It started about 9 months ago when we found out we were expecting our third child. We (and by we I mean me) waded through the first couple months of morning sickness and misery, but surprisingly it ended. With my first two children I was sick the entire time so it actually going away at 16 weeks was something new for me, and a change I couldn't have been happier about! The pregnancy went on uneventfully until the big day when we loaded the family into the car and headed in for the much anticipated ultrasound. Would our boys be getting a new brother, or a sister? The moment of truth finally arrived and to everyone's delight (even my boys both wanted a little sister!) it's a girl! We couldn't be more excited and the preparations for a daughter begin. Fast forward to two weeks before our little lady was due...
It was Sunday morning (12 days till d-day), we were getting ready for church and I wasn't feeling all that great. The thought kept coming to me I wish my water would break so I could just go to the hospital and be done with it. Sadly it just didn't happen, so I proceded to head to church with my family. Every Sunday morning after the Sunday school classes are finished we have a little tradition at church where they ask if there are any birthdays this week. Then anyone celebrating that week can go up front and get a little happy birthday greeting from everyone. This week when they asked if there were any birthdays I turned to my husband and said, "I'm going up there. If I do will it make today her birthday?" (Her being our little unborn baby girl that I was more than ready to see in person!) He laughed and told me I could try it but not to hold my breath. In the end I kept my seat, but still continued to wish it really would indeed be her birthday.
The day came and went. No baby.
The next day I had a doctor's appointment. I went in hoping she would tell me I was 6cm dilated and to go straight to the hospital. Hey why not think positive right?? No such luck. I was however 4cm dilated and 60% effaced. This didn't even get my hopes up though because with my first two pregnancies I walked like that for weeks and ended up being induced. I did however ask my doctor how big she thought my baby was and she guessed 7 1/2 pounds. As she gave me her estimate I commented on a photo she had on her board of her newest deliveries where one baby was 9lbs 12 oz and said, "I'm glad you aren't predicting a baby that size!" (Little did I know that would be the exact weight of my "little" bundle!) We talked about the possibility of inducing the next week, but no final decisions were made. I really really really did not want to be induced again. Pitocin = not fun, but with all three pregnacies I've been GBS positive. Not such a big deal, but you need antibiotics in your system for four hours before giving birth to be sure baby has time for those precious meds to reach their body to keep them safe from anything being passed on to them during delivery. The chances of any problems with baby are small, but IF they do have them they can be very serious and in rare cases even fatal. This has always worried me because if I let myself go into labor naturally and miss the antibiotics I would never forgive myself if anything happened to one of my babies just because I didn't want to be induced. For most women four hours is plenty of time to get to the hospital in time for antibiotics, but I'm not normal. I honestly do not recognize contractions until I'm in the midst of the pretty bad ones. With my first I went in to be induced, they hooked me up, and the nurse is talking to me and says "Oh, you just had a contraction are you doing ok?" My response; "Oh is that what that is? I've been feeling those and didn't know what it was." My husband looked at me like I was crazy. I'm sure he was thinking how can anyone not know a contraction? I mean you hear all about how awful they are. I guess I was just expecting them to be worse by the time you went to the hosptial. When I went in to to have my 2nd baby they hooked me up to the machine and I was having contractions 6 minutes apart (before being induced) and had no idea. I felt a little sick to my stomach, but I had morning sickness the entire time so this was nothing new. If I hadn't already been planning to come in for an induction I never would've come in and I should've been in the hospital by that time anyway. By the time I do feel contractions which I think would be bad enough to go to the hospital I've been hooked up to pitocin and those become almost unbearable very quickly, so who knows what normal ones would be like? My mom barely made it to the hospital with one of us, and never had more than a 3-4 hour labor with the others, so if I was anything like her I wasn't going to have much time. Yet I had never done it completely on my own so who knows what would really happen? Anyway....we decided to wait until my next appointment in a week to make any decisions.
So I left the doctor's office and went to run a few errands. My husband and sons were having a boys day out so I had the whole day to myself. I ended up at the mall walking, determined to help this baby along. Not only was I done being pregnant, but my mom was going out of town in a week and was very worried she would miss the birth of her granddaugther. This wasn't a trip she could change either. She's undergoing cancer treatments and under the care of a specialist in another state and must go in monthly for visits. Just so happens that her next appointment was right around my due date. I know we both hoped the baby would arrive when she could be here, and for me sooner than later was better. After walking the mall a few times I finally decided to head home. That night I had the urge to clean my house, at least the parts anyone might see. So before I went to bed the bathroom, kitchen, and living room were clean. Including vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping. Went to sleep still hoping for a baby soon...
About 5:15am I woke up to use the bathroom and when I laid back down I felt a little funny. I thought, "Could that be a contraction?" Because yes, even on my 3rd go round I still dont know. It wasn't painful, just weird sensation of pressure. So I waited, and 15 minutes later it happened again. Continued every 15 min till 6:00am when I decided to get up and start paying more attention. They definitely weren't going away, but not getting much more intense either. I decided to take a shower and by this time they were coming about every 10 minutes. I could talk though them and wasn't in pain, just starting to feel a lot of pressure. My husband got up to get ready for work and I told him I think we may need to go to the hospital. He asked if I was having contractions and I told him I was pretty sure, but not sure if we needed to be at the hospital or not yet. I called my doctor's office and the doctor on call said I should probably go. We got our kids ready to go to grandma and grandpa's house (luckily they live next door so this didn't take long), and about 8:00am we left for the hospital. I told my husband, "I just don't want them to send me home, so I hope this is the real thing." After I finished the sentence another contraction came, this one stronger. And I had another before we reached the hospital. As we walked into the building and get into the elevator now the contractions are about 4 min apart. (Wow that was fast!!) At labor and delivery I stopped to check in. I had pre-registered so I didn't have much to do. As I talked to the nurse a doctor was nearby, not mine, who later told my doctor that she thought I was only going to be 2cm dilated so she didn't stay nearby and left as they took me to a room. Once inside they had me change so they could check me. In just that amount of time the contractions are now coming fast and furious and they finally felt real. I'm still not "acting" like I'm in labor to the nurses though, so she checks me and is completely shocked (and I am too!) that I'm 9cm and just around the corner from delivery! Well, at least they didn't send me home :)
Only problem now is that I'm definitely not going to have time for those antibiotics. At this point there isn't much I can do about that so I'm just focused on getting through the next contraction. Which are now happening every couple minutes. On a side note, I'd gone through two deliveries without an epidural, not because I'm so tough, but because the thought of an epidural terrifies me...needles in your back, what?!?! Delivering my 2nd child was pretty miserable though so this time I had decided I wanted to go for the epidural. Well, when you arrive at the hospital dilated to 9cm you pretty much rule out any pain control options...dang! Oh well, I've done it before I can do it again right? Next thing I know there's one nurse trying to start an IV, one talking to me and asking me all the questions they need to fully check you in (even though I pre-registered...), and a doctor walking in and telling me, "Let's have a baby!" I couldn't believe how fast this was all happening. The doctor says to me, "Ok you can push!" At that moment she breaks my water and two pushes later it's done! Our healthy and perfect baby girl is here! I hold her a moment and then they take her vitals etc. I overhear someone say "Nine pounds 12 ounces", I turn and ask them to repeat that. Yes, it's true my "tiny" girl is 9lbs 12oz, and born almost 2 weeks early! (and no, I was not diabetic) As the moments pass the nurses continue to check me in as a patient in the hospital, after I've already delivered my baby :) I just cannot get over how quickly this all happened. I walked into the hospital at 8:15am and had my baby in my arms at 8:45am. All this less than four hours from the time I felt my first contraction, craziness! Lessons learned: I really do not know when to go the hospital, and natural delivery is WAY better than being induced. In spite of all my fears about not getting the antibiotics in time our little girl is healthy and has no problems. God took care of what was out of my hands. I prayed for her every day of my pregnancy and those prayers were answered with a perfect new addition to our family. I am truly blessed!