Fast forward one year. Again. Caleb had weaned himself around 11 months like Anna had, and three days after Caleb's first birthday, one early Sunday morning before church, I snuck out to the grocery story and confessed quite embarassedly (is that a word?) to Glen awhile later that yes, we were expecting baby number three, and yes, I had snuck out to the grocery store that morning. We had just started going to Abounding Grace three weeks before, and I was very excited to let all of our family know our news that morning! (In hindsight, I probably should have held off on telling Glen until after he finished bathing #1-2 and we made the food we were taking to church for the fellowship meal. But hey, I was excited. He was, too, just not able to provide much of a reaction while covered in baby bubbles.)
Ethan was due on 10 January. I had a great pregnancy and was looking forward to labor. My great sister-in-law, Elizabeth, had delivered her first son, Gray, naturally the previous January, so I was determined to have a natural birth. This was also the first thought toward home birth that I was introduced to as we had been attending Abounding Grace and home birthing was very common there. My ob, Dr. Trabue, had also jokingly asked me if I was going to ask him to deliver this baby at home. I wasn't ready for that quite yet, but I really wanted a natural birth.
Thanksgiving comes, then Christmas, and I am getting antsy. I didn't really want a January baby. I wanted a tax deduction baby (I know, I know...). I had an appointment on New Year's Eve. Just like my two prior births, I was dilated to a good 5cm and walked around like that for a week without going into labor. At my appointment that morning, Dr. Trabue asked me if I wanted to be induced. I said no, and left the office. I was getting into my car, in tears, and called Glen. I really wanted to go ahead and have the baby, but I didn't want to be induced and knew that a natural birth would be harder with an induction. And as silly as it sounds, that extra child tax credit would be really helpful to a young couple with three little ones three and under.
Glen was very supportive and said whatever I wanted to do would work out fine. If I wanted to go ahead and have the baby, that would be great. But if I wanted to wait, it would be just as fine. Not exactly the help I was looking for, but at least he was a good listener :o)
I called back up to the office and told the nurse that if they could get me in that day, I would do it. She thought it was probably too late, plus it was New Year's Eve, but she would check. She called me back and said they had an opening that afternoon. Okay. I was a jumble of emotions.
We went to the hospital at 2pm, and got everything going. I had an amazing nurse that knew I wanted natural childbirth. I told her if I started talking about an epidural, that she needed to talk me out of it. She was great. She let me labor without the monitor (probably the number one thing I hate about hospital births) quite a bit, let me sit on the birthing ball, and was very supportive. Glen and I hung out and watched Jurassic Park 2. Well, for awhile anyway.
Thanks to the mercy of the Father, a wonderful husband, and a very supportive nurse, I was able to labor and deliver naturally. Finally! What an accomplishment!
After only a three hour labor, Ethan Rivers was born slightly after 6pm. He weighed 9#6oz. I immediately wanted a sandwich and salad. I crave turkey and swiss sandwiches for days after every single one of my births, but the salad thing was new. I had never liked salad before in my life, but suddenly they sounded yummy. My great nurse hunted down a huge sandwich and salad for me and for Glen, and that was that.
I was strep B positive with Ethan, so we had to stay at the hospital an extra day since my labor was too quick for me to get a full dose of antibiotics, but we went home a few days later and I was amazed at how quickly my little family was growing.
The first few weeks as I sat around and nursed him I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I even got some of the other books about the history of the elves and dwarfs and the history of Middle Earth. I did a lot of reading those few weeks.
Ethan was such a sweet baby. They were all sweet, but I guess I was finally settled enough in the baby thing that I was able to really enjoy him. I also remember Glen being particularly sweet toward me in the weeks after his birth. You all know I think Glen is an amazing husband and father, but this time has always stood out out to me.
And as usual, I couldn't wait to do it again :o)
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton
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