It started in the wee hours of the morning of the Spring equinox. I woke up at about three, which, in my very pregnant state, was not uncommon at all. I took my usual trip to the bathroom, but I just felt yucky. I feebly tried to go back to sleep, but some part of me rejected my own attempts; this was also a common occurrence. I decided to go down to Bill's computer to waste a little time until I started to feel the sleep deprivation. Between my games of Facebook Tetris I started to wonder if my feelings of yuckiness could be the particular yuckiness I was hoping for. I had read the very thorough (28 page) account of Sally's birth in the days previous and was hopeful; my crummy feelings seemed very similar to those in the account. I decided to start timing my icky feelings. They were anywhere from three to ten minutes apart. By about 5:00, after more Tetris, Zuma and many real vs. false labor Googlings later, I decided to try out some of my new found info by going for a walk. I woke Bill up briefly to tell him, grabbed my phone and jacket and was on my way.
I walked down the big hill in our neighborhood and back, all the while timing my special feelings. At the bottom of the hill, I decided they were actual contractions, and that I may be having a baby that day! When I got home, I started doing all the things I had been putting off; loading my phone with the labor playlist I had created, packing my bag, charging batteries. I told Bill I thought this may be for real. The contractions were still quite manageable, I could talk through them pretty easily, but they were regular and had picked up a bit in intensity.
Some time later, the girls and my mom woke up. I told them I thought this may be the day! Sally laughed in disbelief. My mom had predicted this would be his birthday from the moment she found out I was pregnant. March 20th is the birthday of my Grandma Barnes. My mom suggested that my grandma could be helping this little guy to come on this day; I wholeheartedly believe it.
We decided to go on to the hospital. We made final arrangements for the girls (Thank you Lunt family!), stopped for a burger, and continued on. Jack had called to let them know I was coming, so there was no hassle when we got there. They didn't even have to check me, I was able to go straight to the labor, delivery and recovery suite. And it was sweet! They had built a new women and children's building at the hospital since Alice had been born, so it was newer and nicer.
So there I was, the crazy lady splashing in the tub, blasting classical music, about to have a baby. My nurse tried to check me a couple times during contractions, but her hand was bothering me too much, and I kind of swatted it away. She asked a few times if I needed to bear down and I didn't. Until I did.
When he was actually born (at 5:26, only an hour after I was a 6 1/2), Me, Bill, my mom, and the nurse were the only ones in the room. Now, there were probably 15 people, circling around the baby, a couple attending to me. The midwife asked me if I was okay to get out of the now empty bath. I said I was, and walked over to the bed. I felt shaky, but good. Really good. Elated even. My 8 lb 1oz bundle was here! The Thomas Tallis was still circling in the air, but the real music was from the sweet cry I could hear. I just wanted to hold him. More than anything, I wanted to hold him. As I lay in the bed, delivered the placenta, and got stitched up, I kept waiting for them to bring him to me.
I had to be in the room for two hours. Those hours seemed incredibly long. All I wanted was to hold my new baby boy. I was on a high, and had just experienced something incredible. I talked and talked about it, saying the same things over and over again. I really can not imagine what it would be like if my baby had to go to the NICU, or anything like that. My sister, Amy's oldest, Sophie, was born at 28 weeks, and only 1 lb 12 oz. Amy wasn't able to hold her for a week, and then, only for a few days before Sophie got sick again. I really don't know how I would handle that. Not well. This experience, though, made me really chatty. I would have been focusing on the baby, but since I couldn't see him, I just talked, and talked some more about the craziness that had just ensued. My mom was great, smiling and laughing with me and showing me pictures she had taken.
He has been such a sweet baby. He loves to be held, and, lucky him, we love to hold him. His snuggles are sweet, and he gives them freely. Little grunts and squeaks some from him regularly, the cutest little grunts you could imagine. He eats like a champion nurser and is filling out. His little legs are less chicken-like and his cheeks are getting fuller. This baby smiles real smiles already. I am not crazy, he really does. At eleven days old, I saw him (so did my mom and Bill) do it three times. Since then, he has smiled in response to us every day at least once. Sally and Alice love him. They like to hold him and talk to him. In the hospital, Alice looked at him with complete amazement. I've never seen her so fascinated with anything. Sally has been really helpful. She gets me diapers and supplies and loves to try to entertain him. Alice tries to calm him down with sweet singing or talking to him. They are both really great big sisters.