May 15, 2007

The Births of AJ and LG


Launched into the World

It was a day in the last week of September when I waddled into my midwife’s office for another routine check.  At 37 weeks pregnant, I was prepared to wait several more weeks before seeing the precious baby kicking my ribs.  With my mind focused on the upcoming weekend wedding of my brother-in-law, I wasn’t prepared for her words, “You’re 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.  You might want to rethink leaving town for the weekend – 2 hours is a long way away if you go into labor!”

Oh the timing!  My husband was the best man and I was making the wedding cake!  Not go?  We really couldn’t do that, could we?  We headed home excited, wondering what to do, and feeling unprepared.  The next morning, I awoke about 4:30 and couldn’t sleep so I decided to make the wedding cake.  As I mixed up the first bowl of batter, I felt my stomach get all hard and then relax – weird!  Oh well, I had plenty to do. 

Soon, however, those little “weirds” were coming regularly, like every 10 minutes!  I flew into panic mode, determined that my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law would have the promised cake stopping every 7-10 minutes to breath through a contraction.

The cake was almost done – 8 hours later – when I collapsed in a chair in exhaustion.  Tears poured from my eyes as I realized all the energy I spent on the cake left my house in total disarray. So much for nesting! I also realized that those very regular contractions had tapered off within the last hour.  My mom called and told me to quit worrying about the house, to figure on staying home for the weekend, and to go take a nap. I did what she said!

Saturday and the wedding came and went without us.  Sunday also passed with not a tinge of a contraction to be seen and me feeling really guilty for not going to the wedding.  Monday dawned and looked like the very same thing.  By the time my husband came home from work, I was more than a little down on myself so he suggested going out to dinner to cheer me up.  As we sat in the restaurant, I felt something very strange, almost like my water broke, but there was hardly any liquid.  I had read it might just be a trickle so we debated for a while whether to call the midwife or not.  When I did, she told me what to watch for and then suggested getting some sleep and coming to the office in the morning.

Tuesday was a bright, warm October day as we headed to the midwife’s office.  She checked me and decided my water hadn’t broken, but informed us that I was dilated to 4cm and was 90% effaced.  Since our home was over an hour from the hospital, she asked us to stay in town for the day and then come back late in the afternoon to check again.  As soon as she checked me, I began having regular, mild contractions every 5 minutes. 

We wanted to speed them up so we walked around Wal-Mart for a couple of hours and then went to my mother-in-law’s home for the afternoon.  My husband was able to nap and I timed the 3-5 minute contractions until 4 o’clock. 

We headed back over to the midwife’s office to report that the contractions were regular, but not too uncomfortable.  She checked me again to find me dilated to 6 and 100% effaced.  Oh!  Within the hour, we were checked into the hospital and awaiting the midwife to break my water.  Once that happened, my contractions became painful, but not unmanageable.  With my husband, mom, sister and her husband to keep me company, we laughed our way (with little breaks for contractions) through the next 2 hours. 

I decided that I wanted to get in the Jacuzzi at that point and my family (other than my husband) had to leave for various reasons.  My mom said she’d call in a little while since it was probably going to take a long time.

I got in the hot tub and the water felt WONDERFUL!  I decided I was going to be staying in there for a while so when my husband wanted to call and update his mom, I readily agreed to wait for him in that warm cocoon.  He left the room and I thought someone was trying to rip my body in half!  WHAT WAS THAT?!? was the only coherent thought that I had.  As soon as my husband reappeared – after 2 more of those monsters that were tearing me apart – I asked to get out immediately. 

With the nurse’s help, my husband rushed me back to our room where I was checked and found to be 8-9 cm.  One more contraction and a wave of nausea.  I lay there waiting for the next one to come, but it didn’t it.  Suddenly a calm washed over me and I knew that the transition phase of labor was over leaving only the pushing part!  I was excited and said to my husband, “It’s over!”  He told me later he thought I had truly lost my mind because of the pain!!

I pushed for 18 minutes and then my daughter was handed to me.  It was 9:04!


A Leisurely Sunday

My second daughter decided to take a different course.  She wanted to fake me out!  Several weeks early, I was checked and found to be 2-3 cm dilated.  Since my first daughter had come within a week of that marker, I expected this little one to be at least as soon.  The weeks went by and I told my husband that I had decided I was just going to be pregnant forever.  He laughed, I didn’t!

I awoke on a mid-January Sunday morning thinking that maybe the induction date of next Saturday was really when I would see my little one.  I headed to the shower and that’s when I noticed that I was bleeding.  I called the midwife who reassured me that it was likely the “bloody show” and that my labor was starting.  Since we live over an hour from the hospital in Colorado and it had snowed the night before, we left for the hospital before contractions started.  By the time we arrived, however, they were regular and I was found to be 4-5 cm.  The midwife arrived sometime later and broke my water – it was 1:45PM. 

I again got into the Jacuzzi and enjoyed the warmth and support it offered.  About 3:00, we headed back to our room and my husband admitted he was starving.  He called his mom and asked that she bring him a sandwich although I warned that he might not have time before the baby came.  My mother-in-law and sister-in-law arrived at 3:30 and my husband eagerly dug into the sandwich they handed him.  As he finished the first half, I returned from the bathroom and sent him to find the midwife.  His mom and sister headed for the waiting room and I pushed 3 times.  Our daughter was born at 3:51 PM.  After we were all cleaned up, my husband asked if he could finish his sandwich now!

The author is the thrilled mother of 2 girls under 2.  They are 18 months and 2 months old.  You can read more of their crazy antics at Raising Daughters!

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