It must just be something about dinner time that makes my body ready to give birth! We had just been to the chiropractor for our every-other-week adjustment. Our regular Dr. Karen was out of the office that night, and for the life of me, I cannot remember the “substitutes” name. I knew I had had her adjust me previously, and I wasn’t so fond of her style, but I felt like I really needed an adjustment, so I just went with it. She adjustment my stomach in a way I had never had done before, but I didn’t really think anything of it. Nothing hurt or felt “off”, so we gathered up our things and headed home to our frozen pizza. It’s 6:30pm. We sit down to take our first bite and there it was, an unusual contraction. I’m thinking to myself, “No way, I have 10 more days. No one has a baby 10 days early.” We keep eating, I don’t mention a thing. Then, 7 minutes later, there it was again. I knew these were not regular Braxton-Hicks, but surely this was false labor, right? I asked Neal to get out his contraction timing app and start timing these for me. 7 minutes later, there was another one. We finished dinner and kept talking on and off about how this I probably just false labor and I should just rest and they will go away. Oh no, I was not going to rest one bit. Should this actually be true labor, there were bags to pack, laundry to wash, fold and put away, bathrooms to clean, floors to sweep and vacuum and a refrigerator that needed to be cleaned out…just in case. As I scurry around doing these oh-so-necessary tasks, Neal and I were continuing to monitor my now 5-6 minute apart contractions. We decided to go ahead and put Amelia to bed and called my mom to put her on standby…just in case. Neal had a very big deadline at work the next day, Friday, so he was frantically working to make sure that everything was in place…just in case. My contractions are 4-5 minutes apart now and lasting about 1-2 minutes. So, every few minutes I just pause folding the laundry and rock back and forth until it passes. It’s now 10:30pm and we decided that we should just go to the hospital and let them check and tell me it’s false labor so that we can get back home and get some sleep. We get all the bags and Amelia in the car and head over out…just in case. I called my OB and told him what was going on. He said, “Well, I suppose you should come in and get checked and I’ll be there shortly”. No sense of urgency whatsoever! I call my mother and tell her we are going to head to the hospital and get things checked out, and without a moment’s hesitation, “Ok, see you soon, bye” as if her house was on fire! During the 20ish minute car ride to Woodstock to drop off Amelia, I had maybe 2 contractions, maybe. And they weren’t bad at all. So, we get to my parent’s house in Woodstock, I get out of the car, bam, super contraction in the driveway. Neal gets Amelia upstairs and back in bed, and I think I finally made it into the house. As long as I was standing, MAJOR contraction about every 4-5 minutes returned. But, heaven forbid I sit down, because then there were no contractions at all. So, we decided to walk around at their house for a little bit to make sure that the contractions were still happening with some sort of frequency. I just remember them being incredibly intense and everyone just staring at me through each one as if I was some sort of attraction they paid good money to see! We decided about midnight to head the remaining 30 minutes to the hospital. During those 30 minutes, the contractions were nearly constant. A stark contrast to the peaceful, non-painful car ride just a bit ago! All I can really recall saying was “I think I want the drugs this time. I can’t do it again”! We were 2 miles from the hospital at this point and Neal said, well, honey, I don’t think you’ll have time if you’re already asking for them… then he ran all the red lights! Once again, I was fiercely determined to walk into the hospital on my own, so we pulled under the drop off and out of the car we walked up to Labor and Delivery. I walked right up to the nurses’ station and had a major contraction. So, as I stand there with my head leaning on the desk waiting for it to pass, the dear nurse kept asking me, are you alright, what can I do for you. “Just a minute ma’am, I’m having a baby”. Once the contraction passes I tell her what’s going on and before I can finish, I’m having another contraction, telling her I’m about to pass out, and asking for the bathroom because I’VE GOTTA PEE!! A flock of nurses come from who-knows where with a wheelchair, and seriously, it was like we were in the Indy 500 trying to get back to labor and delivery! It felt like I asked 45 times for the bathroom because well, I HAD TO PEE! The dear, sweet nurse wheels me to one, and as soon as we get there I have another contraction. When I have contractions like that, I don’t talk, I don’t look at you, I don’t move. My head is down, I’m focused, and nothing is going to distract me, not even the final arrival to the long awaited bathroom. So, I don’t respond immediately to her, so apparently that meant I didn’t need it anymore and she took me away. Well, the contraction passes and I asked again for the bathroom. Somehow we got to the bathroom and as soon as I stood up out of the wheelchair, my water broke, seriously broke. Then, every nurse in the entirety of the hospital, or so it seemed, was in that bathroom. I was in a recovery unit in .02 seconds, the curtains were pulled, because, well, I couldn’t disturb the ladies on either side of me that had just come out of C-sections, and I was pushing. Everyone and their mother was walking in and out of labor and delivery that night, right past where this was all going down, and since we weren’t in a room, they all partook in our happy occasion! I informed the doctor (not my doctor, but whoever was on-call that night, again!) that we didn’t know the sex and that I wanted Neal to tell me what the baby’s gender was. She was happy to oblige and told me to push again because the baby’s heart rate was dropping. 3 pushes later the baby was born. Neal told me, with great excitement, It’s a girl! I asked him to check again to make sure, because I was convinced the whole 9 months that it was going to be a boy! They placed her on my chest and all I remember saying was that she was so little! 5 pounds 14 ounces of pure bliss! They had to take her down to NICU to clean her up since we didn’t have a L&D room and the hospital was insanely busy that night. Neal went with her leaving me to go at the stitches and cleanup solo. I was ready to head to my overnight room, and when I went to put my feet on the floor, I had the worse Charlie horse of my life! The nurse grabbed my leg and straightened it out and rubbed it so hard I thought she was going to pull my calf clean off my leg! We tried again, and bam, it happened again! Cue insanely tough leg muscle massage! Finally, on the third try, I made it to my feet and then into my room. It felt like eternity, but about an hour later, Neal, Claire and I were all together in our room!
With Amelia, we had 14 minutes in the hospital before she was born. We had about 20 minutes in the hospital this time before Claire made her entrance. It is perfect for me, because I do desire to have natural labors not in the hospital, but I want to deliver in the hospital in case of emergency. It was a source of some anxiety this pregnancy just not knowing if this labor would be faster and how it would be different. I knew I wanted to labor at home as long as possible again, but with the added time to drop of Amelia, how would we know to time it just right? Thankfully, the Lord’s timing is always perfect, even during labor! I've done a 10 hour labor and 7 hour labor, so next go around, we should probably leave at the third contraction…just in case!