By the time Andrew and I were able to console Lima Bean and get her back to bed, it was about 3 a.m. As I crawled back in bed, I noticed I started to have some cramping. I thought to myself, "oh boy here comes more false labor." (The night before I had experienced about 2-3 hours of false labor.) This was discouraging, because I had just reached 37 weeks... I was dreading the thought of possibly 3-4 more weeks of false labor keeping me up at night.
Well the 8-10 minutes between contractions turned into 6-7 minutes within the hour. At 4 a.m. I rolled over to tell Andrew what was happening and that I would hop in the shower to see if the contractions would subside. My biggest fear was feeling like I was in true labor, waking up our (new) friend to drop off Lima Bean, driving (on post-blizzard roads) 45 minutes to Colorado Springs (from Castle Rock, where we were temporarily living in an apt), all to find out I was in false labor and for the nurses to send me home. How embarrassing, right??
So, I took a shower. Most of my shower was spent leaning over with my hands on my knees from "cramps." I was certain this was all still false labor and I just needed to tough it out.
After the shower, I called my doctor's answering service to explain the situation. I was hoping to get a better idea of whether I should make the drive down or if I should give it some time. The doctor on call (who I apparently was inconveniencing) told me that regardless of the time between my contractions, if I had any possible symptoms of my water breaking (which I did), then I needed to come in to be examined. So I called my (new at the time, but now very close) friend at 4:30 a.m. to explain the situation. She said she would be happy to watch Lima Bean and to come on over. In the midst of my showering and getting ready, Andrew frantically packed a bag for himself, loaded the car with our stuff (I was pretty much already packed... just in case), and got Lima Bean up.
We all got in the car, leaving our quaint apartment at 5:00 a.m. We arrived at Carianne's at 5:05 a.m., dropped off LB, and hit the highway for the hospital. As we took the onramp from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs, my contractions were down to about 2 minutes apart. Nevertheless, I was still confident all of this was just false labor, but "DRIVE ANDREW DRIVE!"
We navigated the icy, snowy covered roads (somewhat) carefully as we tried to frantically make our way down. Some of the cars that we passed honked their horns or flashed their lights at us as we whizzed by on the treacherous roads. I didn't really care at that point! "Just keep going Andrew!!"
As we took the circle around the offramp, I started thinking to myself that this had to be the real deal and it was ok that I woke up my friend so early and it was certainly ok to show up at the hospital. My next thought was... "I wonder if I should try to stick it out and have a natural birth or if I should give in and have an epidural."
5:50 a.m. we pulled into the hospital parking lot. Andrew offered to drop me off, but I felt like I wanted to walk. We walked in, passing a wheel chair. Andrew insisted that I take the wheelchair up, but I felt like I needed to walk even still... regardless of the fact that I was huffing and puffing, trying to get through the contractions.
Finally we made it to the 2nd floor, I checked in, and I was sent to the triage room. The nurse checked my status, turned to the other nurse, and calmly said, "we need to get her to a room immediately."
The nurse began wheeling me down the hallway. I was in pain. I asked if she thought it would be ok if I got an epidural, and her response was "let's just wait to see what the doctor says."
As we headed down the hallway, I got the sensation that I needed to push.
Upon entering the delivery room, I started saying over and over, "I feel like I need to push!!" Four other nurses came in, assuming different jobs about the room. One nurse was putting a blood pressure cuff on my arm, one nurse was inserting my I.V., one nurse was prepping the baby station, one nurse was getting supplies ready for the doctor, and one was concentrating on me, coaching me on what I needed to do next. In the midst of all of this, all I could think about was the need to push. She said that if I feel like I needed to push, then push!
So I pushed. The first push was a dud. Clearly, I was out of practice. The next push, Firecracker's head came out! The nurse shouted that I needed to try to slow down until the doctor could come in. But I couldn't stop!! I pushed again, as the doctor took his position. Firecracker's shoulders came out. One final push at 6:05 a.m. and Jane Riley "Firecracker" was here! Yet again, she lived up to her nickname with a grand entrance. :)
What a whirlwind of a morning! The recovery went well. Firecracker appeared healthy, minus the fact that she had a clogged tear duct (which turned out to be infected, as you know). And, unfortunately, I think that Firecracker probably needed oxygen when we left the hospital. Not until her first doctor's appointment was it discovered that her oxygen levels were low. Luckily all of that is behind us now!
The funny thing about it all was the next day, Andrew and I were scheduled to close on our very first home. Andrew ended up going to the closing alone while Firecracker and I had some quality hospital time.
While in the hospital, I had a few dear friends come to visit, Heather and Mary, as well as our pastor and his wife and my lovely Bible study leader. I certainly felt loved. :)
Andrew and Lima Bean came to pick us up once the closing was over. Lima Bean's initial reaction to Firecracker was not ideal, but it made for a pretty entertaining photo. Please see below.
Overall Firecracker's delivery was an ideal labor/delivery experience in my opinion. It all happened so quickly I didn't really have time to think about the pain or the anxiety that comes with delivery. I continue to praise the Lord on the timing. Had we waited any longer, I would've delivered on the side of the road! God is so good.
Since we had no family in town for the delivery, we took very few photos. :( Here are the few that I have. Enjoy our sweet Firecracker!
You can already notice the infection/swelling in Firecracker's right eye. It wasn't until her first appointment the following Tuesday, however, that our doctor diagnosed it.
Our pastor and his wife - Jim and Pam
Lima Bean's initial reaction. Haha!
Warming up to her.
Our first photo as a family of four.
Cozy in our apartment. MyTy came right away to help.
First time at our home.