Let's start by giving some background. Until I had Colbie I'd never gone into labor naturally. I was induced with both other kids and had a great experience. A smooth 8 hour induction with Hails and 6 with Owen. I loved scheduling my labors. I had no clue until they told me I wasn't legally able to schedule this one that I was such a control freak! ;) Apparently the state passed a law that you can't be induced for a non-emergency reason until 41 weeks. I've only ever been 39 weeks pregnant, so that freaked me out!
As I got closer to my due date I began to get really anxious. How long will I be pregnant? Will I even know what normal contractions feel like? How long will a natural labor take for me since my inductions were fairly short?? This last question had me especially nervous being that my mom had a 53 minute labor with my youngest sister Alicia. Yeah, 53 minutes. As in, my dad ran every red light and she still had the baby while he parked the car!
At my 38 week appt my doctor did my first cervical check. I was so excited to know. How far was I dilated? A 2? Maybe a 3?? "Well...baby is high, your cervix is thick and closed right up. I predict a February baby", he said. WHAT?? A February baby?? As in, I'll go past my due date?? This is just not acceptable! "Ummm...ok, thanks".
I am fairly certain I cried when I finally got in my car.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "what a baby?? Doesn't she know how lucky she is to just have a healthy baby? She won't be pregnant forever!" Yes. Yes to all of this. But pregnancy...especially the last weeks of pregnancy are highly emotional. I was a basket case. There. I said it. My husband will surely corroborate this assessment.
As the next week passed by, I had several bouts of timeable contractions. I'd sit at dinner with my iPhone out timing them with a free app I downloaded. It was as if I was waiting for it to ding and alert me to head straight to the hospital! But, no dice. I still had to determine on my own whether or not it was "time", and I was so unsure of what to expect. All the books said that if you're not sure, get in a warm bath. If your contractions stop they're not real ones. And this was true. Every.time.
At my 39 week appointment I was sure that after all of these contractions I'd have a good progress report. My OB was in Hawaii, so I saw a midwife in his office. It was time for the moment of truth. She checked me. "Baby is high, dilated to almost a 2 and cervix is still pretty thick." WHAT?? All that walking and timing and ridiculous nightly baths and I had barely progressed?? "Ummm...ok. Thanks."
She did notice that my BP was a bit higher than it had been and there was some protein in my urine, so she ordered a 24 hour urine catch. This was just peachy, by the way. Imagine being as big as a house with a large baby punching your bladder and having to collect every drop of urine and STORE it in a plastic jug...in the fridge. It took me several hours to realize that I would be less grossed out if I put it in a cooler in my closet. Which also solved another inconvenient problem. I mean, I peed about a hundred times that 24 hours and was less than thrilled every time I needed to hoof it down the stairs!
The next day I headed straight into the lab with my urine jug discretely disguised in a Bed, Bath and Beyond bag. The tech said it was the weirdest way anyone has ever returned their jug. Yay for me.
I waited for the call. Now, I am not saying I wanted to have pre-eclampsia. But I am saying, in the interest of keeping it real that I wouldn't have hated having a mild case that would cause the need for me to be induced. A reading of 300+ would result in a pre-e diagnosis. Lucky for me my # was 295. What do you mean, 295?? Like, I have JV pre-eclampsia?? Kind of. I was told to pay attention to several warning symptoms and call if I experienced any of them. This was very disheartening. It would have been one thing to have not had it, but to be borderline really made me nervous.
Fast forward to Todd's birthday...3 days after my urine dabacle. We went to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse, our family fave, and had a great dinner. I had a great time, but I was really feeling off. My mom insisted that before I go home to bed that I go get my BP checked at Safeway. I went and my BP was high. Significantly higher than it had ever been. I called the on call doc expecting him to need me to go in and be evaluated and he told me to stay off my feet for the next day or so and follow up with my normal doc in a day or 2. HUH? Like, go home and hope for the best? Nah.
I was so discouraged as I crawled into bed that night, and thought to text a few of my girlfriends to pray specifically that I would either wake up with no more pre-e symptoms or just go into labor. This was around 11 pm. Little did I know what God has planned...
At 12:15 I woke up in a fright with a monster contraction. Then another one 2 minutes later. And another. Todd woke up and started the bath to try our little test. I got in and within a minute I knew this was it. We needed to go. And since my contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart we needed to go quickly. My mom was on her way to stay with the kids and got pulled over on the way! When the officer approached her door she had her hand out the window with her license in her hand screaming, "Hurry! Write me the ticket, my daughter is in labor!!" His response was priceless when he waved her on saying, "go!! Just go!" Bless you, Mr. Policeman!!
When we got to the hospital they got me right up to a room. But not before I stopped 3 times to stand up and wait through a contraction because it hurt to sit in the wheelchair! I got checked and was at a 5-6. I asked right away for an epidural. She checked me moments later and I was at a 7. I got the epidural right after that, but it didn't help the pain at all! I kept telling Todd that it hurt too bad and I couldn't do it and he was a ROCK STAR, you guys. So confidently and calmly he just told me that yes, I could, and that he was right with me. The nurse checked me again right after the epi and I was at a 9 1/2. I waited to be complete but baby was still at a zero station so I anticipated laboring down before I started to push. Then her heart rate started to drop. Scary, much? Once I was a 10 the nurses helped me figure out how to get her out quick! As I started pushing the nurse was surprised to find that my water had broken. I had no clue! It must have broken in the bath at home because I didn't notice it. But no wonder my contractions hurt so bad this whole time. The most intense 15 minutes of.my.life! I have big babies and Colbie was my biggest yet! She was born at 3:17 am and I was completely SHOCKED to have another daughter! I was so convinced she was a boy at the end. But we were thrilled to meet her! She nursed well right off the bat and that first hour of her life that she was laying on my chest was pure bliss!
We waited until the big kids came to finalize her name. We wanted them to have a say and spend some time with her before we decided. Colbie Ann was just right!
Adding this sweet thing to our family has been an absolute joy! I thought we were done...and am so grateful God decided we weren't!