Saturday April 27, 2013 started out nasty. It was overcast and humid, but I was a barrel full of energy. I was two days shy of 38 weeks pregnant and, for the first time in weeks, felt fabulous. I woke up bright and early with Caitlin and let Paul sleep in. We went together to get some coffee, then came home and she helped me get some laundry and dishes done. We pulled out some plain white bibs and markers and got to decorating bibs for your arrival. 3 days prior, I’d been to the doctor and he surprisingly announced me as 3-4 centimeters dilated. I’d been having plenty of contractions and back pain, but today was pain free. Today was going to be a fun day and I was going to get things done! Turns out you had other plans.
At about 1 that afternoon, your father decided he wanted to take his new car offroading. He’d only be 30 minutes away and Caitlin and I had plenty to do to keep each other entertained. Your sister decided she was up for a rousing game of bouncy ball. You know those tiny rubber bouncy balls often given away in party bags? We had a ton of them and Caitlin loved bouncing them against the front door and walls, then having us both dart hysterically around trying to catch them. After about 30 minutes of this, I was feeling some contractions. It wasn’t any different than what I’d already felt, so I grabbed some water and kept playing. After 30 more minutes, I was having to stop and rest and was feeling quite regular contractions in my back.
Your dad came home by about 5 and my contractions were definitely 10 minutes apart and fairly strong by then. We ordered some dinner and finished packing bags before I called the doctor, who told us to come in. By this time, it was pouring rain and a real mess outside. It took us an hour to get to your grandparents’ house to drop off your sister, then another hour and a half to get to the hospital. It was really flooding, electricity was out in various parts of the city, and we passed a number of stranded cars on the way in. The nurses were all late for shift change and everything was fairly eerie.
When we got there, I was checked and was 4 cm and only 50% effaced and my contractions had slowed. I was certain we were going to have to go back home, which was a nightmare given the weather. So we walked for half an hour and waited for my doctor. Two hours later, I was a solid 5 cm and 100% effaced, so Dr. Schnider decided to keep us. This was about 11 PM and I knew we were in for a long night. He broke my water for me at about midnight and, even though my contractions were few and far between, I had progressed quite slowly to 7 cm. And then, by about 2 AM, I stalled. Right there at 7, water broken, fully effaced and hanging out. I had received the epidural as we expected things to move quickly and painfully from there, but no such luck. By about 5 AM, we amped up some pitocin and got it all moving. You were born quickly at 7:06 AM on April 28.
I was crazy tired and I couldn’t feel my legs at all (too much epidural!), but you seemed so tiny. You were two weeks early and I was scared that maybe you weren’t quite ready, but then you started crying and curled up right on my chest. You weighed exactly the same as your sister at full term- 6 lbs 15 oz- and were 19 inches. You nursed like a champ right away and cried very little. That first night, I remember sleeping with you in my arms or on my chest because it was the only place you and I were both comfortable, whether the nurses liked it or not.
You’re 10 weeks old now as I write this and have nearly doubled your birth weight (you’re hovering at about 12 lbs now). It amazes me how quickly you’ve grown and thrived, particularly as I was so concerned about your growth in the beginning.
You’re my little smiley baby, my little bit that gurgles back at me when I talk to you. You stare in awe at your sister and her at you, and I adore you with all that I am.
I’m still not sure if I love or hate that stupid bouncy ball.