This day started like a lot of days for a DINK couple. We slept in then I did some light housework while Walter paid the bills. We planned to go shopping for a little side table to go by a chair in our living room that afternoon, so I decided to take a shower. On a side note, that missed shopping trip stands out in my memory because before we knew it we were meeting with our realtor to put our house on the market. She politely told me that I probably needed to replace the plastic tub I used to hold my water bottle and burp rags and nursing pads and passy and all of those other little baby tools that I intended to put on that cute little table that I never got to shop for. I cried, but remember the Houston church was interviewing us and change was imminent, so my hair trigger tear ducts were working overtime.
Warning! TMI coming. Skip this paragraph if you can’t handle it! Since I moved a loaded file cabinet early in my pregnancy, my bladder suffered the consequences throughout the pregnancy. When I got ready to shower, I noticed a steady stream running down my leg and prepared for a real pity party. This was getting ridiculous. How could I go anywhere with this issue so obvious? Then it hit me that perhaps my bladder wasn’t leaking. I called Walter to confirm that this wasn’t the liquid I was used to dealing with. At 39 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t going to get on the floor to investigate! With the help of his olfactory senses we determined that my water had broken, so I immediately got into the shower to start beautifying myself and avoid bed head pictures in the hospital. When I got out of the shower we called whoever it is the doctor had told us to call if I went into labor on a Saturday. They told us to come on in, so I finished my hair and makeup, packed my bag, waited for Walter to pay the bills, then went to the car and waited some more. This day was the one time in our marriage I allowed myself to honk for him to hurry. By this point, I had been in “labor” for over an hour, so I felt entitled even though I hadn’t suffered a single contraction yet. Surely pain would soon make itself known. We stopped by the bank then headed to the hospital.
Upon arrival at Seton Medical Center, I couldn’t help but notice a lack of trumpets and fanfare. It was like they did this kind of thing every day although I was doing it for the first time in my life. The room where they took us had the A&M vs. K State game playing, so Walter settled in to watch the game while I started filling out forms and wondered why it didn’t hurt yet. I got to the part of the forms that asked for mother’s signature and explained to the nurse that my parents had left Longview about an hour ago, but she could sign it when she got there. In a tribute to her professionalism, she did not laugh at me. She just explained that I was the mother, so I needed to sign it. That was the first time I signed as a mother!
After about 3 hours, friends from church started arriving and I was amazed that I still hadn’t had any contractions. At my last doctor appointment I verified that I would be able to have an epidural at the first twinge of pain, because I had nothing to prove by enduring this without the benefit of modern medicine’s anesthetic accomplishments. To me having “natural” childbirth meant that I didn’t sneeze it out of my nose, and I was pretty sure that option had been eliminated. At 4:00 I started feeling some pain, which I discovered 2 1/2 years later in a similar situation was not that bad, so I asked for the epidural. For the next 4-5 hours I chatted with friends and family and shivered a lot. I found out that was a side effect of the anesthesia, but friends still piled on the blankets. This experience caused me to recognize anesthesiologists as the heroes they are. The world is a better place because these people exist!
Finally it was time to push, which I did for about an hour, and Taylor was born at 10:10 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. At this point I decided that I was made for labor and could probably deliver about 10 kids if I didn’t have to be pregnant first. Only later did I add to that list. I could have 10 kids if I didn’t have to wake up all night with them… or potty train them… or teach them to read… Basically there are harder things in parenting than giving birth.
The day ended and life changed. I know now that God had just introduced me to one of His biggest blessings planned for me. Motherhood to this Girl Child has taught me patience, grace, joy, and sacrificial, unconditional love, both as the giver and receiver of those things. I will be forever grateful.