37 weeks pregnant. A typical Wednesday. I worked the 9-6 shift, as I was leaving my manager said "I think you're going to have a baby tonight." I laughed and left to go pick up Savannah. Drew had to bowl in the evening, so, my best friend, Amie, and I hung out in bed, working and studying, while Sav narrated a movie for us. Amie left, Drew came home and we got ready for bed.
Our bedroom is VERY small, barely enough room to walk between the foot of our bed and our single dresser. This night, there was a laundry basket in that walking area. As I carried laundry to the dirty laundry bins in the corner of our room, I had to step over the laundry basket on the floor. When I did, I leaked. I waddled to the bathroom, exclaiming that I peed my pants! We went to bed like normal, but, too startled by my lack of bladder control, I couldn't fall asleep. I decided to get up and as I sat up in bed, I peed my pants, again! [At this point we all know that my water broke, but at the time, I was clueless.] I visited the bathroom, came back into our room, around midnight I woke Drew and told him something weird was going on, I was having pains and leaking but they weren't contractions and there was no "gush" that I attributed to water breaking. He thought we should go to the hospital, if it wasn't labor than something else might be wrong. I told him to go back to sleep and that I would wake him if I thought something bad was going on.
>>With my first, I was in labor for 5 days and sent home from the hospital twice during those days. My water never broke, I worked all week and full on cleaned my entire house the day before I gave birth. These two events were nothing a like.<<
At 3 am I woke my husband, and shared I was having terrible pain, but that I didn't think it was labor and he was right, something is wrong. We woke up our 2 year old, called my sister [who miraculously answered] and drove Savannah to her house. During the drive I was calm, I remember telling Drew what a champ I was because, "remember how much I screamed on the way to the hospital with Savannah?". We dropped Savannah off and I stood in my sister's entry way calmly explaining why we were going to the hospital. She probably thought I was insane because I sure wasn't acting in labor. When we arrived I was half convinced they would send us home, but they checked me, and admitted me!
I really thought I was doing so good with the pain, so I refused an epidural. It turns out I just had a slow progressing labor and by 7 am was begging for drugs. I didn't have a successful epidural with Savannah so I was very surprised, following this epidural, when all of my pain disappeared. My water had broke the night prior, so we notified our families and both of my parents arrived. I sat in bed, talking with my mom, wondering how many more babies I could have if labor didn't ever hurt. FIVE HOURS later, my nurse checked my dilation [Which had practically stopped] and "accidentally" broke the rest of my water. I felt the gush I was waiting for and heard a calm "oops" escape her lips. I asked what the heck just happened and she explained my water hadn't broken all the way. [#$%&?! Why didn't you break it 7 hours ago when I was screaming in pain? Ugh!] Anyway, with in minutes of that I whispered to Drew, "I think I have to poop!" The next thing I knew, I was being coached on breathing exercises...to keep the baby IN. My doctor was still up the street at her practice.
My doctor finally entered, gearing up as she was walking in and telling me to push before she was even to the bed. Thee pushes later, they threw a baby on my chest. My baby. Evelyn Grace. The one that didn't feel real the last 9 months. The one that I felt silly talking to. She was in my arms, breathing, crying, chest to chest with me. It was the happiest moment I've ever had in my entire life. I remember hearing someone crying, realizing it was me and looking up at Drew trying to ask him why I was crying, but I couldn't stop long enough to speak. I just held her and stared and sobbed and it was amazing.
That moment with her is so clear to me, all the worry, fear and fog was gone. She WAS a girl, she WAS healthy, and SHE WAS MINE.
Too, soon they took her from me to do an assessment and measure and weigh her. It was a matter of minutes that she was gone, but as soon as she left my arms that first time, I started feeling different again. When they brought her back I told my nurses that Drew should hold her, but they insisted I continue to do skin to skin, and I so I did.
I didn't want anyone in our room, I felt fiercely protective over her, but I was anxious for someone else to hold her. I felt obligated to let our patient and excited families in our room to meet her; especially if I wasn't going to hold her, then they SHOULD, right?
I don't remember the visits that we got that evening. By the time everyone left and I was moved out of the birthing suite and settled into a room, it was nearly midnight Thursday night. We had nothing ready at home, we decided it was best for Drew to go home, feed the dogs, build the crib and get the swing out of the attic.
I hadn't slept since Tuesday, so I requested Evelyn to go to the nursery that first night. I remember being angry when they brought her in at 5 am to eat, and again at 8 am. Couldn't they understand that I had a toddler and a newborn, and was now sleep deprived? That I just wanted a solid rest? No. They couldn't see that. Motherhood is exciting. New babies are exhilarating. If I didn't want my adorable new baby, that meant something could be wrong with me, and I wasn't telling them something was wrong, so they brought me my baby and went about their day.
That day a feeling of frustration built up inside of me, that I'm still working on today.
[come back tomorrow for Evelyn's first weeks at home]