So here is Baby Girl's birth story. If you would prefer not to know the type of details that go along with a birth story, you probably don't want to read this one:) Reader discretion advised!
Baby Girl joined us in the outside world a little under two weeks
ago. Of course I knew I was going to have a baby at some point, but I
was completely taken by surprise by the when and how of it.
When we first found out that we were expecting Bambino #2, we
decided that we would deliver in Nemo's hometown. Why? Because a)
there is a midwife practice there that have privileges at the
hospital (we like midwives, but Nemo isn't down with home births) and
b) Nemo's parents live there, so they would be able to watch CJ while
we were in the hospital. This meant that I had to drive 70 miles each
way to my appointments. Usually CJ and I would drive there the night
before, spend the night with the in-laws, then go home after the
appointment the next morning. It was a lot of driving, but otherwise
it was a great system.
Since the hospital we would be delivering at was so far
from home, one of the midwives in the practice recommended that I move in with my
in-laws in my 39th week, so as not to risk having a baby on the
freeway in inclement winter weather. CJ was born at 40 weeks 2 days
(after 30 hours of labor) so I thought this was a little
overcautious, but I agreed anyway.
So at 39 weeks exactly Nemo dropped Me and CJ off at his parents'
house to wait for Baby Girl while he returned home, as the new term
at the University started the very next day. He was under strict
instructions to spend the following 1-3 weeks making lots of freezer
meals, working on the kitchen, and visiting us on the weekends,
while I was under strict instructions call him when things got real,
CJ and I spent the next day going to Target to get a Big Brother
gift, using a Starbucks gift card I got for Christmas to get a great
chai latte (I didn't share), and playing with Grammie and Pap-Pap's
collection of toys. It was a fun day.
That night I had several contractions that woke me up from sleep. That was something I had never experienced before, but seeing
as the contractions were only slightly more intense than the
Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having for the past few months
and way less intense than the contractions I had during an episode of
“practice labor” I had the week before, I didn't think much of it
and went right back to sleep.
CJ was up at 6am, and while I was bustling (as much as a 9-months
pregnant person can bustle) around making tea for me, breakfast for
CJ, and googling driving directions to the local library, where I had
every intention of going that day, I had several more contractions.
Once again, not terribly painful but a little more intense than I was
used to. My mother-in-law commented that I wasn't looking very well,
but I said I felt fine (which I did) and soon after she and my
father-in-law both left for their respective works a little before
7am. Soon after that I noticed that I was spotting just a little bit.
One more thing I hadn't experienced before, and the two of them
together made me go hmmmmm.
I called Nemo and told him, “I'm not saying that I'm in labor,
I'm saying keep your phone on, ok?”
While waiting for the midwife's office to open I took a shower,
got dressed, and tried to keep CJ from unplugging every lamp in the
house. Contractions contractions contractions...but my ipod was dead
so I wasn't timing them. It just didn't seem necessary.
I called the
midwife soon after 8am and explained the situation, emphasizing that
I wouldn't be bothering them except that my husband was at work 70
miles away and in the unlikely case that this was the real thing, I
wanted to have enough time for him to make the drive. I didn't want
to be perceived as one of “those” pregnant women who always
thinks that they're in labor.
The midwife suggested that I come into the office to get checked, so I
got CJ dressed quickly and headed out the door. I managed not to have
any contractions during the three minute drive but I did have one
when we got to the elevators...for that one I needed to put CJ down
and squat down a little until it had passed.
Once in the office the nurse got me hooked up to a non-stress test
and it was determined that while Baby Girl's was taking the
contractions well (her heart rate stayed in the 130s) she wasn't
being active enough for the midwife's taste. I wasn't worried though,
because for the last few months I had noticed that Baby Girl was
always taking a nap around 9am, which is what time it was then. The
nurse also told me that the contractions were three minutes apart
(what?) and one minute long (what?!). They didn't feel anywhere that
frequent to me...I was going to guess they were 5-8 minutes apart,
and they only hurt enough to warrant some deep breaths, nothing more.
Then one of the midwives came in the “check” me. When she did,
a look came over her face that was partially shock and partially
The completely true conversation that followed:
Midwife: “You are completely effaced and 6-7 centimeters dilated”.
Me: “But I have laundry in the washing machine!”
Midwife: “It doesn't matter.”
Me: “So I should probably get dressed and go to the hospital, huh?”