Reagan Kate came over 3 weeks early, on March 4, 2012. She was due to come on March 27th. You would think this would have been a huge surprise, but I knew she would be early. I felt it for a while, and then it was confirmed when I found out how I was already dilated so much! But nonetheless, it is still unexpected when everything starts unfolding right before your eyes. The story of Reagan's birth is similar to Reilly's, and was quite amazing. I hear a lot of labor stories, because I LOVE talking labor with other mamas. So it is not lost on me what a huge blessing my deliveries are. We are so grateful to God for how smooth the labor went, and how healthy our little angel is!
I guess the first sign of something out of the ordinary was on Friday night, March 2. The rib pain that I was experiencing was at it's peak. I had never had the rib pain so severe before, and it started going down my back as well. I couldn't even stand up, I needed to lie down I was in so much pain. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions throughout my pregnancy, and those were getting much stronger. I was just in so much pain, and overwhelmed by fatigue as well. It was only 6:00, and I was passing out on the couch. After lying down for a little over an hour, I felt much better and the pain and subsided. I had no cramping associated with the contractions yet, and they were not coming consistently, so I knew I wasn't in labor. Once again I wondered, how much longer I would go like this. Could this pain last a whole month? All I could do was wonder, and pray, and plug on for my babies! And complain, sometimes I complained. Ha.
The next morning, Saturday the 3rd, we had an excited day planned! Mima and Poppy got Reilly tickets to see Sesame Street Live! I couldn't WAIT to see it with her. I was praying that I wouldn't deliver before this day. On the way there, I kept saying, "I'm so excited I made it to Sesame! Even if I only get to see her face for the first 5 minutes, and then go into labor, I'll be happy." We went to the show and had an amazing time (obviously a post will come soon!), and I may or may not have cried while watching Reilly's reaction to the magic of being in the same room as all her buddies.
As we were leaving Sesame Live, I mentioned that today would have been a great day to go into labor, because I had just blown out my hair. Clearly I was joking...maybe God thought I was serious! :) That day, I kept saying "Okay, I made it to Sesame, I'm good to go now!" With every pain that I would feel that day, which were not all that different than pregnancy pains I felt other days, I would pray that the baby come when God intended. I told God that I felt like the baby was going to come soon, and I really didn't feel like I could go too much longer, but that I trusted He would bring our baby at the perfect time. I have such a distinct memory of praying a lot that day.
We had friends over for an impromptu dinner that night, and everyone had wine. They all mentioned how they felt bad drinking in front of me, and I said, "No, I promise it's okay! I'm almost there, I see the light at the end of the tunnel." Little did I know, I was almost OUT of the tunnel!
A few short hours later, it was a little after 9:00 pm. We were watching Wedding Crashers, and relaxing on the couch. I felt a strong contraction come on, and felt a little pain with it. I just checked the clock, and made a mental note about what time it was, and kept watching the movie. About 10 minutes later, I felt another one. I still didn't say anything yet, because I didn't want to start any craziness unnecessarily. After I felt a third one about 7 minutes later, I looked at my Dad. My mom was sleeping on the couch, and Hubby had went to a friend's house for a little while. I said, "Um..Dad? I think I might be having contractions." He immediately woke up my mom, and I told them about the 3 contractions I had. But still, I said I wasn't quite sure if this was "it". We called Hubby, and told him not to freak out, but he should probably come home anyway. Two contractions later, I knew this was it. The pain was getting increasingly bad, and after one hour, my contractions were about 5 to 7 minutes apart. We had an hour drive to the hospital, so I wanted to get going right away before the pain became too unbearable. I had only had about 7 contractions, but I already needed to breathe through the pain and stop walking when I felt it coming on.
I called the doctor on call, and gave them my cell phone number to call back. I didn't know who the doctor was, and of course I had bad service and he tried to call me 3 times and I kept dropping his call. When I finally got in touch with him, he was so nice and said, "So why did you keep hanging up on me?" I was glad to have him be light-hearted in the the situation. I was all prepared to have to give him a speech about how I lived an hour away, about how fast my first baby came, and beg him to meet me at the hospital even though my contractions had only just started. But the first thing he said was, "So, you in labor?" I said, "Um..yes I am." To which he responded, "Okay, come on out, I'll meet you here!"
I hung up, relieved, and we continued on our way. I was holding Hubby's hand for some of the contractions, and concentrated on my breathing a bit, but the pain was not too bad yet. I was still able to talk and joke around the whole way there. We talked about how dilated we thought I was going to be when we got there, we were guessing and hoping for around 4 cm. I tried not to think about the pain that was ahead of me, but was getting a bit nervous anyway as the familiarity of the situation brought back very real and very painful memories. I mentioned that my bum was on fire, and my mom said, "That's okay honey, the contractions are getting stronger?" And I said, "No the seat heaters are on and I'm dying. I need the heat off." We all chuckled at the confusion.
When we arrived at the hospital, the security guard came out with a wheel chair and asked if I needed it. I said, "Umm..sure why not?" but wasn't in the extreme pain I had been with Reilly at that time. With Reilly, I pretty much fell out of the car vomited, and landed in a wheelchair. The ride up to the maternity unit felt like an eternity, and my eyes were closed for most of it. But that time, I was already at 8 cm. This time around, I still felt relatively good! The contractions were getting bad, and a definitely had to close my eyes and breath through them. But I was still smiling between them - I was getting excited! I remembered being told by the nurses with Reilly that I was "smiling too much" and "if I was really in labor, I wouldn't be smiling". My mom reminded my of this, as we went up to the ward, and was trying not to smile. I really didn't want them to turn me away again, like they did with Reilly! I was ready to have to beg to stay, and explain to them with urgency how fast and unexpectedly my first baby had came. They brought me into triage and hooked me up to the machines to measure the contractions and the baby's heart.
At this point I was definitely in a lot of pain with each contraction, grabbing Hubby's arm and dreading when anyone had to come in and touch me at all. I knew I wasn't close to transition yet, because I was still having conversations with Hubby and talking about various things between contractions. This was not as severe as last time yet at all. When the nurse came in to look at the contractions, she looked at the paper, and then looked at me with wide eyes. "Well...there's no doubt you're in labor...let me go get the doctor..."
I looked at Hubby, relieved that this probably meant we would be staying, and that this meant baby was on it's way! Now just to wait for the doctor to see how much longer it would be...