On Feb. 6, around 3:45 a.m., I awoke to what I assumed was a strong Braxton Hicks (practice contraction) and the need to use the bathroom. I went back to bed but awoke about an hour later with a definite, painful contraction. I pulled out my iPhone and opened up my contraction timing app. I got a little worried when the second one started just 8 minutes later. My doc said to come in when they're about 10 mins apart since subsequent labors/deliveries tend to move quicker. I woke Brent up, told him that we had to leave pronto, and started getting dressed.
Across the house I overhead Brent wake up Em, who sleepily shook Brent off, noting, "Daddy, cover me back up. Put the covers back on..." Until Brent explained it was time for us to go have the baby. Em's tune changed from groggy to beyond excited. "TODAY!?!" Later she ran out to the front door and exclaimed, "Is the baby here?!?"
We piled in the car and on the way to drop Em off at my in-laws', she asked, "We're going to have a baby today? Like Baby Henry and Baby Connor?" I love that she thinks of some of our friends' favorite kiddos when she thinks of babies.
I stayed in the car as Brent walked her up to Grandma's door, and I could hear from down the driveway as she told Brent's mom "Grandma! We're having a baby today!"
My contractions stayed about 8-10 mins apart as we made our way to the hospital. We arrived at labor and delivery around 6 a.m., and when they checked me I was 5 c.m. dilated. My doctor wasn't at the hospital yet, but he directed them to go ahead and keep me there as I was progressing enough. I couldn't imagine them sending me home in that state, but apparently it was a possibility.
Laboring in the triage room. Still early, hence the smile on my face.
They moved me from the triage room to a delivery room.
Our fancy view from the delivery room
Contractions were getting stronger, but stayed about 6 mins apart until they started up the Pitocin to help move labor along. One of the nurses noted that it wouldn't take more than a tiny dose to get things moving for me, given how far I had already progressed. That stuff is no joke. I was fortunate to avoid it with Em's labor, but I assumed it was inevitable with this one, particularly as our plan was to do an induction on Friday, the 8th, leading off with Pitocin.
I was laying there when I felt my water make a huge pop, which was also audible over the monitors I was strapped to and made me and Brent jump and laugh. Between my water breaking and the drugs, contractions were hitting the top of my pain threshold so I asked for the epidural. The anesthesiologist was great and fast, and I loved when he inquired about our family and noted that his kids were similarly spaced apart and thought it was a great age gap.
Similar to Em's delivery, in the short time it took me to get the epidural, I had dilated fully and was more than ready to push. My doc arrived just in time -- I had one more contraction before it was go-time. I realize that w/ Em's delivery, I never reached that point where I WANTED to push from all the pressure. With Em, they used the vacuum before we hit that stage. With Mimi, the urge to push was crazy. I pushed for about 7 minutes (maybe 3 rounds of counting, with short breaks in between) and out came Mimi at 11:13 a.m.!
My two labor and delivery nurses, who were awesome, literally high-fived me and said that when it comes time, they want to have births like mine -- epidural and ready to go!
I can't begin to describe the elation of finally meeting this sweet girl. She made us wait not-so-patiently for her arrival, which turned out to be a swift entrance after all. We're so thankful that she arrived happy and healthy, and she's already added so much to our lives.
Coming soon: what happened when Em meets Mimi...