Early Arrival pt. 2

Go here to read Part 1...

After a minute or two of my pity party, I got up, dried my tears, filled my water bottle, and headed upstairs.  A week or two earlier, I had pulled out some old towels and stuck them in my suitcase... just in case my water broke at home.  I spread the towels out over my side of the bed and curled up under my blankets.  

I started keeping track of my contractions with a timer I found online; they were about 5 minutes apart and definitely lasting more than 45 seconds.  And they were absolutely getting stronger but still not terribly unbearable so far.  About this time, I decided I should eat something to keep up my strength.  I had packed some granola bars and fruit cups in my suitcase since I wanted to have some snacks on hand for early labor, so I grabbed a granola bar.  {Last time, I only ate breakfast and then got so busy with all kinds of last minute things that I never did remember to eat anything else.  By the time I was being wheeled into the recovery room, the nurse noticed my lips were starting to turn blue, and I felt so light-headed and weak after all that hard labor.  So, I made sure to buy some easy snacks that I could pack and have on hand this time around.} 

I finally tried calling Monica's house phone instead of the cell.  This was just before 6am, and she called me back after that one.  Phew!  I had been starting to panic again that no one was going to be at the house with me except for Jessica... and... while I love my sister in law, everyone knows (and she will tell you) that she is not great with high-stress situations.  And labor... well, in her mind, that is definitely high-stress!  Monica said she would get ready as quick as she could and she would be over ASAP!  :o)  

After a few more minutes, I figured I should probably let Jessica know what was going on.  So, I knocked on her door and tried to be very calm and collected.  "I'm pretty sure we're going to have a baby today.  I called Monica, and she's on her way.  I'm going downstairs to  call the doula again and let her know how things are going."  Apparently, I was so calm and level-headed about everything that Jessica was totally fooled into thinking I wasn't as far along as I was.  (Looking back, I was probably so calm about it all because I obviously didn't want her to panic and stress ME out, but also because I was still in denial about labor myself.  I truly thought I wouldn't be having the baby until late morning or early afternoon. I was so naive...)

Jessica went downstairs with me to call the doula.  I let her know the contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but I really wasn't sure how things would be progressing.  She asked me to keep her posted, and she would make arrangements for someone to watch her children and she would come over later.  She was very excited for me, and she said she knew we would have a good birth.  While I sat in the chair, I remember getting very cold and asking Jessica to grab a blanket for me.  She also brought me a string cheese stick for me to snack on and up the stairs we went.

The contractions were starting to pick up even more, and I remember seeing the timer say a few of the contractions were 2 and 3 minutes apart.  I also remember thinking there was some sort of a glitch with the timer or that maybe I had pushed the start button too early.  {I told you I was in denial!}  Jessica took over keeping track of them for me, but was having issues with the kindle, so she went to grab the timer from her room... and then had some issues with that.  I believe that would be the panic starting to kick in for her.  I was oblivious to it all, of course.  

I was breathing through another strong contraction when Jessica went downstairs to let Monica in shortly before 7.  When she came back up the stairs, I was having another one.  (And I was *still* saying they were 5 minutes apart!  Obviously, I have no sense of time.)  Monica made some sort of comment about it not taking her 5 minutes to get up the stairs.  After another contraction, I told Monica, "I need to go to the hospital."  

"Okay... and why are you thinking this?" she asked me, afraid it was because I just wanted to go in and get some drugs LOL!  At this point, I couldn't really keep up a good conversation, I think, and my reply was something like, "I just... really... need to go... now."  "Is it just because they're getting stronger, or...?"  

I was starting to breathe harder through the contractions by this time, and I know I was getting louder with some moans and groans.  Things were *definitely* progressing!  I had one particularly strong contraction, and I remember feeling a lot of pressure and then *whooosh* a big gush of warmth and wetness.  "My water broke."  I made sure to look at the clock.  It was 7:15.

Monica and Jessica started scrambling then.  Jessica went to grab another pair of pajama pants for me.  "Downstairs in the dryer," I told her.  Monica went to get another t-shirt.  "I can't wear the blue one.  It doesn't fit."  "Jess?  My blow dryer in the suit case, please?  And camera?  Thank you."  I honestly don't know how I was able to get any instructions out at this point.  I spoke quietly and paused often between words, but I was still able to get my point across.  It must have been the Lord helping me keep some semblance of organization and coherence.  

Monica came over to help me stand up so they could help me change.  "I don't want to do this any more, " I cried into her shoulder.  I was so tired.  So, so, so tired.  "I know, but you're strong.  You can do this."  Jessica came to help, too.  "Sorry, Jessica," I whispered.  "Thank you."  

The original plan had been for her to take the boys and not be anywhere near the house while I was laboring at home... and here she was, timing my contractions, helping me change, packing my bag, and cleaning things up because my water broke.  We are so grateful for all she's done while our airman has been away.

I sat down on the floor.  I was feeling exhausted.  "It feels better to sit..." Monica lifted me back up.  "Okay, but we don't want to have the baby at home, right?  We need to get moving."  Another contraction hit, and I groaned through it.  "No, nope, we have to breathe, okay?  Breathe.  Like you're blowing out a candle, right?"  That thought really annoyed me for some reason, and I imagined myself sending dirty looks her way, but couldn't muster up the strength to do it.  I was needing to focus on the breathing right then so I could get through the contraction.  Was this transition, perhaps?  I think so.  ;o)  I blew as hard as I could, but all I really wanted to do was sit back down.

Somehow, we made our way down the stairs.  I didn't even grab a jacket.  I found my green flip flops... ones my sweet hubby bought for me shortly after we were married.  Jessica threw the suitcase into the backseat, and Monica and I loaded ourselves into the van.  Jess gave me a big hug.  "I love you, and you're going to do great,"and I could hear her starting to tear up.  "We have to go," I said weakly, feeling another contraction come on.  "Love you.  Bye."  She stood in the driveway in her mismatched pj's and black church shoes waving to us as we backed up.  "Doula.  She needs to call the doula."  She nodded and I knew she would take care of everything for me.

To be continued...
Click here for part 3.

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