Today my baby girl will officially be a week old! I can't believe this time last week we were just now checking into the hospital and getting ready to meet her. It seems so far away and just like yesterday at the same time. I already can't imagine life without her! I hate that it has taken me a week to even start trying to write out the birth story, because I really wanted to write it while it was still fresh in my head. Hopefully I can remember all the details. Like with the pregnancy posts. I'm adopting the mindset that this blog is first and foremost a journal for myself, and this life event is definitely something I want to be able to look back on later and re-read. I'm sure there will be TMI parts and maybe I'll give more details than I should on the internet, but the good news is I don't have many readers anyway! Ha! If hearing the gory details of labor and delivery are not your cup of tea, then I encourage you to just skip this series. :)
I think technically, my birth story can start on Saturday night while I was sitting down typing this post. I furiously typed about how ready I was to do so many things, most of all meet our little girl. She must've been reading what I was typing because I felt my first contraction right as I wrapped that post up. Well, I don't know for sure that it was the first one, but it was the first one that I stopped and took note of and called it a real contraction. It had a definite start and stop, was very uncomfortable, and didn't go away when I changed positions. Definitely not a Braxton Hicks. I told Doc I may have had a contraction but wasn't really sure. We went about our evening, got ready for bed, and turned off the lights at 10:30.
Man, I got some good sleep! Until 11:30, that is. A one-hour power nap, if you will, and then I was awoken by another contraction. I couldn't fall back to sleep because it got me excited. And a little anxious. Was this for real? As I layed in bed, I downloaded an App called Full Term so I could start timing contractions. This App was fantastic - all I had to do was click "start" and "stop" when I felt one and it calculated everything else - how long it lasted and how far apart it was from the one prior. It also gave me averages for the past hour. I highly recommend it to anyone expecting!
The contractions started coming more regularly, so at 1:58, I hit "start" for the first time. 46 seconds! I had no idea if that was bad or good. The next one came 13 minutes later. As I began officially tracking these, I started googling things like "when do you go to hospital if in labor?" and "how do you know you're in labor?" Can't be too prepared, right? I had heard of the 5-1-1 rule and so I googled it too. The rule is that your contractions should be within 5 minutes apart, last for at least a minute each, for over an hour. I liked having a set guidline and, thanks to the App, I'd know exactly when I got to that point and could hit the road.
Doc finally stirred between 5 and 6 in the morning. "I'm having contractions." That's all it took for him to be wide-awake. He was so excited. I showed him the App and how I'd been tracking them all night long. They were averaging around 45 seconds each and were about 8 or 9 minutes apart. I went ahead and got up but told him to get some rest because I felt certain we would be going to the hospital later that day.
I sat in the living room, glued to my phone. I had no idea what to do. Was I supposed to eat? I asked Google. Hmmm...mixed opinions on that one. I ate a cookie that I'd baked the night before. Then I remembered that everything I put in would eventually have to make its way out, and I decided maybe I shouldn't eat anymore. My body, it seemed, was one step ahead of me and started clearing out on its own. Sorry for the TMI. I'm not sure if that's common when you start having contractions or if maybe I just had an upset stomach. At any rate, I used the bathroom a handful of times and started feeling pretty good about my fear of going during delivery because it didn't seem like there was anything left to come out!
I sent my mom a text that said it might be baby day. Didn't take long to get a response. :) (Side note - I learned that when you're close to your due date, people answer their phones a lot faster when you call!) I told her we wouldn't be in church because we would probably head to the hospital soon.
Before I knew it, Doc was up, packed, and ready to go! I planned on showering and getting cleaned up so I told him to be patient. I was pretty ready to go too but I did not want to get to the hospital and have them send us home. I was determined not to have a false alarm! It took me a while to go through my shower and getting ready routine since I stopped everything for each contraction. They were definitely painful but I knew they'd only get worse, so I kept telling myself not to be dramatic. Suck it up! At this point, they were within five minutes of each other but weren't lasting at least a minute each. That was throwing my set guidelines for a loop...how was I supposed to know when to go now??
Finally, a few minutes before 10:00am, we had the car loaded up and were ready to head out. Before going to the hospital, we had to drop Lolli off at my parents' house so she'd be taken care of. Doc ran inside long enough to put her down and get a quick "Good luck! Keep us posted!" from my dad, and then we were off!
Throughout the pregnancy, I always imagined that this is when my anxiety would really kick in. I envisioned panic attacks on the way to the hospital. Praise the Lord, that was not the case at all. I was surprisingly calm. We arrived at the hospital around 10:25 and parked. I told Doc there was no need to pull up to the emergency entrance; I was totally capable of walking in.
Here I am at the Admissions desk getting checked in. Judging from the look on my face, I think Doc caught me mid-contraction.
Since it was a Sunday, the hospital was pretty quiet. We didn't have to wait at all; we immediately got to go back to a Labor and Delivery room. I changed into a hospital gown and waited for the nurse to come back and get me hooked up to all the machines.
The nurse came and strapped the big bands around my belly - one to monitor the contractions and the other for the fetal heartbeat. Then she checked me to see if I'd made any progress from my doctor's appointment earlier in the week.
Sigh...no progress! I was still only at 1, maybe 2, cm. I could tell by the look on her face that this wasn't good news. "Does that mean we have to go home?" I felt the tears well up in my eyes, but was able to hold them in. "I'm going to call the doctor and see what she thinks."
Because I had not had anything to eat or drink all day, the doctor thought I may just be dehydrated and having false contractions. False contractions don't make you progress any. False contractions are bad. I was given a big hospital jug of water and had about 45 minutes to drink it all. If I really was just dehydrated, the water would make the contractions subside and I'd have to go back home. Even though the contractions were painful, with every sip of water I took, I prayed that they wouldn't go away! I just wanted to meet my baby! Didn't they read my blog post?!? I was READY!
Sad about still not knowing if we would get to stay or not. Also, cold from the water.
I finished the water and was still having contractions! Yay! I felt like surely that meant we'd be staying. When the nurse came back, she checked me one more time. Still nothing. Still just 1-2cm. "What does that mean?" I asked her, terrified I was about to get checked out. She said she'd have to call the doctor and update her and that it would be the doctor's call. This was not my regular doctor since she was not on call for the weekend. I did not know this particular doctor at all and had no idea what she'd want to do.
She left to make the call and we waited. And waited. I was impatient. Come on already!
Finally, the nurse returned to our room and said she'd spoken to the doctor. "Well?!?!"
I have a feeling the majority of hospital patients do not like to hear that they have to stay longer, but this was music to my ears. My baby was coming!
To be continued...