My frustrations, anxiety, uncomfortableness and irritability are reaching a pinnacle. I am so ready for this baby to come, but I know it is still too early. I will be 36 weeks tomorrow. I'd had all three of my other boys at 36 weeks. I am tired of bed rest and never really followed the doctor's guidelines very well this pregnancy anyway. I have pushed the limits of what I could do, feeling that everything would be fine. It was fine. Here I am just one day shy of my 36 week due date not having too many contractions. Definitely not in labor. Tim was growing anxious as well because he'd already been in Salt Lake for a month. He has a travel schedule he needs to keep for his job and is normally gone every other week. If this baby didn't come soon (as we thought he would), Tim was going to have to take a trip. He'd done all the business he could do here in town.
We spend the night together as a family. We have Little Caesar's pizza for the millionth time. After dinner, we go to the park. I spend half the time pushing Cooper on the swings, secretly hoping that it would get things going. When I wasn't pushing Cooper, I was pacing around the playground feeling guilt for wishing that this baby would come, but knowing that it was still too early and potentially dangerous. My mind is a much worse enemy than my body at this point. After we put the boys in bed for the night, I pray for the umpteenth time for peace and patience. After watching a couple shows with Tim, I fall into bed exhausted.
Thursday, August 11th
I wake up at 1:30 am with the worst stomach ache and recall tossing and turning for the past couple hours. I figure it was the pizza. I take my usual bathroom break then get back in bed when I realize that the stomach ache I thought I'd been having was actually contractions. Close together contractions. Contractions that woke me up. Contractions that had me tossing and turning for the past two hours. I grab my phone and sit up in bed timing contractions.
Could this really be happening? No, it can't be. I'm too early. I hope the baby is okay. I should have never been doing so much yesterday. What was I thinking? It's probably just false labor again. I'm sure it's nothing. Calm down. Who should we call if we need to go to the hospital? Are my bags packed? No, I'm sure it's nothing. Crap, these are seven minutes apart. What if we don't make it in time? Oh no, five minutes. Whew, that was eight minutes. Okay, I better wake up Tim.
I wake Tim up around 2:00 am and tell him I'm calling his Mom. Actually, I think I asked him to call and wake up his Mom at 2:00 am. Of course, she's on her way. Tim sits up in bed not believing this is really happening and still half asleep. I pack my bags and pace around timing the contractions. Tim's Mom arrives around 2:30 am and we head to the hospital.
We arrive at the hospital and my contractions are still going strong. I'm sure this baby is coming any minute. They take me to a delivery room, I change and they begin monitoring me. I'm having contractions fairly close together. A nurse comes to check me and reports that I am a 3 and 70% effaced. I'm shocked. This is exactly what I was at my last doctor's appointment. She decides to leave me on the monitors for awhile to make sure everything is okay while they call my doctor to see what he wants to do. She doesn't even check us in and tells us that we'll probably be going home. I feel so dumb for coming into the hospital just to be sent home. We wait, watch some tv and feel too much nervous energy. I'm still having regular contractions so I'm sure something has to be happening.
After a couple hours another nurse comes to check on me and I am EXACTLY the same. Oh boy. We know we are definitely going home. She explains that she is still waiting to hear from my doctor. We wait some more and I am frustrated that I am wasting everybody's time.
A new nurse comes in, they have just changed shifts. She tells us the doctor has been watching my contractions on his monitor at work. He wants her to check me one more time before they send me home. We are shocked when she tells us that I am almost a 5 and 80% effaced. We are instructed to sit tight because the doctor is going to admit us. "You're having a baby today," she exclaimed. We are so excited. Immediately, nurses start checking us in and preparing things for delivery. I send a text to my parents and sisters.
Krista arrives shortly followed by my Mom and Erika. Immediately, Erika has her camera and is snapping pictures of everything. I am feeling pure excitement at this point. The nurse tells me my doctor is watching things from his office and will be over to check on me later. We sit around, wait and pose for pictures.
They check me again and nothing has changed. I send Krista, Erika and Tim off to get lunch. I'm only allowed ice chips. Ann brings Cooper to come visit thinking that they would be coming to see the baby. No such luck! We visit for awhile and it's a great distraction as I'm starting to go a little crazy. The nurse informs me that my doctor will be by sometime, but we still haven't seen him yet. My water has not broke yet, which is why labor is so slow. We hope my doctor will come and break my water.
My contractions are more painful so the nurse offers me a pain killer since I'm not ready for the epidural. After I get the pain meds, I feel great and even doze off to sleep for a bit. My Mom, Tim, Krista and Erika are all patiently waiting with me. I've been on sugar water for 12 hours now and I'm starting to swell up like a blimp.
After I wake up from a little nap, it seems my contractions have stopped. The nurse checks on me. She says the doctor is going to come over around 5, but he wants me to get up and walk around to see if that will get things going again. Tim and I begin pacing the halls wondering what on earth is going on. We take breaks to get monitored and my contractions have almost completely stopped. Everyone is baffled. I haven't changed at all since 7:00 am. We walk some more and wait for my doctor.
My doctor finally shows up and I'm so relieved to see him. I hope that he'll break my water to get things going, but no such luck. He explains the predicament he is in. He feels like he can't let me leave because I'm too far progressed. However, I'm too early to coax things along so he's unwilling to break my water. He says I need to stay the night and see how things go. Tim and I both feel devastated, but we trust that my doctor knows what he's doing.
My Mom and sisters leave. Tim and I are left to endure the long night ahead. They bring me a liquid dinner since I hadn't eaten anything in 24 hours. I have a little bit of chicken broth, but mostly feel too sick to eat.
My contractions come back with a vengeance. I'm in so much pain. The nurse gives me some pain meds so I can try to sleep. The monitors are not picking up my contractions anymore so the nurse treats me like I'm faking it! I am in horrible pain, but manage to be in and out of sleep all night long. Tim manages to get a little sleep himself.
Friday, August 12th
My doctor comes in to check on me and says I'm still a 5 and 90% effaced. I've only thinned out a bit more in 24 hours. He's still baffled. I am even more baffled because I had painful contractions all night long. He explains his predicament again and says that he will either break my water, which is extremely risky because I am 4 weeks early or admit me to the hospital and wait things out until I deliver. I'm praying that he'll break my water because I can't stand to be in this hospital any longer without my baby! Plus, I've been missing all my other babies that are at home with Grandma. My doctor leaves to go consult with a Neonatologist about my situation.
My doctor comes back and says he's going to break my water. Since I'm all prepped and I've already been on antibiotics for 30+ hours, they feel the risk of infection is higher if they let me wait this out. Since I've had three other healthy babies at 36 weeks, they hope that we will have the same luck again. He breaks my water and my contractions are immediately excruciating. I'm screaming for the epidural.
These contractions are more than I can bear since they broke my water. I'm so happy my family hasn't arrived back at the hospital to see how much pain I'm in. Truly, I think I can't endure one more second and then I finally get the epidural. He just finishes up and my Mom and sisters return. I'm starting to feel a little better. The nurse checks me and I'm fully dilated and ready to push. My doctor arrives. A few nurses come in. The room is bustling. We do some pushing. I'm exhausted and feel like I can't muster the strength to push. I do not remember this being so hard. Everyone is encouraging me. There is his head. He's right there. Another big push. You can do this. After such a long day and night of being in labor, it seems surreal that this is actually happening so fast now. I look around and see Tim, my Mom and sisters encouraging me. It feels like an out of body experience. Is this really happening? They call the NICU team to come and assist with the baby so I know he's almost out. Another big push. He's almost here.
He. Is. Here. The doctor grabs him and immediately hands him to me. He's crying. He looks amazing. He seems healthy. I just keep saying, "Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?" I'm in shock. I can't believe that I actually have another beautiful, healthy, amazing, little boy. It's too good to be true. I just keep staring at him in shock. I don't believe it. Tim cuts the cord. The NICU team takes him to check out his vitals.
While the doctor finishes cleaning me up, I just stare at them working on Crew. I keep asking questions, "How much does he weigh?" six pounds nine ounces. Such a relief. "How long is he?" Nineteen and a half inches. I'm in awe watching my family around the room. Tim's face is priceless as he stares at his new baby. Again, I feel like I'm in a dream. This can't actually be happening. I'm truly in awe. Pure awe.
My baby is here. Baby Crew is actually here. The nurses tell us he looks great. No words can even possibly express the emotions, the feelings, the amazing moment. A moment that is forever etched in my heart. The horrible pregnancy, sleepless nights, misery, tears and anguish is worth every single second for this one moment in time.
It seems that we'd been watching every minute on the clock until this point. Now that our baby is here time seems to stand still in the delivery room. The doctors and nurses quickly finish their business, congratulate us one more time and leave the room to let us enjoy this moment alone. We are all left in awe of what just happened and this incredible, beautiful, healthy boy. This moment is the closest to heaven I've ever felt. I can feel the spirit so strong and it's impossible to deny the presence of angels. At this moment, I know that heaven is real, because it's the only possible place this sweet angel baby could have just come from. The spirit testifies to me that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, it is so obvious staring into my baby's eyes. Everyone in the room is rewarded with a little moment from heaven with our new baby.
And this is where Crew's story begins...