I think the picture says it all...
For the past several weeks I'd been having problems with my hips aching at night. So I'd sleep for a few hours in bed, wake up to empty Brea's pillow (my bladder) and then move my slumber out to the living room for the next several hours. The night of Sunday, March 26th was no different. We had had a pretty busy weekend knowing this may be our last before our little girl joined us. Saturday we went shopping and enjoyed some family time together. Sunday we woke up and fixed our standard Sunday morning waffle breakfast and started working on some house cleaning tasks. Lexi and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and after a brief rest mid-afternoon we walked over to our local park where she took her bike for it's first spin of the spring as I waddled behind. By the day's end I was tired but feeling well and was hoping that all the activity of the weekend would result in getting a good progress report at my doctor's appointment on Monday morning. The Monday before (at 39 weeks) I had not been dilated at all and baby was still very high in my pelvis. Having delivered Lexi 9 days past here due date...after a forced eviction (induction)...I was prepared to see my due date come and go without much excitement. Evidently Brea had other plans.
After moving out to the couch around 12:30 on Sunday night, I remember waking up several times and noticing how "crampy" I felt and attributed it to being on my feet a lot over the weekend. About 3:15 I woke up mid "cramp" and started to notice how different these cramps were compared to any others I'd had as of recent. I decided that since Scott was going to be getting up about an hour later to get ready for work, maybe I should stay up and see if I could time my cramping. I got up, used the restroom and grabbed a book. After about an hour of timing these noticeable, but rather mild cramps, I realized that yes, they could be timed. Approximately 15 minutes apart for 45-60 seconds in duration.
When Scott woke to get ready for work he came out the living room to find me sitting up quietly and I calmly told him I thought I may be having contractions, as I could only think of 3 things that could cause these kind of cramps...1. Gas (not timeable usually)...2. PMS/menstrual cramps (well...obviously not)...and 3. Labor. But as mild as they were at that time I wasn't too concerned. So Scott jumped in the shower and proceeded to get ready for work. By the time he was dressed and putting on his shoes at 4:45 I had decided that yes, these were contractions and now they were about 10-12 minutes apart lasting for 60-90 seconds. So I once again calmly told him I didn't think he should go into work yet...after all he drives an hour to work (one way). So he decided that he'd take Lexi to his aunt's as is normal for a Monday morning and then come back home to see how things were going. We figured if it was the start of labor he'd be home and Lexi would be taken care of...and if nothing progressed before my doctor's appointment at 11:30 Scott could go to the appointment with me and then drive into work late if the doc didn't think anything was happening.
It takes about an hour round trip to drive to Scott's aunts and back. So he took off around 5:00 with our sleeping daughter in tow. I decided to get comfy, popped a movie in the DVD player, and grabbed my big fitness ball to sit on as sitting on the couch was starting to get a little uncomfortable. When Scott got back home a little after 6 contractions had gotten a bit stronger and were now a little less than 10 minutes apart. I decided that we'd probably be going to the hospital in the near future and jumped in the shower to freshen up a bit. 10-15 minutes (and 4 contractions) later, I emerged knowing that I needed to get dressed and brush my teeth because we definitely needed to start to think about heading to the hospital. Contractions were getting strong enough that I couldn't do anything during their duration but stand and sway and breath. After taking some time getting dressed between contractions, I asked Scott to call up to the labor and delivery wing of the hospital and let them know we'd be on our way there in 15-20 minutes. With Scott's assistance I was finally able to get my teeth brushed, a sweatshirt on, to the front door and out to the car to head to the hospital. At this point I was getting a bit worried that I had waited a little too long to tell Scott it was time for us to leave as contractions were coming strongly every minute or two and I was starting to feel quite a bit of pressure in my lower pelvis. Luckily we live within 5 minutes of the hospital!
Scott drove up to the ER entrance and went in to get a wheel chair (I knew at this point I'd never be able to walk to the L&D wing). After watching me have 2 contractions in the car, Shirley (the ER admitting assistant), strongly urged me to get out of the car and into the chair so she could get me in to L&D. A short wheel chair ride later (another nice thing about small town hospitals...everything is close) we entered the L&D wing to be greeted by my Doc. The room they were were preparing for me had just had someone moved out of it to make room for us and wasn't quite ready. The nurse asked if she could park me down at the end of the hall for just bit while they finished preparing the room and I firmly told her NO...I needed to get into that bed NOW. So in we went. Once they saw how quickly and strongly contractions were coming, things kicked into high gear. Lab was called for blood work. I was changed into a gown, warming table and instruments were brought in and as soon as I was on the bed Doc was ready to check my progress. I was dilated to 9 cms! Quickly in what was probably about 5 minutes time (I can't really tell you as I was trying to breath through my final dilating contractions without hyperventilating...so much for all that yoga breathing!...I found repeating OWY, OWY, OWY to be much more soothing...or expressive...or something!) the fetal monitor was attached, blood was drawn and doc had gone to change into scrubs, returning just in time to have me start pushing. I had already had to resist the first urge to push through a contractions waiting for him to return (which in all actuality I didn't do very well because I do think there was a little pushing action in there...but once your body decides it's going to push...it's about impossible NOT to!).
After 3-4 good strong pushes Brea's head was delivered and I was asked not to push while Doc suctioned her out a bit and turned her shoulders for the next push. One more push to clear the shoulders and more waiting while there was a bit more suctioning done and a little wipe down. One final push and our little girl was fully delivered, quickly wiped down a bit and placed on my belly. She was alert and responsive, but not crying. We continued to rub and wipe her down as she blinkingly stared out into the world for the first time. At that point Doc pointed out (after unwrapping it from her leg) that Brea's umbilical cord had a full (but thankfully loose) knot in it about 1/2 way between her and the placenta. Scott told me later that it was at that point he had to sit down, realizing just how lucky we were that a higher power had been watching out for our little girl, ensuring her safe arrival into this world.
The next several minutes of clean-up and checks for both Breanna and I went pretty routinely. It wasn't long before I was changed into a nursing gown and handed our little bundle of girly. Scott had taken a few minutes shortly after Brea's arrival to give Lexi a call to let her know her little sister had been safely born...Lexi likes to point out it was while she was eating her pancakes for breakfast. After finishing said pancakes, Lexi and auntie Pammy made their way up to the hospital where sisters got a chance to see each other face to face for the first time. It was a very proud moment for Lexi and a very special one for us. Our new family was together for the first time.
Things continued to go well in the hospital and our Doc signed our discharge papers first thing on Tuesday morning. Brea had to have some blood work done and we finished up some paperwork and walked out of the hospital on our way home as Brea was turing only 30 hours old. Coming home is always so special and we were more than ready to get settled in with our new little family member. Big sister was at pre-school which allowed Mommy to catch a much needed nap after feeding Brea. Things, while far from routine, have settled into some sort of familiararity and we are enjoying our family time at home. It's a special time to celebrate our love for each other, our connection as a family, and the amazing miracle of life.
Welcome to our family Breanna, we love you!