This is one that I have been meaning to write for so long but the words and the time to find them had yet to come. However, since it is Mothers Day, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to carve the time and honor my 3rd child by sharing the story of his birth (and of course the pregnancy leading up to it).
This was without a doubt an unexpected pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant just a couple of days after Jedidiah’s first birthday. I honestly was in complete denial. We had discussed the possibility of a third at some point but had decided we were content with two. Truthfully, I sort of expected to become pregnant again and for us to have a third because Jason didn’t want to have a vasectomy and I was not willing to be on birth control for health reasons but I thought if it were going to happen, it would be years down the road. Many of you know the backstory of how long we waited for Jedidiah and the heartache we experienced along the way and it didn’t really cross my mind that it could be quite so simple to have another child. Yet, there I was. Staring at a pregnancy test from the day before, which I had thought to be negative at the time, only to realize that I didn’t wait long enough before reading it and it was indeed positive. At first, Jason and I just laughed because it didn’t even seem possible. Then, I panicked for a few weeks. After I allowed myself to let go of the anxiety for fear of what could happen, I settled on denial. Denial worked for me. I spent my days not really paying attention to my growing belly and focused on what was in front of me. Luckily, I had a fairly easy pregnancy, which allowed me to live in this state and it also meant that I didn’t have nearly any of the anxiety that I experienced when pregnant with Jedidiah.
Eventually, I came around to the idea probably somewhere around the third trimester and started making the space for him. Something about this pregnancy felt different but in a way that it should. I realized at one point that this baby was a gift. For the first time, Jason and I were able to experience the joy and anticipation of a baby without any complicated feelings of grief. Keep in mind that with both Tanis and Jedidiah, we experienced significant losses leading up to their births. This baby though was welcomed into a world without tears of sadness and without the overwhelming feeling of loss. Everything about my pregnancy and even birth with him has been textbook perfect.
January 5th, 2017
5:00am I woke up early in the morning with a pretty intense contraction but I didn’t think much of it because I had been having contractions off and on for a couple of weeks. Part of me knew this was different but I focused on getting ready for the day and work instead.
Around noon I was still experiencing stronger contractions than in previous days and more frequent. I called my dear friend and doula, Jess, to let her know that today could be the day.
1:15 pm I had my regularly scheduled OB appointment and asked the nurse practitioner to check me. I was 3cm dilated. This surprised me since I don’t normally dilate unless I’m in labor. However, I also knew that each baby and each labor are different so I didn’t put too much thought into it.
3:00pm As my contractions continue, I call Jason and let him know what’s going on but tell him not to rush home since there was still plenty of time and I wasn’t entirely sure I was even in labor yet. I talk to my mom and she offers to take the kids for the night. I reluctantly agree. Again, I wasn’t sure anything was going to happen and I didn’t want to burden anyone.
5:30pm There is little doubt that I’m in the early stages of labor at this point. I start packing and request take-out Indian food for dinner.
6:45pm As I’m finishing dinner, I receive a phone call from Jess and just as I pick up the phone, my water breaks. (Right on schedule, I guess). I start laughing at myself for doubting that I was in labor and request towels from Jason. There is an ease with this labor already.
7:30pm We go to the hospital and are triaged. Jess meets us there. I am 4cm dilated and 60% effaced and transferred to a delivery room. At some point, my doctor comes in and thankfully, she is the one that is my favorite OB at the practice. We talk about my birth plan and desire for no medication and also my history of having babies without a doctor in the room since I transition quite fast.
8pm – 11:30pm For the next couple of hours, I walk the halls…a lot. I prefer to be physically active during labor but it’s obvious that most women just stay in their rooms. At one point, a woman walking by seemed slightly panicked and asked if I was having my baby. All I could do was laugh and say yes.
During this time, I also discuss something with Jason that I had been thinking about for quite some time. Ezra’s name. We knew since we found out we were having a boy that we would name him Ezra Jason but something didn’t feel quite right yet for me. I felt there was something missing. I had tossed around second middle names in my head and brought two to Jason that night. Emmanuel or Ishmael. After everything we had been through, Ezra was to be our light. Emmanuel means “God is with us” and felt fitting. Jason wasn’t as sure about it as me but I was grateful that he understood.
11:30pm – 1:30am At this point, my labor has become active and my contractions are more intense so I stay in my room. I find comfort in squatting and being on all fours on the floor.
1:30am I am exhausted and feel like it is time to rest. I know this means that I am in transition. I decide to lie down in the hospital bed and take a bit of reprieve between the waves of contractions.
2:00am My contractions have increased in pain significantly and I feel Ezra descending. I let the staff know that he will be arriving soon.
2:10am My doctor checks and I am fully dilated. I am encouraged to keep Ezra in as much as I can to prevent tearing.
2:17am Ezra Emmanuel Jason Keaton joins the world. A perfect 7lbs 13 oz and 20 inches long.
The next 30 minutes or so are quite painful between the uterine massaging and repairing the tear. I lost a lot of blood and experienced a 2nd degree tear (though not as bad as I did with Jedidiah or Tanis). I was given Pitocin and cytotec to help with the bleeding and thankfully, they worked. Jason cut the umbilical cord and I tried to continue to breathe through the pain.
Afterwards – My recovery was quick and easy physically but mentally it was quite an adjustment. I feel like we’ve finally found our groove (somewhat, since is there such a thing??) and it has become easier. There are certainly many challenges, especially with a 2-year-old that still wakes up at night…but I figure sleep can wait another couple of years or so, right? 😉
So all that to say that our Ezra was born on January 6th, 2017 (Epiphany, by the way) and has indeed been a gift to us and this is his birth story.
I am forever thankful to everyone for their love and support of our family over the past few months. We could not do any of this without you.