I thought my heart was full with just one little one, and then the next came along. It’s an oft heard cliche that your heart just expand with love for the second and subsequent children; that love doesn’t diminish when shared but is multiplied. It’s true.
Suddenly I have two on my mom-radar! My subconscious is alert and sensitive to their needs all the time, even in sleep. Hopefully this doesn’t mean poor Galvs is pushed further down the list in terms of priorities, but it definitely means we need to be even more intentional about spending time alone and also together as a family, nourishing the primary relationship upon which the others are built. I’m already looking forward to our next date together, though the mummy part of me can’t quite figure out how I’ll feel about leaving baby Joy for a few hours, though I’ve already adjusted to being away from Noah when he’s in school for much of the day.
So, quick notes on how baby Joy arrived early on the morning of 22 Dec, 2015. I started having more regular contractions on 21 Dec evening, right after Noah completed a mega tantrum and finally fell asleep. The cramps began then. At first I dismissed them, as I’d had bouts of contractions a few days prior and they never amounted to anything by morning. This time though, they were coming pretty evenly apart (at 5 min, and 10 min intervals), and accompanied by some nausea. Daunted by a number of friends’ stories of how they didn’t make it to hospital in time for epidural pain relief for their second babies, I decided to call the hospital to see what they thought. Upon hearing that it was my second child, the nurse’s tone changed from being bored and indifferent to actively trying to convince me to come down just to get checked. Still pretty convinced that we’d end up getting sent home to wait, I reluctantly woke Galvs and activated my parents to come care for Noah. I also thought it’d be a good idea to go while the pain was so minimal – I didn’t relish the idea of pain-induced cold sweat through a car journey and uncertain wait through administrative procedures at the hospital. I also didn’t want my dad, who was driving us to the hospital, to panic and drive like a madman. So we went.
Well, to cut a long story short, the nurses found that I was in labor, and proceeded to admit me to hospital at about 230am. However, progress was slow and I had only dilated from 1cm to about 2.5cm when my doctor finally arrived and checked me five hours later at 730am. However, in his usual decisive style, the doctor offered us the option of speeding things along by breaking the water bag and starting a drip to induce labor. Seeing as that had worked well for us the last time with Noah, Galv and I were quick to agree. Though I’d read up on the risks of induction and benefits of allowing labor to progress naturally, i couldn’t resist the temptation of having Joy arrive sooner rather than later!
So things progressed quickly from then on. I had the epidural inserted within the hour, and began ‘enjoying’ the drug-induced woozy dozy feeling. The Dr had advised me to eat breakfast while waiting, but when i wanted to eat, the nurses said baby was ‘sleepy’ and wanted me to wait till things were more stable. By the next time i asked about food , i had begun to feel nauseous and was anxious to eat as i thought it was due to a falling blood sugar level. However, as the labor pains got worse despite the epidural, the nurses told me not to eat as the baby was probably coming soon. They increased the dosage of epidural, and then left the room. Soon, i couldn’t feel my legs at all and the ‘rubber chicken’ effect had set in (where touching your own skin feels like touching some disembodied part of a rubber chicken). So Galv and I were just waiting, at about 10am, when I had the horrifying thought that since i couldn’t feel a thing, what if baby was already all the way down, ready to come out, without any one of us knowing? So i called the nurse again, and it turns out i was right! She hurried to call the doctor, and less than one and a half pushes later, Joy was out 🙂 In fact, baby and my uterus were working so well together that i didn’t actually push Joy out. We all kind of just sat there and watched (well, not me) her emerge. Guess I too can now say that drinking red raspberry leaf tea worked well for me! I was thankful that the common effect of the epidural slowing down the second stage of labor didn’t apply for me both times i experienced it. Noah came 5 hrs after the induction, while Joy took only 3 hrs. You can bet I’ll be going to the hospital a lot quicker with the next kid who comes along!
In all, I’m thankful for a smooth and effortless labor process. In this, God is faithful, as Joy is given in fulfilment of a promise of restful increase in this Jubilee year! In this week since her birth, she has been such a JOY and delight, though that doesn’t necessarily translate to eating and sleeping well. Heh!
But more on that in another post. Just wanted to record how exciting and faith-building it is to partner with God in this family-building ministry!