October 14th, 2013 by Smithers

Spark’s Birth Story Part 1: Why Did You Wake Me Up After Only 30 Minutes?!?

Spark’s birth story is going to come to you in installments — I would like to say that it is because I am great at planning blog entries…but, really, it is because I am exhausted and am crouched in a corner typing furiously before the blonde-haired dictator toddler discovers that I am not giving him my full attention.

Oh, and this gets a little wordy and I don’t have any pics before we got to the hospital — so I will keep your attention with pics of my squishy little Spark.

Sleepy, Squishy Baby

Spark’s birth story really begins in mid-July. While my friend Normie was here I had a full night of regular and painful contractions. I was only 35 weeks 6 days, but for us that felt pretty far along. So, we weren’t at all worried and thought maybe it meant an early arrival. I went to the doctor and found out I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. It was exciting and scary at the same time. I knew I wanted a shot at a VBAC (vaginal birth after csection) and this was definitely a step in the right direction. My body was already starting to do what it was supposed to do. But. But. BUT. I had no idea what to expect from a vaginal birth and that scared the poop out of me.

I continued to have contractions, but they were either painful and irregular or painless Braxton-Hicks. B went on RAGBRAI and I was still preggo when he got back (Bonus!). My doctor did not check me while he was gone (she was afraid to stir something up), but at my 38 week appointment I was 3 cm dilated. It was relieving to know that all those irregular contractions were at least doing something. The problem was that my blood pressure had finally creeped up into abnormal land. Damn you, pre-eclampsia! Doc ordered labs, and non-stress test, and monitored baby’s fluid. It was scary to go down that road again. However, the next day my labs came back “stone cold normal” and we decided to watch my blood pressure. It was not pre-eclampsia…just high blood pressure.

Break-y! Stop Reading and Oogle This Squishy Baby!

Onwards.

At 39 weeks, my blood pressure was back down into safeland (by a teeny weeny bit) and I was dilated to 3.5 cm. My doctor and I actually got to discuss normal pregant-lady stuff like induction, and VBAC success rates, and labor expectations. My amazing doc admitted that she simply didn’t think I would make it this far. I was still having some contractions, but nothing to write home about. I started to resign myself to being pregnant for a good while longer.

Two days later, I was getting ready for bed when I started feeling a few contractions. Nothing regular but they gave me a little bit of hope. I laid down and just couldn’t turn my mind off. I tossed and turned and was just starting to fall asleep when I heard and felt an audible “pop.” My first thought was that my water had broken, but I didn’t have a gush or any leaking. I chalked it up to baby at a weird angle in my pelvis and then moving or something (?). It was 12:08. That is when the contractions really started. I instantly knew this was “different.” In fact, I didn’t even really time them, because I just had a feeling it was the real deal. I knew they were about 5 minutes-ish apart and I knew they hurt. At 12:30, I woke B up and told him that my misery needed a little company. I decided to take a shower to see if they calmed down. They. Did. Not.

I sat on the edge of the bed to put on my shorts when I felt a gush. It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small. I ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and had the funniest conversation with B

B: Do you think it was your water breaking?
Me: Either that or I just peed myself. A lot.
B: What are you supposed to do?
Me. I dunno. Wait. I think I am supposed to call in if contractions are regular for an hour or more.
B: How long have they been happening?
Me: About a half an hour.
B: WHAT?!? You woke me up after only 30 minutes?!? (joking)

B dialed the phone, I talked to Labor & Delivery from the toilet and B came running back laughing and pointing to his “Comin In Hot” T-shirt choice. Apparently, he felt that it was the best choice given the situation.

L & D told me to come in and we called our neighbor to come over and sleep at our house to watch Sprocket. I packed some last minute items in our hospital bag, put a towel down on the car seat, and we started the 20 minute drive to the hospital. I hadn’t leaked or gushed any more water, so I was half convinced that the contractions were going to die down and I was going to be sent home after an embarrassing episode of peeing myself.

Mad Squishy Spark.

That is what I thought…between the contractions. However, when I was in the middle of one I knew it was the real deal.  I had a few doozies in the car that were not fun. As we neared the parking lot, B and I both observed that hearing Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines as our last song in the car was unacceptable. We changed the station…and to be honest, I have no idea what song we actually ended up hearing because another contraction came on. I do know that B was doing the Mayor dance and having fun with it.

B dropped me off at the door, I waited for him to park and tried to breathe through another contraction. We walked up to L & D in 3 minute increments as I had stop walking every time a contraction hit. The Labor and Delivery floor has a phone outside a locked door and you have to call them to get “buzzed in.” B picked up the phone and when the nurse answered he said, “My wife would like to pop out a baby.”

Our nurse met us as we walked in and, ironically, we had to walk past the entrance to the NICU to get to my room.

Up next…more labs, water-breaking doubt, monster contractions, and things gets real. Quick.

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