My last day at work was Wednesday, March 12th (two weeks before the due date). I was looking forward to some time off to myself to relax and get some things done, although I was also a little concerned that I would get bored.
Work was getting almost unbearable. I was feeling really tired and achy. I even had a few chills that Wednesday, and got dizzy. I just didn't feel right.
My mom and I had planned for her to come over my first two days off work to just hang out and spend some time together before the baby. We didn't really relax though; we went all over the place. First to the midwife, who told me that the baby's head was "really really low." The prior week she had said that it was "really high." I also told her I'd been having mild cramps, and she said it could be "THIS WEEKEND" or it could be "THREE WEEKS" so I was figuring on three weeks. All along I had pretty much counted on being late (first baby and all).
We continued to do a billion things -- bought a bunch of stuff for the baby's room, we also bought some wood knobs to put on the white dressers to match the wood crib. We installed them (you should've seen my mom and I, just like Lucy and Ethel trying to use the drill and all). We got them done, and the baby's room looked great! I was having trouble moving around, but still didn't feel that bad. I didn't think it was labor. We went out Thursday night to a huge dinner, with some major garlic fries. Boy did I eat a TON of those (perhaps that's what started things along)!
Friday night, my husband and I went to Target to get a car seat and other things. We were there forever trying to pick one out but no decision made. We walked around and around forever and ever. I was getting really upset and weepy. I really felt like I needed that car seat. I bought some curtains and a diaper pail instead. We went to Toys R Us on the way home, and had another ordeal: bought a car seat that was an "out of the box special" really good deal, I was so excited about it, but then we realized it was defective, so after like 2 hours of STANDING in Toys R Us, I left the store crying. My husband was in the store for a really long time after that and I didn't know what he was doing. To my surprise he came out with a car seat/stroller combo and I was so happy!
We went home and we were up until after 2:00 a.m., hanging curtains, setting up the diaper pale, folding baby clothes, we put together the car seat and stroller.
When we went to bed I couldn't sleep. My cramps were hurting really bad. I would try to wake my husband up to rub my back, but he would go back to sleep while doing it. I was getting so frustrated. Anyway at 4:00 a.m. I got up; couldn't lay any longer. I walked around the house, did the dishes, sanitized the baby's toys. I didn't think I was in labor or anything, just thought it was a bad/painful night!
Then I went back to bed, got a little bit of sleep, got up at 6:00 a.m., and walked laps around the house. It really hurt, but I still did not expect labor. I just kept thinking "I can't handle this for two more weeks!" So at 7:00 a.m. I called my friend who had been helping me throughout my pregnancy, and was planning to help with the birth.
She told me I might be in labor, or I might not. Then all of a sudden as I was talking to her, I felt this pop and all this water came out! My water broke! I told my husband who was still sleeping. We figured it would be a long time still, so I allowed him to stay resting. Even the midwife told me to rest because it probably would be a "long" time. She said if by the evening I hadn't had any more contractions to come to the hospital and have the baby monitored.
I took a shower and contractions continued. We were trying to time them but they were so inconsistent, five minutes, two minutes, seven minutes, two minutes. We live about a half hour from the hospital, but I wasn't ready to go there yet. I didn't want to get there and have them tell me I was only 2 cm and to come back later so we decided with the storm that was supposed to come in, to go to my grandma's house so I could labor closer to the hospital. Then we would go there when I was closer to being more dilated.
I was waiting for my husband to get ready to go, and the contractions got stronger and stronger. I wanted to be on all fours pretty much; so I stayed bent over on the couch.
We finally left at about 11:20 a.m. The contractions were about 2 minutes apart the whole way to the hospital. I remember calling my mom and telling her we were going to the hospital, and I remember calling the diaper service and telling them I was in labor and would need service soon. Contractions would come and I would say, "Gotta go! Bye!" At one point I undid my seat belt and jumped across the seat and bit my husband on the shoulder. I just had to be on all fours!
SO we got to the hospital at 11:45 a.m. and I walked up the stairs. The nurses were surprised I was still walking and not taking the elevator. I just kept hearing in my head "keep walking." They then checked me and I was 6 cm! They kept me hooked up to the stupid monitor the whole time. I so needed to walk and bend over, but no, I had to stand there. The nurse kept saying "I've got to get a reading on your baby..." I was getting so mad at her. They couldn't get a reading because I was moving so much, and each time I moved they lost the baby's heart beat. I knew the baby was fine. I just wanted to be off that stupid thing. She was just starting to get the portable one out at this point.
I was bending forward a little leaning on my husband, and my friend would push on my back with each contraction.
Then I felt the urge to poop. The nurse went, "Oh dear!" Then I said, "No, I need to push!"
I laid down and starting pushing. I probably pushed through 10 good contractions, and little Hannah's head came out! Her cord was wrapped tightly around her neck. The midwife acted fast and cut it off (oh and by the way, she got there just as I started my first push). Hannah let out a little scream, and then they placed her on my chest!
We didn't know she was a girl yet, and the nurse was wiping her off. My husband couldn't tell. He had to move the cord and blanket out of the way, and he exclaimed "It's a girl!" My mom and Grandma had been there watching the whole thing...and they were thrilled! I will never forget seeing the look on their faces! What a happy moment!
I had a minor tear but it was really jagged to it took the midwife forever to sew me up! I bled a ton. (they say fair women bleed more...hmm). I also got a big bruise. It was pretty painful but it's all healed up now! I had a huge adrenaline rush afterwards, it was so great! Hannah nursed and nursed right away. This helped me keep my mind off the stitching but I was still a little nervous.
Hannah was 7 pounds 2 ounces. I'm so glad I had such a quick labor at the hospital. I think I was in labor for quite a while but just didn't know! I'm so thankful I did it without drugs. I so wanted a natural childbirth and I did it!
The whole experience was an amazing one -- such a miracle from Jesus. I'm so thrilled to have my little girl, Hannah Grace!
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