I have three napping children right now...so I have about 10 minutes to write until one of them will most likely wake up. ;) My days have been consisting of Christmas music, baking cookies, breast feeding, watching movies, playing games, painting gifts, wrapping gifts, teaching a 20 month old how to handle a newborn, teaching a 3 year old how to handle a newborn, helping said newborn acclimate to his new (noisy) environment of doting, curious, mothering, loving, obsessed sisters, reading lots of books, doing even more laundry, and learning how to be mama to 3 little angels. Surprisingly, my days have not been as crazy as one might imagine. Partially due to Hubby, who is the best partner in crime and ready to bathe, swaddle, change, cook for, run with, read to, and play with all of them as soon as he walks in the door after work. Partially due to the fact that we got all of our big shopping done early, so the business of the season is kind of swirling around us. (Christmas is in 10 days?!) But now that I have a few minutes, I'll share the story of how this handsome little boy came into our lives.
It was the evening of December 1st. After weeks of waiting, contracting, and thinking it was going to happen any second, it got to the point where I stopped thinking that way. I just thought it wasn't going to happen soon. I had been dilated 4 cm and 90% effaced. I had this fear that I kept having to pray out of my head that when I went into labor, those last 6 cm would go way too fast, and we might not make it to the hospital. But that night was a Sunday, and the girls were running around the house in their Christmas PJs and playing with Daddy. I called my Mom to say goodnight, as she was coming the next morning to visit. It was the first time in weeks that I didn't say what I always said when we hung up, which was, "Talk to you tomorrow...or maybe tonight at 3am!" It was wishful thinking, and something I had been saying to her and sharing a laugh about.
The next morning was the beginning of hunting season, and in PA schools have off. So Hubby was excited to get up at 3:30, and get ready to go in the woods for the day.
At 3:00 I woke up with a fierce contraction. It was not the first painful contraction I had had in the last month though, so I didn't go alerting the troops just yet. It was, however, the most pain I had felt recently. A different pain. A part of me knew right them, right as the pain opened my eyes in the middle of the night, that this was it. I went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. I sat up and waited, for the next contraction. I was awake...there was no way I could rest now. I needed to see if and when the next one would come..and if this really was it, there was no sense in drifting back off to sleep. It was time to start my adrenaline and keep my energy up.
At 3:20 I felt another contraction. Not too long, but definitely painful. Not long after, Hubby's alarm clock went off. He got up, and saw that I was awake. "Oh, I'm sorry you can't sleep..." he said, used to my being awake in the night due to discomfort. "Well...actually..I'm having contractions.", I said. "Are you serious??" Almost as soon as he said this, I had another one. "Get me the phone."
I called Cara who was 5 minutes away and had a bag packed ready to race over and watch the kiddies. And she did. I called my mom, and she answered the phone and asked if I was okay.
"Yeah, I'm fine, I just can't sleep and wanted to talk." I responded. ;)
"Are you serious??" she said.
"Nah, I'm in labor."
By 4:00 we were on the way to the hospital. It was raining and cold, so we were nervous about ice. My contraction, by this time, were 5 minutes apart. We still had an hour to drive. I told Hubby something I never ever say when he is driving, being the grandma that I am behind the wheel: Drive as fast as you can possibly drive without getting us in an accident.
I was in pain. And these contractions were coming so fast, that I didn't want to time them. I was afraid of knowing how close together they were and just wanted to concentrated on getting there. Later, Hubby said that he was timing them and they were 3 minutes apart for most of the ride. He sure kept his cool, because I had no idea he was as nervous as I was on the ride.
(my first time holding boopa!)
We pulled up to the hospital to the ER, the only entrance that was opened. And one of the funniest things (now) that has ever happened to me occurred next. This was the third time we had pulled into that ER with me already in hard labor...and the first time we had done it alone. The first two time, my mom was with us. She grabs the wheel chair, I stumble in it, eyes closed, Hubby parks the car, she gets me upstairs and we check in while Hubby meets us up there.
This time, we pulled up, and Hubby said "Okay, I'm going to have them take you up and I'll go park."
I just looked him. "Who is "them"?? My mom usually takes me up!"
"Oh...Okay." So he gets the wheel chair, and I sit down. My car door is still opened. He says, "I'll be right back." And he jumps in the car. He guns the engine a few times to swing my car door closed, while I looked at him, completely confused. He turned out of the ER, took a left, and drove down the street out of sight.
It was cold and raining, and I had no coat on, just a sweater. I was sitting alone outside the Emergency Room doors in a wheel chair, in labor. People would pass me, and I actually was pretending not to be in labor because I thought they would think I was abandoned or something. I sat there for what felt like 10 minutes, but was probably closer to 5. I took my phone out to say, "WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU JUST GO?", when around the corner came Hubby. Running. Holding my luggage, his computer bag, my camera bag, his camera bag, and my tote bag. Then I knew it. Baby Number 3...and he was, indeed, as nervous as I was.
We raced up to the labor unit, and went to the desk. The woman handed me a clipboard of far too much paperwork that a woman in labor should have to fill out. As I'm scribbling the information, she says, "So! You think you're having contractions?"
I laughed. I actually laughed at her and said, "Um, I know I'm having contractions. They are 5 minutes apart." I think they need to train labor receptionists better on "What Not to Say" to women in labor.
(Daddy and his boy)
We went into triage, and the contractions were more manageable. They were 5 minutes apart now, I think due to my relief that we made it there. I told the nurse how quickly I labored with my first 2 babies, and she got the doctor in right away to examine me. He came in and said, "Well..you're almost ready to push!"
This was at around 5:00 am. Two hours to the minute that I had my first contract ion. I knew it. I knew this was how it would go. But also, I was so so grateful. Grateful that I would have another delivery like my first two. Grateful that in this pregnancy where everything seemed so different, that this one big thing seemed to be consistent and predictable. I can do this, I knew I could. I had done it before, and I was ready.
(Our first picture with Baby Declan)
As predicted, all three of the kiddies are now awake, and 2 of them are in my lap. :) So the rest of the story will come tomorrow!
I will leave you with some pictures...
(Only a few hours old)
(I love his eyes!)
(Only a little bigger than a banana!)
(Settling in for night time)
(Feeties while breast feeding)