The Story of Tad’s Birth: Part 1

Written 9/10/2016 and edited a billion times since then. Contains gross subject matter (but no yucky pictures), so…there.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever press publish on this, but I want to get the words typed out while the story of Tad’s birth is still fresh in my mind. I didn’t really intend to share this, but it was such an incredible experience that I just might. Much to Ken’s chagrin. ;)

I don’t say this lightly: Tad’s birthday was the best day of my life.

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At a wedding on 8/25, 5 days before his appearance.

To preface: I had the greatest pregnancy. I loved every moment! I felt healthy, I liked the way I looked with a pregnant belly, and every single doctor’s appointment pointed to a textbook pregnancy. I looked tiny through the whole pregnancy (my opinion) but baby measured normal each and every time. Because of how tiny I was and how good I felt, everyone including me thought that our baby would come late, so that’s what I mentally prepared myself for. First babies are usually late, right?

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Taken on the morning before my last day at work, on 8/29.

Sunday, August 28 dawned and I noticed what might be my mucus plug* beginning to go. *Seriously. Can no one think of a better, less gross term? But I brushed the thought aside, determined to believe it was nothing. We were only 38.5 weeks along at that point, and this baby was definitely going to be late. Kenny and I went to the campground my parents were staying at for the day. We floated in lake Michigan* and ate picnic food and enjoyed the hot summer weather.

*Note: according to Google, swimming is not really recommended once you loose your mucus plug–another reason for me to ignore my suspicion that something was happening. I wanted to swim. I did not tell Kenny any of Google’s dire recommendations because, being the fun-sucking voice-of-reason, he would not have let me. Lol.

The next day, Monday, was another normal, lovely summer day. I went to work, and my coworkers and I enjoyed a potluck picnic in the park for lunch. I had several meetings and plugged away at my to-do list, and there were still no real signs that Tad was on his way.

I began heading home from work at 4pm when Kenny called (from Lansing) to ask if I could help his dad jump his car, since I was the only family member in the area. I drove to downtown Grand Rapids and Dad and I spent the next 2 hours trying to get his car to run again. But my tiny Fusion was no help for his massive SUV and he ended up calling a tow truck with a super charger. The funny thing was, Kenny’s dad asked several times jokingly, “Are you in labor?” and I laughed it off. Little did we know what lay ahead. #foreshadowing

It bears mentioning at this point that I may have been in denial juuuust a bit. The week before all this went down, Kenny accepted a new job and the very day I went to work for the last time (Monday), he put in his 2-week notice at his current job. Kenny’s last day was my due date, and it was going to be perfect: he would finish up his old job, the baby would come, and daddy would have a few days at home before he needed to begin his new job. Ideal, right? I gave lots of advice to God that weekend on exactly when baby should arrive, and I thought He and I were in agreement. LOLLL again. Note to self: never assume this.

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Kenny and I celebrating his new job on Saturday, 8/27.

I finally headed home from unsuccessfully jumping dad’s car and Kenny arrived home from work. It was a normal Monday evening. Kenny mowed the lawn and I weeded the garden while listening to a podcast and slapping away at mosquitoes. After our work finished, we discussed the benefits of his new job and rejoiced again over the incredible timing of it all. We headed to bed as usual around 10pm, and while I lay there, I realized I felt…funny.

I stayed in bed for awhile before it dawned on me that I was nowhere near being able to sleep, so I got up and puttered around. I began to feel a little crampy, so I took a bath. I wandered around the house some more and moved items around in the already perfectly prepared nursery. At around 12am, a little mad that I wasn’t asleep, I shaved my legs in the bathtub. At that point, I knew what was *probably* happening, so I decided that if people would be touching my legs anytime in the near future, I needed them to be silky smooth and hairless. Ha!

Slowly the cramping developed into a limping rhythm.

I installed an app on my phone with a contraction timer and tried to time the cramps, but it was hit or miss and mostly just frustrating. The app kept crashing, and I would go longish stretches without anything happening. I would have a harder cramp, followed by a teeny tiny easy one that I wasn’t sure if I should even count on the contraction timer.

Eventually–maybe 1:15am? I woke Kenny up, since I was a bit mad about him sleeping and me not…and if this was the real deal, I was all set to panic and he’s a great voice of reason in these sorts of situations. Kenny immediately sprang into action and suggested we go on a walk around the neighborhood and we did, using a flashlight since we have few streetlights on our road. We saw no one, and it was very peaceful. I had a few easy contractions along our route, but at that point I still thought things would go away and resolve themselves. I remember feeling like I needed to play up the pain a little for Kenny since I had woken him up and everything, but things still weren’t bad at all at this point.

But by the time we finished our walk and returned to the house around 3am, I asked Kenny to call the hospital just to get their take on the situation, mostly because I was getting both bored and jumpy. The on-call doctor left things up to us–we could come in to the hospital if we wanted or we could stay home awhile longer. Kenny hated this answer and tried to berate the doctor into giving us an actual time to come in. This obviously didn’t work, but I appreciated his effort.

Bored-and-jumpy me decided to make the decision to head to the hospital. I really wanted a change of pace, and I was getting a bit worried that this was in fact actual labor. Kenny gathered our bags and made a few peanut butter sandwiches for himself as I brushed my teeth one last time.

To be continued…dun dun dunnn.

Read part 2 and part 3.

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