Paisley Autumn Claire Krueger
Friday night right before I went to bed I felt a couple very mild contractions. They were not at all painful and I didn't think much of it before going to bed.
On Saturday morning I woke up around 9 and got ready to head over to my mom and dad's house. My sisters and their kids were going to all get together for some playtime and lunch since it had been a few weeks since we'd all been able to get together. Throughout the time there I was having contractions off and on, but again they were not painful and were not coming regularly; eventually I just got used to feeling them and soon didn't notice they kept coming. Around 1 we left to go home and put Natalie down for her nap. She ended up sleeping for only an hour, and after trying to get her to go back to sleep I finally gave up and we went outside to play for awhile. Andy had been out roto-tilling the new dirt we had spread around the edges of the new driveway all morning. While we played awhile I realized that the contractions were not going away and I started to think "maaaaaaaybe, just maybe??"....I guess you could say my nesting instinct kicked in because I suddenly got the desire to get the last of the baby stuff organized, do some laundry, clean the kitchen, and Natalie and I baked some pumpkin bread and muffins. Eventually we ate supper, and then Andy took Natalie upstairs to give her her bath. I sat down on the couch and decided to start timing my contractions. For 2.5 hours I timed them and they were about 7-9 minutes apart. They were not getting any stronger, and I was actually surprised to see that they were coming pretty regularly. I bet if I had paid attention to them all day I'd have noticed they were coming pretty regularly for hours, but alas I did not. Again, they still were not very painful. Andy got Natalie to go to bed and we talked about what our plan would be should this actually be the real thing. I called my mom and put her on notice (she'd be taking the dog and Natalie when it was time). Andy got the guest bedroom set up for him to sleep in--I wanted him to get some good rest just in case we had to leave in the middle of the night. My plan was that I'd go to bed and see what happened, I was very hopeful that I'd make it until the morning. At 10:00 I went to bed, still having contractions 7-9 minutes apart. I was able to sleep a little bit here and there, but was awake most of the time. At 12:20 I must have dozed off because I woke up to a pretty painful contraction. I got the timer out again and they were coming about every 3-4 minutes. I dinked around for a bit and then at 1 decided that I should call the midwife. I got ahold of her right away and she said it sounded like the real thing, and I should think about heading in within the next hour. By this point I was having a hard time talking through the contractions. I called my mom to let her know we'd be over in about 45 minutes, after I got Andy up and we got everything packed. I went in and woke him up from a dead sleep and we started gathering the last of our stuff. I realized that I hadn't packed a bag for Natalie so I threw some clean clothes in a bag that happened to be in our bedroom from doing laundry earlier in the day. Andy got everything in the car and I went down to wait for him to grab Natalie. Once we got in the car I realized that yes, I was in labor. I think this was the first time I was able to admit to myself that it was the real deal. I'd been so afraid of not going into labor on my own and having to be induced again that I was fully expecting the contractions to fizzle out to nothing. The drive was NOT FUN!!! I was glad that it was the middle of the night and the roads were not busy. We dropped Natalie and the dog off and headed into town. At the last stoplight we pulled up to there were no other cars around, but the light was red. And it wasn't turning. So we went through it.
We got to the hospital around 2 and they hooked me up to the monitors for an NST. Contractions were still 2-4 minutes apart and getting stronger. I was still handling them well, but by this point I could not talk or move during them. The nurse checked me and said I was 4-5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. About 2:45 they moved us to a birthing room and the midwife arrived. I sat on the edge of the bed answering a million questions while they filled up the tub. Around 3:15 I finished the Q & A session and was able to get in the bathtub. It felt a lot better to be in there, but I wouldn't say that it was "like an epidural", or that I felt "immediate relief". For me it more just took the edge off. It was still painful, but I could handle it. It felt very very nice to be in the hot water. My midwife was in and out as was one nurse. I could hear them getting the room ready for a baby and again, I just couldn't believe it--it was actually happening! I had a chat with Andy--told him to not leave me and that I needed him (haha, like he was gonna go anywhere! I don't know why I thought I had to tell that to him!). He prayed for us and that's pretty much exactly what I needed, he knows me so well! After that, the contractions really got harder and I started to wonder how much of this I could take. I knew that if this lasted for hours upon hours that I would be asking for an epidural, and I told my midwife that. She decided that it would be a good time to check me again, and surprise! I was at 8! That did give me hope because I kinda knew that it was too late for anything, and that the end was near. I felt like I COULD do this, and that compared to the contractions I felt with Natalie, this was total do-able. Not long after she checked me, maybe 2-3 contractions later I suddenly jumped and flailed in pain--I felt like I was losing control of my body, which was the first time something like that had happened during this labor (I pretty much felt that way through my entire labor with Natalie). I knew I had to pull it together--I can't let that happen again and if I do I'm surely going to fail. I had to keep reminding myself to relax, let my body do what it wants to and that this will soon be over. I felt like I had to push, but I could not get a good grip on anything in the tub--I kept floating around and losing my grip so I asked if I could get out. I want to say that this was around 4:00. The nurse wrapped a hot blanket around me and I got into bed. Almost as soon as I got there I felt the urge to push again. Out of nowhere another nurse appeared. On the next contraction, when I felt like I had to, I gave a half-hearted push (this is when my water broke) and I remember Andy saying "her head's right there--our baby is coming honey!!" THAT totally made me want to push and push hard. I wanted this kid out, I wanted that awful feeling to go away and so on the next contraction I pushed. HARD. And again. And then....she was out!! 4:15am. They laid her on me, she cried and Andy cut the cord. I could not believe how little she was!! At my appointment 3 days earlier the midwife guessed she was probably around 8lbs, but when they weighed her she was just 6lbs 6oz.
I held her for a bit and then she went to the warmer with Andy and they checked her out, got her cleaned up and I pushed out the placenta. I ended up with 2 teeny tears which required a stitch each. She gave me a shot of something for the stitches, which was the only drug that I had. As she stitched me up I asked when we could go home. I said as soon as possible and she said that shouldn't be a problem, we should be able to be out in a few hours. Normally they'd move us to a postpartum room but since we were leaving soon they just kept us where we were--Birthing Room #2. By 4:45 everything was cleaned up and the nurses and midwife were gone. I think we just sat there in shock. I'm still in shock!! We had a bunch of visitors--my mom and dad came with Natalie, Andy's parents, Holly and Anika and Jess and Nadia all stopped by, and we were out the door headed home at 4:45 that afternoon.
I can't believe I went into labor on my own. I can't believe I didn't have any drugs. I can't believe I DID IT!! It was the complete and total opposite of Natalie's birth--it's everything I had ever hoped for. I feel so extremely blessed!!!!