When your first child comes early, you assume they all will, but Gwen proved that wrong. A week overdue wrong. Forced out of me wrong, and even that took some work. So, with this pregnancy, it was all a mystery if our little babe would come early or late, on her own or forced out. I like a good story too much, and I always complain that Gwen's birth story was less than exciting. In fact, her story aggravates me, but only because it took so long, and I have little patience.
I tried doing everything I could to get this girl to come on her own, but I was left thinking that even though my body did what it was suppose to with Preston, that maybe it just forgot how to go into labor on it's own. From 38 weeks on I kept thinking, any day now, but just like with Gwen, any day turned into three more weeks, so I tried to stop that thinking. Then my due date came and went, and I was certain her birth story would contain an induction, too. And I was sad. However, my due date was a few days early, because I lied about it. Mostly because I knew if I DID have to be induced, and the military refuses to induce before 41 weeks, unless there's a real reason to do it sooner, my child would come out huge. So, I fibbed, but only by a few days which really was a lame fib anyway.
Saturday morning, my actual due date, I woke up at 1:25am to take my usual middle of the night bathroom break. The moment I sat up in bed, I knew something was happening. I had had some bleeding going on from them stripping my membranes a few days prior, so when I sat up in bed and felt a really large amount of something coming out of me, I just thought I was bleeding more than normal right then. And then I got into the bathroom, and noticed how incredibly wet I felt, and it was all clear liquid. Yes, something was most definitely up. With my last two, the moment my water breaks, the baby is ready to come out. Yet I wasn't having any contractions at this point, so I was kind of confused. I had been having contractions on and off for days now, but they always went away as soon as it was time for bed.
I debated if I should tell John or not, still slightly confused about whether or not it really was my water that just broke. That had never happened to me anywhere but at the hospital. I've always heard stories of peoples water breaking, but I never thought I'd be one to have a story that involved that experience, too. I climbed back in bed, and tried to go back to sleep. But a few minutes later I had to get up again, and of course, the same thing happened the moment I sat up. A huge gush of water came pouring out of me. I leaned over to John and said, "Hey, I think my water just broke!" And of course he got a little panicked thinking we needed to rush to the hospital right then. I assured him that I didn't think it was go time yet, heck, I wasn't even having contractions, so what was the rush, right? Bless his heart, he called the hospital and of course, they said I should probably come in...but it would be ok if I showered, packed my back, and ate some food first. I interpreted that as, we'll go in when it's not the middle of the night and we don't have to call and inconvenience someone at 2am.
Thankfully my instincts were right. Contractions didn't start until a little later, and although I desperately wanted to fall back to sleep, sleep was NOT going to happen that night.
Preston and Gwen thought they needed to wake up extra early that morning, 5:30am early. Ugh! John brought Gwen into bed with me, and he went and laid by Preston and we both crossed our fingers they'd fall back to sleep. But of course, that didn't happen. Children!
I kept looking at the clock thinking, I'm sure I can make it a few more hours until we actually need to go to the hospital. Normally I take forever to dilate, so I wasn't too concerned I'd get there and be a 10. My contractions were still pretty mild, too, so really, I found no rush in getting us out the door.
We all got up around 6:30, I made us breakfast, took a shower, finished packing my bag, and decided it was probably time to call someone from the branch to come over and hang out with our children for the day. Of course the one person I called and assumed would be up by then wasn't and I totally woke her up. It was 7:30. Whoops!
She and her husband came by just after 8, we gave them some guidance on things our kids do/don't like, nap schedule, etc. and headed out the door.
It was close to 9 when we finally got to the hospital, they took me into triage to see what was going on, to make sure my water really did break, and to monitor the baby. They checked my cervix to see how dilated I was, and I was only a three! At 39 weeks I was a two, so, that goes to show how slow things usually progress down yonder.
They did a test, and for some reason they still weren't sure it was my water that broke, but they decided to admit me anyway around 9:30. About an hour later John left to get some food because he was starving, and we assumed we had a LONG day ahead of us. They told me they check your cervix every four hours, and once they checked it in four hours, and if I was wanting an epidural, it could be taken care of then. But the moment John left, my contractions started getting really strong, and the pain was starting to get really bad. In my mind I was still at a three, maybe a four if I was lucky, and I couldn't understand why these contractions were SO bad. With Gwen I got to a seven and still didn't feel too miserable. I was being a wuss. That's what I decided. I even told the nurse that I was in a LOT of pain, but I couldn't figure out why, and I felt like a big ol' wuss. Finally John got back, and I told him I thought I was going to die, it hurt SO bad. He asked if we could get the anesthesiologist up right then, but I could tell the nurse was thinking, but we don't do that until we check you, and we check you every four hours, and it hasn't been four hours yet. It had only been two. But thankfully the anesthesiologist came up, and I was about to get some relief. The contractions were so intense, and coming every 30 seconds to a minute apart, I felt like I was getting no break in between. I was light headed, nauseous, in pain, and I really felt like I wasn't going to make it. The doctor started the epidural, and I couldn't hold it together, I barfed all over. Thankfully into a bowl, but I couldn't believe that was actually happening. I seriously felt like I wasn't being me. The girl who usually has high pain tolerance, who jokes through labor, and usually finds this day to be really "fun" in a weird way, was throwing up during labor and on the verge of tears. I don't throw up!
The epidural didn't work. I was barely feeling numb in my legs, and it was doing zero in terms of subsiding the contraction pains. NOTHING. It literally did nothing. So, he tried again, claiming the first time he did it it went in way too easy. So, epidural number two happened, and the only thing that came from it was numb legs. I still felt every contraction and couldn't understand why my legs would be numb but nothing else. Oh, well, the nurse finally had the bright idea to check my cervix, only to discover I was at a 10 and her head was right there ready to come out. Oddly enough, even before my legs got numb, I didn't feel ANY pressure down there, or I would have informed the nurse she needed to check me way sooner. I was annoyed. In pain and annoyed. Why did they wait so long to check me?! Why couldn't they treat me like an individual patient instead of having to follow the, check cervix every four hour rule?! I suppose I should have asked her to check me, regardless if that was following the "rules" or not, but because I typically dilate so slow, I assumed I was only at a five, and that was being optimistic, so what was the rush?
Once they discovered I was at a 10, the doctor rushed right in, got my legs all set up in the lovely stirrups, while I tried my best to get through every contraction that was coming my way. The doctor told me to do a practice push, whatever a practice push means, and was shocked that when I did that her head was practically out, two more pushes and out came our baby girl. I'm pretty sure the pushing time was under 5 minutes! We were now a family of five.
With both kids the first question I've always asked is, "What color is his/her hair?" But when this sweet babe came out, all I could think was how glad I was that that pain was over, and the thought of hair color didn't even cross my mind, yet I was shocked when I looked at her and saw this cute little face, and a head full of dark brown hair. She was perfect. She was our little Josie Marion Lovell. A solid 8lbs 12 oz, and 22.5 inches long, born at 12:36pm, roughly three hours after being admitted to the hospital! I guess I can labor/dilate faster than I thought. Third times the charm.
We decided to name her after both of our mom's mom's real names. I remember visiting John's grandma Benson just before we moved to Japan, and discovered her real name is Josie, not Fern. I'd always liked the name Josie, and at that moment, I knew I'd one day have a little girl named Josie, too.
She's the sweetest, calmest baby, and I couldn't imagine life without her. She's definitely given me a run for my money since discovering she'd join our family. I was told at my 20 week appointment I had placenta previa and that she had a cyst on her brain. I freaked out, bawled my eyes out, and prepared for the worst. Thankfully there was no worst. By 28 weeks, my placenta had moved, and the cyst disappeared. Which was normal, and excepted by the doctors, but they're still really scary things to find out about.
On the way to the hospital I noticed I hadn't felt her move in a long time, so of course I'm thinking worst case scenario, and even in triage, the nurse couldn't find her heartbeat at first. Freak out moment for sure! And now, here we are, on the verge of being admitted to the hospital because the poor girl has really high bilirubin levels and even with light treatment, which she's been under going more or less since Tuesday (she was off it yesterday) has been rising everyday. If it's gone up again tomorrow when I take her back to be checked, I'm afraid the only thing left to do is admit us to the hospital and let them try to work with her. It shouldn't be scary, but anything involving a sweet and precious newborn is scary. I'm trying to be optimistic and hopeful but as a mom, it's just plain scary. I've hated that her whole first week there has been little holding on my part. Yesterday she wasn't on the light treatment, and I think I held her all day long. I couldn't get enough of her in my arms. And now, unless I'm feeding her or changing her diaper, I just have to sit by her side and stare, and try to calm her down without her being in my arms. It's heartbreaking. In every way possible.
Oh how I love this sweet girl of mine. Preston and Gwen are obsessed with her, and Gwen asks for nothing but to hold her all the time. I hope my kids always love each other the way they do as children...or babies in my case. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the love they have for each other. And I hope that love continues to grow and grow everyday.