Welcoming Haven Joy * Days Leading Up

I have been working on this post for 7 1/2 weeks!  We came home to a house full of sickness, and we have been cycling through that sickness ever since!  ‘Tis the season.  Baby Haven is on her second cold which has turned into RSV since arriving in our family.  Guess being #5 requires you to be tough from the get go!  (Please pray for our sweet girl and for her big sis.   Harper has RSV and pnemonia.  Haven has RSV and an ear infection).

As I finish this up, the Super Bowl is ending.  Last time the Giants played the Patriots (only 4 short years ago), I was 36 weeks pregnant with Harper.  We watched it with some friends…childless.  I remember I couldn’t breathe and just wanted a baby in my arms!  The Giants won!  This year, we have 5 sick little kids and watched Baby Einstein for most of the Super Bowl until we put everyone to bed.  Except for a sweet baby, who I held in my arms.  :-) Oh, and the Giants won again!  Chris said to me… Think we should go for 5 more in 4 years?!…We laughed at both agreed that we are complete!  

Now without further ado…

Haven Joy’s arrival…

Birth week begins on Monday, December 12th.  Guess it should start on Sunday as that is when Haven and I marked 39 weeks complete!  This tale is filled with lots of detail leading up to Haven’s arrival.  I wanted to remember it all. Hope your eyes aren’t bleeding by the time you are done! 😉

Monday : December 12
I have to back up this far because I want to remember and record the Lord’s faithfulness to me.  Y’all know how I hate throwing up?  Well, over the weekend, the boys had yucky diapers.  Crews even woke up one morning with some throw up in his bed.  But his digestive system has always been a little crazy, and since it wasn’t a ton, I didn’t think much of it.  Monday, Harper woke up, ate some cereal, and then started complaining about a tummy ache.  She wanted me to sit with her in the bathroom for a while.  She was crying because her tummy was cramping, she looked at me and said she needed a trashcan, and then threw up in it.  I was super impressed at how calm and collected she was.  So brave (and tidy.)  And I amazingly didn’t freak out.  I never believed my Mom when she said I would be fine with throw up when it came to my children. Sure ’nuff…she was right!  Harps went on to get sick another time during the day.  Between  comforting her in her room, to making sure three 2 1/2 year old boys didnt destroy the house, I sprinted up and down the stairs about 20 times that day at 39 weeks pregnant.  My adrenaline was pumping, but I remained calm & focused.  The Lord just kept reminding me that He goes before me and is behind me.  He wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle.
My Mom drove into town that day to stay with us all the way through January!!  She walked through the doors right after Harper had gotten sick the second time.  Soooo thankful for her arrival!!
Harper took a long nap and ended up being fine by the evening.  I just prayed and prayed that none of us would get it.  And none of us did!!  Thank you Jesus.  I do not need to fear.
Tuesday : December 13
I had my 39 week midwife appointment this morning.  I was hopeful and doubtful all the same.  I was feeling great, and just thought birth was a long way off.  I was very pregnant, but no changes whatsoever.  With Harper I remember her ‘dropping’ way low into my pelvis just the week before I gave birth.  Nothing with Haven.  My midwife did say that with second and third babies, they don’t necessarily ‘drop.’  So, while it gave me some hope, I was still a little bummed.  I was also going back and forth with emotions.  I really wanted to have a VBAC, but I was getting very scared about her just staying in and growing bigger and bigger and bigger :-)  I even talked with my mom and Chris about scheduling a c-section if it came down to it.   We looked at dates and tried to figure out when would be a good time with Christmas approaching.  We decided if I was still pregnant at 41 weeks (Christmas Day), I would just call and schedule one.  I came to my midwife appointment with all of these feelings.
I met a new midwife at our practice.  There are about 7 midwives total.  Her name is Addy, and I absolutely loved her!  She just sat and talked to me about all my fears and questions.  She told me she believed in me, and that while she thought this was a big baby, my body would be able to birth.  She told me she would check me and offered to strip my membranes.  Well, Haven’s head was sooo low, she couldn’t get around it to check me, so no stripping was able to happen.  I was kind of surprised Haven’s head was so low, though, as I couldn’t feel it at all.  Her ‘orders’ to me were to make sure I had relaxation time for 30 minutes during the day where I did nothing but focus on relaxing.  And, to get a good night’s sleep.  (Well, okay, if I must!! :-))  She said sometimes that is all it takes for a woman’s body to go into labor.  My Mom had arrived the day before, so I feel like I was finally able to relax since I knew my children would definitely be taken care of.
That afternoon was wonderful.  I had to go get more Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (can help with contractions), and since I adore Whole Foods, I thought I would run in and pick some up there.  Whole Foods to me is like a ‘spa’ grocery store.  I love all the fresh fruits and veggies, the unique food items, the quality of food, and the bath & body section.  It is relaxing to go to that grocery store!  I ended up using that time walking the aisles just looking at stuff & getting some exercise since it was raining that day.  I picked up some dinner – roasted chicken, rosemary potatoes,  green beans for us.  Then, I headed home.  Everyone was down for a nap when I returned.
I did my pregnancy stretching DVD, and then laid down on the couch to have some relaxation time.  I got a good 45 minute nap in while the house was quiet.  I thought about nothing other than preparing my body to birth, and for the first time really felt peace about whatever the outcome would be.  I woke up so refreshed.
Mom told me she had the kids so I could finish packing for the hospital and organizing our room.  I got all of our bags ready and put them by the door so they would just be in the car whenever I went into labor.  I finished my birth poster and completed my birth playlist of worship music.  All was ready whenever Haven was ready.
Oh, and this may be silly, but I had a talk with  Haven.  I told her that she could come out now.  That is wasn’t scary out here even though it is really loud at times.  I told her that I would help her learn to adjust and would be there for her. That she had a big family and lots of love.  We were ready to have her join us.

I changed the sheets on our bed, freshened our room, got her cosleeper ready to go.  Typical nesting stuff.  I had some sweet time with the other 4 babies  big kids(who are soooo huge now that we have a tiny baby) .  Then, I went to bed early!

Wednesday : December 13
I woke up that morning thinking well, I am still pregnant.  I got up and went to the bathroom.  I figured I would get dressed before heading downstairs to drink some coffee with Mom.  As I was standing at my dresser trying to step into my pants, I prayed ‘Lord, I just wonder when it’s going to happen.’  And just like that Pop! My water broke a bit (will explain the ‘a bit’ part in a second). I stood there with my eyes wide and mouth wide open! And I think I said outloud, ‘ Lord! You answered me!’ LOL  I went to tell Chris and clean up.  I also realized I had lost my mucous plug -MP- (two worst words combined, aren’t they?!)  I called the midwife and said I was a bit confused. I definitely lost more than my MP, but nothing else was coming out.  They wanted me to come in to be tested since I was GBS+ (group b strep +…weird condition that comes and goes in everyone without any symptoms, but for birth you need antibiotics).
We finished getting our last minute items together, and got in the car.  I really was convincing myself on the way there that we would probably turn around and go home.  I hadn’t ever lost my MP with other pregnancies, so I as just unsure.
Midwife Melissa tested me with litmus paper and those were negative.  She checked me and I was 1 cm. She did another test where they analyze the results under a microscope & look for fern patterns. (fern pattern = amniotic fluid)  She said she only saw one tiny fern, but it was a fern & so, she assumed I had a small leak.  A word of warning she left us with was that when my water did break, it was going to be a lot!  She said if it hadn’t broken by the time I was ready to push to make sure I told my midwife to ‘suit up.’  Yikes!  Kind of made me scared to go out in public.  Anyway, her orders to us were to go out for some lunch and then head over to the hospital.
We ate lunch at Calypso Cafe.  I was excited and was hoping for a fast labor, so I could only eat about half of what was on my plate.  Soooo wish I had eaten more!! haha!  This was the last food I got for about 36 hours.  This is when we sent out texts to let everyone know we were on our way to the hospital.  PS.. my water did not break at lunch.  Sooo thankful!
We arrived and were put in triage since L&D was very crowded.  We had to wait about 3 hours in triage for room.  We tried some natural labor inducing techniques while we waited and my contractions did start to pick up.  I had one that lasted about 3 1/2 minutes.  I was so excited!
My view while in triage.


We made it over to our room, and I was so excited to see we had gotten the one with the birth tub even though I knew I couldn’t use it (VBAC & GBS+).  Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Brad Paisely’s wife/ Father of the Bride star) had this tub installed for her labor.  I thought it was neat I got to labor in the same room she did!  :-)
My view of the birth tub & giant lamp from the bed.


We got settled and hooked up to monitor me & Haven. I also had my IV started for my antibiotics.  I had to be on this every 4 hours for about 20 minutes for each dose. Thankfully, I could detach from wires and monitors every hour for about 40 minutes.  Nancy, my sis, arrived around 7:30pm with my Mom (friends were watching the trio & Harps), and we got to power walk the halls a bit. I had 2 big contractions while walking.Midwife Addy was on call that night, and I was so excited thinking she would be the one to deliver Haven!  We talked about our plan of action.  My contractions had started to get into a pattern, but then became very irregular.  She offered to start pitocin that night, but we decided to sleep and start pitocin around 8 am.  It would be 24 hours since my water had broken at that point.

So, Nancy, Chris and I camped out that first night in the hospital.  I was offered a sleep aid pill, but was so concerned I might go into labor and be drowsy that I declined.  I slept as fine as I could being checked on every few hours.  Chris slept on the floor and Nancy slept in the chair bed.  I told them I felt like we were camping :-)
Me, Chris & the boppy, and the arm to the chair-bed Nancy slept in.

Next up… Birth Day!!

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