The events leading up to Kate’s BIRTHday are interesting… it is always neat to see how God works everything out in His way and time.  My parents came in from Atlanta on Thursday, February 18th.  They had tried to change their tickets, but they were not able to change the arrival date- only the departure date.   My dad had just retired the week before, but he and Glendamom had been busy the entire time without a chance to relax.  Coming to Tulsa early gave them an opportunity to stay in a hotel for a few days and rest before taking care of the Shaver clan.  They came to our house on Sunday, and we all began the waiting game. 

Actually, we didn’t have to wait too long because my contractions began on Monday afternoon, February 22, at 2:00.  The contractions were not very strong, though, and when our doula, Dana, came to check me at 9:00 that night, I was only dilated to a two and Kate was still high up.  I slept really well that night, and the contractions seemed to subside until the next morning.  My dad took Daniel to his swimming lessons and speech lessons that day while Mike, Glenda and I went to Lowe’s to walk (it was in the 30s that morning, so I didn’t want to walk outside).  Walking immediately made the contractions come on stronger… so we went back home and I walked on and off that afternoon since the temperature was in the 40’s.   At 5:30 Dana came by and checked me again, but despite the contractions, NO PROGRESS had been made in Kate’s position.  Ruth and Dana told me that I needed to start SQUATTING as much as possible to try to bring her down.  If things didn’t progress more by bedtime, they told me to take a tylenol PM and try to sleep and let the contractions stop again.  Well, this approach worked, and the contractions completely stopped by Wednesday morning.


This is everyone WAITING on Kate to make her way into the world.


On Wednesday I sent Mike to work and my dad and Glenda to enjoy the day doing whatever they wanted.  Daniel and I stayed home and pretended that everything was normal.   It was nice to spend quality time with him before Kate came along.  We had fun making 3 loaves of honey wheat bread with flax, foccacia bread and whole wheat cinnamon rolls.  After that we made some Irish stew for dinner.  Phew.  I didn’t get to sit down until after putting Daniel down for a very late nap, but when I did get to the chair, the contractions started again stronger than ever.   I didn’t want to get my hopes up again, so I tried to ignore them wondering if they would go away again when I went to bed.  They did calm down when I first went to sleep, but I woke up about 2:45 with the hardest ones yet.  I timed them and finally woke Mike up since they were just 4-5 minutes apart.  Mike called our midwife, Ruth, at 3:30, and she was at our house before 4:00.   When she checked me I was dilated at a 5, but Kate was still high.  We came out to the living room and proceeded to watch “Anne of Green Gables” for a couple of hours.  Dana joined us around 6:00 and I got to hop in the birthing pool to relax more.  Unfortunately there was some meconium that came out, so I was only allowed to labor in the pool, but I had to get out to push.  We woke my parents up about 7:00 when labor was speeding up and pushing was on the horizon.  They got ready quick and then got Daniel up.  It was nice to give Daniel a hug and kiss before they whisked him off to breakfast and a day at the Aquarium.

Hmmm… the hard work had begun, and I ended up trying to push Kate out for about 3 hours.  She was stuck near my pelvic bone, and even with Ruth trying to push it out of the way while I was pushing (not comfortable), we could not get her out.  Thankfully Kate and I were doing okay this whole time (ie stable blood pressure and breathing)- so other than not being able to get her out, things went well.   Finally Ruth told me that we needed to decide if we wanted to go to the hospital for a c-section since I was completely exhausted and the pain was getting more intense.  I let Mike make the decision, and he definitely said to get me to the hospital.  At that point I was ready to go, so I was thankful.  I will have to say that the ride in the car to St. John’s Hospital (Ruth drove so I could lean on Mike) and time until I got the spinal block  was the worst part of the whole birthing experience!  The combination of the excrutiating pain- contractions right on top of each other- and the sadness at having to get another c-section made everything seem like a nightmare.   We were blessed on admission to have a great orderly who grabbed my wheelchair and literally sprinted with me to the labor and delivery area… I really thought we were going to run someone over in the process.   Mike got up there as quick as he could after doing all the paperwork, and at last I was put in the operating room when I was at the point of yelling at them to “give me drugs” (never thought I would do that!!!).   I was so happy that the spinal block worked IMMEDIATELY, and I was able to relax at last.  God is so good; He gave me an awesome anesthesiologist, doctor and nurses.   In fact, my entire stay at St. John’s was completly different than the one at Hillcrest; it was way better!  Praise the Lord that there were so many people praying for us (we kept everyone updated on Facebook so that they could pray specifically).  I keep telling people that I truly got the best of both worlds… I got to have an awesome team at home helping me attempt to have Kate there (plus the opportunity to use the birthing pool) AND I got the best hospital experience that I think I could have had.  The best news, of course, is that we have a wonderfully healthy, beautiful baby girl. 

Catherine Joy Shaver was born on February 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM.  She was 8 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long.   What JOY she has brought to our family already.  Thank you, Jesus, for this blessing!