Eight weeks ago tonight all this began! I'm finally just getting around to sharing the story! I've started this a few times, but have been unsuccessful in finishing it until now. Here is the story of BG.
On the evening of March 25th, I realized that time was running out, and that I needed to take a final baby bump picture before the baby actually arrived! So I set up the camera and managed to get a picture. Shortly after my photo shoot, H called and said he was coming over for a visit. It was a nice visit... we laughed and talked. It was the first time I had seen him in almost three weeks. After he left we talked online until about 1am. During that time, I uploaded my new baby bump pic to Facebook. After chatting with H, Melissa and I exchanged comments on my bump picture, and I told her that I didn't think that the baby would be coming for a while yet as I was far too comfortable to be ready to go into labour anytime soon! At around 01:30 I realized that I should go to bed, after all, my due date was March 27, and if I were to go into labour within the next couple of days, I might regret missing out on that chance for sleep! I noticed that my back was hurting a bit, but I chalked it up to laying in a bad position with the Netbook and the belly. (It wasn't not the first time I had done that!)
At 2:30 am I woke up not quite feeling right. Suddenly I was hit with what I thought might be a contraction, but I wasn't sure. (I was induced with BB, so I had no idea what to expect going into labour on my own!) When I was hit with another soon after, I started timing them as best I could by myself. 4 minutes apart. I told myself that it must be false labour, because there was no way I could possibly have gone into labour so quickly!
Shortly after 3:00 am, I started composing an email to XH to relay all the info regarding BB that I had been planning on passing on to him when he picked him up that night... just in case this was the real deal and I wouldn't be able to tell him what he needed to know.
By 3:30 am I decided that I should call A as the contractions were still 4 minutes apart and not showing any signs of letting up. She agreed that it probably wasn't the real deal and suggested I call her back in an hour or two if I wasn't able to get any sleep.
As the next hour progressed I tried to time my contractions, but it was difficult to time them while dealing with them. I tried to distract myself by swimming in the pond (OMG, yes, I was in labour and trying to find a new man!), and looking at the labour website A had sent to me earlier in the week. One of the items on the website was a checklist of what to take to the hospital with you. It included warm socks in case your feet get cold. I hadn't packed warm socks, but there was a basket of clean laundry on my bedroom floor that had warm socks in it. So I laid on my floor, pawing through the basket of laundry while suffering through contractions, trying to find a warm pair of socks. *shaking head* I obviously wasn't thinking right at this point. I was becoming more and more scared. All alone with a 22 month old, outside of the city, and no support. And once again I was wondering, "How did this become my life?"
By 4:30 am I realized that it most likely *was* the real deal as I was trying not to push and the contractions were 2 minutes apart, on top of a host of other symptoms I was experiencing that jived with what I read on the labour website. I called A again, and demanded that she and my brother head to my place immediately (about a 20 minute drive.) I then called XH to make arrangements for him to take BB earlier the next day than originally planned. Having to talk to him during all of this was murder. I had to deal with contractions while talking to him, and showing any signs of vulnerability to him was not something I wanted to do.
At around 05:00 help still had not arrived. I contemplated calling N to come over, but I knew that this wasn't something she would want to deal with (and really, we had made so many jokes about her having to deliver the baby, that it just seemed weird to actually suggest it might happen!) I even considered calling H just to have him talk me down and tell me that no, I still had lots of time, be calm, etc. Instead I called A again and demanded to know where she and my brother were. I wasn't very nice about it. (Turned out they weren't rushing as they thought they had lots of time... they took their dog out to pee, got dressed, didn't drive more than 10kph over the speed limit, etc.)
They arrived at 05:15. I was standing at the island in my kitchen holding on for dear life, bellowing through my contractions. The look on my brother's face told me that he knew we all had to move quickly. A asked me if I was nauseous (yes, I was nauseous and drenched in sweat) and then the realization hit her that this was the real deal. I managed to calmly explain to my brother which bags from my room needed to be loaded into the car, had him get me the garbage can from the bathroom to take with me in case I was sick in the car, directed him to find a pair of flip flops for me from my closet, had him grab my camera, etc. How I remained level headed to do this, I have no idea.... planning does seem to be how I react to a crisis though. Then we headed out to the car. The infant carrier seat caused the passenger seat to be pulled too far ahead for me to comfortably ride to the hospital, so I had to get back out of the car, remove the seat, let my brother know to move it into the house, and get back into the car. Once a bit of confusion over keys between my brother and A was cleared up we were finally on the road to the hospital.
I advised A to pass anyone that was in our way. Luckily at 05:30 that only meant passing a couple of cars. Even on the way to the hospital, I was still worried they would tell me that this wasn't the real thing and would send me home.... all the while trying not to push in the car!
A stopped at the ER doors and put me in a wheelchair and brought in my bags. She then ran into the ER to tell them what was happening. Then she went back out to park the car. While she was doing that, my water broke. (Next time you walk through the doors into the DECH ER, think of me!) She came back inside and again went into the ER asking for some help (you can't get up to Labour & Delivery after hours without someone from ER letting you through.) A couple of women sauntered over and looked at me through the glass, and eventually someone came out and started pushing my wheelchair. She didn't say a word to me, just gave the occasional order to A. The ride was awful... the ceramic tiles on the floor are SO bumpy when you're in a wheelchair!
We arrived in L&D at 05:50. One nurse checked for dilation and said that she could feel the baby's head, but that she would have another nurse confirm it. So the next nurse comes in, checks, says, "Yes, that's the baby's head. PUSH!" Eight minutes later at 05:58, BG was in my arms.
In all of the haste they didn't have time to try to drug me, catheterize me, or hook me up to their machines. One person did hold a fetal heart monitor to my stomach, but they didn't even bother trying to strap it on. They didn't have time to read my birth plan, but thankfully A knew what was there and was able to direct them after the baby arrived so that all of my post-delivery wishes were followed. (All of my labour & delivery wishes basically revolved around not wanting drugs or interventions, so it seemed that I automatically got my way on those ones!)
After it was all over with I couldn't believe I had just given birth. I felt fantastic. When BB was born I felt like I had been hit by a train afterwards. This had been the scariest 3.5 hours of my life (seriously, who wakes up an hour after they go to sleep with contractions 4 minutes apart?!) but I survived, and I'm happier it happened this way so I could have the birth go the way I wanted. When I started preparing for BG's arrival, I discovered that I had a lot of resentment towards the way my labour with BB happened. Now I feel that I can let go of that negativity because I've had the experience I had hoped for.
BG has been wonderful. She initially did nothing but sleep and eat. Then she went through a colicky phase during the evenings. That seems to have passed, but the evenings are still her cranky time, however, it is not unmanageable. She started smiling last week, and last Saturday she gave me her first ear to ear grin. Now I've discovered that I can often banish her crankies just by propping her up on my legs so that she's facing me, and then I smile at her. It usually gets a smile in return! BB is a fantastic big brother. He lavishes BG in hugs and kisses, and won't go down for a nap or go to bed at night without first giving her a kiss.