As soon as I became pregnant with Ransom I started seeing numbers in threes. Everywhere I went I’d see numbers in threes. If I picked up my phone to look at something, the time was 2:22, or 4:44. If I woke up in the night it was at 1:11. If I looked at the page number in my book it was page 222. Gas cost $3.33. License plates would be XXX-444. It was impossible to ignore. Soon Jake started seeing numbers in threes as well! So I talked to my friend Jeffie who is really big on numbers what she thought it meant. She told me she heard two things, 1) Tic tac toe, three in a row! and 2) That God was lining things up for me. At first the tic tac toe thing made me nervous – did that mean triplets?! But when we found out he was a boy it made more sense. Three boys! After that, it was amazing how I would start to see my numbers in threes during moments of doubt or fear or worry. It became my cue to take a deep breath and remember that God was lining things up for me no matter what the circumstances looked like in that particular moment.
Ransom was born on a Wednesday morning just after midnight. The week before, I had been putting his car seat cover back on after washing and I thought to myself, “I remember Katie saying that this brand of car seat is especially good for tiny babies.” Then I kinda shook my head and thought, “Why am I thinking that? My babies aren’t small, and I’m probably going to deliver this guy at 40-41 weeks. The full and then waning moon is supposed to be a few days after my due date, so that was when I assumed I would go into labor. The waning moon tends to pull women who are ready into labor, I promise, it’s not a cooky hippie thing. The Sunday before he was born, I went to church and thought, “Ok this is probably going to be the last Sunday I make it to church before he’s born. I’m way too uncomfortable and I only have one nice outfit that still fits anyway.”
On Monday, I went to the chiropractor to try to get some relief from this awful pressure in my pelvis that had begun over the weekend, and which was causing my legs to swell up. When Dr. Jim Bob walked into the room, he took one look at me and said, “Umm are you in labor or are you just miserable?” Just miserable. The next day I was even more miserable. It was our anniversary and we were some kind of pathetic couple. Jake had stayed home from work with a little stomach bug and I hadn’t slept hardly at all the past couple of nights and my legs were killing me. I was supposed to have a maternity session with Coli of The Love Doves, but I asked her if we could try again next week because I was so miserable.
After a while I asked Ashley to come take the kids so we could rest and then head to my midwife appointment. When she came over I was kind of weepy. I had wanted to buy her some flowers and make a big deal out of asking her to be with me for Ransom’s birth. I had been at her last birth and it was really special, and I wanted her there as part of my intercessory/cheerleading team. I ended up crying on her shoulder telling her I’d love for her to be there, and that I wasn’t sure I was going to get any prettier or more energetic than I was at that moment (which was not pretty at all) the rest of this pregnancy. After she left with the boys I started having thoughts like, “I should start packing my hospital bag. I should make those bars that I wanted Jake to have to snack on during labor and hospital stay. Maybe we should take the infant seat with us to this appointment.” And then I would follow up with thoughts like, “What is wrong with me? I’m only 37 weeks! This is just me being miserable and wanting to be done. Calm down.” But I did pull a few things together and make those bars!
I was in no condition to drive myself to my midwife appointment, so it was a blessing in disguise that Jake had stayed home that day. Fortunately by this time he was feeling better. The week before I had asked him if he could come to my 37 week appointment so he could be there when we discussed the birth plan, but his schedule had already been set for the next week. Stomach bug to the rescue! It was a good thing he was there because…
As soon as we walked in and told them how miserable I was, my midwife Donnellyn and her assistants looked concerned. Then they were really concerned when my blood pressure was 145/96 and there was lots of protein in my urine. Now the birth plan up until that point had been that we would work through some very early labor at home, fairly quickly make our way to the birth center and then around 5-6cm transfer to Denton Presby to deliver with Dr. Cummings, with Donnellyn acting as my doula. Dr. Cummings is one of the very few OB’s around who champions vaginal births after mulitple c-sections and I have had two. Well, with my blood pressure as high as it was, she had to contact him right away. While we waited for him to respond she drew some blood to send off for immediate testing and finished my normal appointment. I was about 1cm dilated.
Let me pause here and say that she had done blood work the week before and it had come back with excellent results. I wrote in my last pregnancy blog post that I went from never being so comfortable at that point in pregnancy, to never having been more miserable. Y’all know I had followed a pristine diet and had made really excellent choices throughout the entire pregnancy. I was managing stress very well, exercising and getting plenty of rest. We were all floored that these signs of pre-ecclampsia were showing up out of the blue, especially since I never had any trouble in previous pregnancies when I wasn’t eating healthy or managing stress well!
Dr. Cummings told Donnellyn that I would need to come see him at 7:15 the next morning and not to expect to go home after that. Unless something drastically changed, we were going to have a baby tomorrow! I was ticked. Here I had done everything in my power to be healthy and set myself up for a great natural birth, and now it looked like I was going to have to be induced or have another c-section. Neither of those options were appealing to me at all. I knew I could labor without an epidural on Pitocin, but I sure didn’t want to! And I clearly did not want a third c-section. Donnellyn sent us to the chiropractor to be adjusted again and then told me to go home, take a bath, eat some good protein and get in bed. I called our parents and some friends on the way home. We told everyone to pray that my blood pressure would go down – if it didn’t I wouldn’t be allowed to labor at all – and that I would go into labor on my own. Ronna, who has been discipling me and loving me since I was 15 was confident that that was exactly what was going to happen. She sent out an email to prayer warriors in the church, and posted on our Bible study Facebook page, and my dad sent an email out to our extended family. Ashley got people from her church praying as well. We were covered! And we were seeing our numbers in threes left and right. God was indeed lining things up.
When we got home, we discovered that Ashley had come back over with our boys while we were gone and had cleaned our whole house! Before she knew what was going on! And she had bought me Frozen! My dad came for the boys so we could rest and get up early without any trouble, and I took my bath and got in bed with Frozen. Jake was running around trying to wash my nursing bras and jammies, setting up the Pack n Play, packing clothes for himself and trying to find various baby items that we hadn’t gotten out yet. I was still trying to process going from maternity photos today, baby in three more weeks to baby tomorrow. About 8:00 that evening, we got a call from Donnellyn.
“I just got your labs back, and I need you to come up to the hospital just as quickly and calmly as you can.”