September 28, 2014

Hattie's birth story . . . part 1

I should be sleeping right now.  Right?  I have four kids, a job, a business to run and I moved into a new house last month.  Oh, and a newborn.  So sleep is what I should be doing.  I'm well aware.

But it's been more than a month since Hattie's arrival and I've written nothing about it.  Or about her.  This leaves me feeling a little bit guilty, but mostly sad.  These days have been no less meaningful than the days after her brothers and sister were born.  I'm as in love with her as I was her siblings.  Isn't that amazing?  That having more children divides my time by 4, but multiplies my love by 4,000?  She is so precious.  That said, my blogging time is still much less available.

If nothing else, I do need to tell about her birth day.  The details are already starting to get foggy - something I didn't think would be possible.  But I won't get ahead of myself . . .

This is going to be detailed, because it's for me more than anyone else.  I want to remember.  Her story isn't all that dramatic or unusual, but it's significant to me.  Delivering her into this world was just as life changing and important as it was the first three times I did it.

So here we go . . . on Monday, the 25th, I did something to my back that made it really, really hard to stand up straight.  It felt like I'd pinched a nerve in my back and I was kind of hunched as I walked for the first 10 - 15 steps after I stood up.  In retrospect, I think the baby had just dropped.  Even so, Kyle and I decided that we needed to go furniture shopping.  Our old furniture in our new house just wasn't working, and we'd had it for 10 years.  It was time.  We'd tried to go once before with the kids along, but I just couldn't focus.  Imagine that.  So this time it was just the two of us.

The salesman made me want to walk out the door from the moment I walked in.  He glanced at my swollen belly and said, "WHOA!  Shouldn't you be home?  Wow!  I can't believe it!"  Literally those words, with a level of shock in his voice that was . . . well, it was weird.  Apparently he'd never seen a pregnant woman before.

I share that story, because it kind of sums up the last 4 months of my pregnancy.  Starting in June, people said things about my appearance that were so rude and offensive.  I get it . . . I don't carry babies gracefully.  I get huge and swollen.  But it's not like I'm a tiny person to begin with.  I just don't understand why people feel that it's not offensive to make comments like that to pregnant women.  Ok, I'm done with that.

We didn't find furniture and I wasn't really in a decision-making mood because of the back pain.  I went to bed that night with what felt like a pinched nerve in my back, and no decisions on furniture.

I'd only been sleeping 2- 3 hours each night because of the pain from carpal tunnel (something I'm still dealing with pretty severely), so it wasn't a surprise when I woke up around 3. I went to the bathroom and noticed that my pants were damp.  I wondered for a moment if my water had broken.  I wasn't having any gushing and the bed wasn't soaked.  My pants were just damp.  I wondered if I was just thinning out . . . if you've had babies, you know how that goes. 

I went to the living room and sat down and thought about how if she came that day, she'd arrive on her actual due date AND share a birthday with her dad.  HER DAD!  It was Kyle's birthday.  I had no big breakfast planned and no gift.  As I was trying to think through what I should do for him, I realized that I had leaked through again.   So, I went to the bedroom and said, "Happy birthday, Kyle.  I'm calling triage."  Because really?  Who can top the gift of your wife pushing out a baby on your birthday?  No one . . . that's who.

I spent that morning cutting vinyl letters for over the girls' beds.

So I called triage and the midwife on call wanted me to come in, but I told her I'd wait it out.  The one thing I did NOT want was to sit at the hospital waiting for labor to begin.  That happened with Jack and Claire and it was not fun.  Bennett's labor and delivery was my favorite and I really, really wanted it to go like that.  I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and then head to the hospital.  And I wasn't even 100% sure if my water had broken.  After all, maybe I'd just wet my pants. She reluctantly agreed as long as I was still feeling good movement from the baby.  About an hour later, I had my first contraction. 

The (very early) morning of the 26th
Contractions were weird and very sporadic.  Nothing really time-able.  Nonetheless, we decided to head to the hospital just to be checked, but not before another walk through at the furniture store.  We took the kids to camp to hang out with Kendra for the morning and arranged for Kyle's mom to pick them up at lunch.  Then we came home and did things like, you know, pack our bags, take the car seat out of the box,etc.  All of the things that one should do long before her due date.  But let me remind you. . . we'd moved into our house (from a trailer) two weeks earlier and were literally living out of boxes.

We packed up and headed out.  We hit the furniture store, Target and then sat down to eat a birthday lunch at Outback.  I was having contractions every 15 - 20 minutes at that point, but when we started eating, they were coming every 5 - 6 minutes.  I made a comment that I wasn't sure that we'd make it through lunch.  As soon as the words left my mouth, the contractions stopped.

When we got to the hospital, the contractions were back to being sporadic, I was just barely dilated, and the test to find out whether my water was broken was inconclusive.  I was pretty sure she'd send me home.  However, my midwife did an ultrasound and found that my fluid was low, so either my water had broken, or my placenta wasn't doing it's job.  It was around 4:00 PM that they decided to keep me.

I started balling.  I was being admitted and labor wasn't really progressing.  This was the opposite of what I wanted to happen.  I just wanted to go home and wait.  I wanted to put my kids to bed, and keep unpacking boxes until the baby was ready to come.  Around that time there was a huge storm rolling through and there were announcements that we were under some sort of warning.  I barely remember it because I was so enthralled in my little pity party.

To be continued . . .

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