Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Abigail's Birth

We made it to 39 weeks with just a handful of contractions since we stopped the medication at 37 weeks. The day we went into labor, I hadn't had any contractions at all!

It was a Sunday night, November 17th. Brian had just left with Sophia to pick up our weekly pizza for an easy dinner. I was upstairs cleaning scrubbing baseboards.....feverishly. I'd started to have these shocking pains that lasted only seconds during the weeks leading up to labor. The doctors had told us that they didn't think it was anything since I wasn't dilating, but it must have been something and I was bound and determined to get my water to break just so I didn't have to experience any more unnamed pains. And it did at 5:45pm!

I waited until Brian had returned and served up the pizza before sharing the exciting news. I ate two slices and I think he choked down about a half of one. We waited for our wonderful neighbor to come over to watch Sophia and called up to the hospital to reserve our room! (The labor and delivery nurses had told us that when we were FINALLY ready for the real-deal to call up and they'd give us something fancier than the triage room I'd spent hours in during all the pre-term labor.)

We got to the hospital around 7pm. I was expecting to be further along than 2cm, but there we were....and with very few contractions. By 9pm, I was only at 4cm and beginning to think that this labor would be completely different than Sophia's. Contractions were 4 minutes apart but not very painful. And then out of nowhere, they sped up to 2 minutes and doubled in intensity. The change on the monitor was so wild. I asked for my little cocktail of Phenergan and Stadol, and the next thing I remember was hearing the doctor come in.

Dr. Cowart arrived around 11:15pm. He shook hands with everyone, checked me (I was at 9.5cm), and told everyone that it would probably be soon and that he wouldn't go far - only to the nurses' station. As he was walking out the door, I remember hearing my nurse, Nancy, yell in a panicked voice, "Doctor?!" I was having a contraction, and apparently pushing. Abigail was crowning. According to Brian, the room wasn't set up for the delivery yet. Nurses started throwing down plastic sheeting and Dr. Cowart told Brian to hold my leg. Poor guys didn't have a chance! Both Brian and Dr. Cowart were in a state of surprise and probably shock. Abigail was born at 11:22pm. The medication made me incredibly drowsy, so I had a hard time keeping my eyes open long enough to shake hands and snap a picture with Dr. Cowart after Abby was born.

Eventually, our room returned to its library-esque state with lights dimmed and hushed voices. She slept like a champ that first night! It was nice giving birth after visiting hours were over and having almost 9 hours to prepare for the on-slaught of non-essential hospital personnel (i.e., newspaper deliverer-ers and coffee getters).

Monday night, my sister, Lindsay, was able to join us. She flew down from Ohio so that Brian could get a decent night's rest before our return home on Tuesday. It was such a blessing to have my very own nurse attending myself and the newest member of our family. I know the couch wasn't comfortable and Abigail was definitely up to eat every 2 hours that second night, but Lindsay was fantastic. She was able to help out with Sophia too when it was time for us to all make the trip home from the hospital. Thank you, Lindsay, for dropping everything, including your own hospital shifts, to support our newest addition! You're the best sister a girl could have!

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