For some reason, I woke up the next morning at 5:30am. I felt like my water might have broken and started to feeling some minor cramps, but wasn't sure. So, I woke up Kyle and then called the midwife to ask about it. She said that when my water broke there would be no question, so that probably wasn't it, but the cramps could be a sign of the start and to call back if anything else comes up, get some rest and eat something. I was excited that this could be it!
Surprisingly, even with the excitement of knowing I could be going into labor, I fell back asleep and didn't wake up again until 8am. I thought the cramps I was feeling were early contractions, but I knew those could happen for a few days. I took a shower, made breakfast, and we ate together around 10:30. By this time, I was sure I was having contractions because they were becoming regular at 30 minutes apart. We started timing them and calling our families to tell them the news.
I was expecting to stay home all day through contractions and didn't think I would need to go to the hospital until later that night, so I took my time packing my back (it was already half-packed). Suddenly, right after calling our families, my contractions got extremely close together, one after the other. Here's what we have written down for the timing between: 30 minutes, 11 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes...
I felt like taking a bath at home, but Kyle thought we should leave for the hospital. I thought that was ridiculous and told him we probably wouldn't be going in until much later that day. I didn't want to be one of those people who show up too early and then are sent back home. He said, "all right, but we need to call the midwife and ask." I didn't know what was going on because this was not a "textbook" labor, and I was pretty confused. At one point, I thought I must just be having one super-long contraction (I had no idea)! I couldn't be that far along in labor this soon!
Kyle called the midwife and she said we should come right it. At this point, the contractions were getting really painful really fast, and when Kyle left the room to go pack the car, he would find me bent over on the floor almost crying. He was freaking out (with visions of me delivering in the house or the back seat of the car), and I told him to stop freaking out because he was making me anxious and that we had still had plenty of time! We threw a few things in our bags and left the house at noon.
In the 20-minute drive to the hospital, I was laying in the back seat with a bunch of pillows and pretty much felt like I was going to die. I really wanted a natural childbirth (no medical interventions/drugs), but I thought this was just the beginning of labor and it was going to get way worse, and I couldn't take much more. So I told Kyle, "I don't really care. I can't do this. I want an epidural." He told me, "Nealy, you can do it! I don't think that's really what you want, but we'll see."
We pulled up at the emergency room door around 12:20. It took everything in me to just get out of the car. While in the waiting room, all I remember was falling to my knees near a chair, and a guy asking if we needed a wheelchair. They pushed me upstairs and I (still) felt like I didn't know if I could take the pain!
We got to our room and I sent Kyle to run down to get our bags, because the camera and everything we "needed" were in there. He ran down as fast as he could to get our stuff, afraid he might miss something.
After about 15 minutes of being at the hospital, our midwife checked to see how far dilated I was. I was still thinking that I had hours and hours to go. To my absolute surprise, I was already dilated to 9 centimeters! She thought I would be pushing within an hour. I couldn't believe it! My baby would be here soon! This news gave me the strength I needed to finish. I could handle the pain for a little bit longer. What I finally understood was that I was in transition (known as the hardest part of labor) when I thougth that I was just at the beginning!
I started pushing around 1:15pm (about an hour after arriving at the hospital) and Callie was delivered at 2:51pm. Amazingly, I did it completely naturally the way I originally wanted to. We had a super fast labor with no complications and a healthy baby girl at the end.
And the whole time, Kyle was right there, even "pushing" along with me (the midwife said he needed to take a deep breath too). I couldn't have done it without him; he was so supportive and helpful. And just to think that if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't have made it to the hospital on time!
We feel that God has truly blessed us with this baby. Looking back, it seems that He worked everything out perfectly. We truly feel the praise and glory all go to God, because this perfect and precious gift is from Him. Callie has changed our lives forever. We've been praying for her for 9 months and God has been so faithful. We are so thankful!
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him."
I Samuel 1:27
First "family of three" picture