Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tracey Ann's Birth Story -- Long Version Part 2

For the back story, check out Part 1 of Tracey Ann's birth story.

I awoke with a start, and gasped, "Oh My Gosh!" and ran to the bathroom.

Hubby, who was in the living room, (after all, it was only 8:30pm on a Thursday... not the middle of the night or anything) immediately knew what had happened.  He came to check on me and confirm his suspicions, and  I later found out that my parents (in bed, but not yet asleep, in the guest room) heard Chris and me talking, when I told him that yes, my water had broken.

I was not having any contractions at this point, but there was no doubt about it, my water had definitely broken.  We called the on-call line for my doctor's office to let them know what had happened.  We planned to labor at home as long as possible (and because my Strep B test was negative), and we had my doctor's go-ahead to do so, but we wanted to let them know what was going on.

The doctor called us back within five minutes and we touched base.  I don't remember all of what was said in our conversation, but I know she gave us the green light to stay at home.  She said labor would probably start in the next four hours, and to keep her posted.

After Hubby and I got off the phone with her, Hubby cleaned up our bed and put the sheets in the washer, (things weren't too messy... I had high-tailed it to the bathroom really quickly when I felt the water gush), and I took a shower -- the shower I planned to take the next morning before my doctor's appointment.  I washed my hair, and shaved my legs... I knew it might be a few day before I would have the chance to do those things again. 

After that, I told my parents what the doctor had said and encouraged them to try to sleep, and we'd keep them posted.  Meanwhile, Hubby called his parents (in St. Louis) and brought them up to speed on what was going on.  They were really disappointed to hear my water broke because my father-in-law was in the middle of a construction job, and he would not be able to get away for another week to ten days.  After all, the baby was not due for another nine days.  They wanted us to keep them posted, of course, but it looked like they would not be able to come see us at the hospital, which was what they intended to do.  Everyone was disappointed about this, but there certainly wasn't anything anyone could do to delay the baby's arrival -- he or she was on his/her way.

Next, Hubby and I talked about how things might progress... he wondered if he would be able to go to school at 5:00 am the next morning to send his students off skiing with parents.  He knew he wouldn't be able to ski with them, but he was hoping he could be at school to organize drivers and send them off. 

I quickly learned that I needed to keep dog-training pads under me wherever I was... gushes of water kept coming when I moved.  After a little while, I decided to get into a bath again to try to relax, and stop worrying about spilling water all around our house.  While I was in the tub, Hubby went to school to arrange some sub plans for the next week because we knew that the baby was coming sometime in the next day or two, and he would not be at school the following week (his district doesn't have school on Fridays, so he was preparing plans for the following week).

We decided that, since my contractions would probably be starting soon, we should try to get some sleep.  That led to the question of where we were going to sleep as we knew I would keep leaking water.  Luckily, we had an airbed set up in the basement as a second guestroom, and that seemed like the best place to go to bed.  We headed to bed around 11:00pm or so and tried to sleep.

We both slept pretty fitfully, and I awoke every two hours or so to use the restroom.  Every time I awoke, I remember thinking, "Is this really happening?  Yup, my water is still broken.  Nope, no contractions yet."

Hubby was able to go to school at 5:00 am like he had hoped, and my contractions still had not begun.  When he arrived home at 6:00 am, the on-call doctor called me back to ask how things were progressing.  The answer was, they weren't.

At that point, she recommended that we come into the hospital.  Chris and I discussed our options with her:
  1. Come into the hospital, make sure the baby was safe, and consider medical options to get labor started.
  2. Begin to try to naturally induce labor at home for an hour or so, and then head to the hospital later that morning.
  3. Take a fully 24 hours since my water broke to try to induce labor at home.
We had learned in our Bradley Classes that a women and baby can remain safe if labor begins within 24 hours from the water breaking.  Our doctor confirmed that that was true, but she said that 80% of women begin contractions within the first 4 hours after their water breaks, and since my contractions had not begun in the, now, 10 hours since my water broke, contractions were unlikely to begin in the next few hours if we stayed at home.

I was discouraged at her recommendation to come the hospital as our plan was to labor at home until the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband helped me remember the ultimate goal: Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby.  Yes, we had a birth plan, and were were going to try to stick to it -- but the ultimate goal, the ONLY goal was Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby.

I started walking around and trying to start my labor while Chris loaded the car and got us ready to head to the hospital.  Our bag had been packed for WEEKS, but because I wasn't in active labor, we were able to make sure we had everything -- and yes, we brought EVERYTHING.  We basically had the entire cab of his truck full to head to the hospital.

Still, with no real sign of contractions, at 9:30 am, we headed to the hospital.  I think Hubby was disappointed that he didn't have an excuse to fly down the interstate with his wife in active labor in the front seat (picture every movie you've ever seen where a woman is in labor and her husband drives like a character out of The Fast and the Furious).  We even stopped for Hubby to get an iced tea on our way out of town.

Twenty minutes latter, we entered at the hospital knowing that, in a matter of hours, we would have our child, we would know if we had a son or a daughter, and we would be parents...

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