Thursday, March 23rd at 2 in the morning, I awoke to wetting my underwear. I quickly got out of bed and went to the toilet. Something told me it wasn't urine. When it just kept coming and coming, I knew my water had broken. But I was confused. I'm early and I wasn't having any contractions at all. So, in between changing pads, I poured over my pregnancy books. They all came to the same conclusion. If your water breaks before 37 weeks, get thee to a hospital! (I had every intention on staying home until labor got more progressive). So, I called the doctor. He told me to get to my birthing hospital. By this time, it was 3 am and I was having menstrual-like cramps, but nothing that really hurt.
I woke up hubby and told him I had to go to the hospital. He seemed a little miffed and figured it was a false alarm. I kept telling him that when the water breaks, it is no false alarm. Baby's coming! He kept insisting my water didn't break and that I wasn't in labor. This was his way of coping with the excitment. He even dressed for work thinking we'd be home before 6 am with a bed-rest order for me.
On the way to the hospital, we chatted and he said that it wasn't labor until contractions were three minutes apart. As if on cue, my contractions started coming 3 minutes apart, but they were bearable and I could talk through them.
Sometime between 4 and 4:30 am, we were at the hospital and I was prepped for examination. My room was like the Hilton! It was huge and cozy and even had a living room area for guests, hardwood floors and cabinets and it was quiet. I thought I was the only laboring woman there, and was surprised to hear that 5 other ladies were giving birth too. Hubby still held out hope that it was false labor. But after a check-up, it was determined that I was 4 cm along already. My doctor was called and a bracelet was snapped onto my wrist. The assistant told me that I wasn't leaving without a baby. That's when I looked at hubby and it hit him that it was REALLY happening. His little wife was having his son right here right now.
After some more fiddling around, IV's and the like, hubby and I were left alone to chit chat some more. Contractions weren't too bad, and a nurse suggested I go for a walk. 4 laps around the reception area and I could no longer stand during contractions. I went back in my room and the contractions became harder. I became more vocal. The nurse suggested a shower, but told me she had to monitor the baby for 15 minutes first. That was hard because I had to lay down and couldn't cope with the contractions as my body pleased. What seemed like forever, but was only 15 to 20 minutes, the nurse checked me again and I was 8 cm. She cancelled the shower, but changed her mind when I promised her that if I felt like pushing, I'd return to bed. They helped me to the bathroom and I had a major contraction and had to sit on the toilet. I felt like pushing and insisted I return to the bed. Another check and I was already 10 cm!
Somewhere around this time or perhaps a little before, my parents and MIL arrived.
My doctor had arrived and teased me about not letting him have a chance at getting his coffee. After a check-up, the nurse insisted she could handle the initial pushing and sent my doc out to get his coffee. He returned a little later and was surprised at how well I was pushing. But by this time, my contractions were getting weaker and farther apart. I couldn't maintain my pushes long enough and was getting discouraged. He ordered a tiny dose of pitocin to help me along and it worked. The doctor let me feel my baby's head and I found a new stamina to get him out. A quick episiotomy and a few more pushes and my baby was out!
I was amazed at two things: How well I felt just after baby was delivered and how I didn't react the way I thought I would to seeing him. I didn't burst into tears or feel a wave of love flood over me. I just felt relief.
Far from over, though, I had to deliver the afterbirth which proved nearly as hard as pushing out the baby. The afterbirth was almost the size of my son! Then I had to be stitched up and that felt terrible. But then I could hold my son and immediately declared him to be the spitting image of his father. I was a little sad that he didn't seem to feature any of my traits, but my spirits were lifted when I saw his hands. He has my fingers. He also has my eyes, feet and toes, and possibly my hairline.
My son was then whisked away to NICU because of respiratory problems and I was rolled away to the recovery room. 2 hours later, my son was brought to me. He had spent 2 hours in incubation and his lungs were deemed clear.
It's still all new and I can't believe he's mine!
Right now he's sleeping peacefully in his cradle. I wish he'd do that at night. :)
The emotions running through me are so perplexing. Sometimes I'm on cloud nine and other times I get so frustrated I just want to set him down in his cradle and run out the door crying until we both can calm down. Lack of sleep doesn't help much either. :) Regardless, I'm still in a daze over this whole thing. It hasn't hit home. Everything is so unexpected, from arriving 5 weeks early to all the little issues he's having. Thank God I have God!
Proud to be Mother,