I'm glad to have found a few moments to sit and write this down while it's fresh in my memory. It will probably be long and hopefully not to graphic, so enjoy!
I guess the story starts last Sunday when I got the stomach flu. I was vomiting on Sunday and actually called my doc at 2am that night to get some drugs so I could keep down liquids. On Monday Tessa was throwing up too, poor girl. We were pathetic and Jeremy was taking care of us while praying he didn't catch the bug himself.
Tuesday morning (1/27) Tessa and I were both so much better. We both ate breakfast which was a good sign, although we laid around alot that morning still. All morning I was having lower abdomen pains which I thought were still related to bowel troubles so I mostly ignored.
When Tessa woke up from her nap we tried to start watching Horton Hears a Who on the couch but my 'bowel pains' were starting to get uncomfortable and I decided to call Jer off of work so I could lay down upstairs. At this point I was still undetermined that these were actually contractions so I took a nap.
When I woke up from my nap I was not feeling well and kinda chilled so I decided to get in the bath at about 4pm. I gotta say one thing I love about our house is our big garden tub, and boy did it come in handy! At about 5pm, while still in the tub I decided to start timing contractions and they were 10 min apart consistently for an hour. At that time we called our doula Paula and filled her in. Her advice was to hang loose and try to relax..the contractions could speed up or slow down at that point.
It should be noted that it had been snowing all day, especially down south where Mom and Dad live. Mom had already had a snow day on Tuesday and with a record snowfall predicted for overnight they had called Wednesday already as well. So at some point while around this time I called to say that I was having contractions.
My thought was that if they stood any chance of getting to us in the next couple of days, they should leave Tuesday evening before the 'blizzard' hit. I still wasn't sure that birth was imminent but I felt like it was a good precaution in case. Jeremy told me later that he called Mom again and confirmed that yes they should come asap. So they headed north after Dad got home from work and their normal 1hr trip took more like 3hrs in the weather.
In that 3hrs of time it's fair to say alot happened. Jeremy fed Tessa her dinner and got her ready for bed while I tried to rest and refilled the bathtub for another round. We called Paula again, who got things settled with her own kids and started to head our way.
I got in the tub for the second time at about 7pm and contractions were becoming noticeably painful despite the soothing affects of the water. Jeremy turned on my labor play list on the Ipod and ran down quickly to shovel the driveway and load the car. Contractions were coming quicker and more painfully every 6-7 min or so.
When I got out of the tub at around 9 things were much more serious in terms of pain. We used my quick window of between contractions to get me out and dressed and moved into the bedroom, because the contractions themselves were pretty debilitating. Jeremy put counter pressure on my back and I simply prayed through each one.
I had made myself a little list of short bible verses that I stuck on the back of Tessa's birth picture and I held it and tried to repeat them in my head. They were mostly to do with strength and protection. I also tried to stay positive in my thoughts and thank God for the pain rather than thinking about how I wanted to die. It's amazing to me that the positive thoughts really truly did help, and knowing that each one would be over soon and was bringing the baby. Only once did I actually say "I can't do this" which I think is pretty normal.
After getting out of the tub and into the bedroom I settled myself on the yoga ball just as Paula arrived. For a short time (maybe 10 min) I watched American Idol in between contractions for distraction.
After being on the ball for maybe 30 minutes I told Paula my hips were on fire and I needed to stand up. When I stood up that's when we knew things were serious. The pain was almost unbearable and the contraction were piled one right on top of the other with no break. At this exact moment my parents had arrived and Jeremy was downstairs making a pot of coffee, when Paula and I decided it was definitely time to to go.
I could hardly walk as we got down the stairs and said a quick hi and bye to my parents who had barely taken off their coats. Jeremy helped me into the bathroom for a quick pee on our way out the door. Honestly I felt such intense pressure I thought I was going to poop my pants, but instead my water broke in the toilet. We rushed to our cars at that point, deciding to take Mom and Dad's for the 4 wheel drive. I remember Paula asking me if the pressure had released and I should feel better, and I told her no that all I wanted to do was push.
So we drove fast. In Jeremy's fish tale version of the story there were already 9inches of snow on the ground but I'd say it was more like 4. Luckily the streets were empty and we only had to run one red light. The whole time in the car I asked Jeremy to pray out loud...that we would make it, that I could resist the urge to push. It took us only 10 min to get to the hospital.
When we got there Jeremy and Paula left their cars by the front entrance (they have a valet service) and wheeled me very quickly to L&D. When we got to the reception desk I remember the lady asking for my ID and Paula telling her there was no time for that. Jeremy told me later that he quickly signed some papers while running down the hallway.
The scene at the hospital must have been comical. All I remember was my clothes being ripped off and nurses scrambling. We had called our doc who was on call for both hospitals and she had come to ours simply because there was nothing happening at the other one. She had no idea how quickly we would come, and neither did I!
The nurse checked me and announced I was 'complete' (10 cm) and they scrambled some more. The doctor rushed in while putting on her gloves and gear and I remember her telling me not to push yet, but man did I really want to! I kept repeating out loud "I'm complete, I'm complete" and Jer said later he thought I was confused. I wasn't confused I was just shocked and trying to convince myself it was true!...I had actually gotten all the way to complete with no drugs, and it was time for the baby. I just couldn't believe it.
We were in the hospital's computer system for 8 whole minutes before Charley appeared at 10:48...only about 6 hrs from the time I timed the first contraction, and 30 minutes after I decided my pain was bad enough to head to the hospital and Mom and Dad had arrived at our house to babysit.
Was I trying to be stupid by waiting to long at home?...no. Until the time that I stood up from that yoga ball I honestly did not yet think it was time and neither did our Doula. After birth she stayed with us for a few hours and kept reliving it from her memory as well. Even with all her experience birthing babies she did not know how close we were. It just sorta happened that way, Charley was ready to come out.
Of course he came out perfectly. 9lb 8oz...another thing I kept repeating out loud cause I couldn't believe it. The same length as his sister but a whole 2lbs heavier. He was healthy and pink, and nursed as soon as they had us cleaned up.
We all reeled and celebrated for a couple hours then laid down to rest. Upon waking at about 6am, Jeremy officially had the stomach flu. He started vomiting at the hospital and I sent him away, even though he was pretty upset. I still had lots of good tummy drugs at home and he left to go take some and recoup for the morning.
When I turned on the tv we saw what had happened overnight, an 11 inch snowfall and it was still snowing all morning. Because of the roads Charley and I had no visitors which was actually kinda nice. We watched the blizzard out the window and on tv and sent emails on Jeremy's blackberry to announce his arrival.
By mid afternoon Jeremy had stopped vomiting and was ready to bring Tessa to the hospital along with Mom and Dad to meet Charley. As you can see in the video she was excited..partially to see me, partially because of the balloons and milk carton and a little bit by the baby in the room.
That night they brought me a nice takeout dinner from the Cheesecake Factory which sounded great but didn't actually stay down so well. I continued to be sick off and on during my whole stay, and when we got home poor Mom had contracted the bug as well. I think now almost a week after it started, the stomach bug has mostly disappeared.
We were discharged early afternoon on Thursday. Because we were all doing so well they didn't even bother holding us for the 48 hr blood tests, and had us instead come back on Saturday to quickly have that done.
On the drive home I could hardly believe the snow and icicles. Even though we had watched in all on tv, I had no idea how bad it really was. We are so lucky nobody got hurt getting to us, and of course that we didn't wreck on the way to the hospital.
We are settling in nicely now at home. Charley was happy when the milk fairies finally arrived cause he was a hungry guy, but is now sleeping much better than at first cause his tummy is full. His big sister is mostly oblivious to him but occasionally likes to say 'hi baby' and hug and kiss him...then run back to her toys. I am doing well too, although the pain meds they gave me didn't work well on my sensitive tummy so I'm trying not to take them too much.
And that brings us up to present moment, at which Charley is crying for a booby...so we'll check in later!