From The Mud Puddle

Friday, August 01, 2008

Exactly 18 years ago, at this time, I was hanging up the phone with my ob/gyn who had just told me to come on to the hospital.

The day before (on July 31st) I had a doctor's appointment. Before going, I noticed some spotting which he assured me was normal given how far along I was. He told me before leaving that he expected he'd see me within a few days.

After my appointment, I remembered going to my mother's house for a little while. She wanted me to try to paint some faces on these wooden balls her and her crafting group were working on for a project at church. I stared at those wooden balls trying to think on how they should be painted. All my mind was really on was how uncomfortable I was feeling, like I did when I was on my period and would have cramps. I finally got up, unable to concentrate on the faces and told my mom I was going to go home. I left her with my doctor's last words. I didn't really put the three things (his words, the spotting or the cramping) together in my mind.

I was in the beginning stages of labor.

Driving home it hit me, however.

Once home, for fun, not really expecting any of this to mean anything, I began to time the contractions just to see if they were spaced equally. I had finally realized that I was not cramping, but contracting. Indeed they were spaced about 10 or 15 minutes apart at that time.

I laid down on my bed for a little while just trying to relax my mind. I played fetch with our dog, Scotty and called Jay. I also cut the TV on to distract my mind from what was happening. It is impossible to get your mind off the obvious when you are about to give birth. Nothing else can compete or cover up those thoughts.

Somewhere in there the contractions definitely jumped to being pretty consistently 10 minutes apart. My husband arrived home (usual time-we knew there really was no hurry at the time when I called).

We ate a light dinner and went for a walk. We came home, restless in anticipation of what might happen SOON and decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. We drove to Food Lion to pick up what we needed and set together mixing the dough.

After the cookies finished, we thought that perhaps we should try to go on to bed. Unsure if we'd be able to sleep, we figured that if this was true labor, it would either keep us awake. If not, then we'd fall asleep and get the rest we'd need in the coming days.

We never made it to sleep.

In the wee hours of Aug 1st we called the ob/gyn on call as I said above and he told us to come on in. Contractions were at 5 minutes apart by now and steady. I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. My bags were packed already, so with a few last minute add ins, we left for the hospital.

Arriving and now hooked up to the monitors, I was told that my contractions were now two to three minutes apart. I was dilated to two or three. Things were looking good.

Then, everything stopped. It seemed I was still having some contractions, but not much of anything to move things along. I thought for sure they'd send us home.

My doctor met me first thing in the morning, still in the hospital. He did not send me home, but instead broke my water-reasoning that we might as well go ahead and do what we came to do rather than make another back and forth trip later in the day or the next day. I loved that he did not send us home.

I now started walking with the other women in the birth units up and down the hallway. We'd stop with our husbands and peer into the windows that showed the babies in the nursery.

I was told that at any time I could start a pitocin drip with some stadol. I really hoped to see my contractions pick back up again naturally.

By later that evening I gave in. I was tired and had experienced what I now know was back labor all afternoon. Apparently my baby was sunny side up. I allowed them, asked them...probably begged them to start me on the pitocin/stadol combo.

As it dripped into my veins, I drifted off to sleep. No kidding.

I woke up at 2:00 am August 2nd dilated to 8 cm definitely "feeling it" now. I was still pretty drowsy. I had a wonderful nurse. I loved having this woman attend to me during this time.

I began to push a bit later and they quickly called for the doctor as things were going REALLY well. I remember the nurse telling me he lived just right down the road and would be zipping into the parking lot in his red sports car any moment. Funny the things you remember in your pain.

Hannah was born at 5:30 am August 2nd. I remember thinking before she was born she'd be a boy. The ultrasound lady (who I had heard had a 95% accuracy rate in guessing the sex of your baby) told us we'd have a girl-but we didn't believe her. We had our girl. I remember saying out loud when I first saw her, "Oh it's our Hannah"....seeing for the first time we had a girl rather than a boy. We didn't care which-we just had it in our heads one way...and God surprised us with another. Had she been a boy she would have been called James Ryan...James after my dad, Ryan just a name we both liked. Instead we named her Hannah...for the obvious biblical reference as well as a name we found we liked because I had a Hannah in one of the day care classes I worked once upon a time.

Arriving home on August 4th, I remember sitting on the edge of our bed with my husband...holding her...(as our dog, Scotty danced around us in joy that we had returned). I remember thinking, what now, as it sunk in that we had brought home our first baby. She was so tiny, so needy, so perfectly formed by God's hand.

We couldn't be more proud of you Hannah. As I remember your birthday and the days that led up to it, I remember them in joy and happiness. God Bless you my daughter.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3

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