Contractions had been coming and going for weeks by the time they became more regular last Sunday night. When we left the Jensen's house after scones, I had hopes of meeting little Laz by Monday morning.
So many of my friends' second babies came much faster than the first and although I didn't want to be naive, I hung on to that possibility. Dan and I tried to sleep as much as possible between the contractions that came 10 minutes apart. We welcomed the morning with baggy eyes and discouraged hearts.
Determined to get things going, we took the kids to the sprinkler park. The boys doused each other in water while I walked around. By the time we left the park, contractions were coming faster and harder.
By 1pm, contractions were 5 minutes apart and more painful. After lunch at the Jensens, we headed home with high hopes. By 5pm, my friend Jen came with the camera and pizza. Vicki and the other midwife Linsey showed up, too. This was when I thought to myself "wow-it's really going to happen. I'm going to do this again!". A couple hours passed while I labored in the kitchen between bites. I really enjoyed laboring during the day-less sleepy and therefore more fun!
Between 6pm and midnight, I labored with various people by my side. God's timing was so perfect. My sister (who came into town on Saturday) was able to stay until Tuesday afternoon. We had all hoped and prayed that Lazarus would come before then, and it looked as if he would! My mom delivered all her ladies just in time to come for the birth, too. I was very thankful to have them there.
As well, my friend, and professional photographer, Jen had just come back from an 8 week internship with her family. I was worried she would miss the birth. Vicki got to be there with us,too which was really special. She's known me since I was 9 years old and is our St. Louis family. A few others stopped in to pray with me but didn't stay the entire night. I appreciated all the love and support. Childbirth is such hard work. I truly believe women shouldn't be alone during such a difficult yet special time. It was such an encouragement to me to have so many loved ones around, all wanting to be part of the miraculous occasion.
Around 8:30pm, the kids were put to bed in Eljiah's room, right next door. It took a while for the boys to settle down, but once they fell asleep, they stayed asleep. I knew that Elijah probably wouldn't be there for the actual birth, since it was getting so late. I was a little sad to let go of the fantasy I had of all of us being there together as a family, but got over it pretty quickly. I had work to do and needed to stay focussed!
By midnight, my contractions were so intense, I was sure I was nearing the end, but had only gotten to 8 centimeters. Things were progressing so slowly and my mom was convinced that if she broke my water, everything would speed up. Lazarus became very active, kicking and pushing his way down. We think he was trying to get his head in the right direction. My mom had me do a few contractions in some difficult positions to help turn Laz around. It was so incredibly painful. I'm sure it was hard for my mom to hear me say "mom! it's hurts!! please, no!" but we all knew we were doing what had to be done in order to get the baby out. Finally, my water broke and I immediately jumped in the pool and went into transition.
On August 24th at 2:14am, after just 45 minutes of pushing, Lazarus William Wayne Robbins peacefully entered the world. He barely made a peep although he did look pretty grumpy. We all cried with joy, so thankful for this new life.
After checking the little guy out, Grandma and Grandpa weighed their new grandson. Lazarus weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21 1/4 in. long.
Dan and I were finally tucked into bed around 4:ooam. Dan passed out, but I couldn't take my eyes off Lazarus. A little after 7am, we woke up to the sound of the other kids playing. Dan took Lazarus out to show Elijah his new little brother. I heard Eli exclaim "Lazarus come out the big belly!!!!". It was hilarious. The rest of the morning was spent oohing and aahhing over Laz. The kids loved talking to him, especially Elijah.
My mom and dad stayed until Saturday afternoon. My mom took care of me while I recovered and they both helped so much around the house. It was great to have them spend time with Elijah, too.
Last night while eating scones at the Jensens, we all reflected on what a week it had been. It was great to sit there at the table with a scone in my hand and the baby in Rick's hands. It had been a week since it all began and I was thankful to be on the other side of things.
Labor was much longer than I had hoped, but God brought me through it. I feel as though I had more control this time around. My biggest fear was that I would loose my focus and freak out, but whenever I felt scared, I would pray and leaned on my birth team for support. Like my pastor's wife Stephene said, the presence of God was there the entire time. The birth was blessed from start to finish. I am amazed at how God answered every single prayer surrounding the birth. I had a water birth and everything came out that was supposed to. Lazarus stayed strong the entire time and came out with 10 fingers and 10 toes without a big birthmark on his face (another strange fear of mine). My mom delivered another one of my babies and my sister was there to help (without a camera in her hand!!! thanks Jen!). God gets all the glory. He worked all things out according to His will and for our good. I am so grateful!