“Third babies always come quickly.” That’s what everyone told me. “It’ll be easy!” they said. “Go to the hospital right away!” they said. Well, here’s my story for my third delivery…
On Wednesday, July 22, I had been pretty busy. I’d been in a flurry of preparing for the baby, remembering things last minute, making sure our fridge was stocked, arranging middle of the night childcare in a pinch, and trying to make sure we were super on top of the laundry. You know… Normal life stuff. I’d felt wonderful throughout the entire pregnancy, but for the last six weeks or so I’d been uncomfortable and impatient.
That Wednesday night, I had dinner plans with a couple girlfriends. Little did I know, they had arranged a little “sprinkle” for baby D and me! Several more of my friends were also there (four pregos in total, by the way) and they were so sweet to bring gifts and buy my dinner. I had a great time, chatting about my babies and those of the other gals, and getting everyone to come feel when my stomach got tight, because I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions.
Little did I know, my labor was actually starting.
You see, I’d been having BH for weeks – every time I exercised (read: walked quickly), carried around one of my big kids, had sex, or even for no reason at all. So naturally, when I was getting contractions at dinner that night, and they weren’t any more uncomfortable than normal, I just ignored them.
When I got home from dinner, Hubby had a friend in from out of town, and they were just playing guitar and drinking beer. I sat down with them to hang out for a while, and noticed my contractions weren’t going away… or even slowing down. In fact, I was pretty sure they were coming closer together and lasting longer than BH should. I downloaded an app to track them. (I literally just chose the first free app when I searched for “contraction tracker”. I immediately deleted it so I don’t remember the name.) Once I found out they were fairly regular (about 7 minutes apart) and about a minute long every time, I decided I’d better make sure my bags were packed.
By then, it was about 11:00pm. I called my doctor’s nighttime line, and talked to a nurse, who told me to wait till my contractions were “really uncomfortable” and then go to the hospital (Really uncomfortable? Are anyone’s contractions comfortable?) So I got Hubby all prepared, and called our friends who live down the street to come stay with the kids till morning (The sweeties! Thanks, Andrea and Chris!), when Hubby’s mom could come be with them. We called her to let her know we were headed to the hospital, as well as my parents (who would leave GA to head our way first thing in the morning).
When we arrived at the hospital, we signed some pre-admission papers, and were given a room in triage to be checked and monitored for a while before being fully admitted. After 45 minutes or so of laboring while people were in and out, asking questions and checking my cervix, I was told that at 4cm I couldn’t be fully admitted and I should walk the floor for an hour. So in my gown, on Hubby’s arm, I walked, and walked, and walked some more, breathing through each contraction, and me squeezing the life out of Hubby’s hand.
As you may recall, I was already really uncomfortable when I got to the hospital, so after an hour of walking my baby even further down, I was having contractions less than 5 minutes apart and I was getting downright angry. We got back to our room (not a room – more of a nook) in triage after the hour of walking, and (obviously) waited another 25 minutes to be seen again. When the nurse came back, I was (blessedly!) 6cm and could be admitted.
Naturally, we waited another hour while things moved slowly and the anesthesiologist was called down. When he arrived in our nook (not where one gets the epidural, by the way), he was full of information and warnings and side notes. (Details, man! I’ve had two of these now. Give me the juice!) After I had been fully warned and prepped, they moved me to a room.
Once we got into a labor and delivery room, it was around 4:00 am. The sweetest, kindest and most calming presence in the world happened to be my nurse, and she stayed with me until I got the epidural at 4:30. When the relief from the long night of pain finally came, I fell asleep almost immediately, and Hubby stretched out on the sofa.
At 5:00, I woke up in pretty intense pain. I called for the nurse, saying that I didn’t think my epidural was working. When she arrived, I had mostly deduced that what I was feeling was baby pressure. She confirmed, and decided to check me. As soon as she started to check me, my water burst. Yes, burst is the appropriate word. All over me, the nurse, the floor… and at that moment, my snoozing husband woke up, and sloshed over to me to make sure everything was fine.
Anyway, after a messy relieving of pressure, D made his arrival within a few minutes. The doctor (a wonderful lady I had never met before she walked in the room) made it just in time to cover up and catch the baby! Right when she walked in, and I realized she was basically a stranger there to help me do one of the most difficult and most important things I’d ever do, I looked right at her and said, “I’ve never done this without Harold!” Harold is my knight in shining armor of a doctor (and family friend) who delivered my first two, and sees me throughout all of my pregnancies. But the new lady (obviously, as one would expect) handled it magnificently, and helped me usher into the world my sweetest little D. One push and the little dear was in my arms! I couldn’t believe the moment was finally here, after the stressful genetics test and results that made the second trimester so sad, and then immediately so joyful. Welcome to the world and our family, sweet guy.
We are extra blessed to see this sweet face because of our nightmarish experience with genetic testing done in the early second trimester. We were afraid that we would never meet our sweet babe, and now here he is.