My due date was December 10, which came and went as uneventfully as if no one was sitting on pins and needles waiting for a baby's arrival. My sweet mother arrived that evening
I had an appointment with the midwife at 8:30 that morning, so at 7:45 a.m., my mom, the girls and I were all out the door. Since I was now past my due date, I had to have a non-stress test done. While I sat, strapped down and monitored, my midwife stopped in and offered me some hot tea, apologizing that she couldn't offer me a pitocin cocktail. We laughed together, but she did offer to do a thorough exam and hopefully jumpstart some contractions. After the exam, she said that I was 3 cm dilated, but that she had probably pushed me to 4 cm. She sent me on my way, jokingly adding that she was on call that weekend. As we walked out into the parking lot a few minutes later, I felt a contraction and then another. They were about three minutes apart, so I told my mom that maybe we'll have a baby today.
Since we were close to a Jo-Ann's, I asked my mom if she would mind if we stopped in so I could feed my crochet addiction with more yarn. However, the contractions continued, and my mom asked me if I was sure that I wanted to go. "Of course!" I replied. I planned to labor at home as long as possible anyways, so I figured if this were the real deal, we could go somewhere and get my mind off the contractions. As we walked in the store about 10:00, I told my mom I had to go to the bathroom, but I'd meet her in the yarn department. I began to feel very no-nonsense like, so as soon as I finished in the bathroom, I bee-lined for the yarn, picked it out, and headed for the check-out line, but not before I felt the need to go to the bathroom again. At this point, I needed to stop and concentrate to get through the contractions. My mom started getting a little nervous, so we checked out directly and headed home. About this time, I decided that we were past the point of no return and labor was definitely progressing.
As we drove the half-hour ride to our home, I called Ben to come home from work. I began to make the mandatory calls to those who needed to know that labor had started, but by then (around 10:30), I was deep breathing through the contractions, so the phone calls were abbreviated. We arrived home, and my mom ran in to get the girls' overnight bag to take to our pastor's house. She left me at home and ran the girls to the Royalty's house, where they were staying. In the meanwhile, Ben got home and quickly transitioned into his "awesome labor coach" role. About the only thing I remember saying to Ben at that time was, "If this baby arrives today on 12-12-12, then I get Anne with an E!" We both liked the name Anne, but Ben preferred it without an "e". I figured I'd better get my dibs in right away.
|Sharing the news and savoring the moment|
My mom had never driven the 25-minute route to the hospital before, so Ben was trying to tell her how to get there from the back of the van as well as help me get through these monstrous contractions. It wasn't a good combination. I was kneeling on the floor of the van with my head buried in the back seat, moaning not-so-quietly through each contraction. I wasn't being very nice by this time. I remember snapping at Ben, "Quit sitting down!" I wanted him to kneel behind me, so that he was ready to push when my next contraction came. I also started pushing a leetle bit, because it felt so much better. But I wasn't about to tell my mom or Ben that, as I had a feeling they might not be too excited to hear that. Neither of them had studied up on home delivery as far as I knew.
We arrived at the hospital, where a wheelchair magically appeared. They wheeled me over to the admittance desk and started the preliminary questions. As I began to moan...ok, yell, they asked what number baby this was. I yelled, "Three!" and they quickly had a nurse come to wheel me to the labor floor, leaving Ben to finish answering questions. I just wanted Ben, and the nurse insisted he would be with us soon. I remember her repeatedly telling me to sit back or I would fall off the chair. I didn't listen or care. We got to the room and she immediately checked my dilation. I was 8 cm, almost 9. I was shocked to hear I was that far along. I still wanted an epidural though, thinking I still had a while before this baby arrived. Everybody else thought differently, and the room began to buzz with activity.
|All dressed up to go home|
Honestly, pushing has always been an awkward phase of labor for me. I mean, who ever thought telling a hugely pregnant woman in outrageous pain with a monitor or two strapped to her stomach to "roll up in a ball, grab your legs behind the knees and push!" obviously has never been in that position before. It is impossibly uncomfortable and never feels right to me. I pushed a few times, but I was a little half-hearted because I was just not with it. I was overwhelmed with the contractions and the speed with which everything was happening. My mom, Ben, and the nurses were all telling me, "C'mon, you're doing it, push harder, keep going..." After three or so pushes, Colleen said, "All right, if you don't push this baby out with the next contraction, we're going to have to insert the IV and do something different." At that point, I suddenly realized that the baby must be right there, and avoiding an IV was incentive enough for me. With the next contraction, I pushed with every ounce of my body. I remember Colleen telling me, "Little pushes, April, little push, little push." And then she was born. Her cord was wrapped around her neck, so they unwrapped it, and the rest of her body came out easily after that.
|An alien? Nope, just a blue little baby. She pinked up a little while later.|
Deborah Anne was born on December 12, 2012 (12-12-12!) at 2:07 p.m. We are calling her Anne. She weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 inches long.