So, picking up where I left off… I was 37 weeks pregnant and had just been released from 15 weeks of bed rest. (Feel free to go here if you missed the first part).
Those last few weeks of pregnancy were so wonderful! I felt like a new person and it was so good to be able to go out with Kenton & Abigail. After being inside for the past 4 months, getting outside for fresh air and exercise felt like such a gift!
We were still declaring that I would carry Elana past my due date, to October 7. My doctor, though amazed that I had carried the baby this far, was still very skeptical that I would even get to my due date. My last appointment was on October 2nd and at this point I was 5 centimeters dilated, but still having no contractions. She gave me detailed and strict instructions of what to do if I felt even a hint of labor. Her fear was that I would have this baby in the car, and she did NOT want that to happen! Just for the record, we didn’t want that to happen either 😉
Sunday came, and from the moment I woke up, I knew something was different. I still wasn’t having contractions, but my body just felt different. We had a restful day at home, took Abigail to the grandparents for the night, and enjoyed frozen yogurt with some friends.
After we got home that evening, I took a nap on the couch and when I woke up at 11:00 I felt cramping in my lower back. I knew immediately that it was time to go to the hospital and it was on the way there that my contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes. Thankfully, the hospital was only 10 minutes away and traffic was light, but we still didn’t waste any time getting there!
Up to this point, I was able to talk through the contractions. While we were finding a place to park I had my first hard, can’t-talk-through-it contraction. They put me in a wheelchair and we finally made it to the labor/delivery floor. While signing in at the registration desk, the head nurse came over. She observed me having a contraction and immediately suggested I do the paperwork later and just get into a bed. I am so thankful for her timing and insight, because if not for her, Elana would probably have been born in the hallway of the labor/delivery unit!!
They put me in a bed and wrapped the baby monitor around me. I was still talking and laughing with Kenton and the nurses and everything was fairly calm. Kenton was amazing and was constantly by my side. He was praying in my ear, holding my hand, and talking me through each contraction. I had been praying and believing for a supernatural birth. I wanted a labor with no pain. I did experience one contraction where all I felt was the tension of my muscles, and there was no pain involved. I remember telling Kenton to keep praying, because it was working!
All of that calm changed in an instant, when the nurse checked me. Her next words were “Baby’s head is right here!” and immediately there were 8-10 more people in the room moving as fast as they possibly could! I remember hearing people say that there was no doctor available and that I shouldn’t push yet. By this time, my body was pushing on its own and there was nothing I could do about it! At one point, a nurse shoved her finger in my face and said “my finger is a candle and you need to blow it out! Just don’t push yet!!” It’s funny now, but at the time all I could think was “I’m not pushing! And why is your finger in my face?!”
But my body and this baby girl were not listening to any of the nurses and she was coming whether a doctor was there or not! Thankfully, the on-call doctor walked into the room at the perfect time and was able to pull his gloves on just in time to catch Elana. I pushed one time and then, finally, I could hold this precious miracle in my arms!
Elana Raine, born on October 6, at 11:51 p.m.
(Yes, my entire labor was less than one hour, with my official time on the monitors being a grand 8 minutes! Even as I’m writing this, reliving it, I still find it hard to believe that all of that took place in 51 minutes.)
While we were still in the delivery room, Abigail was able to come and meet her new sister. She was thrilled to finally get to hold her! All of it felt so surreal!
We were so grateful to God for allowing me to carry Elana to full term, and even past my due date! We did wonder why she was 9 minutes “early” and why she couldn’t have waited just a bit longer to make it to the 7th like we believed for. Well, we had our answer five months later. That March, we celebrated our 8th anniversary in California. (For details on that trip, read Part 1 & Part 2.) We were able to attend a service at Bethel church, where we again had the chance to talk to Bill and Beni Johnson. We briefly told them about the prayer time, the pregnancy, and the birth date. Bill said “Well, that’s perfect. When we pray over couples to become pregnant, our desire is to see that fulfilled within a year.” So no, Elana wasn’t born 9 minutes “too early”. She was born with 9 minutes to spare in that time frame of “within a year.”
Her story, from the beginning to now, has been so amazing and God-filled! I’ve heard people say that babies who’s lives were in danger in the womb have a strength and spunk that most other children don’t have. They had to fight for their lives and that is reflected in their personalities. That is so true for Elana! She has a fire and a spunk in her that sometimes makes me want to cry one minute and laugh the next. But as fiery and determined as she is, she is also just as cuddly and sweet. We feel so honored and blessed to be the ones to raise her and we’re excited to be on the front lines of seeing how God will lead and use her.
Until next time…