This pregnancy and delivery was one of great contrasts. First but Last, Slowest but Fastest, Biggest but Smallest, Longest but Quickest, Expected but Unexpected. Confused? Let me provide clarity.
It was a Monday. Not unlike any other busy Monday. The to-do list was strangely long. Summer at the Inn is always a busy time and despite the impending delivery of the baby we had a full house of guests plus a plethora of weddings coming up. I was certain that this baby was going to arrive on the New Moon as the others all had. Yes really, Charlie & Jackson, Lauren and Evan all were born on a New Moon. The New Moon in this case, the date circled on the calendar, August 17th. Today was not that day. There was too much stuff to do. How much stuff? Breakfast for 5 (Apple Cheddar Bacon Souffle), then costco run and Trader Joes run, home, Nathan to yoga, me onto insurance again regarding Quest Diagnostics, then Nathan back, lunch, off to midwives, then to cash & carry and Home depot, maybe picking up a bag of clothes from freecycle for Lauren, home, one room checking in, and then dinner. Busy.
With the Costco Run and Trader Joe’s runs complete, we came home, and Nathan went off to yoga. Typically Jenell and he go to yoga together, but Jenell decided to skip yoga for whatever reason. I was indeed talking (online) to the insurance company and hoping they weren’t going to take too long so I could get lunch started. Evan had fallen asleep in the car on during our errands, and Lauren was watching something, I think it was Sesame Street. As I was sitting typing the insurance representative finishing up our conversation I felt a sudden and warm gush, like I had wet my pants. I thought, “Well that is odd?” I got up from my chair (no there wasn’t a puddle), but as I stood up I could feel more liquid release. Off to the bathroom I went and my thoughts were confirmed, my water had broken. It was just on 12:00pm.
I sent a message off to Jenell, who was upstairs doing laundry, and finishing up a room, and told her I was jumping in the shower, and asked her to go down to the yoga studio to get Nathan. She raced off (literally) to get him, and I jumped in the shower, after throwing a few last minute things into the hospital bag and placing it in the kitchen, and picking out my weekly photo outfit as it was 39 weeks!
As I was getting out of the shower I heard a car in the drive way, and I thought it was going to be Nathan and/or Jenell. And then the doorbell rang. Just once though so I knew it wasn’t either Jenell or Nathan. Crap! Ok. Dressed in lightening speed, wrapped hair in a towel and raced to answer the door. It was our guests checking in for the night. Early. Really early. Ummm, ok. So I gave them the tour, told them their room wasn’t quite ready yet, got them checked in, and as I was giving them their keys and telling them that myself and Nathan probably wouldn’t be around this evening, but not why, and that Jenell would be around if they needed anything I hear Nathan scream up the driveway, kicking up gravel, and storm into the house asking where I was. I say calmly, “I’m at the front desk checking in the guests.” He comes through the kitchen and says, “What?” Yes it is true. 9 months pregnant, water broken, checking in guests. So I got them their keys, a map to get the coast as that is where they were headed (and why they checked in early as they didn’t want to be super late checking in, which is very nice), I hopped into the car and off we went. Nathan says, he was doing downward facing dog and he looked backwards and thought, “Hey that looks like Jenell’s purse.” Then looked up more and sees Jenell frantically waving at him to “COME ON.” He tried to pack up quickly and quietly and class was interrupted to make sure everything was ok, and they were all told the baby was coming and they all clapped and sent their love.
First thing Nathan says, “So is this it?” Response, “Yes this is it, but I am not having any contractions.” We call the midwives on the way, who were at lunch so left a message with the answering service, and Karen returned the call within seconds. Everyone was expecting this baby to come fast. How fast? Fast enough that they didn’t know if we were going to make it to the hospital? Why so fast? When I went into labor with Evan, we were less than two hours from first contraction to baby. She asked how far apart the contractions were, I told her my water had broken but I wasn’t having any contractions. She said to head to the hospital anyhow, just in case, and she would meet us there. I told her we were pulling into the parking lot. She said she would call them and tell them to expect us within a couple of minutes, (it is exceptionally hard to find parking at St Petes), and hopefully it would expedite our check in, and she was also going to request we go straight into a labor/delivery room instead of a triage room first and was going to request one of rooms with the tubs. Perfect! Thanks Karen!
We arrive at the check-in desk and the receptionist was expecting us, and is extremely flustered. She tells someone on the phone (another hospital employee) that she will have to call them back because she doesn’t want my baby to be born in the waiting room. Apparently yes there are flags all over my file! Nathan is busily taking pictures, and I am still smiling because this poor lady doesn’t realize that I am not having contractions and I have no intentions of having my baby in the waiting room, especially while wearing a pair of jeans.
So off we go, but the room Karen requested has to be cleaned, so we head to a triage room. We get settled in and discover we have Vickie the Australian Nurse that was Evan’s baby nurse when he was born. This makes us happy. Karen arrives and looks at the monitor tape. What I say was true, no contractions, but baby is still moving and heartbeat looks good. Time for a check. She says, “Well you are dilated to a 2.” REALLY?! A 2?! argh. Ok.
Shortly after that Vickie tells us that the room Karen requested has a work repair order on it, so it is unavailable until it is repaired, so we move into another room with a tub/shower, but not one of the big tubs. This is probably ok, I used the tub with Lauren but couldn’t really stand to be in it very long. In every labor I have needed to be in motion; walking, rocking, bouncing, etc. It really mimics my life, I can’t stand still for too long.
So after settling into the new room, and being monitored for a little bit, we start walking. Vickie shows us the recommended route of the department, and tells us she will need to see us in 45 minutes or so, and off we go. Walking at a brisk pace, doing lap after lap, passing the same nurses at the same stations for 45 minutes.
We head back to the room, take a few candid photos in front of the beach photos and wait for Vickie and Karen to return. At this point it is about 3:30pm. Things seem to be moving extremely slowly, although while walking I do have contractions. Handheld monitor to check baby, and then a re-check to see how things are going. I know that even though this pregnancy NONE of my tests came back Group B Strep positive that they will only let me go so long with a broken water before interventions will have to be made. I am hoping to hear a number greater than 5. The number I hear is 3, stretching to a 3.5. ARGH! So we discuss options to “get things moving” the top of the list being castor oil. I am not a fan of “getting things moving” using such things, so I say, lets walk see what happens, and go from there.
So we walk. And walk. And walk. And squat, especially during contractions. Lets get this baby DOWN. The nurses, the same ones we’ve been looking at for hours are now giving us pity looks. Some say, “You can do it.” ”Hang in there.” But really I am not in a lot of discomfort or pain, I am not taking any meds, I am just determined. Vickie jokes that the baby has to come before 7:00pm as that is the end of her shift and she is off for three days and wants to meet this little bub. We tell her we will endeavor to meet her request.
Really what I want more than anything is FOOD. I am starving at this point. Its now getting close to dinner time, I had a small bowl of granola at 7am. I want Big Toms. A Big Tom burger with onions, tater tots, goop and a shake. That is what I want. Alas I am not allowed to have that until I convince the baby to arrive. I have to settle for cranberry juice and water. All this drinking, and walking lead to several trip to the potty. Seems like every 5 minutes. At least I am staying well hydrated, and am in active labor, with contractions about every 3 – 5 minutes.
7pm arrives. End of Vickie’s shift, she hasn’t come to tell us she is off and introduce us to our new nurse yet. Karen says it would be a good time for another check. I can tell we are getting closer but not quite there yet. Check proves I am correct. 100 percent effaced. 5 cms and a 0 Station. The biggest clue to me that things are progressing now more quickly is that the contractions are intense, about 3 minutes apart, and I no longer have the desire to walk. Vickie comes in to tell us she is on her way out and introduce the new nurse who says she isn’t leaving, and Karen also tells us she is going to call in her backup as she has another mom that is close to delivery as well in another room, and she wants to make sure that someone is there this time around.
I am spending a lot of time rocking back and forth and squatting through the contractions. Megan arrives and I know that we are surely not at a 5 and 0 station any longer. She asks if she has time to change into her gear and I say, yes, but she might want to be quick about it. She comes back and asks if I want to get into the bed (I was still standing/squatting at this point), so she can check me one last time to see how much time we are looking at. The time is 7:45. She checks just after a contraction and says, “Well there isn’t a cervix there.” Translation. Fully Dilated!
I get in a more comfortable position. For those with yoga experience, it is a modified Table. I have my hands up resting on the head of the bed. Another two contractions. Baby is coming! For one brief moment I think to myself, “I can’t do this!” Then I think, “Who I am I kidding, of course I can!” I really think in retrospect it was the lack of food talking. I was so hungry and tired from being hungry. One last contractions and an announcement of, “Its a girl!” and a few short cries. To me that is the best sound in the world!
After a little bit of suctioning she is passed through to me, I turn over and lay down in the bed and get to see my gorgeous girl. Sophie Olive Allan born 8/13 at 7:57pm. Weight 7lbs 3oz, Length 19 inches, head 12.5 inches circumfrence. As she was born Jack Johnson was playing, but neither Nathan or myself can remember which song. I would like to say it was “Better Together”.
Shortly after she was born Karen came rushing in to see if she could make it in time, but she was 5 minutes too late. Megan and the nurse (I can’t remember the 2nd nurses name) said it wouldn’t be fair to share my birth story with other soon to be moms because it was the easiest, most peaceful birth and amazing recovery and transfer time that either of them had ever seen.
Just after her cord was cut and Sophie was laying on my chest she started giving cues that she wanted to eat, and nursed on both sides for a good 15 – 20 minutes. All before being weighed, measured, cleaned up or anything. It was a beautiful time, just Sophie, Mom and Dad with Jack singing in the background.
So this was the fastest pregnancy that I experienced, seriously have no idea how I got to 39 weeks so quickly. The slowest labor and delivery, close to 8 hours. BUT if my water hadn’t of broke we probably wouldn’t have gone to the hospital until about 6pm or so which would have made it just about as quick as Evan or even quicker. First pregnancy that had absolutely no complications or questionable test results, but my last pregnancy. Pregnancy with biggest expectations of labor and delivery, but smallest baby.
So yes, my last pregnancy, but is our family complete? There will always be a feeling of no because not all of our children are with us, and in the future we may decide to foster or adopt, but yes this was definitely my last pregnancy. The risks of complications from “advanced maternal (and paternal) age” are just too great for us. Plus Nathan already has his surgery scheduled! That will be a whole new adventure. I wonder if he’ll write a post about that?!