EH's Birth Story - Part 3 - On Timing

I'm going to interrupt the telling of the actual birth story events (I know, already??) to talk about something that's been on my mind.

When I think back about everything that we went through in the month of August so far, it's incredible to consider what "could have been" and what actually happened.

DH's mom died on August 1st.  I was in Delaware from July 30th through August 7th, with a 1 day return to Pittsburgh on August 2nd to go to my 37 week doctor's appointment.  I told them at that time that I would be out of town for the rest of the week, and although they were not excited about that prospect, the doctor that I met with was extremely sympathetic and understood that life happens and sometimes there are simply things that we need to take care of.  He gave me copies of all of my pertinent medical records in the event that I would go into labor while I was out of town. 

The funeral/memorial service was August 6th.  As part of the service, I read a poem that DH had written a few years ago that his mom simply adored (DH posted that poem here if you'd like to read it.)  Surprisingly I was able to hold myself together during the reading, and only got choked up on the last stanza.  A minute after I returned to my seat, an intensely painful contraction ripped through my body.  This wasn't just a cramp or a Braxton-Hicks, this was a real contraction (or rather, false labor. But still, it hurt.)  I was instantly afraid that I would go into stress-induced labor right then and there and my baby would be born in Delaware, but fortunately that was the only real contraction I experience throughout this entire pregnancy.

We returned to Pittsburgh on August 7th, emotionally exhausted.  DH was previously scheduled to fly out of Pittsburgh on August 8th to spend the entire week of the 8th through the 14th with his mom in the hospital. He canceled his flight the evening of the 7th, after we got home. 

My water broke around 6:30 a.m. on the morning of August 11th, and EH was born at 10:32 a.m.  If DH had gone to Delaware that week, even if he had acquired a car and drove home as fast as he could the moment I called him, there is no way he would have been here for the birth of his son.  The thought of going through that process without him terrifies me, and I can't imagine him not being there.

Alternately, if his mom had passed away one week later than she did, I would have been in Delaware when my water broke.  I have no idea what we would have done.  Would we have gone straight to a random Delaware hospital? Or would we have started the drive home immediately to get to Pittsburgh to deliver?  If everything had happened one week later, I wouldn't have been able to attend the memorial service, and DH would have been torn between staying with me in the hospital or returning from wherever we were to attend the service himself. I can't imagine having to make that sort of decision. 

Additionally, for no real reason, on the morning of the 11th DH had decided to stick around and get some things done around the house.  All of the other days that week he left before 6 a.m. to head into the city to work on rental property matters.  The fact that he chose this particular day to stay home seems like pure coincidence, but was it?

If you are a person who believes that everything happens for a reason, how do you explain all of this?  To me, in many ways, it seems like way too many things happened for a very particular reason - to make sure that DH was there for the birth of his son.  But at what cost?

I can't explain it, and I won't begin to try, but I am so thankful that he was there with me when everything happened, and that I was able to be there for him during the week following his mom's passing.   I will forever wish that his mom could have been around for the birth of her first grandchild and to get to meet him, but in a way, she alone allowed DH to be there on August 11th when EH was born.  EH's middle name was chosen to honor and remember her, and I'm happy that we decided to do that.

A lot of sadness was felt in the days and weeks prior to feeling the joy of meeting our son, and a lot of sadness is still felt on a daily basis.  But the fact that we were able to process through each of these life-changing events together as a couple - as a new family - was incredibly important and meaningful.  I know I alluded to this before, but DH and I have never been more of aware of the power of the circle of life than we are now, in ways that I think few people can truly understand until they've been through similar events in such a short span of time.  Life is definitely not something to be taken for granted....


So, when I left off with Part 2, we were at the hospital!  Next up is the fun part - the spinal and actual c-section.


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