that I had to breathe through, but dozed off immediately afterward, having a really strange dream. I had another really strong contraction that I had to breathe through, rolled over and heard a pop. I got up, ran to the bathroom where yes, my water had broken. It was 4:41 a.m. I called my midwife who packed up immediately for the hour and 45 minute drive. I called Thomas, who immediately began rushing about the hospital room to head my way. My mom was getting dressed to go be at the hospital with Annalise, and she called my dad and his wife to come and get Josiah from the hotel.
I would not let Thomas get off the phone with me as contractions were very strong and painful, and I was having a very difficult time coping with them. I was standing on a puddle pad, dripping water everywhere. Thomas arrived at 5:15ish and I was having contractions one on top of another, kneeling next to the bed, saying, “I can’t do this,” and praying for God to help me get through it. I just knew I was going to be only 4 cm dilated when my midwife arrived and I would have a very hard labor. After a few contractions with Thomas there, I felt my body bearing down and pushing. I reached down and could feel the head. I told Thomas to call 911, it was 5:26 and my midwife was over an hour away. I was very concerned because I could see that there was meconium in the water. I climbed up on the bed and began pushing.
Paramedics arrived within a few minutes, along with the firefighters and stretcher. Through all of this, Josiah was asleep on the couch in the living room area of the hotel room. I was in the middle of pushing when the paramedic ran over to me, grabbing my arm and asking if I was in labor. I yelled at him to stop touching me. He asked if I was pushing and I told him to shut up. He told me they needed to get me on the stretcher, and I told him I was not getting up off this bed. The other paramedic (a woman), said that I was crowning and could just stay on the bed. Male paramedic grabbed a cord clamp and I told him he would not be clamping that cord until a few minutes after the baby was born. Thomas explained that I am a birthing instructor, and female paramedic seemed to listen to me more then. Next push, baby’s head was out with the cord around the neck. Male paramedic did a great job suctioning baby’s nose and mouth to remove any meconium so he wouldn’t aspirate it. Male paramedic said he had to clamp and cut the cord since it was around baby’s neck, and I told him no, he needed to try and slip the cord over his head. Female paramedic gave it a try, and it came right over. Next push, the body was out and slipped onto the bed. It was 5:42 a.m., just one hour after I realized I was indeed in labor.
It was a boy! Very vigorous and pink, lustily crying. After a minute, they cut the cord and wrapped him in blankets and some foil stuff to keep him warm. I climbed onto the stretcher and they put him on me, and wheeled me out the hotel, down a glass elevator in the lobby and into the ambulance for Thomas’ second ambulance ride in one week. Josiah slept through everything until the baby was born, but woke up and one of the firefighters sat with him (per my instructions). Thankfully, my dad and Debbi arrived just after I got on the stretcher and took care of him.
We got to the hospital and I delivered the placenta, they wiped down the baby and I got to nurse him. My midwife arrived and was there to encourage us and help with the transition to the hospital. Thankfully, it was a fairly baby-friendly hospital, and Micah never left my sight. They even let us deny the antibiotic eye ointment, Heb B and Vitamin K. Their normal policy is for a 48 hour stay, but they let us go the next morning. Thomas took me back to the hotel to nurse and rest, and then we went up to visit Annalise and let her meet her brother. That day happened to be my birthday, so we had a nice birthday dinner in the hospital cafeteria (where Annalise ate real food!) and we had a birthday cake. Our whole family was reunited on Saturday together with Josiah, Annalise and Micah all being in the same place, and Annalise was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon.
Micah Paul is a very strong boy, intense in his nursing and brought my milk in within 48 hours of his birth. He seems to be in a big hurry ever since his birth! While things did not go as planned, everything worked out great. The Lord has been so good to us and carried us through the craziest week of our lives so far. His timing is perfect, and we rest in knowing that.