This is the story of Miles' journey into our lives. Beware, it's a long one. It was the end of February of this year when I had suspicions of pregnancy. I had read copious amounts about what symptoms to be aware of and thought I was tricking myself into thinking that I was pregnant. The mild nausea and fatigue continued for two weeks. After reading whattoexpect.com's descriptions of pregnancy symptoms about a million times I finally decided to take a pregnancy test. Trembling, I took the test around 4pm, just before Patrick got off work. The two minutes it took for the test to be completed were the most nerve racking moments of my life. I couldn't help but imagine what our lives would be like if I looked down to see a positive sign but also how dismayed I would be if it was negative. This was the moment that would change our lives forever or go back to being the same until the next month when I would probably stumble through the same emotions all over again. With my whole chest thumping I looked down to see the line that my whole being wanted to see. Positive.
I couldn't stop saying 'oh my gosh.' I wanted to call Patrick right away but decided to tell him in person. That was very long hour. Patrick finally arrived and trying not to burst with excitement I said 'God has a new plan for us: to be parents!' Patrick grinned really big and couldn't believe it. He kept saying 'really?' We both sat in silence for a good 10 minutes taking it all in and picturing how things would change.
The first trimester commenced and we made announcements to family and friends. I went to my prenatal visits and always found that baby and I were doing well. At our second appointment our ears were graced with the most beautiful sound. Miles' heartbeat. It was 156bpm. I kept teasing Patrick that a higher heart rate could mean that it's a girl. Everyone I talked to except for two people thought I was having a girl. My cousin Ashley even did the old wives' tale of the needle and thread over my belly and it read that he was to be a girl. Poor little guy! Everyone thought he was a girl. Throughout the first trimester I felt sluggish and exhausted which is very common. I was lucky not to get morning sickness, just waves of nausea here and there. I'm pretty sure I had the nose of a dog too because I could smell everything from miles away.
The second trimester rolled around during summer time and I started feeling back to my old self. As week 20 neared I grew anxious to feel Miles move. Finally, one night as I laid still in bed, I felt what would normally feel like a muscle twitch. It was his little flutters. It was the most amazing feeling in the world and only got better from there as he grew and those flutters became kicks, punches, and rolls. Patrick enjoyed putting his hand on my belly at night and feeling him move. It was a wonderful way to fall asleep.
As the end of summer unfolded into fall so did the second trimester into the third. I was still feeling great but I could tell I was slowly losing energy and everyday tasks became large ordeals. I found that it was most difficult to put my shoes on because it was almost impossible to breath and bend over at the same time. Little Miles was becoming Big Miles and my lungs felt that. Stairs were burdensome as well. Railings became my best friend. The eighth month started and so did Braxton Hicks. Our little guy was practicing for his big debut.
The last couple weeks of my pregnancy I noticed the Braxton Hicks getting stronger, lasting longer, and becoming increasingly painful. At 36 weeks I got my first exam and was 1cm dilated and 75% effaced. That made me very excited because it meant the end was near and less work that Miles and I had to do during labor. The exam a week later was the same stats but I found out he was very low (no wonder it hurt to walk!). He was at a 0 to +1 station. At my 38 week appointment I graduated to a 1.5cm dilated and 80% effaced. Things were moving along but not as quickly as I had liked. Of course, I became more and more anxious. As an on going joke, whenever I would complain about the pregnancy Patrick would say "you're not that pregnant!" The bigger I grew the funnier the joke became. I think I even remember him saying it in the delivery room.
On Thursday, November 18, during my 38th week I started having real contractions. Unfortunately, they weren't consistent enough to lead us into full blown labor. This dragged on for about three days. Saturday, Patrick and I decided it would be a good idea to try to get things moving by running errands and walking around almost all day. Well, it sure did the trick. That night I had very intense contractions that lead me to the hospital around 11pm. After being monitored for about two hours I was sent home with the information that I was in early labor and to come back when the contractions are consistently 5 minutes apart and impossible to talk through. Disappointed, we returned home to wait it out.
The next morning it began to lightly snow. Around noon it began to stick to the ground and was so beautiful to watch. My contractions slowed down a bit during the morning but I still put a call in to my parents to give them a heads up about what had happened the night before. They were very excited and anxious to get down here so when I called later that afternoon with news that the contractions had picked back up a little they got on the road to start their 3 hour trip down. When they finally got here the contractions subsided again. I was very discouraged because they were intense enough that I couldn't talk through them but not consistent enough to go to the hospital. We kept joking about how the night's full moon might push me over the edge into active labor. I wondered how long these inconsistent contractions could go on.
Around 11pm we went to bed and it must have been all the talk about when this labor would actually start or the full moon because the contractions were coming in a more consistent pattern. I labored all night waiting for them to get closer together. The last few contractions I remember having at home were so severe I felt paralyzed every time one came on. At that point, around 4am Monday morning, I knew it was time to head to the hospital.
Patrick and I arrived and were sent to an exam room. They checked me and I was 4 1/2 to 5cm dilated so I was officially admitted and transfered to a delivery room. I was the only person there that was ready to have a baby so I was able to receive an epidural right away. That made me feel amazing! I couldn't feel the debilitating contractions and was finally able to take a nap and rest up for the real work that was soon to come.
We patiently waited for me to progress. The nurse was tracking my contractions and said they were finally becoming a bit more consistent. Good thing I didn't wait it out at home because I don't know if I would have been able to get through it! Around 11am my doctor broke my water. I rested for another couple hours waiting to get to 10cm. At 1pm I was finally ready and at 1:15pm I started doing practice pushes. That was hard work! It turns out Miles was sunny side up instead of facing my back which is why labor took longer than it normally would have.
At 2:48pm, after the most physical work I've ever performed in my life, Miles arrived! It was the most relieving experience of my life. They placed him on my chest and as they cleaned him off he let out a loud cry that captured my heart. We were in love at first sight. The delivery was such an amazing experience and although the end of the pregnancy was incredibly uncomfortable and the contractions were unbearable I would totally do it all over again. I give so much credit to the mothers who choose, or had no choice (like our Moms) to go through deliveries without any pain medication. It is true what they say about not remembering the pain when it's all over. God sure knew what he was doing when he made us forget so we wouldn't be scared to have more children.
The three of us are adjusting very well to this new home-life. Miles is a very happy and easy baby. I'm feeling almost completely normal again and am lucky to not experience postpartum depression. All in all I feel great! It's wonderful to have my body back and be able to move around more easily. I am so grateful to God for such a good pregnancy, smooth delivery, healthy baby, and helpful, caring husband. I don't think I will ever be able to thank Him enough. I look forward to the next beautiful gift of life he gives us and will welcome it with wide open arms.