*I'm sorry this has taken me so long, I've been working on it off and on for the last month. With everything going on, I just didn't have time to finish it until now. I hope you enjoy it. It's pretty detailed, because I think a lot of the process is very interesting, so read on at your own risk. :) It's really not that bad, I just talk a bit about water breaking and whatnot. Your choice.*
So on Saturday, January 30, I was not planning on having a baby. The baby wasn't due for another 2 1/2 weeks, and honestly, I figured I'd go into labor the following Monday when they stripped my membranes at my 38 week appointment. I'd spent the morning at a warehouse sale with my sisters-in-law and hanging out at one of their houses, where I'd left my phone on accident. I figured I'd just get it the next day at Cory's parent's house, so I wasn't too worried about it.
When we got home from the morning's play, Cory decided to go to his office to get some work done. I pointed out that I didn't have my phone, so I wouldn't be able to call him if anything happened, but he was quick to reassure me that as soon as he got to his office, he'd get online, so I could chat with him if I needed to. At this point, I was planning on im-ing him as soon as he got online, saying my water had broken and he'd need to come home.. as a joke. Fortunately for Cory, I got distracted by the girls, and forgot. :)
Around 4:00ish pm, the baby was pretty active, kicking and moving really hard. As she kicked me especially hard repeatedly in one spot, I wondered, as I had many times throughout the pregnancy, if a baby could kick or punch their way out of the amniotic sack. I pushed the thought out of my mind and continued what I was doing (probably browsing the internet for more baby project ideas...). Around 4:30 it hit me that I needed to use the bathroom, so I got up and headed that direction, when Breanne stopped me to get her a drink. At that point, I felt my body leak a little bit. Embarrassed, I hurried to the bathroom, went to the bathroom, and headed into my room to change my clothes. And then I leaked again. I thought it was weird, went to the bathroom again, and then leaked again. At this point, I im-ed Cory, telling him that I thought my water may have broken, but I really wasn't sure. (I now know that the majority of water breaks are similar to my experience--just a little leak in the bag that lets out a little water at a time). We chatted for a few minutes, at which point Cory became convinced my water had broken, but I still wasn't sure (and who wants to get sent home for not being able to control their bladder, honestly?). Cory spent the next hour and a half trying to convince me to go to the hospital, and we finally did around 6:00 (after finally chatting with the doctor about what was going on and him suggesting that I most likely needed to be at the hospital at that point).
When we got to the hospital, they put a contraction monitor and a baby-heart-beat monitor on me, and then needed to test my leaking fluid to make sure it was actually my water leaking. They have two tests for this--the first is pretty instantaneous, and involves using a pH strip to check the acidity of the fluid. If it turns blue, it's amniotic fluid. Mine was pretty much immediately a dark dark purpley blue. To double check, they did a second test, which involves taking a swab of the fluid, putting it on a slide, letting it dry, and looking at it under a microscope. If it's amniotic fluid, when it dries, it looks like ferns. This process is called ferning... very creative, right? So they did this test, and of course, it came back positive too--since I was over 37 weeks, I was definitely having a baby.
So I cried. Just a little. About the excitement of being at that point, about having a new baby, about not being quite ready, about worrying how delivery was going to go... all of it. Once I got that out of my system, I was ok, and ready-ish for what was ahead. :)
So at this point it was around 7:30pm, I think. I'm a strep B carrier, so they started my antibiotics immediately, in hopes of getting two bags of them in me, which takes just over 4 hours. I was concerned about this, as when I had Janey, I was in labor less than 4 hours, but since the nurses were aware of that this time, they tried harder to make me progress slower. Once the first bag was pretty much in (I think?) they started me on a small dose of pitocin, to get my contractions moving. I'd been contracting fairly consistently the entire time I'd been in the hospital, but not enough to get much done. They were able to get all the antibiotics in, and by 11:30, they had upped my pitocin several times, and it was at the maximum dose. My contractions were starting to get seriously painful, so at this point I got my epidural. I was still stuck somewhere around a 3, but with the increased contractions, I was hopeful for progress.
At about 1:15, my body was starting to hurt more, so after my nurse came in and checked me (only at a 3 1/2), I tried to go to sleep. At 1:45, I woke up feeling more pressure, so I asked a nurse to come in and check me. The girl that came in wasn't my nurse, but she checked me anyway, still only at a 4. At this point Cory asked if he had time to go get something to eat (it'd been several hours since we'd eaten at this point, and we were both hungry, though I couldn't eat anything but ice chips. The nurse told him he had plenty of time, we joked about how he almost missed Janey's birth because he was at the cafeteria, and he and my dad left to go downstairs to get something to eat. My mom and I both tried again to sleep, but about 20 minutes later I started to feel a LOT of pressure. My nurse just happened to pop her head in the door at that point, and I asked her to check me again. She started to say something about how I'd just been checked and she'd check me again in a while. This was not flying with me--I felt like I was pushing out a baby at that point, even though I had my epidural. So I told her I needed to be checked again, period. So she did. And I was at a 10, 100% effaced.
At this point it was about 2:15 in the morning, and my doctor was at home. So I called Cory (conversation went like this: (ringing, then answering) Him: hey, so you at a 10? me: yep. him: ok, see you in a minute! (click)), the nurses got ahold of the doctor, and then started prepping. The entire time they were prepping, I had to keep asking to make sure I hadn't pushed the baby out already, it felt so much like she was coming. Finally, 20 minutes later, Cory was back, the doctor was there, and everything was ready. It was 2:35 in the morning at this point.
Once the doctor was in position, we waited for the beginning of my next contraction. When it hit, he had me push through about a half a contraction. He (I guess) wanted to readjust at that point, though, and said "Ok, stop... no, stop! What is your hurry baby?" and with that, Cailin was out!!! That's right, 1/2 a push, and I had a baby. No wonder I thought she was coming out on her own--my body was ready, and so was she.
And she was beautiful, just like her sisters. Probably my most vernix-y baby, but that makes sense, as she was 2 1/2 weeks early. She was born at 2:37 am. The nurses and Cory were chatting about how much they thought she weighed, and how long she was. Cory guessed that she was 8 lbs and 18 inches, but the nurses seemed to think she was longer than that, so Cory changed his guess to 18.5 inches. When they weighed her, she was 7 lbs 15.4 ounces (so really just .1 ounce off being considered 8 lbs), and 18.5 inches. As a reminder, Breanne and Janey were each 8 lbs, Breanne was 18.5 inches, Janey 18. What can I say, I'm consistent. :) The nurses joked that they just shouldn't have wiped her off so well, so she'd have been the full 8 lbs.
The nurses couldn't seem to get over how fast she came, and joked that I was "born to birth" and should have millions of babies. I don't know about millions, but I'm certainly glad I've had my 3. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such great pregnancies, and now deliveries as well. Even more than that, though, I'm so grateful to be trusted with my three girls--I know that I am far from a perfect mother, but I am so lucky to have the chance to raise my girls. I can't imagine trusting someone else enough to raise my kids--my Heavenly Father must have a lot of faith in me to give me His children. I just hope I can raise them in a manner pleasing to Him, that they will come out ok despite my shortcomings. And I know they will.