January 12, 2011
Christmas Eve I started feeling different. I was having frequent pain in my abdomen, lots of lower back pain, swelling and several other signs of preterm labor. Everytime I mentioned it to the midwife she told me most first babies are late and that my symptoms were normal, though I just had a feeling she was wrong.
On January 10th, with 2 weeks still to go before my due date arrived, I decided to do some organizing before Haiden arrived and I wouldn't have time. I didn't consider it a burst of energy or a cleaning spree, it's not unusual for me to get into organize mode later in the day and into the night. I was feeling good and had no idea Haiden was ready. I had been telling him for weeks we were ready for him and whenever he was ready he would be welcome, we were ready to hold our little boy.
We went to bed around 11 that night and at 12:30 I woke up to use the restroom. I had only just barely made it to the tiled bathroom floor when a stream of water ran down my leg and all over the floor. I was in shock. I couldn't figure out if I had just peed on myself, which would have been really embarrassing, or if my water had broken. I proceeded to use the restroom and figured out that the stream that ran down my leg was uncontrollable and therefore must have been my water. After I had cleaned up I woke Greg up and he went into daddy-to-be mode.
He immediately stripped the bed and put on the waterproof mattress cover and 2 sets of sheets. He got the birth kit out and towels ready. Then the phone calls were made. My mom had already packed her bag earlier that night because she had a feeling it would be soon. The parents and my brother made their way over and by 2am we were all sitting in the living room.
I was only experiencing the pain I had been for the last few weeks, which felt like period cramps. I wasn't sure when the real contractions would start. Well, it didn't take long. By 4am I was perched on the yoga ball with my head on the bed. The contractions were moving along rapidly and everyone thought we'd have a baby by morning. Then the contractions stopped. I had no idea what was going on but I kept my cool and assumed this was normal.
The midwife finally arrived and assured us there was still much ahead. The dads headed to work but the moms, Mackie and Greg stayed by my side. I went through several more episodes of intense contractions and periods of nothing.
Finally it was late afternoon and I was exhausted, I was in the zombie mode we had learned about in childbirth class. I had a small nap in the tub earlier that day but I was only running on an hour and a half of sleep and I was wiped out. The midwife finally came back to check on me.
It had been 18 hours since my water broke and since I was not in active labor yet I had to be transferred to the hospital. I was absolutely devastated but by that point I was ready for this ordeal to be over and to hold my baby boy. My body had only dilated 2 centimeters in 18 hours although I was feeling all the pain and the urge to push. I was feeling like a failure but knew I had to press on to come to the end of this journey.
Everyone hurried to pack my bag and we made our way to the hospital. I was in extreme pain and all I could do was focus on my breathing. I was ready for the epidural. I needed some rest and that was the only way to get it. Unfortunately we arrived during shift change so it took a good hour before I got any relief. In the couple hours from when I was last checked at the house to when they checked my again at the hospital I had dilated 3 more centimeters to 5. Since it had been so long since my water had broken they did a round of antibiotics and when that finished and my epidural was in full force they decided to move things along and gave me petocin. I could feel my stomach contracting but no pain, it was wonderful. I was finally able to get some much needed rest.
Several hours later I was checked again and I was at 10 centimeters and ready to go. All the preparations were starting to be made and my room was buzzing. I had started pushing and about 10 minutes later we were ready for the doctor. Once she arrived a few more pushes and he was out, my sweet little man had finally arrived at 1:16am on January 12, 2011. He was blue and had a cone head but I was so happy he was finally here. Since he wasn't breathing right away they took him and rubbed him and a few seconds later he was crying with all his might, it was the best sound in the world.
While I was busy delivering the afterbirth, which was the biggest feeling of relief I had ever experienced, Greg was sitting in the chair with a vagina ice pack on his neck. He said seeing his cone head kind of freaked him out but once they put the hat on his head Greg did much better. My mom was over attending to Haiden and reporting back to me on what was going on. He was weighed and measured, 6 pounds 14 ounces and 21.5 inches long, wrapped up in blankets and handed to me. I couldn't believe he was finally here.
He was eager to eat and it went very well. A short time later the few remaining in the waiting room came in to see our new arrival. Everyone was so happy but absolutely exhausted. They finally headed home and Greg and I starred at our precious baby, we were in heaven. Then we finally got some sleep.
It was a long and very eventful couple of days but I will remember it forever. All the family and friends that stopped by and supported us were so appreciated. And my absolutely amazing husband who stood by me the whole time, rubbing my back, feeding me honey and strawberries, making sure I had plenty to drink and drawing me several baths was such a great gift, I couldn't have done it without him. It was official, I had joined the mommy club and now had all my own stories to share. I couldn't wait to get started making the memories.