Monday, February 29, 2016

Nathan's Birth Story Part 1: The Pregnancy Dormitory

Eleven days past my due date...
All hope was gone. I had come to accept that my little "gift from God" was going to graduate kindergarten in the womb.
But then a glimmer of hope! Allow me to take you back the day before Nathan was born...

In Russia, it is common practice that the expectant mother checks herself into the hospital a week before her due date and waits on the baby to be born. Some will wait until their due date, and they never let a woman go more than six days past their due date without admitting them to the hospital.

So picture a dormitory of pregnant women. Okay, so it's just one floor of pregnant women. There are two people to a room sometimes more. Each room has a small fridge, toilet, sink, a nightstand, dresser and a bed. You walk down to the dining room when breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. You get whatever is handed to you ( no fancy menu choices) and sit and eat. Yum yum! Or so you hope. :) Breakfast is usually cream of wheat and lunch and dinner are pretty basic meals that usually include potatoes. Oh and you provide your own dishes, toilet paper, soap, fork, spoon, cup- anything that usually would be a disposable item you bring yourself.

It was Tuesday, ten days past my due date, I went to the doctor and she checked me. She said I was fully dilated and effaced but the baby just wasn't ready to come. She said they would rather not break my water but wanted me to check in and wait for contractions to start. We really didn't want to do this but we had hoped I would go into labor that night or the next day. After a gruelling hour, I was all checked in. I kissed my husband good bye and asked for a "tiny" list of things that I didn't have in my over night hospital bag. I had the room all to myself which was nice. Shortly after I got settled, it was dinner time.

My Room- The Luxury Suite :)
I walked down to the dining room with my bowl, spoon and cup in hand. I saw five other ladies in waiting who had already started devouring their food. The kind cook, filled my bowl to the brim with instant mashed potatoes, a small scoop of broth and beef like substance, and a tinier scoop of corn. Steak and potatoes, my favorite!
As I sat down and looked around at the other ladies, I thought to ask "So why are you here?---Oh your pregnant?! Me too!" I smiled as I amused myself. And then said hello to everyone with a big grin. Here's the American who speaks basic Russian so please no complicated questions. I talked to a few girls and tried to learn their names. Then we all waddled back to our rooms.

A nurse came in and handed me the dreaded "cup" to give her a potty sample in the morning. Don't they realize that is quite the task for a pregnant woman! Okay moving on...

The next morning, I awoke, and headed down the hall to the shower room. After finally figuring out how to turn it on, my shower was interrupted by one of the nurses. Oh hello there, come on in... She said something to me but all I could hear was a room number. I said okay and she left. Just like home, not a private moment to my day! :) Then as soon as I returned to my room, another nurse came and brought me down to a room to draw more blood. They like their urine and blood samples.

Then, breakfast was served! Cream of wheat, bread with cheese and butter, and tea with milk. Dairy, dairy, dairy. I thought I would be Russian like and make sure to drink tea with my meal. Then I saw there was milk in it...Not good for this lactose intolerant mama. So I pretended to drink it as I talked a little with the other ladies and when no one was looking threw the rest away.

The doctor came in and checked the baby's heartbeat, still good. And she said "Oh he'll come today or tomorrow." Yes, that's what she said a week ago, and yesterday...
I decided to start walking the stairs in hopes to trigger some contractions. I had contractions off and on but nothing that was consistent. Of course, all the nurses asked where I was going when they saw me in the stairwell. And I smiled and told them I was walking the stairs. They looked confused, but as soon as another nurse would say "She's American not Russian" they would just kinda shrug and keep walking.

James was bringing me lunch with the kids and I couldn't wait to see him. Around 11, I met him down in the visitor room- where technically you're not allowed to "visit". But we are Americans and plead ignorance. He brought me a few more treasures to help pass the time and we sat and ate our food. I started to cry as I thought how much I missed my family and it had only been a night away. I brought my stuff back to my room where I discovered I now had a room mate...Then the tears really began to flow. My room mate was sweet and smelled nice but now I had to share a room! My alone time, my vacation was over. My contentment with waiting on this baby was also over. I didn't understand why the Lord was allowing all of this to happen.

I walked back down to James and started to cry some more. I woke up that morning feeling content to wait  another night in the hospital, but now I just wanted to go home and have a baby... (I know I'm such a whiny baby!) Then one of the registration ladies came in the room to yell at us for visiting because the hospital was in lock down from visitors due to the flu epidemic. I started to become more overwhelmed with everything. After the registration lady left, then the head doctor over the prenatal area came in to tell us the same thing, that everyone had to leave.
But her yelling at us was actually a blessing in disguise... Which I will share tomorrow with you along with the rest of my birth story!

The Lord gave me many verses to comfort me during my eleven days of waiting. I trusted that God's ways were higher than my own and His way is perfect. But waiting was truly a struggle. Was I always content with waiting? No. But God gave me the strength and peace I needed as long as I kept my mind on him. 

Isaiah 26:3,4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: