My 38 week bump pic...taken the night before I had Baby James.
*side note: The week leading up to this, I still did Hip Hop Fitness, I still did a jog/walk at The Y, and I went to two life group events. My point in telling you this: life doesn't need to stop! Keep going!
December 12, 2013 (Thursday):
This is when, I believe, it began. Around 230 pm, I was finishing my last patient of the day and felt something leaking from down south. Of course, I had no idea what it was, if it went through my pants, etc. My only thought was "Let me get through this evaluation so I can get to a restroom!" I left my patient's home and went to Jimmy's car only for it NOT to start...perfect timing, right?! I called AAA (praise The Lord for AAA!) and, an hour and a half later, they rescued me. I had to pick up Mr. Boo from work immediately so it ended up being 5 pm-ish before I could get to a restroom. Basically, I think my mucus plug passed because I had the so called " bloody show" when I got home.
Dec 13, 2013 (Friday):
Of course, I did not sleep that night thinking about the possibility of going into labor (even though passing your plug can mean labor comes weeks or days or hours later). I did start having contractions around 2 am but they weren't regular and they didn't hurt. I decided to go into work that day because I didn't want another false labor incident to freak me out. I was able to see all of my patients and had contractions on and off throughout the whole day. They eventually stopped before I went to bed.
I was in labor when this was taken. Jimmy wasn't home at the time and I wanted to make sure I got a pic of my belly before I went to the hospital. Yes, I'm smiling...but I was between contractions :)
December 14, 2013 (Saturday...THE BIG DAY...I'm totally going to cry as I type this):
I started having contractions early in the morning. They were different from the day before...tighter and with cramping. Even though I wasn't in pain at the time, I knew this was the day :) I was going to get to meet my Baby Boo!!! With that in mind, I knew I needed to put the Pack n Play together. I was able to finish most of it before I needed to start my brownies and Mac n Cheese (our pastor and Jimmy's mom, step dad, and step bro were coming over to hang out and change our pastor's brake pads...we decided to make a lunch date of the event). Looking back on this, I am so thankful we were busy this particular morning because it helped to take my mind off of what was going on.
As the day went on, the contractions became stronger and closer together. This entire time, I was writing down the times the contractions began so that I'd know when they were 5 minutes apart. As lunch time approached, they became strong enough that I had to stop whatever I was doing and focus for that few seconds. I would be mid conversation and have to pause. It was actually quite entertaining for my audience :) I'm also not quite sure how uncomfortable I was making my pastor and the other men in the house! I wonder what they were thinking as all of this was going on...maybe they weren't thinking anything at all. Everyone left and that's when reality hit Jimmy and me...we were about to have our baby!
Jimmy packed up the car and made arrangements for a replacement for his role in our church's Christmas show (he was the drummer for the show and had to be at church for two showings and one rehearsal the next day). His brother graciously said he'd do it for Jimmy if we were still in labor. (In case you wondered, he was able to attend church the next day, solo, of course, and play drums in the show). We then called our amazing friend, Jenny, to take our dogs for us. She came over about the time I was ready to go to the hospital and stayed with me and the dogs while Jimmy brought his drum equipment to our worship pastor. When he arrived home, I used my serious voice to let him know "IT IS TIME!"
*Side note: This last paragraph describes the time period between about 430 and 6 pm. The contractions were very strong at this point. They were painful but tolerable. The only way I could get comfortable between contractions was to lay on my side with a pillow between my knees...no more baking for me! I just had to really focus and breathe through each one. At this point, I HATED the clock because I knew when each contraction was about to start and I dreaded it!
We arrived at the hospital sometime between 630 and 645 pm and Jimmy insists that he push me up in a wheelchair but, of course, I thought that was rubbish and told him I wanted to walk. We get to the second floor of St. Ann's, check in, and I head to the triage room to strip down and get ready for the rest of my marathon. They attached me to the monitors to make sure Baby Boo and I were ok and checked my dilation. I was so nervous about this because I didn't want it to discourage me if it was a low number. After checking, the nurse said I was 6 cm!!! I'm pretty sure I verbally yelled out "YESSSS!" and actually held the "s" sound for a long time! They asked me at this point if I wanted an epidural...I let out a big fat "No, thank you" and went about business. I stayed in triage long enough for them to get a labor and delivery room prepared for me. While waiting, Jimmy put on some worship music to help us get focused and to know that The Lord was with us. He played "In Christ Alone" which is one of my favorites...I'm pretty sure I started balling my eyes out. At this point, it was so painful but I was so focused that it wasn't an issue (keep in mind, my amazing husband was coaching me through each contraction with perfection).
This is maybe 1/3 of the L&D room.
Cheryl and me between contractions...let's do this!
We get into labor and delivery (not sure what time it was at this point because I was hard at work) and things continue to progress...and quickly. My amazing nurse, Cheryl, checked me and I had reached 8 cm! Yessss! I was still in the condition that all I could do was lay on my side with the pillow between my knees. We labored mostly at home so I didn't get to take advantage of the HUGE room or the nice tub. Unfortunately, they thought it best for me to stay hooked up to the monitor the whole time because they baby's vitals weren't quite where they wanted them to be to take the monitor off. The monitors sucked but it was worth keeping an eye on Baby Boo. The only thing you need to know at this point is that it's VERY painful and contractions feel like hell BUT those moments in between contractions were awesome and I was able to carry on partial conversations with my nurse and hubby (I seriously can't brag enough about Jimmy and Cheryl...they were such a great team and the best support).
Here's my next time reference, which I got from Cheryl, and it begins the description of the rest of my experience in labor and delivery. At 836 pm (remember, I've been at the hospital only 2 hours or less), my water broke...or, in my mind, BURSTED LIKE A WATER BALLOON! This meant two things: Baby Boo should be here soon (smiley face) and contractions would only get worse (frowny face). AND THEY DID. OMG. This was definitely transition phase for me because I remember saying out loud "I can't do this anymore!" The nurse checked my cervix just after my water broke but wouldn't tell me where I was at because she wanted me to focus on not pushing (I felt like I needed to poop but wasn't quite ready to push yet). She called the on call doctor to get to the hospital (he was about 20 minutes away) and I overheard her say I was a +2 station. I knew what that meant and I knew Baby Boo was coming. YESSSS!
Dr. T (my doc wasn't on call) was there just in time for me to start pushing the baby out. I was screaming but not like the scream in scary movies...more like a low grunting scream. Even though I knew I needed to curl up during the pushing, my automatic reaction was to straighten my entire body. I really needed the staff to coach me through this part...and they did. Besides how hard pushing was, I remember them getting Jimmy into the whole process. They had him watching and educated him through the whole thing...told him everything that was happening. Although I had no interest in seeing what was going on down there, I wish I could have seen my husband's reaction to what was happening. He said it was so amazing. I can't describe the pushing phase as painful but it was hard. I can't even say the actually baby coming out part was super painful...maybe because I was so focused on pushing.
And then, 913 pm arrived, and my baby was delivered! I only pushed 20-25 minutes! Yay! My unmedicated birth plan came true!!! It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but I was never concerned or scared. Nuff said. When they announced it was a boy, my first thought was "Thank goodness, I don't have to figure out how I want to spell the girl's name." At this point, I had some skin to skin action with my boy, Jimmy cut the cord, I "delivered" my placenta, and I probably cried the entire time because I was so happy about the result of our hard work. The only problem we had is that Baby James' temperature was a little to low so they asked me to do a little more skin to skin time before letting daddy hold him.
My little man :) I never dreamed my child would be this small considering I was a 10 lb. fatty!
I think that pretty much covers it but you are welcome to ask any questions about the experience.
Without further ado, I present to you our Baby James:
Born at 913 pm at St. Ann's Hospital. 6 lbs. 8 oz., 18 inches long.
P.S. The hospital experience was amazing. The staff was awesome and I have no complaints about my experience at St. Ann's. Without listing every person, I would like to thank everyone who visited us at the hospital and at home so far, provided gifts and food, and those who are sending sweet messages to us. We appreciate you all!!!