In May, we had our 20 week ultrasound and the both girls and Conrad went with me. We had the ultrasound tech write the gender of the baby and seal it in an envelope. Dr. Summers had told me that there was a great chance that , since we had already had two girls, that we would have a third, statistically speaking. I suspected (hoped?) it might be a boy when the tech told me, “Oh you’re gonna be surprised.” She was right…
We really wanted a boy, but were trying to gear ourselves up for another girl! The next day, as soon as possible, I took the envelope to Piece of Cake (bakery) and asked them to bake it into a cake for us with blue or pink filling in the cake. I needed that envelope out of my hot little hands so I wasn’t tempted to peek!
A couple of weeks later, on Memorial Day weekend, our whole family gathered at Doc Holiday’s ranch for a cook out and the “Gender Reveal.” Doc was kind enough to add some fun extras like blue and pink ribbons for Team Boy and Team Girl. Everyone donned the color ribbon that corelated with the gender they believed the baby would be. Team Boy far out numbered Team Girl, consequently. We cut into the cake with much anticipation and everyone (including Conrad and I) were totally shocked when we saw the blue frosting…”It’s a boy!” and there was much rejoicing! That’s when we knew Hudson William was on his way.
If the baby was a girl, we were going to name her, Charlotte Marjorie Michael. But we always knew what a baby boy would be called. I had that name picked out since college. Hudson after the great English Missionary to China, James Hudson Taylor. May our son have his great sense of sacrifice, adventure, devotion to the Lord and the lost.
My pregnancy with Hudson was similar to the girls, in that I was always still sick and nauseated. But, different, in that medication actually took the edge off. Different, in that, I was extremely fatigued. So tired, I often couldn’t do the smallest things! Also, I lost weight, my hair grew in thick and was always manageable and I looked great! All my other pregnancies I looked (as well as felt) green, but this one proved the old saying that, “Daughters steal your beauty and sons steal your brains!”
Being 39 years old, I have felt like this was my last pregnancy so I cherished my pregnant belly and my time carrying my little one around with me everywhere I went , even more so than with the girls. I was less nauseated, so I enjoyed my pregnancy a little bit more. And, I actually had less complications (although many “precautionary” measures) than with either of the other two, as well.
Hudson was due October 15, but was scheduled to be induced October 9th at 39 weeks and 1 day. I began to pray that I would go into labor naturally, since I wanted to experience that, at least once. I had heard everyone say it was so much easier! The week before I was scheduled to be induced Grandma Margie came to stay with us, “just in case” I went into labor.
On Saturday, October 5th, we went to the mall and took the girls to get a pedicure for Grace’s 5th birthday. We had a great dinner with the family and went home. I was really uncomfortable with what I thought was heartburn. I went to bed and slept for a couple of hours. At about 4am I woke up with slightly uncomfortable pains. Not too bad, so I just rolled over. Pretty soon I started to notice that they were pretty regular. I started timing them and realized they were 5-6 minutes apart. I got up and started to finish packing my hospital bag and folding clothes. At about 5am, I woke up Conrad and told him I thought it was “time.” He was sleeping up with Isabelle, where I had sent him since he had been snoring keeping this pregnant mama awake! Isabelle woke up too and was super excited about us going to the hospital! She got up and started getting herself ready to go with us. She was mildly surprised when I told her she would not be coming with us right then. She was so excited to meet the baby! We then woke up Grandma, who jumped up too, she was also excited about the baby coming!
We arrived just before 6am at the hospital and they checked me. I had been 3cm dialated at my last doctors appointment on Monday and I was only dialated to 3.5cm when we got to the hospital. The nurse told me to walk around for an hour and if I didn’t dialate anymore they’d probably send me home. I was a little annoyed because I knew this was really it. By 6:00am the contractions were bad enough that I had to stop and breath, so I knew this was the real thing!
We started walking. By the end of the hour, my contractions were about 1.5-2 minutes apart and were very painful. I definatly couldn’t talk through them! When the nurse checked me again I was 5.5-6cm dialated! They checked me in!
We quickly got to the labor room and I got an epidural at about 8:30am. We called everyone and Oma drove frantically from Norwalk to get there. She went back to our house to pick up Grandma and the girls and headed to the hospital. Since it was Sunday, whoever the doctor on call was would be deliverying our baby…and as luck would have it, Dr. Summers, my OBGYN was on call! How wonderful!
Things slowed down as they tend to with an epidural and I didn’t progress past 8cm for a while. I finished my book and took a little nap and Mom, Grandma, and the girls dropped in to tell us they were there, and Dr. Summers arrived at the hospital. I was ready then to have the baby! I asked the nurse to set me up in the bed. My experience with my pregnancies told me that simple gravity will get me fully dialated very quickly. And sure enough, within 10 minutes I had progressed to a 9.5-10cm. The epidural had worn off enough so that I was very very uncomfortable to the point of being in pain, with almost no breaks in between contractions, and I was also very motivated to push!
At 11:35ish, the nurse said, if you feel like you have to push, push. So I did! I felt more with this delivery than the other ones and I could feel the baby move down, it was pretty painful. With the second push I felt his head move down and the doctor said, “wait just a minute!” as the nurse said, “Push!” I said, “can we have this baby by noon?” She said, “Oh, we’ll have it before noon. One more push and he’s out.” I was shocked, “Really?” And, again, very motivated. On the next contraction (about two and a half pushes!) he was out and crying!
At 11:38am, Hudson William Michael was born. 7 lbs, 20 inches long and a head full of dark hair. He looked more like me than the other two babies and he was perfect in every way. I was able to hold him and nurse him right away and Oma was in there for his delivery so she got lots of good pictures!
I had a more of a “birth prayer” than a “birth plan” and things went exactly how I prayed they would. Even better. Although, I have to say, it’s kind of a myth (from my limited experience) that pain with an induction is more painful than naturally (they are both PAINFUL!) The experience of letting my body do what it was designed to do, including experiencing the pain of labor, was an empowering experience and I was in awe of what my body could do and what God designed it to do. Creating life is an amazing miracle. Every. Single. Time.
Not long after delivery the staff discovered that his temperature was low and he had a difficult time regulating it. He was admitted into the NICU for about 12 harrowing hours and it was scary for us! I spent that night making trips back and forth between my room and Hudsons to nurse him and really just to be near him as it was the first time I had ever been without him in his entire existence. It was difficult! I was terribly upset(hello, raging hormones!), but at the same time, peaceful and knew the Lord had things under control. Thank God that things seemed to right themselves by the next morning and he was released back into my room and then with me right on schedule on Tuesday morning. Thank you Lord for a healthy baby and a safe delivery, exactly the way he had placed it on my heart!