A week ago today, I was lying in the hospital, recovering from giving birth. And when I say recovering I just mean, they wouldn't let me out before 24 hours and I was entertaining visitors. That is by far a more accurate description of what was happening.
I had had contractions for weeks before Emmy was born. They started out as just super hard Braxton-Hicks contractions that would squeeze so tightly I didn't understand how on earth my water didn't break. But the week of her birth, I started having real, painful, almost time-able contractions. They would go on for a few hours, and then just when I thought I was in labor, they would stop, and everything would go back to normal. I'll be honest, I thought I was going crazy. I thought my body had forgotten how to give birth and I might be pregnant forever. And I was already so discouraged because I was about to be at 2 weeks past due, and most people wanted to know why I wasn't just inducing. Even my doctor had strongly suggested it, but when I told him I was firm on waiting, he didn't push the issue (for that I am extremely grateful).
But to be honest, I was a little over the waiting. I was a little fearful that something was wrong with me, or that if I continued to wait, something would be wrong with Emmy. I was nervous about having a baby that was too large to deliver. And I was still having those darn fake contractions (look up prodromal labor, which is exactly what was happening to me - it is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time).
When I began having contractions Friday night, I assumed it was the same thing. I had to breathe through them, but they weren't awful. They stayed about 20 minutes apart all night, and I dozed in between some of them. They continued through the morning on Saturday, but never got any closer together, and started being even more erratic. I didn't want to mention them to anyone and get their hopes up, but I finally talked to Nate about it. He suggested I stop even timing contractions since it only seemed to frustrate me, and I agreed. They stopped around 3 or 4, and so I figured there would be no baby.
My mom came over to visit around 5 or 6, and I started having some pretty intense contractions at that point. Nate started timing them, and they were maybe 8 minutes apart for about an hour. I was able to walk through them, and also sat on an exercise ball for a while, so when my friend Amanda asked if she could drop off our Melaleuca order, I told her of course. My mom had gone home, and we were just feeding the kids dinner and giving them showers. By the time Amanda got to my house, though, the contractions were getting closer together. While she was there, I noticed that my legs were shaking as I walked through them. Nate didn't say anything at first, but then mentioned that they were about 3 minutes apart by then. WHAT???
Amanda told me, "You are about to have a baby. Why don't you go to the hospital? Did you say you called your mom to come stay with the kids? Is she on her way yet?"
I put on some leggings (as opposed to the pjs I was wearing), opted to skip the shower I had planned on taking, and Nate and I hustled out. Milo and Lucy were literally jumping on the couch with excitement as we left because it was finally time! And Amanda assured me that they were not going to just send me back in home NOT in labor when I got to the hospital.
I have to point out that Nate tore to the hospital with the flashers on (I think just because, when else would he get to do that?), we checked in around 7:45, and at that point I was already at a 6. But, I stalled out at a 6 with both Milo and Lucy (for FOUR LONG HOURS with Lucy, might I add), so I was slightly discouraged. I continued to walk through my contractions, and when my doctor arrived 45 minutes later, I was already at what he said was, "an 8 or a 9, but I could probably stretch it to a 10."
I was pushing not too much later, although the pushing was so hard this time. Poor Emmy was stuck on the pubic bone, and just when I thought she would never get past it, I pushed like a superwoman, broke every single blood vessel in my face and most of the ones in my neck, and she got past that. Everything from there was much easier, and as she was about to come out, the nurses and Nate got a good laugh because she had tons of gorgeous hair that had gathered itself into a little ponytail peeking out (I'm sorry if that is disturbing imagery for you.).
Emmette Annabel made her appearance at 10:22 p.m., after just a few hours of serious labor, and she immediately melted our hearts with her sweet nature and perfect little features. Despite the fact that she was almost 2 full weeks overdue on paper, there is absolutely no way that little nugget was a day past the exact time she was intended to arrive.