I know people want to know the story of how Abigail arrived with us on March 5, 2010 and I am finally finding a few minutes to type up something short that gives you all the story! I'm doing bullet format and we'll see how short (but informative) I can get it!
-Thursday, 3/14: I began feeling that my BH (Braxton Hicks) contractions weren't BHs anymore - they were feeling regular (I admit, I wasn't timing them), had kept me up all night the night before, and were making normal activity difficult. I called the OB, went in for a check and was told I was only dilated 1 cm and my water hadn't broken. Essentially, I wasn't in labor (I later learned the difference between LATENT and ACTIVE labor). They should've said I wasn't in active labor. Daniel took me by Target to grab a new book to read since what the OB said were still BH contractions were clearly going to keep me up and I'd want something to read.
- That evening we took a nap and I got up around 8 pm with even more painful cramping. Going by what the OB said, these were just BH and I needed to try drinking water, walking around, etc. to make them stop. I left Daniel to sleep and tried those things. By midnight things had only gotten more painful and I began timing. From Midnight until 3 am I timed contractions that were around 1 min. in length and 6 -7 mins apart. By 3 am it was too painful to even write, read a book, do chores, or even focus on TV. Being first time mom that I am, I thought "These BHs are so painful!!" and then suffered through until 9 am.
10 am-ish Friday 3/5: I called my OB and said something like, "I don't know if I'm in labor or not - if I am I need to come in. If I'm not you guys need to do something about these false contractions because I can't take it." Looking back, I"m not sure what I thought they'd be able to do...but I was not a happy camper at the time. They said to come on in again. Then mom called and I answered without even saying hello, "Mom, I can't talk right now I will call you later" and hung up.
11ish- Friday 3/5: OB declares that while my water hasn't broken I'm dilated to 4 cm and I need to WALK to the birthing center next door. Normally this would be a short walk but I could hardly make it down their hallways (ask Daniel how I responded when random people saw me and would ask "Are you in labor?") and I just looked at her and said "WALK?!" Thankfully, Daniel found a wheelchair and wheeled me over
Noon 3/5: I was getting settled in to my room at the birthing center, my nurse, Crystal, was fantastic and was getting us going with pain meds and making it so I could get an epidural. My water broke at some point too. Family came to see us and around maybe 330 they all decided to head on home for a bit. The nurse said she didn't expect I'd deliver until around 8 pm or later. Between noon and 330 I'd been given an epidural (took them three tries to get it right and I was NOT happy...until it kicked in) and a very low dose of Pitocin because my contractions weren't furthering my labor.
- Now, time becomes fuzzy for me. At some point a monitor was inserted inside me and attached to Abigail's head to get a better reading of her heart rate.
-The OB came in and told us Abigail's heart rate had dropped too low once so she only got "two more strikes" before we'd go to C-section because she didn't want to take any chances on our baby. We agreed. Then we began to joke with her and the nurse - and then things got scary.
-Suddenly, the OB said, "You know, looking at this heart rate now, let's go ahead and do a C-section. She will be out in the next hour." I asked if Daniel would be with me and she said yes, then they started wheeling me out of the room. Next thing I know they are no longer walking me down the hall, but RUNNING my bed and shouting about getting the baby out now. I vaguely remember trying to push away an oxygen mask and asking for my husband, somewhere deep down knowing that he wasn't going to be there. Then, just waking up
-In the meantime, Daniel said as they started running me down the hall and he could tell things had gone from semi-serious to extremely serious, he just froze. The doctor turned and grabbed him and he said all he could say was "Will my baby be ok?" He told me later he meant both babies...me and Abigail. She told him yes and he needed to come now. She shoved him into a closet type room to change into scrubs, then he was led into a room and heard a baby crying. He asked whose baby that was and they said "Yours." From what he says and the nurses told me, he almost passed out and they barely got him to a chair in time to sit down.
-Within those three to five minutes of them running me down the hall and him changing, they'd delivered Abigail and there she was for Daniel. I was in recovery for an hour and a half and not very pleasant when I was taken to my room - because I was there alone for like 10 minutes. No one would tell me where my baby or my husband or my family was. And I was in pain from the surgery - I'd had full anesthesia because they had to get her out so fast. Apparently, Abigail's heart rate had dropped to 40 bpm and her cord was wrapped all around her body...the Pitocin was making the cord constrict really tightly on her - hence the emergency c-section.
Anyway, I finally got to hold her and the next four days in the birthing center were like a dream. We were in this cocoon, and able to begin to learn our way as a new family. I finally got rest and watching Daniel hold our baby girl each morning and listening to him talk to her was the most moving experience of my life. He is the best father ever!
That is the basic story. Believe me, it's the short version. I'll leave you with the picture of Daniel holding Abigail right after she was born - I was heading into recovery at the time. I have never been more in love with my husband than I am now, seeing him as a father.