(Above is the very last weekly bump photo I took while pregnant, and it was also the very day I went into early labor.)
Our daughter Petra is six months old, so I thought this would be a good–and very late!–time to go over our birth story. Oh yeah, her name is Petra. I just remembered I hadn’t shared it with the public on this blog yet. Was the wait worth it? She’s named after my husband’s grandmother on his mother’s side. When we first told his mom, she had a huge smile on her face and asked “How am I so lucky that you named your daughter after my mom?” I’ve never met Petra’s namesake and I don’t think my husband has either. There are a lot of names passed down in our families, but never from my mother-in-laws family, so we were happy to change that. Petra is the female version of Peter and it was actually very popular in the 1920’s. How glamorous.
So onto the nitty gritty. Even though my due date was July 11th, and my husband and I were hoping she would be born on the 12th of the month like both of us, one day I had an overwhelming feeling that our daughter would be an early arrival. The 28th of June popped into my head and I told my husband I thought she was going to be born on that day. I usually have a good track record with things like that, I believe it’s spiritual discernment. (If I haven’t beaten you over the head with it enough, I’ll remind you I’m Chrisitan. No hocus pocus over here.) So, that being said, we continued busying ourselves with getting the house ready. We had a short time to do it since we had just moved in March and our little lady would be joining us in a little over three months. Fortunately, we had most of the things we needed, but unfortunately I was so exhausted all the time AND we had a heat wave that left us in piles of sweat not wanting to paint/move/build anything.
So the 28th rolls around and that morning I start losing my mucus plug. Google it for more details, but it’s basically like a thick snot that starts coming out when your cervix begins to dilate. This is one of the early signs that labor is imminent. I didn’t know how soon imminent was, so we put the hospital bag in the car and I started leaving a towel on the car seat and in the bed at night just incase my water broke. Fun fact, a very small percentage of women actually have their water break on it’s own. It’s still a little bit frazzling to wonder if you’re in that small percentage and if/when it’s going to happen. That day I had a lot of plans: a baby shower my hospital was throwing the pregnant women with a similar due date, my friend’s baby shower, and visiting my mom. As you can see, we were definitely not taking it easy in the home stretch of our pregnancy. That’s probably why Petra was getting the heck out of there. Haha. All during that day, I would notice some mucus matter and some bloody matter–excuse the gross–whenever I went to the bathroom. Not to mention the contractions I was having all day. Clearly I was in early labor already, but I went on about my business. I remembered reading that it wasn’t until you had consistent contractions about 3-5minutes apart that you should head to the hospital, and that didn’t happen yet.
Days go by and I’m still getting things ready around the house–it’s a mess–and making lunch dates and dinner plans with girlfriends. On Wednesday July 2nd, I went to the Olive Garden with the lovely ladies I was pregnant with and we had a blast. I told them about my contractions and other things, and they were like “So, basically you’re in labor?” Yup. We stay for a good two hours or so and then say our goodbyes and head home. I had plenty of leftovers, so as I ate my second dinner–that was pretty common at nine months pregnant–I started having pretty consistent contractions and they were lasting longer and getting more intense. It was already pretty late, but at two something in the morning we tried to go to bed. I tried to sleep for about an hour, but it was getting so uncomfortable, I woke my husband up to tell him what was going on. I hadn’t timed them, so I had no idea how often they were happening. So at three or so in the morning we started notating how long they were and how far apart they were. It turns out they were already 3-5 minutes apart and lasting about 30-45 seconds. We recorded for an hour and a half just to be sure because I’ve heard of so many women who made it to the hospital only for their labor to completely stop. At about five in the morning, we made a decision to make our way before traffic started, but of course we recorded a video before we left the house. We wanted to document our birth process, and this was the perfect time to start.
Once we were dressed and on the road, I texted family and friends for prayer. My mom and a friend of mine were already awake and responded “I guess this is why I’ve been up praying for an hour.” Wow, that was so comforting to know God already had prayer warriors on guard for us and our baby on the way. I later found out that my good friend who was out of town was also praying at the exact same time. The whole 30 min trip to our hospital was surreal. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening, and I’d be meeting our girl soon. We had a lot of plans that day, by the way, so it was not very convenient for her to be born yet. Our house was a disaster zone, we still had to purchase some baby goods, and there was a birthday dinner we were supposed to attend. Not to mention, I had just booked a huge Johnson & Johnson commercial that was supposed to shoot the next week and I was supposed to still be pregnant for it. Alas, it was still worth it to bring a life into the world. Something that’s always weird to me is how you go through these huge events–for bad or for good–and the world still goes on the way it usually does. I wanted to scream out of the car window “Hey world! I’m having a baby today! Don’t you care?!”
We arrive at the hospital around six in the morning and we get our things out of the car and head inside. As we walk up to the building, I grab the wall and start crying…really hard. I know I’m supposed to go inside and they’re supposed to whisk me away in a wheelchair to my room and check on me, but I’m paralyzed by the unknown. I have no idea what’s in store for me and I’m really scared. Once we enter the lobby, we walk up to the security desk and ask what we’re supposed to be doing (ummm, there was no special wheelchair or nurses waiting for me and my special baby by the door like in the movies). He looked at me like I was a sad crazy person and pointed us to the front desk. As I’m having painful contractions, I had to fill out tons of papers and it took almost an hour before I was escorted upstairs to labor and delivery. Oh, don’t mind me. Take your time. I’m just have a baby and it’s my first time and I’m freaking out.
I get to my room, and I’m glad that is quite large and has a bathroom and a shower and a nice nurse to ask me questions. Now I’m told to undress, put on this robe, and they’ll call my doctor so that we can get the ball rolling. This is the first time I feel like I have a handle on things. I made it, and I’m in the hands of a knowledgable, caring staff who assist with this type of thing every day. The turn of events that happened next were not at all what I expected, and I’ll tell you about it–in gory detail–in my next post.
So, that’s that for now. Be blessed and take time to make your dreams into your reality.