01 July 2014

A Birthday Story

Today is my due date. I am typing this post with a two week old baby sleeping on my lap.

Our story begins three weeks ago. I was 37 weeks pregnant and happily minding my own business. I had oodles of nesting projects to complete with plenty of time to do them. J was born three days past his due date and my doctor was convinced I would do the same with this girl.

I was so certain this baby would come late that I gave the okay for Joseph and his brother to climb Mt. Whitney in California that week. They were gone for three days (Monday to Wednesday), hours and hours away where they only had cell service at the summit and at the trail head. ( I was so tempted to send him a, "My water just broke!" text that I knew he wouldn't get until the next day. But I didn't.) Thankfully they made it home Wednesday night exhausted, sunburned, and thrilled to have conquered the highest peak in the continental US.

Just in time for Joseph to be home and take care of me, I became sick and unable to keep much in me. Joseph was the kind and dutiful husband and made runs for Jamba Juice and saltine crackers often. Thursday to Sunday I stayed sick in bed, making lists of things I still needed to do before baby. Like pack a hospital bag.

Sunday was Father's Day and Joseph had to go to church alone while J and I were still home sick. It was just after 2pm, J had just woken up from his nap while I was reading on the couch. I felt a gush, looked down and saw blood. Worst feeling ever. I called Joseph and told him to come home right away we needed to go to the hospital. (I didn't even know where the hospital was yet. Our tour of the maternity floor was scheduled a week later.)

Thankfully the church is less than five minutes away and so Joseph was home right away. We had no plans for what to do in this situation. On my to do list was, " Arrange someone to take J when we go to the hospital." So we all headed to the car, sans hospital bag (another thing on my to do list), with just my camera and my wallet. The essentials right?

We found the hospital and Joseph dropped me off at the entrance and had to go park the car. I laughed as Brian Regan came to mind. I wandered inside, told the help desk, "I think I'm having a baby?" and they wheeled me up to where I needed to go. 

I was checked in, dressed in an adorable hospital gown, and given a corner of the triage room to wait to see a doctor. They hooked me and our baby up to the monitors and I was instantly calmed by listening to the steady beat of her heart. I was checked and told, "Hey you are dilating, let's wait and hour and see what happens." 

For the next hour Joseph and I (J had been picked up by friends) talked about what we needed to pack and get ready after they sent us home. Because my contractions were weak we figured we could go labor at home, and come back when we were really ready. After being checked again, I had dilated another centimeter and the nurse was so excited that we could stay. "You are going to have a baby today!"

Change of plans! I hurriedly wrote out a list of things I needed and sent him home to pack. I was wheeled up to a labor and delivery room. "I'm having a baby today?" was all I was thinking the whole time.

The next six hours or so were fairly pleasant and a blur of contractions (getting bigger and Bigger and BIGGER), nurses checking me, an epidural, and my growling stomach. (Did I mention I hadn't eaten much for four days?)

Soon (who keeps track of time?) it was time to push and the doctor was called in. At this point I was still wondering, "I'm having a baby today?" After pushing through three contractions, our little girl was born at 10:45pm. Just in time to be the best Father's Day present ever.

Because I delivered at a "baby friendly" hospital, she was quickly weighed and given right back to me for me to cuddle and love. And we did. The End.

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