I don't know where to exactly begin with Austin's birth story. To say it started the day he was born, wouldn't be accurate, so I'll start the day before...
Friday October 26, and I was feeling huge. I was
tipping the scales at 50 pounds gained, and had started retaining water
and getting puffy about three weeks earlier. I had actually enjoyed most
of pregnancy. Despite when my sciatic nerve bothered me for a two weeks
in late July, and my eight weeks of morning sickness in the first
trimester. But, the last few weeks of pregnancy were starting to wear on
me. The comments from people everywhere on my size, the feeling that my
baby's head could literally drop out at any second (my OB assured me
despite all that pressure, it wouldn't), and the fact that so few of my
clothes, and even my shoes, fit at this point. Oh, and did I mention a
hurricane was on it's way? Projected to his landfall in a few days, the
weather was set to take a big change on the day my life would inevitably
change forever, October 27.
I was a lucky one, due November 1, I was already having contractions
randomly, and had been told on Wednesday October 24 that I was 1.5
centimeters dilated and over 50% effaced. I was making progress, and the
baby would be here soon, hopefully.
Friday rolled around at work, and I did my best to help encourage
baby's progress. I went for a walk at lunch time, ate some spicy food,
and tried to focus on anything BUT going into labor. I hadn't had one
contraction all day, and was frustrated and decided that weekend, I
would focus on spending time with my husband and not obsess over having
That night, I went to the prenatal
yoga class I often attended throughout my pregnancy and I felt much
more relaxed than I had in a long time. Then, came home and put up
lights for Halloween on our deck and lounged around watching movies with
Ben until 12:30.
At this point in pregnancy, I was getting up to pee about two to
three times a night with how big I was. So, I got up at 2:00 for the
first time and went right back to bed. Then, woke up a little after 4:00
a.m. and felt a warm feeling between my legs I've never felt before. It
was like a warm balloon, about to snap, and I immediately knew it, my
water was about to break. Knowing that it was about to burst, I thought
quickly, "how can I get out of bed and not ruin our mattress, and
mattress pad?" So, I shifted my outside leg as fast as I could and
quickly took a huge step out of bed, and boom, my water broke, it hit
the side of the fitted sheet, but the rest landed on our bedroom floor. I
stood frozen in the dark for what seemed like an eternity at the time
with amniotic fluid running down my legs, in complete shock. Then, I
said, "Ben, my water broke," and he calmly turned on the lamp by his
side of the bed, said OK, and asked what I wanted to do.
I knew I was strep B positive from previous testing, and since my
water broke, I had to get in to the hospital in a decent amount of time,
but I also hadn't had any contractions yet, so I knew I had time.
We decided to shower, eat something and get going, we didn't rush, and I
got ready, while having to fill the bathroom floor with towels as fluid
kept rolling out of me. And, on the totally gross side, my dog was
following me around, right on my tail and kept trying to lick up the
fluid. Poor Cooper, I wanted to be near him before I knew I'd have a few
days away from him, but I kept having to shoo him away.
At this point, the calm my husband had when he woke up was fading
some, he wanted to get to the hospital, and I kept being like, nahhhh, we have time.
finally sent him to a nearby drug store for Gatorade to fuel up before
what a marathon labor I assumed was ahead and huge pads so I wouldn't
get fluid all over my husband's new car on the way to the hospital.
Yes, for the first time in our relationship, I had to have my husband
pick up female items. And thankfully, he was awesome about it.
At 5:30 we called our friend Glen who had told us he would watch
Cooper when I went into the hospital. Glen was great about taking
Cooper, even thought it was ungodly early on a Saturday. He said to call
him when we were close to his house, and he's step outside and grab
Cooper out of the car. Before we left the house, I took the picture
below of our last family picture before Cooper's whole life changed.
This was the first time I lost it in tears that day. I apologized
and petted Cooper the whole way to Glen's house. I kept saying, "I'm
sorry Cooper, your life will never be the same, but we still love you so
much. I'm sorry, I know you didn't ask for what is about to happen to
your life." Meanwhile, Cooper was just ecstatic to be on a sudden,
middle of the night car ride.
After dropping off Cooper, we filled up the car with gas, and while
Ben was filling up the car, that's when my contractions started. I
decided to then call my doctor, and spoke to the one on call who told me
he'd see me at the hospital, as he was on his way in for a delivery
Ben dropped me off at the door of the hospital, I checked in, went
to the maternity triage, and the fun really began. My contractions were
picking up intensity and coming every five minutes or so. I was checked
by my doctor and told I was about 2-3 centimeters, and all looked good,
so I'd be admitted shortly.
Then the nurse in triage asked me something funny, "So, what time did your water break, 3:45?"
"Um, no, a little after 4:00, why?"
she said, "the barometric pressure fell at 3:34 this morning and we've
had an onslaught of women come in with broken waters since then, you're
about the eighth one."
To Be Continued...