The last 5+ years have been a roller coaster for my little family of 3 while we took the journey to add a 4th. We had some good news, some really bad news, but mostly just a lot of waiting and enjoying our time together.
Last September when I learned I was pregnant for the 6th time we were so tentatively ecstatic. I was able to get into a specialist the day I got the positive test and was seen 2-3 times a week for the first month and a half, then twice a month until 17 weeks. After that we were given the green light. They were pretty darn sure nothing was going to happen this time. We would be welcoming a healthy little boy to the family come June.
And come he did. When he was finally good and ready, there was no slowing him down.
About a week and a half before my due date, on May 22, the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling since week 12 got crazy strong. Like, I can’t hardly handle this, strong. So we called the midwife then headed down to the hospital. I was admitted and checked. I was at 4 cm. I thought that was a good sign. That was a whole cm further than I was when I was admitted with Abi and she was born 10 hours later. So I settled in. Then 2 hours later they checked again. Still 4cm. I was sent home with some Ambien and told to get some rest. Boo!
The next day the contractions started up again. Only this time they were worse. I battled back and forth about going in. On the one hand they were stronger and more consistent than the day before. On the other, I didn’t want to be “that girl”. You know what I mean? I was supposed to know my body, right? I didn’t want to face the embarrassment of false labor TWICE! But, by late afternoon I decided we better go on in. Again, 4cm. (whomp whomp) This time they let me stay 3 hours before discharging me. I felt miserable. The contractions were really painful and now I felt like all the nurses thought I was an idiot.
When I got home I took an Ambien and went right to bed. The next morning the contractions had stopped, even the Braxton Hicks. Nothing. For the next 5 days not one more contraction.
Then on May 28th I was woken up at 5:30 am by what I thought was a perfectly placed kick to the center of my tummy. But then I felt the gush.
Here is the timeline of the next 3ish hours:
5:30 – Water breaks. Contemplate waking up Brad but decide I better wait to see if this was the real deal first. I still hadn’t felt a contraction so I wasn’t sure.
5:40 – Call the midwife and ask her advice. We decide to wait about 15-20 minutes to see if any contractions start before we decide whether to head into the hospital. Brad wakes up while I’m on the phone, realizes who I’m talking to and about what, and flies into “GO!” mode. While he’s waking Abi up so my brother in law can come get her I’m just thinking he’s over reacting. We have plenty of time.
5:45 – First contraction and man is it a contraction. I almost fell to the floor it was so painful. We decide not to wait the 15-20 minutes or for the BIL to come get Abi. He can meet us at the hospital.
6:15 – Check into the hospital. BIL takes Abi and we’re taken to our room.
6:30 – Hooked up to the monitors, have the IV put in my arm and I’m finally checked. Still a 4! I wanted to scream! I felt like I was dying and I had made NO progress.
6:50 – I kinda started feeling EXTREME pressure, almost like I needed to push, but every time I mentioned it to the nurses they kept looking at me like I was exaggerating and would say something to placate me. Finally Brad asked if they would check me again. At first they said no. They had just checked me 15 minutes ago and they didn’t want to do it too often since my water had already broken.
7:00 – My extreme pain and Brad’s questioning must have changed their minds and they check me again. I’m an 8+. My first thought was “FINALLY some progress.” But that thought was very closely followed by, “Oh no. I missed the epidural window. I’m doing this without drugs.” That’s when I lost it and just started bawling. The nurses thought it was the pain, Brad correctly realized it was disappointed realization. I had debated ever since Abi was born about whether I wanted to do a natural birth with the next but had chickened out. Now I had no more choice so I gradually pulled it together and was able to calm down.
7:40 – I’m FINALLY allowed to start pushing. Somewhere along his journey he managed to snap my tailbone, but I wouldn’t realize that until the adrenaline wore off about an hour later.
8:17 am – Isaac Graham Harding is born. 8 lb 11 oz and 22 inches long.
I had waited many years for this moment. There are no words to how amazingly happy and grateful I felt with him laying there on my chest. It is truly one of the best moments of my life.
He is absolutely perfect in every way.