41 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy dragged on and on and on, until last Saturday. I blinked, and it was all over!
That’s so weird how that works, right?
Obviously, Harold Porter Brown Ferrell decided to join the party, and because it happened like I knew in my bones it would, we couldn’t have been more excited to welcome him here. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’d have celebrated no matter how he joined us, but this was bitter sweet and did my mama heart all kinds of good.
If you aren’t up for reading a birth story (I’ll keep it as ungross as I can, spare those details not appropriate for the dinner table even though that’s always my favorite part) then check back next week when I’m sure to have some kid conversation or chicken story to talk about.
Fourth kids don’t waste time.
I had been having legit contractions, timeable, progressive ones for more than 3 weeks, so when I spent all day Friday feeling blah (it’s a medical term, you can look it up) I didn’t think much about it turning into actual labor. We enjoyed an expensive meal outside at Sonic and came home for a walk around the block to watch the bats and hunt for the neighborhood ducks. We heard one of the mamas laid 12 eggs in my great aunt’s flower bed one street over, so we’ve been on the look out for any babies.
No luck finding them, but we did manage to make it back home with 2 skinned knees and a kid who spent his walk collecting boogers on his arm. However, the walk did nothing to move my labor along.
Amos has been fighting a nasty cough and off & on fever for almost a month, so he got a healthy dose of night time medicine, and we all settled down for bed. Pat and Hank stayed up watching YouTube videos about processing (that’s code for killing) chickens, but I told him I thought he needed to go on to sleep, just in case.
One can only cry wolf so many times. I’d been saying “just in case” for almost a month, so he went right on with what he was doing and didn’t come to bed until after 10.
At 11:30, I woke up with something that felt a lot more like a stomach ache than labor. The short walk to the bathroom was enough to make me know it wasn’t what we affectionately refer to as ‘the sick belly.’
In the time it took for me to call my mom, wake Pat up, and grab the last minute stuff, I was having 2 groups of contractions 2 minutes apart. We had just enough time to grab the “in labor” picture we’ve taken for each kid, throw Hanks carseat in my mom’s car, and head off to the hospital, 45 minutes away.We made it over there in about 20 minutes, and I was only a solid 3 centimeters.
So didn’t matter.
Porter knew what was up, and was making sure to dial the intensity up with each passing wave of contractions. I think I was officially admitted around 1, and after a few hours of me lowing like a cow and laboring wherever I could get comfortable, my water broke on its own. That’s never happened before, and Pat kept saying “That’s so neat!!!”
I’ll spare you.There was a ridiculous amount of meconium present, but it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal. I kept applying the chapstick and telling myself it couldn’t last forever. I’d finally found a good position to be in, and just went with it.
Seriously, with that much mouth breathing and animal noises passing over my lips, I needed a decent chapstick.
Things got a little hairy around the 3 hour mark when I kept insisting I had to push and the attending OB said otherwise. Porter just wasn’t far enough down, but you reach a point in labor when your body takes over whether you’re ready or not. Like, stomach rolls up and body says OUT right on its own.
His heart rate dropped, I needed oxygen, and I was DONE. Like, couldn’t focus, couldn’t get my mind right, and couldn’t stop being distracted by the hip cramp I caught from how far my right leg was being held out.
15 minutes worth of good pushing and a dose of “I am so annoyed with you, Dr” got Porter here safely.
Pat and I have talked so much about how we would know if we were really finished having babies. Like we needed a good sign to just let us know that we’d brought all the people into the world we were supposed to, and after this delivery, neither of us are questioning the voice we heard in L&D #8 at Medical Center Enterprise. We’re never saying never, but four was the plan, four is what we’ve got, and this experience seemed to be just the affirmation we were looking for.
As badass and empowered as it makes me feel, I’m good with 4 natural deliveries, 3 totally unmediated, and enough stitches spread out over about 6 years to last me through the rest of my days.
I went in at 12;45 ish, and Porter was born at 6:27 a.m. Since it was a holiday weekend, things were extra slow once I got to a postpartum room. I’m not sure if it was because of that or this being my 4th round, but I wasn’t bothered very much. No one came in to explain and look and prod and poke at all those first 12 hours. Nursery came only when Porter needed to be assessed, and other than not being given lunch or dinner, it was a pretty pleasant experience without all the interruptions.
Of course, these visitors made the day complete! Hank was an old pro, insisting he didn’t need any help with how to hold Porter. Margaret Hannah couldn’t stop grinning and saying how excited she was that he looks like her. And sweet Amos… He was squealing and clapping like nobody’s business. He’s still really excited to see Porter, but I think it took the hospital visit to finally put it together what a Porter actually is.
It hasn’t been very easy for him. We took him to Porter’s first checkup and found out he’s got pneumonia. Only so much of his behavior can be pinned on being sick. The rest of it is straight up “You brought an actual, live baby into our home, and I have zero clue how to process this!” He’s getting lots of extra love and attention, but it’s going to take him some time. The other two didn’t react this way. I mean, he headbutted Porter last night (it was his first night home with us since he was in quarantine) and didn’t seem phased by the repercussions at all.But back to the hospital stay… So there was limited bothering our first day, but something about the sun going down changed everyone’s minds. Somebody was in every hour and a half or so from 9pm until 7 am. Fun first night, for sure.Pat never seems put out by any of that, though. Joker can sleep and snore anywhere.
We had a few friends and family stop by Sunday, and around 2:30, the Doctor on call stopped in to say he was totally ok with discharging us ASAP since no one would be around Monday to process our stuff anyway, and medical records was gone for the day. No arguments from us! We were able to scarf down the steak dinner you get for being new parents in record time, and busted out of MCE in just under 36 hours after arriving.I also am an expert packer after all these hospital stays, so when the nurse came back in to ask if we needed help getting things down to the car, we assured her we did not. Essentials only this trip.
I gladly traded the hospital puppy pads and uterine massage for the chance to sleep in my own bed. Pat was nearly skipping to the car. I had to remind him I couldn’t move that fast.
We’ve been home for a few days, smelling and loving on Porter every chance we get. He’s so laid back. He doesn’t flinch when someone’s yelling or the dog is barking.
Why would he? He’s had 42 weeks to get used to all the noise.
He sleeps well, nurses wonderfully, and seems to enjoy watching the other three. We couldn’t be more in love.Thank you for all the prayers and support, comments and love you’ve sent our way the last few months. God’s plan is perfect and so His timing. And for that, we are thankful, sleep deprived, and loving this life.