It was Monday, May 20 and I woke up with a laundry list of errands I wanted to accomplish in town since I had an OB appointment that morning. Kelly was on the second day of his shift so HB and I had the day to ourselves; running errands would surely make it pass quicker and I had plenty to do before Katherine came. At my OB appointment Dr. Fernandez asked if I wanted her to strip my membrane. I had requested this in my first pregnancy with HB and after experiencing the discomfort and pain once, I immediately told her no. I also used Kelly being on shift partially as my excuse. She would tell me the next morning in the hospital that she had a feeling today was the day since my husband was on shift and it “always seems to happen that way when someone’s spouse is working a shift.” She checked my cervix and I was dilated to 3 centimeters which was a definite improvement after not being dilated at all the week prior. Dr. Fernandez left and I was expecting a call with my induction date sometime later that day.
HB and I loaded back up and headed to Chick-fil-A to refuel before scooting around town. I loved when the lady who took our order asked when I was due and I replied “In four days…” She smiled and wished me luck. HB and I love us some Chick-fil-A and had come to make lunch here after my OB appointments somewhat of an irregular tradition. After we both finished eating I let him explore the play room and then we left much to his disappointment. I’m sure he would have loved to play for another hourJ We headed to Saba’s to buy Kelly’s birthday present, picked up our pictures from Costco and returned a few items at Hobby Lobby. I was preparing to start and finish a small craft project for Katherine’s room the next day so I need to exchange a few things. Little did I know that this same project would still be incomplete a month after her birth. I guess I should have started much sooner!
After finally arriving home and getting HB down for an afternoon nap, I putzed around the house putting things away and trying to tidy up in general. I was mentally going over all the things I wanted to accomplish on Tuesday (May 21) because a good friend of mine, Sarah Geiger, had offered to keep HB for the day. I was really looking forward to the day because Kelly would be home, HB would be busy playing and I was planning on making one last productive push to get stuff done around the house before Miss Katherine came. After dinner, finishing up chores outside and getting HB to bed, I sat down in the recliner to rest and call Kelly. I told him that I was pretty tired that night and my body felt a little weird but I just thought that it was the toll of running errands and that I was having some cramps after having my cervix checked. I went to bed shortly after our phone call ended.
It was 12:50 am and I woke up to go to the bathroom, or so I thought. I had a huge gush of liquid come out as soon as I sat down. As groggy as I was, I thought wow, that was weird, and almost instantly I realized that my water just broke. I changed my jammies and as soon as I sat down to call Kelly I had another gush of liquid come out. I was totally ignorant when it came to being prepared for having my water break. Before I changed a second time I texted Kelly, “I don’t think we will mop the floor after all tomorrow because my water just broke.” After getting situated, I was planning on sitting in the recliner with the heating pad on my lower back because I was a little uncomfortable and planned on monitoring contractions for a bit before alerting the troops. Contractions started rolling in. Seven minutes apart. Six. Five. Four. And that’s where they hung out. I immediately got scared about having my baby at home, by myself, so I started calling people. Kelly hadn’t texted back yet so I called him and he didn’t answer. I called my mom so she could make plans to get on the road in the morning. She commented that I sounded scared. I said, why yes, I am a bit. And I called my friend Emily Rovey who was going to pick up HB and keep him until my mom got into town. Emily was on her way over when Kelly called back. He mistook the sound of my phone call for the tones at work and thought they were for someone else. He assured me that he would be home in an hour (that’s how long it takes to drive home for him).
Emily arrived and I was still rushing around trying to get HB’s food together. I had all his clothes set out but for some reason I still hadn’t packed them in a bag. I packed his clothes and shoes and started pulling out food, bottles and snacks. Note to self for next pregnancy: pack much sooner than the week you are due. Painful contractions every four minutes make it much harder to focus and be efficient. We went and woke up HB; at first he was kind of like “this party at 1am is fun mommy” but this soon escalated into tears of grogginess and confusion as we loaded him into the car seat in Emily’s car. This scene right here raised my emotional level about 10 times higher than it was. I was sad to see my oldest baby (he was only 13 months!) go and on top of that cry while leaving. I also realized this was the last time it would just be him and I and I got sad about that too. Emily offered to drive me to the hospital if Kelly didn’t arrive home soon and to call her if I needed.
Kelly pulled in the driveway about 15 minutes later. My hospital bag was in the same condition HB’s bag was – empty. Thankfully I managed to get everything packed before Kelly arrived because he was more wired than I was. He came in the house and said “Let’s go babe” – I quickly asked him if he could load the hospital bag and car seat, you know, in case we needed a car seat to leave the hospital with Katherine. J All saracasm aside, hubby did great through this unexpected surprise in the middle of the night even after working a 48-hour shift and being up straight both nights. I probably would have been a bit disorganized too if I were him. We locked the house, loaded up in his truck and were off! Okay, well, we were off to make a quick stop at Circle K so hubby could get some tobacco for his fix. Now we were really off! We were about 10 minutes away from the hospital when I asked Kelly if he could “just slow down a bit because he was scaring me.” He informed me that he was just trying to get us to the hospital because he did not want to have this baby on the side of the road.
As we pull up next to the Women and Infant Services entrance at Banner Estrella, my hubby notices a nurse preparing to enter the building. This is a good thing because she could let us in this entrance! (Between midnight and 6am this entrance is locked and you have to enter the hospital at the Emergency Room…which is a bad thing because then you have a really long hallway between you and the maternity ward.) He hollers out his window, “Miss!” She does not hear him. He hollers a second time. Still no response from the nurse. He puts his truck in park, part way has his head and upper body through his window and yells, “My wife is having a baby!” She turns and notices us – a couple of hillbilly’s trying to take the shortest route in the building. I am a little embarrassed at this point and as he is yelling I was trying to gracefully exit the truck while mid-contraction. Due to the contraction I was unable to ask him to refrain from yelling any more. In retrospect though I loved my husband for getting me as close to possible as the building with as little walking as necessary. The nurse, who was a labor and delivery nurse at that, not only let me in the building but walked me into triage and then went to let Kelly in the same entrance after parking so he didn’t have to go through the Emergency entrance.
After getting checked into triage, the nurse checked my cervix (I was a 4) and then tested the fluid to make sure it was amniotic fluid to confirm that my water had in fact actually broke. I wish I could remember her name because she was totally cool. And I feel totally like a 7th grader saying totally cool but she was. She made me feel comfortable and at ease even though the contractions were already kicking my tail. We were officially checked into the hospital at 3:15am. My super cool triage nurse moved us into a delivery room where my delivery nurse Jaime (nope, this is not a spelling mistake) immediately got me hooked up to some fluids so we could do my epidural ASAP. Sitting still for this epidural was more difficult than with HB’s because my contractions were already rolling in every two minutes at this point. Yep folks, I said two minutes. In the two hours since my water had broke my contractions had sped up immensely. It seemed very fast at this point because I had contractions for almost 48 hours with HB before delivering him. After my epidural, I settled in for a short nap. I think Kelly would have appreciated an epidural too so his hospital couch/bed would have seemed more comfortable. At a little after 5am Kelly started sending a few text messages out to family to give them an update. My sister told Kelly that she woke up thinking that I was having my baby – she was right! I sent a mass text a little after 6am and made sure to tell Miss Sarah that we would have to take a rain check for HB’s little play dateJ Dr. Fernandez was on call overnight so she stopped by at 6:45 to see how things were progressing. I was dilated to an 8 but still not ready. She had a c-section scheduled for 7 so she was gonna have to go. Boo. Two babies in a row I have had a different doctor deliver them. Jaime said good-bye (the shift change happened at 7am) and Christina my new delivery nurse said hello. She checked me and informed me that I should press the call button should I feel any more pressure in my bottom. It wasn’t but five minutes later that I told Kelly I was thinking I should call Christina. I’m glad I did because after she checked me she told me I was ready to push! She called the doctor and she started prepping for his arrival.
The shift change had just happened so it was a bit chaotic preparing to push. I felt like I had every nurse from Labor and Delivery in my room although there were only five extra people aside from Kelly and I – Dr. Johnson, who would deliver Katherine, Christina, a student nurse, and two sweet nurses who would care for Katherine once she arrived. The room felt a bit small at that point. But I was focused, and ready to push. At this point I kind of lost track of time because I could almost taste the victory of having my new daughter in my arms but start to finish I don’t think I was in active labor for very long. I guess in thinking about it, the shift changed happened at 7:00am and I delivered at 7:12am, so nope, I wasn’t pushing for very long at all! I so appreciated this at the time because I was in active labor with HB for almost two hours. The process of pushing this time was also much more relaxed to me, I felt more calm, more like I knew what to expect. I guess I did since this was round number two. Before I knew it Katherine was out wailing in Dr. Johnson’s arms and I was elated. She was more blue than I remembered HB being but she was certainly breathing just fine on her own. My daughter. My daughter was here. It felt so sweet to whisper that to her – daughter.
Katherine Beth Wright was born on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:12am. She weighed seven pounds four ounces and measured 19 inches long. And she had a head full of beautiful black hair, just like her brother, dad and myself.
After she was cleaned up a bit and wrapped up like a burrito, I could focus on the next most important task of the morning: ordering breakfast. Both times I’ve checked into the hospital to have my babies I have thought “Crap, I should have stopped and ate something because they’re not gonna feed me until I have this baby.” I was hungry BEFORE I really got deep into labor so I certainly felt famished after. Kelly and I were glad our baby was here safe, and were eager to get some rest and finish up the rigamaroo involved in hospital requirements. We had stayed two nights in the hospital when we delivered HB and we really only wanted to stay one night this time.
Gosh as I sit here typing this almost five months later I am wondering how to wrap this birth story up. In general, I felt more relaxed about the whole delivery process and I think I enjoyed it more with Katherine. I was also not experiencing near as much back and hip pain this time around so that naturally made it easier to enjoy. I was so grateful for having a positive experience though and was so looking forward to going home. My mom and dad took HB for four days so I can adjust to life with a newborn again and try to start learning the breastfeeding process all over. I actually experienced some sadness when my parents brought HB home to us because he was no longer my “baby” and he seemed so big in comparison to his sister. I also experienced some guilt towards him because I wasn’t able to take care of his needs as quickly. Despite the craziness of it all, and the fluctuation of my emotions, life quickly adjusted. With Katherine at about six weeks I felt like a new normal was coming and now at four months we have definitely hit our stride having two children. I am in love with both of them and so grateful to be their mom and wife to their daddy.