In July of 2005, Kent and I got a surprise: I was pregnant, which I confirmed with my first-ever drugstore pregnancy test. I spent the next two days being upset because I was happy with my routine as mom and having my body to myself. I did not look forward to the next year-and-a-half of changing sizes, being achy with pregnancy, sore with nursing, and sleep deprived. But with prayer, I got used to the idea and accepted it as God's will. I knew that there would be a son in our family, so I was grateful that his spacing would be close to #4 at 27 months. At 16 weeks I went in for my first prenatal appointment and the clinic ordered an ultrasound. Because I had waited so long to go to a doctor, they confirmed for me at that first appointment that this baby was a boy. Kent was in shock for a few days after seeing the ultrasound picture, but he eventually warmed up to the idea of being a dad to a son.
When I was one week over my due date, my new doctor decided to induce labor. I told him I always progressed quickly, so he decided I could just report to the hospital in the morning and maybe have the baby on his lunch break from his clinic. At 6:15 a.m. as Kent and I were driving away from our neighborhood on Geneva Rd., the car started jerking and slowed down. Kent pulled over right as the engine stopped. We had run out of gas for only the second time ever! High fuel prices had gotten us in the habit of fueling up whenever the prices dipped. Unfortunately, the "empty gas tank" light had burned out, so we didn't know we were that low! Kent hitched a ride, and when he told the driver we were on the way to have a baby, the driver waited for Kent to fill the gas can and drove him back to our car. (I love Happy Valley.)
Rising healthcare costs meant prostiglandin was no longer offered, so when we got to the hospital I got started right away on pitocin and asked for an epidural while they were at it. Then Kent and I tuned into "American Chopper" while my body started contractions. After three-and-a-half hours, the epidural completely wore off. Giving myself more medicine did nothing, and the anesthesiologist's "extra strong meds" also did nothing. At that point, I was dilated eight centimeters and felt all of the transition to ten. My awesome nurse, Ann, helped me breathe through contractions that were literally only a few seconds apart. Within a few minutes I was at ten centimeters and ready to push the baby out. But there was no doctor! The nurses had called him three times with each call increasing in urgency as my labor progressed rapidly to delivery. Ann asked me to breathe through several more strong contractions--do you realize how difficult it is to ignore the pushing urge and just breathe through that pain?--and then she promised me that she would only ask me to breathe through one more before she would deliver the baby herself, which sounded dandy to me! Just then, another nurse ran in to say she had seen Dr. Gordon's car pulling into the lot. A moment later, we heard him running down the hall yelling, "Thanks a lot for making an old man run!" (I had warned him my babies come quickly!) As soon as he took his seat, I began pushing and my son was born in only three or four tries. Kent cut the umbilical cord, Dr. Gordon finished with the afterbirth and explained he had six ladies waiting for exams back at the office, and he took off. (That man was way overscheduled--but he was a good doctor, and on my fifth baby, I didn't much care about getting lots of attention.)
#5 was born at 11:58 a.m. on May 2. At 8 lbs. 10 oz. he was my biggest baby. He and I came home 24 hours after he was born so we could get some real rest. Kent chose his first name, which means "fifth child"--how original, right? As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I knew what my son's name was supposed to be, so he goes by his middle name. He was an easy baby for the first few weeks, and didn't spit up like my girls did. (My theory is it was because I switched to soy milk from cow's milk.) However, he did become a difficult baby, which he grew out of around age eight months when he finally got mobile. He had big (for a baby) hands and could hold his head up from day one. He's now a sweet little guy whom people love to be around. You should see him work a crowd! We are so grateful for our surprise gift from Heavenly Father, and we all love him dearly.
This ends my series of birthing posts--for good! I developed very painful varicose veins with that last pregnancy, which were somewhat incapacitating, and I don't think I could do another one. However, I'm not opposed to adopting a child who already sleeps through the night and is potty trained. It would be fun to have a brother for #5, but only if I can skip all the annoying parts of pregnancy and babyhood!