Little Ms. Poppet is here! Born on Tuesday, April 28th at 7:33am. It was a very eventful birth but thus far she is doing brilliantly. It was VERY unexpected and very, very fast. I had been feeling truly dreadful all weekend. I missed a couple of fun events on Saturday with good friends of ours, and while it was a busy few days, I simply felt awful. On Sunday my lovely friend Amy came to visit with an incredibly gooey, yummy chocolate cake. Ayala joined us and we had a super, very impromptu social afternoon. Amy's sweet girls joined us (as did Ayala's little boy for a bit) and the children had a really great time playing, watching the turkeys, and eating cake!
Another sleepless night on Sunday night and I spent most of Monday at appointments (ultrasound looked good), working from home, and feeling generally horrific. I met Rich for lunch and then picked up the boys. We were very thankfully having someone help clean the house, so I took the children to Target so as not to get in anyone's way. Again I felt truly dreadful. Horrible cramping, braxton hicks non stop, and general rubishness. I called my Dr's office on the way home, as I was that uncomfortable, and they told me to head in to make sure I wasn't leaking fluid, etc.
One last selfie os me and the boys in Target!
I arrived at L&D, with my uterus being even more irritable than usual. Having not slept in many, many nights I was ready for them to knock me out. They did suggest a sleeping med, which I declined, and the Dr. told me to reduce my hours at work as general busyness and stress seemed to be making the pre labor that much worse. Indeed it's been quite debilitating.
I returned home around 9pm, went to bed, and got out my computer and made some contingency plans with my students about the coming week. I felt as ahead as I could be and around 11:30 I went to sleep... until cramping woke me up at 12:15. I lay in bed listening to my audiobook for another 90 minutes, feeling a bit frustrated that sleep was not in my future, and by 2am I had had enough and ran myself a bath. An hour and a quarter later I dragged myself out, noting that perhaps I was seeing evidence of some bloody show. But being so bleary eyed I got back into my pajamas and headed back to bed and listened to more of my audible book.
Around 4am I noticed that the cramping was feeling more rhythmic and at 5 I decided to time it, as they were also a bit more painful. I got into the shower because I was beginning to feel worried that this might be it. I woke up Rich and told him that things seemed different and that I could be almost in labour. I called Deb's office and a few minutes she called back. I had two - what I now know were true contractions - on the phone to her - and instead of being around every 5 minutes as I had reported, she said that they were around 2 mins apart! On that note she told me to come in... and I asked, rather naively, "do you think I'll have time to get the boys ready for school and nanny drop-off?' Not wanting to alarm me she said, 'if you leave now you should avoid having a baby in the car'!
Bless our wonderful neighbor, Shannon, who I called immediately - around 5:40am - as she came over just before 6am to take care of the boys and drop them off at their respective destinations. On our way out of the door, Rich asked if he had time for a shower... I indicated that we did not have time! He also asked if we should head up Route One. I suggested that we spend the dollar, and we took the highway.
I will say that contractions in the car are just the absolute pits. There's nothing you can do, other than hope they don't speed up or become more intense. Thankfully traffic was quiet and we made it to Portland fairly quickly. There was no way I could walk from the car park so Rich dropped me off at the main entrance and I made my way into the building before a contraction of epic proportions left me a little stranded in the main foyer.
A very random visitor to the hospital ran for a wheelchair and pushed me at a very fast pace to L&D. It was a bit of a farce, with lots of comedic moments... The kind man dropped me off at the security point where you sign in to get to the labour ward. He called up for someone to get me as I couldn't walk up. After 5 minutes I was still sat there having contractions and I could see the security man becoming more and more alarmed! Eventually someone came to collect me and Rich soon appeared there, too. It was becoming very clear that things were intense so I scribbled my name on various papers, and they led me into the triage room. I popped up on my little birthing skirt (and it was clear that I was not at the birthing center as the nurses thought I was a little crackers), and the contractions were both intensifying and getting even closer together.
They got an IV into my arm before another contraction hit and they were able to check my progress: 6cm. It was a bit after 7am by this point. I begged them to run water into the tub in whichever room I was going to be transferred into, and whilst the triage nurse didn't seem to be terribly helpful (and honestly not especially respectful of what we wanted) I did manage to walk down the hallway to the new room, stopping along the way for contractions which were becoming unbelievably intense and frequent. By the time we were there someone was running the water for the tub, but it was very apparent that no one thought I'd have time to use it. Indeed the contractions were so close together I was literally having them every few seconds. Absolutely no relief.
Deb wasn't there yet, and I had a horrible fear that this could go on for another couple of hours - which truly would have been intolerable. But being only 6cms I thought I had a long way to go. Just when I thought I couldn't go on, I felt a strong urge to push.. and Deb walked in. I was crouching on the floor in the grips of another contraction, and they tried to get me onto the bed to check my progress again. I just about managed it, then sank back on to my knees leaning over the couch. Deb said very sternly that I had to get onto the bed as the NICU team were there and having a slippery baby on the floor might not have gone over terribly well.
At this point, there are a hundred people in the room. Every time someone comes in they try, very kindly, to rub my back... which felt horrendous. I started to feel very emotional and started to cry, but I have a vague memory of saying that I wasn't sad, and I also thought that I must be going through transition.
Onto the bed I managed to go, and in two to three pushes out she came.
I was honestly and truly in a state of shock. I had gone from 6cms to her being there in less than 30 minutes. Pushing was a complete breeze, in comparison with the boys, but it truly felt completely irreal. I think I kept asking, 'what on earth just happened?' 'I'm in shock'... I had come in at 7am and she was born at 7:33am!
I was so glad for Deb, as the NICU team wanted to whisk her away to check her but baby girl came out looking great, very pink, with a very loud set of lungs. The first thing I noticed was the shock of near black hair. What a lovely girl.
Our first snuggle.
And then she was taken by the NICU team... :( All looked good. 6 pounds 12oz, 20 inches long.
And then more cuddle time before being taken to the recovery floor.