I had plans today. not big plans, but plans of laundry, plans of finding a home for this and sewing the last of that. plans of finding and cleaning coordinating outfits for my children to wear when they met their new sister. but, someone had other plans. bigger plans.
last night, after going to a consignment sale, I started having contractions. they weren't big contractions, but they were real contractions. since I was induced with the first three, I know what contractions feel like, but my body has never been the one to get things started. I told josh that this might be the real deal, so we decided to get some rest.
at 2 am I woke up to go to the bathroom. it was then that I lost my mucus plug. (i know, too much information.) once again, it was the first time, so after a google search, we determined this was further validation that we might be on our way. we googled other things including how to time contractions. (seriously. because we have never had a reason to know before.) I had asked my doctor for a refresher, but since we were scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, she was kind of vague and i was kind of skeptical. so, we went back to sleep. by the time our children began to wake up for school, we seemed to be on a regular path so I started timing the contractions on my phone. miller informed us at breakfast he was going to tell his class that his sister was coming. we hadn't told them I was having contractions because we weren't sure ourselves what was going on.
by the time josh arrived home from drop off, they were a consistent 7-8 minutes apart. I called my parents so they could head over at some point, started packing a bag and jumped in the shower. josh thought I was crazy for thinking shaving my legs and painting my toenails were priorities. um, hello? everyone is going to see them. (and, someone even commented on my painted toes when they placed my leg in the stirrup.)
my parents arrived promptly as my mother was afraid my water would break. we spent the next three hours talking and doing last minute things as we timed my contractions. by 11:30 am, my contractions were 5-6 minutes apart sitting, but 2-3 minutes apart if I was moving around. after much discussion, we decided to go ahead and go to the hospital as we weren't sure what to expect. since the hospital is only minutes away, we arrived just before noon. after getting checked in and taken back to a room, they started monitoring my contractions and the baby and checked me. I was at 5 cm and almost fully effaced. I tried to fill in the nurse on my past pregnancies so she would understand that I needed a doctor to check on me soon. my doctor was not at my hospital today. the nurse went to find out who at my practice would be responsible for delivery while several different nurses came in to do a variety of medical things before they settled on who would be my nurse for the remainder of the shift. we filled in the new nurse who really didn't seem to believe us that I would probably deliver before the end of her shift. I convinced her to check me again at 1:45 pm. she informed me they usually only check patients every 2 hours and surely the doctor would arrive soon, but she checked me anyway. I was at 8 cm with a bulging bag of water. she said she could feel the baby's head right on the other side. with a mild look of shock, she hurried out of the room to find out what was keeping the doctor. it turned out, the doctor to deliver was the only doctor in the practice I had seen during my pregnancy other than my normal doctor. he had been communicating with my doctor and came in well aware of my past deliveries. at 2 pm, after verifying i was positive i didn't want an epidural, he broke my water and waited two minutes for the nurse to check my status. I was at 9 cm so he ran upstairs to do a circumscion, but took most of his garb to put on in the elevator just in case. he said if he was taking too long to text him and he would run down. as expected, my contractions became stronger. we were literally waiting for him to return to deliver as they were sure I would be ready by then. the nurses switched off for the next shift. our new nurse had requested us because josh had photographed her wedding a few years earlier. at this point, I was ready. I thought this had to be the longest circumscion in history. I convinced her to check me so she would know i was complete and would let the doctor know so we could get this baby out. she saw my pain and texted him. the doctor literally sprinted off the elevator, finished dressing and stood waiting for me to be finished being prepped. after being put in the typical labor position, I began pushing. each time i forget how unnatural that position feels until i am in it again. and, it really doesn't help when you are trying to push through crazy pain. burning pain. pain that makes you want to quit or hurry up and get it done. it took three rounds of pushing in which they kept telling me how large her head looked (not helping). the doctor guestimated her weight at 8 and a half pounds based on her head. i felt like i was getting no where until they pointed out her head and i could see it. after the third set of pushes, they laid her on my chest. while we were getting cleaned up, josh was reminded to take pictures thanks to our nurse. (already our fourth child-she'll be lucky if there is any photographic evidence of her childhood!)
we stayed at the hospital until the baby was 24 hours old so they could perform her pku test. and, then, we headed home to adjust to our new normal as a family of six.