Four weeks ago yesterday (Monday, October 7th), I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant and 100% confident that I would be going well past my due date. I couldn't really explain why I felt this way except for the fact that everything you read about your first pregnancy and going into labor is that the majority of women go past their due date. This would be the week I would be communicating appropriate contact info for my maternity leave to all my accounts at work. We would be ordering the final items needed for the nursery and finish decorating. I would begin my weekly OB appointments. I had started to pack our hospital bag but still needed a few things which I would pick up in the next coming weeks. We had our hospital tour scheduled for Friday and we needed to register at that time as well. I had at least 2 weeks left but was beginning to get a bit antsy about getting everything finished... Now I know why!
Monday evening, Cozart was at work, I had fallen asleep on the couch but wasn't able to fall back to sleep once I moved to our bed. I tossed and turned for well over an hour. At around 11:30pm I got out of bed to use the bathroom. After finishing, I walked back to bed and as I was laying down, I felt like I may have pee'd my pants a little. (Eek!! Had I really lost control of my bladder already? I thought that happened after giving birth???) I ran back into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and it just kept coming, I really had zero control. A minute or 2 passed, it stopped but I was a little freaked out. I tried Cozart... no answer. Then I tried my Mom at home... no answer. (odd she wouldn't answer the house phone) I tried her cellphone and she answered right away. I explained to her what had happened and she said "Honey, your water broke!". I was completely in denial. "But I'm not due for more than 2 weeks!!?? And I'm not having contractions or anything.". Mom replied, "I don't think Brynlee cares, she's coming now! Is Cozart home? Have you called your doctor?". Oh geez! No he wasn't home and no I hadn't called the doctor so I got off the phone with her but not before asking why she didn't answer the house phone. She informed me she was with my Grandma and that she really wasn't doing well. It was then that I knew she was right, Brynlee was coming soon and Grandma would be with us until she did, just as she said she would.
I tried Cozart about 40 more times (seriously, 40 times), with no luck. I also left a message for the doctor and was just waiting to hear back. 20 minutes passed before I decided to attempt to reach Cozart on the station line instead of his cell phone. Thank goodness someone answered and was able to get him on the phone. I still hadn't started to have contractions so I told him to just keep his phone on him and not to bother rushing home just yet. Shortly after talking to him, the on call nurse called and said I would eventually need to come in to confirm that my water did in fact break but to come in when I felt I needed to. Within 30 minutes contractions had begun and I decided it was time for Cozart to come home.
By the time he got home my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and lasting about 30-45 seconds. According to what we learned in our child birth class, we were in the first stage of labor and there was really no need to rush off to the hospital just yet. I was still able to talk on the phone with my sister and my Mom, I was packing anything I hadn't already packed in our hospital bag. We read the car seat manual and installed it in Cozart's truck. I even started a load of laundry, thinking we'd have enough time for it to finish and for it to dry. Contractions were intensifying but definitely manageable. Another 45 minutes passed and my contractions were getting worse and lasting longer than 30-45 seconds. I decided, after some convincing from my sister, that we should probably head to the hospital. (that load of laundry never made it to the dryer...)
We got to the hospital around 2am. I was fully prepared to have to sit and wait in the ER for some time. We were scheduled for our L&D tour and to register the coming Friday, clearly that would not be happening as planned. Much to my surprise, they met me at the door with a wheelchair, Cozart parked the truck and we were wheeled right up to L&D triage. At this point it was getting more and more difficult to talk through contractions and they seemed to be lasting forever (in reality probably about a minute). The triage nurse asked me a few questions, put us in a room and told me to get into a gown and she would be in to check me. When she returned she was able to confirm that my water did in fact break, I was dilated to 5cm and they would be moving me to a delivery room right away. We asked about how long she thought we had before Brynlee would be gracing us with her presence. She said it would probably be another 5-6 hours... Let's just say, she was a little off on her estimate...
By around 3-3:15am we were in our delivery room and my contractions were beyond what I had ever imagined. My "plan" was to go au naturale . Both my Mom and my sister had with all of their kids, there should be no reason I shouldn't be able to do the same. Boy was I wrong! After discussing (in between screaming through contractions and getting REALLY annoyed with every one telling me to breathe) with Cozart, we decided to go with the epidural. The nurse started my IV and told me I would have to have fluids run through me before we could start the epidural... UMMMMM... NO! I needed relief NOW!!!!!!!! Cozart could tell I had had about all I could take and asked the nurse to check me one more time. She obliged, but only to appease Cozart. She did and to her astonishment she asked whether or not I felt like pushing. I
35 minutes, of excruciating pain, at 4:03am with blood shot eyes and a hoarse voice I met our 7lb 8oz, 20.4 inches of love, sweet, little, miracle baby. Cozart and I were completely overwhelmed with joy and utterly amazed that she was here! And so quickly! 4.5 hours start to finish and my OB didn't even make it to the hospital on time. I guess he didn't think much of it when I told him the women in my family delivery babies in less than 5 hours. Maybe he'll listen next time?? :)
The next several hours are somewhat of a blur. There was zero sleep, we were 100% in a state of intoxicating baby bliss. What I do remember is staring at her thinking, "Are you really ours?", "I can't believe you're here!" and being in a very VERY cold hospital room in L&D triage because there were no rooms available on the main floor. (apparently there was a baby boom in Orlando on October 7th & 8th) It was mid afternoon/early evening before we were moved to our "birthday" suite. A temperature regulated room, with much more room and a place for Daddy to sleep. Thank goodness.
Shortly after settling in to our new digs, my phone rang. It was my Mom, whom I had spoken to several times between the evening before and the present time, but this time my heart sank. I knew why she was calling. When I said hello, she responded through tears. My grandmother had just passed away almost exactly 12 hours after Brynlee's arrival. It was no coincidence that, despite knowing for sure what our due date was, having no complications and no sign of her coming early, she decided to arrive on this day. My Grandmother promised she would not go to heaven until Brynlee was born and that's exactly what she did. Earlier that day, my Mom went to see my grandma, to tell her Brynlee was here, we were both doing well and to show her a picture. Mom said she smiled and only hours later she decided it was her time.
I can't, exactly, put into words the emotions I was feeling when I hung up the phone. I was completely overjoyed with the arrival of our little blessing but all I could do was sit in bed with her and cry. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that I would never see my Grandmother again, on earth and Brynlee would never meet her. After crying for sometime I realized, Grandma not only knows Brynlee, she'll be with her every day. She will forever be her guardian angel and it will be of no surprise to me if she is stubborn and has an amazing sense of humor just like Grandma too.
My Grandmother was an amazing, God-fearing, strong willed, loving, independent, honest, giving woman. All the qualities I pray our daughter will too possess. She was also my favorite person in the entire world... I think I was left with a pretty amazing replacement!
It's been 4 weeks today, since Brynlee's arrival and Grandma's departure. I can't believe how fast time is going, and that it's taken me this long to post her birth story! (oops!) I hope to give updates more frequently as we are finally starting to get into, somewhat, of a routine. Until then, here are a few photos of Brynlee's first few days with us... Enjoy!!!
Just minutes old... Mom looking rough but oh so happy!!
Love this face!
Long fingers... Future pianist perhaps?
And big feet just like her Mom. Grandpa used to say: "Big feet = strong understanding"