William entered this world with perfect timing. I had just completed all 98 items on the "pre-baby to-do list Thursday night, went to the UCLA Ward cookie exchange, and went to bed fairly certain we would have a baby before the weekend was through. Friday morning, I woke up and ran the dogs about a mile, and came home to take a relaxing bath before starting the day's tasks. As I was getting dressed about 8 am, my water broke, with contractions starting soon afterward. Steve was incredibly nervous as he realized this means we would be having a baby very soon and frantically set to work scrubbing the kitchen and cleaning the bathroom. We timed the contractions at every 3 minutes for over an hour, attempting to finish last minute errands like returning a movie to Blockbuster and picking up some new shoes (we had a $25 cash card that had to be used by the next day) for Steve (coincidently, he picked out the men's version of my marathon shoe, the Nike Air Pegasus) before heading to the hospital ready to have a baby. Steve gave me a blessing before we left that all would go well with the delivery and our baby. I felt such peace and reassurance that all would work out well and did not fear the road ahead and felt very calm and at ease despite the contractions.
We felt pretty lucky that the contractions weren't really feeling that bad by the time we got to the hospital a few hours after contractions starting. Since they were 3 minutes apart, we were certain we would be parents by the end of the day. Unfortunately, Baby Garff had other plans. When they checked me at about 9 pm, I was only dilated to 3 cm; exhausted and in excrutiating pain. I wasn't originally planning to get pain medication, but after a conversation with a member of the bishopric on Sunday about his wife's labor, I decided to get an epidural to allow me to sleep. That was the best decision I could have made because our son was not ready to come until late the next afternoon, after several rounds of pitocin and a disappointing discussion about a possible cesarian due to labor failing to progress.
Steven's parents had just left Utah to come into town for the CA Bar ceremony the next day My OB was completely supportive of our desire to attend the swearing-in as a family. If all went well with babe and mom, we would be allowed an early discharge if I promised to push hard to get him out fast. When my OB came back to check on us, we were ready to go. One and a half hours later, at 4:00 pm exactly, William Gary Garff arrived, shortly after his grandparents arrived at the hospital.
The birth was an amazing experience. After receiving the epidural, I hardly felt any pain, and had been able to get enough sleep to feel well rested for the next stage in our lives. I didn't even realize he had come out until I looked down and saw his sweet little face and the doctors placed him on my chest to cut his cord. I couldn't believe the miracle with which Steven and I had been entrusted to assist. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing it felt to become a mom. He was perfect.
Since Grandma and Grandpa Garff had just come into town, they were able to see their first grandson shortly after he had come into the world. It seemed that despite the long labor, William still has an impeccable sense of timing. Both of us were feeling well enough by the next morning, that both the pediatrician and the OB arranged for an early discharge just in time to get wheeled out of the hospital and hurry across campus for the bar ceremony at Ackerman 10 minutes later.
Mac Reyolds later asked how I would compare labor to a marathon. The work of labor (sans pain medication) was tremendously worse than running a marathon, but the recovery was much easier (not considering the obvious lack of sleep due to demands of an infant). The doctor cleared me to start running 1 week postpartum (that means possibly this Saturday!). I couldn't ask for a better doctor or one who understands my needs more perfectly. She was a great push coach, awesome motivator, and a woman who really understands and respects her patients, coming through when we needed her most.
We couldn't believe our good luck in the timing of the weekend. After our miscarriages over the past year, we were thrilled that little William did so well, despite the patience it took to get him here. It was a long, hard road, wrought with much sorrow waiting for the child we so desperately wanted. While I didn't understand it at the time, it seems our Father in Heaven understood what we needed and what would work out best for our family was a timing different than what we were originally hoping for. And even though it made for a busy and complicated weekend, it couldn't have been any better than the way it worked out. It seemed a perfect completion to our path to parenthood. Steve remarked that he felt that his swearing in felt so much more significant with his son present. It seemed that the weekend could not have been more ideal. What a perfect way to start a family. Thank you, William. We love you.