One week ago today, almost this time exactly, we were walking out the door of the hospital with a brand new baby girl. It was a rainy day, a lot like this morning. But we had all the sunshine we'd ever need snug in our back seat...
Saturday, April 24 was a cloudy, cool morning. I woke up with a back-ache and some crampiness in my lower belly. I immediately wondered if this could be signs of early labor but after the false alarm the week before, I didn't want to get carried away. I didn't say anything to anyone. I just went about my plans for the day, which fortunately were few. I ate breakfast, put away laundry in the baby's room, and did some other smaller cleaning tasks. As the day went on I could tell that the cramps I was feeling were becoming stronger and they were coming and going with contractions. I became more and more convinced that something might be going on and decided to tell Josh. He could tell I wasn't feeling well but didn't have any idea that I suspected I might be starting labor. Around lunch time when his sister had left for Eldersburg, I decided to tell Josh what was up. We decided to have some lunch and see how things went. After we ate we started timing contractions just to see if there was any pattern to them. Sure enough there was. Each contraction was lasting close to a full minute, some longer, and they were consistently less than 5 minutes apart from start to start. We timed for an hour as we had been instructed by the midwives, and then called in to see what they wanted us to do.
The midwife on call was the only one from the practice that I'd never met. I felt comfortable with her though because my sister-in-law, Jenna, sees her and let me know that she was very nice. She said it sounded like I was ready to come in and that she'd be ready for me when I got there. We arrived around 4:00 and were admitted right away. The nurses began an IV drip of fluids to make sure I was sufficiently hydrated, and then they put my epidural in. I was 5 cm dialated and 100% effaced when we got there so after the epidural we just waited. They advised us to try to sleep so they turned our lights off and we quietly watched the O's game. I tried to fall asleep and managed to doze on and off a little bit, but the excitement made it difficult to fall asleep completely.
So we waited and waited, and then around 10:00 the midwife asked if I'd like to start pushing. I said, I'm ready to do whatever I need to in order to have a baby. So we started pushing. It was around 10:35 pm and after four contractions she was born at 10:54! She weighed a big healthy 8 lbs. and 5 oz. and was 20.5" long.
The worst part of the whole experience was having to be in the hospital. The bed was uncomfortable at a time when you desperately need something soft to sit on. It was only tolerable if I was laying flat and there's a lot that can't be done when laying flat. Nurses, techs, doctors, housekeeping, kitchen service, and photographers were in and out of the room at all hours. Many times they just wanted to ask if you needed anything. It was exhausting. I survived though, and we high-tailed it out of there at the first opportunity.
Being at home made all the difference for me. I slept better, ate better, felt better. We spent the rest of last week with family and friends as they came to visit and meet little Carsen for the first time. Josh only had those five days off work due to changes that his company has recently made to their benefits and policies. He also lost a lot of his leave due to the snow this winter when his building was closed but his company remained open and he was forced to use his own time. As a result, he had to go back to work this morning. It has been a very quiet morning so far with just me and Carsen at home. She slept like a pro last night, but I won't say that too loud. We'll see if it becomes a habit first :]
I've already thought of a bunch of new blog topics since becoming a mommy, so stay tuned for some things I want all of my friends who are awaiting the arrival of their first babies to know!