Rhythm Taylor Morlet
8 Lbs 13 oz & 21 inches long
This little cub made his appearance fast and furious. And he wasn’t late. Tyson takes full credit for that, because he’s early to everything. Seriously. He’s the guy in the theatre BEFORE the previews. “Because you wanna see what movie you wanna see next.”
Tuesday afternoon, Sep 25th, I picked the girls up from school and started heading to my sister’s house to drop off a gift. During the drive, I started having some consistent cramping. Now, keep in mind, consistent cramping could have been the title of the previous two weeks of my life. But there’s this thing called “False Labor” that supposedly ramps up its game in third pregnancies. #dontevengetmestarted
So I made it a game.
“Sym, let’s play a numbers game. I’m going to give you a number and then I’m going to ask you to repeat it back to me in a few minutes. Wanna play?” Emphatic yeses all around.
“Ok, 4:30.” 4:30, I heard her whisper back to herself.
As I turned the corner onto the main highway I felt it again, glanced at the clock and asked, “What was that number again babe?”
“Ok, new number 4:34.”
4:38. 4:42. 4:46… Interesting.
Tyson was at rehearsal and I wasn’t confident this was it. But I wasn’t not confident either.
I made the girls dinner and texted a friend who’s a midwife.
She texted back, after the girls are in bed, lay down in a dark room, if it’s false labor, it’ll stop. If it’s the real deal, they’ll get stronger.
Fun Fact: The dark environment encourages relaxation and relaxation encourage oxytocin (labor hormone) surge.
So we resumed dinner time, bath time, reading time, but at “cheetah pace” because “Baby Rhy might be coming out tonight.”
With the girls in bed, I decided to text Tyson and recommend he come home right after the first run through. Of course, he came busting through the back door 20 minutes later to find me laying on my side in our dark room with a semi-smiling, semi-focused face. “I think this might be it.”
Not even 15 minutes after that, a friend was at the house to stay with the girls, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and we were on the toll road speeding towards the hospital. Wanna stop for Chic Fil A? He asked mostly serious. “Eh, I already had some for lunch.” Perfect.
When we arrived at the hospital around 9:00PM, I was at the point of pausing during contractions.
Elevator? Nah, let’s take the stairs. It’ll progress my labor faster.
Wheelchair? No way, gravity is our bff in this situation.
As I sat in triage, they took my vitals, and that’s when I started to close my eyes during the waves of contractions. I realized I was no longer opening them and answering the million questions a lot slower. Tyson began answering most of them at one point.
Fun fact: Natural active labor contractions typically come in waves of 3’s and rest. 3 and rest. 3 and rest.
The receptionist came in to hand Tyson some more paperwork and she ever so sweetly put her hand on my shoulders and said, Shoulders down. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, it will hurt more if you tense up. She was right. Although “relax” and “labor” should probably never be used in the same sentence.
Finally in our room, I can barely remember where I began pacing or how the minutes felt like hours. It took 20 minutes and a senior superhero nurse to get an IV into my squirmy veins, and by that point, I needed to walk around to manage the pain. The waves were coming quicker and all I could think of was how glad I was that I didn’t eat a full dinner. I felt like puking.
Now, this next part, I’m not proud of. But kinda. :)
As Tyson lifted me up to walk around the room, a contraction hit, I jolted forward into his chest, and bit down. Into his chest.
WHAT?! She’s straight biting me!
It was true. I bit his nipple. And while I knew in my head what was happening, I couldn’t stop it because I was focusing on relaxing my shoulders, thanks to that receptionist.
If no one’s told you how complicated and humorous labor can be, well, it’s my pleasure.
Of course, Ty took the opportunity to make a dozen jokes about it to the nurses and staff, and I’m pretty sure between the waves of pain, pressure and what felt like jackhammering on the inside of my body, I muttered “I just want you to know, I’m laughing in my head.”
I’d lost track of time by now, but everything felt like it was moving so incredibly fast. Ashley, the midwife I’d texted earlier, showed up right after my water broke and I could feel baby boy moving down.
“He’s coming! I think I’m pushing,” I yelled. Yes. I think. Because at this point, you don’t really know what pain is what anymore. It’s like a force of nature, the wave, surging through your body and it’s almost completely not in your control.
The doctor hurried in, Do not push. I need to check you.
I laid back into my midwife’s arms while the Dr told me what I already knew. Ok, you’re fully dilated, push when you’re ready.
At this point of active labor, every move you make initiates a contraction.
Deep breadth - contraction.
Stand up - contraction.
Turn to the right - contraction.
Wiggle right pinky toe - contraction.
I lifted my right foot to start my ascent onto the bed and I knew this is as far as I’d make it. My baby was coming out like this. One leg, one arm on the inclined bed and one leg and one arm stabilizing myself on Tyson’s body. A little unconventional to say the least.
This is where I felt like losing control. The pain is unexplainable, but productive. I began the motions of pushing and I heard the doctor direct the nurses to get me onto my back.
“Hellllll nah. I’m not moving.”
Move her on her back, quickly, her voice echoed in my head.
“There’s no way I’m moving. I’m having this baby like this.”
To be honest, I cannot recall if I said this stuff out loud or if it was just so loud and solid in my mind and heart that I felt confident I didn’t need to.
Just then Ashley the midwife whispered in my ear, Jules, don’t waste energy in your throat. I was starting to scream at this point.
Harness everything you have and push this baby out before she makes you switch to your back.
Mmmk, I can do that. Everyone ready?
Boom. There he was.
There’s nothing in the world like the relief of a child finally birthed and crying. Nothing.
He wasn’t loud, he was steady.
Though he’d come in like a tidal wave, he’d already lived into his name:
“The steady movement of a mender.”
In the last four weeks, I’ve done some jogging down memory lane through Symphony and Bravery’s birth stories. Where we were living. How old we were. What our lives looked like. And when I look back and forth, then and now, I see two kids, crossing over, not more sure of where they’re going than before, but fully alive and at peace with the One who is sending the directions.
We’re old(er) now. We can’t hide the grays as easily and to be honest, neither of us are dying to. We’re learning to live into wisdom and not be afraid of repentance and grace.
Symphony Mae : Unifier of New Life
Bravery Rae : Courage of a New Day
Rhythm Taylor : Steady movement of a Mender
All three of our kiddos have taught us something so very different, but I know it’s a God-sized set up for the platform He’s going to ask them to jump from.
And I’m going to be there in the front row, as close to the sideline as life will let me, with the biggest foam finger one hand and my husband’s hand in the other, and we will watch and coach and cheer the loudest as they slay dragons and usher in the Kingdom of heaven.