(January 24, 2006)The night before I gave birth, we delivered potato soup to Valerie and T.H.--Amelia was born and our Bunco group took turns delivering meals. On our way home, The Cooks and The Colemans went to Rosie's to have a fajita dinner.
(Here's Baby Amelia that night.)We came home, business as usual, and went to bed. During the night I woke up to use the restroom (which is unusual for me, even during pregnancy), went back to bed, and thought I hadn't finished using the restroom. Am I still going? Am I asleep? What's going on? I went back to the restroom "to finish" and woke Russ up. What is wrong with me?
I always had visions of my water breaking as this enormous gush of water. Mine trickled for hours. Yuck.
We were still two weeks away from our due date (of Feb.8), so I wasn't really thinking I was having a baby, really. Concerned? Yes, and still trickling.
(Last belly pic before delivery, taken early January. I gained about 50 pounds during pregnancy.)
I was wide awake, so was Russ. I started having what felt like cramps--menstrual cycle cramps. I called Tina in the middle of the night to ask her what was going on, if I needed to go to the hospital, call the doctor, etc. I didn't want to go to the hospital for false labor pains like she had done--we were in Round Rock and I didn't want to go to 45th street and back home.
I'm freaking out because I haven't finished my sub plans for maternity leave. I have to go to work, to get ready to be out. I called Dr. Akin and talked to an answering service--then he called me--the actual doctor, I was shocked. He informed me that I wasn't going to work that day and said to start timing those pains and see what happens, and that he might see me later at the hospital.
We never really went back to sleep, but I still had pains--they got closer together, then further apart, so we thought it was false labor. Then closer together again.....we called Judy, the best nurse in the world. She said to come in to the office and she'd take a look.
We didn't rush--took a shower, I shaved my legs, just in case, and we got our stuff together, etc.
Headed to the hospital in Russ' truck, still dripping, I was mortified. The pains actually worsened on the way and I was really thinking this could be the day at this point. Russ said, "We're having a baby today!" That was so exciting (and scary) at the same time.
We arrived at Dr. Akin's office, went right in and Judy said I was dialated to over 4 cm already. She added that I may be able to make it without an epidural. (Thanks, for thinking about me, but I'll pass.) She escorted me out the back door (drip, drip, drip) and we went straight upstairs to check in to a room. I remember standing there while Russ was checking me in and it hurt. Bad cramps hurt, not like I'd imagined these pains to be. I imagined the worst thing ever. It wasn't.
We got in the room and settled in and made bunches of phone calls to let people know what was going on. I couldn't have my epidural until they had a backup vein ready to go. That took hours. They tried my arms 20 times--no exaggeration. They tried my wrist 10 times--nothing. They had 3 or 4 different people try to find a dang vein. Enough already!! They discussed checking my ankle for a vein but we ended up in my neck--the jugular! I'd never really had any trouble having blood taken, so this was drama. Finally, I could receive the epidural. It was over an hour after checking in. Maybe two.
The epidural....I was scared of getting it. I'm so glad I couldn't see it. I squeezed Russ's arm to death and was terrified to move. I don't remember much about that part--I think I was terrified.
Russ, Mom, Tina, and Ashley were with me at this point. We were all hanging out in the room. Eventually, Thomas and Karol, Robbye, The Colemans, The Harris', The Carters, The Rokohls (drove from Orange Grove), and Cindy and Shayne arrived. It was fun having such a big group in there, it was like what was happening wasn't really happening. I had friendly distractions! I wasn't as "afraid" I think. If I had time to recall how honestly terrified of giving birth I really was, it could've been bad.
Everyone left when the contractions finally started coming faster, probably around 10:00 (I'm guessing). Russ had to stay. Tina stayed--she was our photographer. Dr. Akin had worked late the night before and came by to check on me a few times, but would be off duty for delivery.
I don't think I pushed that long, really. I wanted to give up though, I remember thinking--oh well, I'll just have a c-section, that's fine. (Dr. Akin had warned me that I might have a large baby because I carried so much fluid. He predicted 10 pounds or more. I wish he'd kept that thought to himself, honestly. I worried long and hard about it.) One nurse got up in my face and said I was so close and didn't want to have a c-section. She motivated me to keep going and I did. Push....2.....3.....4.....5!!!
Riley arrived at 11:59 on January 25, 2006. One minute before January 26th. That was so cool to Russ and I for some reason. He weighed 6 pounds and 13 ounces (thank goodness the doctor was wrong this time)!
They gave us a little time with Riley and then everyone came back into the room. It was fantastic, honestly. You never know how you're going to react to all of those people, but it didn't bother me a bit--I was so glad they were all there:
Russ, Mom, Thomas, Karol, Robbye, John, Kim, Jackie, Robbye, Tina, Ashley, Mike, Molly, Maddie, Susan, Craig, Johnny, Seleta, Cindy, and Shayne. That's 21 folks, including me. Don't forget the hospital staff--a few fabulous nurses and a doctor I'd never met.
Everyone stayed until Riley was actually here--much later than any of us expected. It was 3 hours shy of a 24 hour experience from water breaking to having that sweet baby in my arms.
Shayne and Cindy were so thoughtful to bring a bottle of champagne and some glasses. Everyone had a celebratory sip--except me, of course--right there in the delivery room.