For Tirzah's birthday I decided to write out her birth story, and 12 days later it's now Ezekiel's birthday so I figured it was his turn! Some say your first labor and delivery is the hardest, and at least so far that has definitely been true for me! Ezekiel and Tirzah's birth stories, in many ways, couldn't feel more different to me.
Ezekiel was measuring small in my pregnancy (as did Tirzah), so at 36 weeks and 4 days I had my first non stress test to make sure things were looking normal and healthy. We were in the process of moving and settling into our home, and my parents were there helping out with the loads of removing wall paper, cleaning, and painting that needed to happen. There were late nights that week, and that night was no different. If I remember correctly, that night we were mostly focused on painting (after what seemed like weeks of removing wall paper!).
The next morning, at 36 weeks and 5 days I woke up around 5:30am... to wet sheets. I knew it had to be that my water broke, but also felt a bit in shock and disbelief. Too soon! And I thought your water breaking first rarely happened! I went down to the basement and told Nick, and after his initial shock he went back to bed. Who can blame him though, there wasn't a whole lot I could do except wait a bit until the office opened to call my doctor - and if the baby was coming, rest was needed. There sure was no way I was going to be able to go back to sleep though!
I first went to the clinic to verify that my water had broken, and then promptly checked into the hospital after that. It wasn't until I got to the clinic that I thought I was maayybe starting to feel some light contractions, but nothing major. Around 10:30am or so we got checked into the hospital and the very long day began. Not much was happening at first, so they got an IV in me and were planning on starting pitocin. But before they could actually administer any my body decided to start kicking in on its own. Yay!
For quite some time I just kept thinking to myself, "This isn't so bad. Like yeah, it hurts... but I can deal with this!" And really, I was doing okay for the most part. At least for the first couple hours...
By around dinner time - maybe 5:30pm or so - contractions were getting a LOT more painful. I wondered about getting an epidural but just wasn't sure. So instead I got some sort of analgesic, though I can't remember what specifically. All I know is it honestly didn't seem to help much at all with the pain; it just made me really loopy and knocked me out into sleep in between contractions. I honestly think I'd rather not have anything than just have that again! At any rate, things were getting really intense and my midwife seemed to think Ezekiel could be making his appearance at any time. They told Nick not to go to far for dinner because they really thought Ezekiel would be out soon. Ha! I'm pretty sure my midwife said that she thought he would be born by 6:30pm but... that was NOT the case.
Around 7:00pm I was still laboring away, and my midwife checked on things and decided it was time I start pushing. At this point I literally had no idea if I needed to push or not - all I felt was pain. Pain when I wasn't pushing and pain when I was. I don't know how long into pushing it was when I felt like I just couldn't go on and like I could pass out at any moment. All I knew is that if this is what childbirth was always like, I wasn't sure if I could ever handle having another baby! I may not have been yelling or lashing out at anyone, but I can safely say I've never made so much noise in my life. I was exhausted, and I was in so much pain. Poor Nick felt absolutely helpless, and I think slightly terrified that someone he knew as being fairly tough and very quiet - someone whom he also loved very much - was expressing their pain in such an intense manner. Later the nurses told me I wasn't that loud, but for me, a normally reserved person, I definitely was!
Ezekiel was born at 9:20pm - nearly 2 hours after I started pushing - and weighed just 4lbs 6oz. Nick nearly got sick at the end, probably from a combination of the gross microwavable hospital burger he ate, the mess that childbirth makes, the effects of seeing me in so much pain, the crazy warm temperature they made the room at the end, and the warm incubator sitting next to him. Though I remember most things, I also remember barely being able to move. Just feeling exhausted and altogether too tired to even hold Ezekiel - which I couldn't do much of anyways. I held him for maybe a minute, and Nick held him an even shorter amount of time before they whisked him away. Because he was so small he was immediately brought to the NICU to get his breathing checked, to get IVs, and to keep him nice and warm. I do clearly remember the midwife telling us after Ezekiel had left the room that his umbilical cord had been attached to the edge of the placenta, not the center like it should have been - which could have contributed to his growth restrictions. She also said that sometimes a rare condition like this can result in a still birth - which left me audibly praising God for Ezekiel's safe delivery, and made the meaning of his name (God strengthens) all the more special.
Sometime later I finally ate a cold turkey sandwich, an applesauce, and some chips - my first meal since breakfast at about 7:30am. That night was the first of what felt like an eternity of visiting Ezekiel in the NICU. Though he was healthy, his small weight and barely pre-term delivery meant he needed to be monitored for a bit. Between all the circumstances surrounding his birth and struggles with feedings, I definitely struggled as I became a new mom (which might be a story for another blog post). However, we are so incredibly thankful for God bringing Ezekiel into our lives that day. He has such a fun, goofy personality that brings laughter to so many people. We know he has so much to offer, and as we pray for the Lord's work in his heart and life, we are so excited to see who he grows up to be!
Me at almost 23 weeks pregnant with Ezekiel! I'm currently 23 weeks with our third and am at least twice this size :)
The last bump photo I got. Ezekiel was our "rainbow baby" (in this case, a baby born after a miscarriage), hence the bandanas hanging over his not-yet-set-up crib :)
Our first glimpse of him in the NICU
Holding him for the first time in the NICU.
He could fit in Nick's forearm, with his head in Nick's hand! And he loved grabbing the hoodie strings. Maybe they reminded him of the umbilical cord :)
The last night at the hospital - already almost a week old!
Finally home <3
It's been fun to reminisce on bringing our kids into the world and thinking about how unique their stories are, just like them. For Tirzah's birth story, click here.