May 9, 2014 – Sunny, 63, Sunrise 5:28 am, Sunset 10:26 pm (so much nicer to wake for nursings when only one is really in the dark!)
This is a story about God’s perfect timing, the Boston Marathon and the birth of N, all rolled into one.
Last June M qualified for the Boston Marathon. We were pumped and began planning our trip to cheer him on. Then in September we were thrilled to find out we were expecting bundle of joy #2. The bittersweetness, though, was that I could no longer go to Boston to cheer, because I would be 37 weeks pregnant. After praying and talking things through we decided that M would still go to Boston to run, assuming everything was going well with the pregnancy. It would be close, but not too close…
As marathon week drew closer I began to get more nervous. I was still all in favor of M going to Boston (he had trained hard for 16 long weeks of the Alaskan winter, he deserved a shot to toe that starting line!), it just felt closer to our due date than I was expecting; three weeks seemed like a good buffer of time when we looked at it on a calendar way back when. We continued to talk about it, but ultimately decided to trust. This pregnancy was always in God’s timing, and we wanted to continue to trust in that timing. We made our back up plans, but decided to stay the course.
M left for Boston on Wednesday night, and J and I settled into a very low key week. Though my nesting list tempted me, I spent nap times catching up on Downton Abbey, rather than checking off projects! We had a great week, our only hiccup being that J got sick on Easter morning and we didn’t make it to church.
Monday was race day and thanks to online tracking, I was able to get real time updates of M’s pace as he ran the course. The race started at 10am, which was late for East Coast, but 6am here in Alaska. Between being 37 week pregnant, and having to pee every couple of hours, I wasn’t sleeping anyways, so all the texts, alerts and updates were a welcome distraction!
Approximately mile 13
At about 8:30 I got up to stream the finish line live, as I knew M’s goal was to make it under 3 hours. Well he ROCKED it and finished in 2:59:35. I didn’t actually see him cross the finish line live, but as soon as the alert came in with his final time I started crying. He had accomplished his goal, and ran the race that he wanted!! The support and cheers from all of our family and friends was overwhelming too. Lots of people sent us Facebook messages and text congratulating him on an incredible race. In celebration J and I went out for doughnuts. I figured M had put in the hard work, we would eat the calories for him!
Backtracking just a bit, before M left for Boston we had mentioned to my OB that I was having itchy feet at night. I didn’t think anything of it, but M had researched and it was a possible symptom of cholestasis – high levels of bile salt in my blood. The OB wasn’t too concerned, it sounded mild enough, but said we could run some tests just to be sure. The first test was to check my liver function, and that came back fine. The blood work would take 10 days, but seeing that my liver was normal, she said I was fine, and M got the all clear for Boston.
Back to race day – While J and I were out enjoying our doughnuts, my OB called and left a message. This was a little odd, as I didn’t have an appointment until Friday. Well, turns out my blood work had just come back and it tested positive for cholestasis. She was calling to have me come in and schedule an induction for later that week. Thankfully, because my liver was still doing what it should, she said we could wait until my husband got back in to town. My head started to spin a little bit, yes we could wait for M, but now instead of having 2 weeks to get ready for Beluga, we were going to have 1 day. M was coming home Tuesday night, and induction was scheduled for 6am Thursday (I would be 38 weeks). Quite a change of plans! And I had to relay all this info to M 4,500 miles away. Nothing like draining yourself physically and emotionally running a sub 3 marathon, and then finding out your pregnant wife is going to be induced in 2 days!
We both had a bit of a restless night Monday, but ultimately all we could do was trust. That had been the plan since the beginning, and we knew we took a calculated risk when M went to Boston.
Tuesday came, and I was just counting down the hours until M got home – which was quite a few since his plane didn’t get in until 11pm. I had gone in for a non-stress test on Monday, to check on the baby, and when they monitored me I was having a few contractions. They had been so mild I hadn’t noticed, but now that it was brought to my attention I could feel them occasionally on Tuesday. It was a pretty uneventful day. I called a few friends and family, filled them in on the new plan to be induced on Thursday, and washed all the newborn clothes I hadn’t gotten to yet. I packed a hospital bag for myself, and an overnight bag for J. Knowing I was going to be induced made planning for J much easier actually, and I was thankful for that.
I was texting and talking with M as he caught his connections across the country, getting closer to home. His last flight was from Salt Lake, and he asked if I could have some dinner ready for him when he got home. He had had tight connections and hadn’t gotten to eat much. J and I took a little walk around 6:30…it was the first time a contraction was uncomfortable. We cut the walk short, and came in for some dinner and bath time. I called our friend who was on standby, just to give her a heads up that I was feeling my contractions a bit more. She asked if she needed to come over. I told her no, but I would lay down and see how I felt after I got J to bed, then call her back. Finally at about 9:00 I laid down on the couch to see how I felt. Watching the clock, I realized my contractions were pretty regular – about every 5 minutes. They were uncomfortable, but not very painful, so I hadn’t really noticed their regularity. Now that I was tuned in though…this could be something. I called our friend back and she asked again if she should come over. I truly didn’t think at that point that I was going into labor, but better to be safe than sorry if things should intensify, so I said yes, maybe it would better if she came over.
At this point I was still planning to pick up M at the airport at 11, I even had a poster and balloons to greet him with.
Didn’t mean for this to be so literal!
I figured we’d go to the hospital, get checked out just to be safe and then they would send me on my way. When our friend arrived around 9:30 though she immediately started coordinating our other friends to watch kiddos and take care of airport duty. My contractions were getting stronger though, I was having to pause and breathe through them now. I did still manage to make M a salad and pack a dinner to take with us, because I figured if I was really going into labor he was going to need some fuel to keep him going too!
It wasn’t until we were getting in the car, around 10:00, that it hit me – we’re having a baby tonight!! And though things were happening all of a sudden, I was never worried that M wasn’t going to make it. I knew his plane was landing soon. He would be a little blindsided, as the last time we had talked all was normal, but it never crossed my mind he wouldn’t make it.
I won’t go in to all the details, but when we checked in to the hospital around 10:30 I was already 4-5 cm. This was quite a surprise to me; with J I had had contractions for almost 24 hours before we finally went to the hospital, and I was only 3 cm when we checked in. I guess 2nd babies do really go faster!!
For being such a whirlwind night, there were quite a few funny moments. I had sent M a text saying “on the way to the hospital” while he was still in the air. When he landed he sent me a text to let me know he was on the ground. So I texted him again “at the hospital”. Then he sent me a text “Drive by or coming in?”. I thought this was a strange response to at the hospital. Turns out his phone has gotten backed up with texts a bit, so after he texted me he was on the ground, an old text of mine saying “Yeah!” had come through first. So he still thought we were there waiting to pick him up. Then his phone caught up with texts and he saw the messages about the hospital. The next text I got from him was “Wait. What? Come to the hospital? Go time for Beluga??”. Thankfully then, I was able to actually call him and catch him up to speed on everything!
Once I had talked to M, and knew he was on his way, there was even less stress. He was coming, it was only a matter of minutes and he would be there, ready for the arrival of Beluga. Again, I really didn’t grasp how much quicker things were going with this labor. Looking back, the timeline that played out was pretty amazing! M’s plane landed at 11:06 pm, he arrived at the hospital at about 11:50 pm, and a short 45 minutes later N was born – at 12:38 am. Fast and furious, and in God’s perfect timing!
Straight from the airport – luggage and all!
It really took us a few days for our emotions to catch up to reality, whoa -we are now the parents of two little boys!! And it is certainly a week that we will always remember, for a number of reasons!
And we could not have done it with out the support of our wonderful friends!! My only thought when the contractions started to get real was to call K, thankfully she thought ahead and coordinated friends to stay with J while she and I went to the hospital, and for someone to go pick up M. And all of our friends have continued to love on us as we’ve adjusted to being home as a family of four, even gifting us with a Great Harvest gift basket, which you know is right up our alley!!
Whoa! There are two of us!
We are so blessed and thankful!