It's taken me a while to write this because I wasn't really sure how to go about doing so. I want to remember each moment of that crazy day. And to be honest, it's just really hard to believe it's over. As I sit here and write this, tears form because although it was completely unexpected and took us by surprise, it was a magical day. I can honestly say that.
We went into the whole thing without a birth plan. I can't believe the Type A in me allowed this to happen, but believe it or not, we did that on purpose. I just didn't want to place any expectations on this experience that might leave me disappointed down the road. I was hoping to have a natural birth, but open to an epidural. I hoped to deliver vaginally, but was willing to have a C-section the minute doctors said it was necessary. No expectations. No disappointments.
I woke up on December 12 around 5:30 in the morning before my alarm with the urge to go to the bathroom - not abnormal at this point in my pregnancy (35 weeks). Upon using the bathroom I realized that my water had broke...or at least I thought it broke.
So, doing what any sensible person would do, I called my mom. Very calmly I told her I thought my water might be broken and asked her if she thought I might be right. Mom isn't a doctor, or a nurse, or in the medical field so, of course, she didn't know for sure. So, we decided I should get ready for work, call my doctor's office when it opened, and take it from there. At this point, I didn't even wake my husband to tell him.
I did take a nice, long, hot shower just in case this was the real deal. As I continued to get ready for the day it was pretty much confirmed that yes, in fact, my water was broken. I told Justin (who thought I was exaggerating!) and decided I would drive to work, call the doctor, and leave from there if need be. Around 7:00 when I should have been leaving for work, I started cramping and decided to call my principal and explain the situation and let her know I would be late. I had decided to call the doctor from home since home was closer than work. All the while expecting to go in late.
I really can't believe how calm I was looking back on all this...
My husband went on to work, but promised to keep his phone nearby and I completely nested in about 45 minutes flat. Laundry, dishes, registering for the hospital, packing bag for me and baby and hubby...it all happened that fast. Finally, my doctor's office was open so I could call. The nurses exact words to me, "Honey, you need to get to the hospital now."
The urgency in her voice made everything very real.
I called Justin, he came home, we packed up and I was admitted to the hospital by 9:30 a.m. The whole time he kept asking the nurses, "So, we're having a baby? TODAY?" It was so surreal.
We called our parents and grandparents letting them know what was going on and a few hours later, my contractions were becoming pretty intense. Since there was no way to be sure when my water had broken, I was put on Pitocin as soon as we got to the room to speed things up.
By 6:00, my contractions were so intense that my body was physically responding to them by violently shaking. Apparently when it comes to fight or flight, my body fights. At this point, I was 6cm dilated and only 40% effaced. I started to become concerned that in another 12 hours of violent shaking and contractions, I wouldn't have the energy to push so we decided it was time for me to get the epidural to give my body a break.
Epidurals take a while once ordered so I didn't actually get mine until about 6:45 p.m. Once I had the epidural, it was amazing how quickly everything calmed down allowing my body to do what it needed to do and within an hour I had gone from 6cm to 9cm.
Another nurse was in the room checking my stats and I asked her if she could help me get up to go to the bathroom. (I felt like I might just poop the bed if I didn't...tmi I know.) She informed me that that feeling was actually my body telling me it was time to push. Maybe I would have learned that had we been able to attend the classes we signed up for before then?
By 8:15 p.m. I was pushing. The doctor coached me like she was on the sidelines (if you know me, you know this was the best way for this to happen) and by 9:22 p.m. CT was here!
As soon as we were admitted to the hospital, the staff warned us that CT might need to go back to the NICU since he was 5 weeks early. They warned us that if he wasn't crying enough, his lungs may not have been fully developed and prepared us in the event that we couldn't do immediate skin-to-skin contact (which was important to both of us.) Fortunately, he started crying almost immediately after being born and looked great. As I was doing skin-to-skin we had to keep flicking his foot to keep him crying to help clear his lungs.
It has not gone unnoticed how blessed we are that we have a healthy baby boy.
It was single-handedly the best, hardest, most exciting, invigorating, scary day of my life. Justin was amazing as he stood by me, holding my hand, coaching me along, and taking care of me. I feel so blessed to have the experience I had and to have such an amazing, healthy family.
Most preemies (in our case Carson is considered a late-term preemie) are not able to leave the hospital for at least four days. Our little guy was a rockstar and after just two days (the norm), we packed up our family and headed home.