36 weeks 4 days:
We were all either fighting or getting over colds, but I felt wonderful and had a ton of energy, so I packed the girls into the car and headed to the mall for some cosmetics and lunch. Poor Hannah was sicker than I thought and ended up with a low grade fever later in the day. Luckily, for everyone but Micah, the cold was a 24 hour thing and by the next morning, Hannah was almost back to 100%.
36 weeks 5 days:
I felt wonderful again, so I packed the girls up and we headed to Kohls and Target for a few "last minute" things. I got Hannah a few new shirts (size 4T!) for church, then grabbed a few more things for my hospital bag.
36 weeks 6 days:
Micah wakes up feeling stuffy and under the weather. The girls are back to 100%, so we spend the day finishing up some unfinished school work. I have been eyeing a dollhouse for a Christmas gift for the girls, and our Toys R Us just happened to have one in stock. I had been unable to purchase the dollhouse online for weeks, so the minute Micah got home from work, I headed to Toys R Us to buy it.
I really felt sentimental this night. I was very aware of every movement, every hiccup, even every discomfort. I sat on the couch this night, very intent on my rounded middle watching as Noah stretched and balled up on my right side, forming a very odd looking lump. I put my hand over my belly as he moved a foot or a knee back and forth in the same spot until it was sore. Micah and I laughed as he'd switch sides and made waves on my belly.
Micah was really miserable all night, so neither of us got much sleep.
FULL TERM! I woke up feeling like shouting it from the mountain tops. We had made it and I was so relieved! After several scares with pre-term contractions, irritable uterus, and pre-term labor, two trips to the hospital for Brethine shots to stop labor, we were here. We had made it, and if born now, Noah was almost guaranteed to be perfectly fine.
Micah still wasn't feeling well, and I said multiple times this day that I hoped he was well in time for Noah's arrival. We both shrugged it off and thanked God that this sickness had come now rather than three weeks from now. We got everyone ready, headed to church, and enjoyed a great time of fellowship. I made it a point to share with everyone that I talked to that we had made it to full term status! Several people commented that I had "dropped", but Micah said he didn't notice. ;)
We all came home, had lunch, and napped for a few hours. With a ton of energy and an overwhelming desire to clean EVERYTHING in the house, Micah and I went to work on the floors, sweeping and mopping, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed and dusted every room, put laundry away, and tidied up the kitchen. It felt so nice to sit down at the end of the day and know that everything was clean and ready to go for the week.
After the girls were in bed, I put together Hannah's school stuff for my Mom for the following day, then tried to decide what to wear for work the next morning and what to pack for lunch. I threw a few more little things into my hospital bag and made mental note to finish packing it that week.
Micah and I hung out downstairs for a bit so I could eat my bed time snack...non-fat, no sugar added yogurt. I told myself that I would only have to eat like this for three more weeks. I went to bed hungry. :/
37 weeks, 1 day:
Micah slept awfully due to a stuffy nose and cough, and eventually, around 4:30am went down to sleep on the couch so I could get some sleep before I had to get up for work.
I got up to go to the bathroom around 5:30am. I was shocked Sarah was still sleeping in her own bed. I debated just getting up for the day, as my alarm was due to go off at 6:00am for work, but decided to crawl back into bed for a few minutes.
I had just layed back down when I felt something wasn't right. I honestly didn't know what I was feeling at first, but I jumped up and ran into the bathroom where my water promptly broke. I stood there in shock for a minute, trying to figure out what to do about the floor, my clothes, our bathroom rug. And how was I going to get downstairs to tell Micah? I considered yelling for him, but didn't want to wake the girls, so I did what any woman in my predicament would do. I grabbed a washcloth and a handtowel off the counter, shoved it in my pants and ran down the steps.
Micah had taken Nyquil before bed and was obviously still a little drowsy. I started talking before I had even made it to the family room where he slept. "Micah! My water just broke! What do we do?" This cracks me up because who asks that? This is our third baby! lol Micah jumped up at 100 mph, almost tripping over the ottoman, eyes barely opened. "Are you sure?! You're sure? I'm calling your Dad. Let's go!"
About ten minutes later, I realized I hadn't called the Dr, so I made a call to him, then started putting on my makeup and getting ready to head in. I wasn't having contractions at this point, just some minor low back pain, so I took my time getting ready...all the while, having my Mom texting and Micah telling me to get moving.
I ate half of a granola bar on the way out the door to make sure my blood sugar didn't plummit during labor. We were out the door by 5:50am and at the hospital by 6:05am. After we were checked in, the nurse confirmed that my water had ruptured, and that I was 2 cm's dilated. I wasn't really having any contractions on my own, so the first few hours were very relaxing and quiet. Micah and I chatted, and my Mom joined us almost immediately after we arrived.
About two hours after I had been checked in, I started to get concerned that I was not contracting. I was having very irregular contractions every 3-7 minutes, they were barely noticeable, and barely painful. My nurse (who was absolutely wonderful) informed me that if I hadn't started contracting on my own soon, that my Dr had ordered Pitocin. I was so upset hearing this, because I had no intention of having any medicine. Knowing the little I know about Pitocin, I know that it can make contractions very intense and very close together...almost going from nothing to intense labor in a very short amount of time. I got teary-eyed thinking about it and prayed that my body would take over and that I wouldn't need any intervention.
By 8:00, it was pretty clear that my labor was not going to progress on it's own, so I was started on a very low dose of Pitocin. It was increased every 20 minutes until around 10:00, I started to get more regular and have more intense contractions. And oh the back labor. I had never experienced back labor with the girls, and honestly, I'm glad. It was worse than the contractions and felt as though my low back was splitting in two. My nurse had me reposition myself from side to side to see if we could get Noah to move into the correct position and relieve the back pain. This eventually worked and I could feel my contractions only in my abdomen.
I'm not sure what time my labor started getting intense, but I started feeling nauseas and as if my blood sugar had dropped. My blood sugar was 84, so I was encouraged that maybe my labor was progressing. I was disappointed when she told me I was only at a 4+, but very thin.
As quickly as my water had broken, my labor became intense. Around 11:00, my contractions were horrible. I couldn't talk through them, and despite being told to breathe through them, I ended up doing whatever felt the most comfortable, which, for the most part, was moaning, screaming, and crying. lol. Micah made the most of the situation by asking me during my worst contractions if "it's really bad" or "that's a big one, does it hurt?" Or my favorite, "Do you want me to do the Magic Mike dance from SNL?"
Noah's heart rate began dropping with each contraction, and the nurse stuck by my bedside for longer than she had before, monitoring his heart rate. I started to worry, as she had me switch from side to side to see if we could get his heartrate regulated. I was told to breathe during my contractions to help get him oxygen, and although I failed miserably with most, I did try to breathe and not scream through the pain.
By 11:30am, I was completely beside myself. With each contraction, I was sure my body would split in two. I know I said repeatedly through tears that I couldn't do it anymore and that I just wanted to be done. I felt like it was taking forever to get to 10cm's. I was checked again at 11:45 and was an 8+. I cried when she told me. I asked for Stadol (I had told the nurse at the beginning not to give me anything even if I asked) and cried when she told me she'd start working on it. I am so glad she listened and didnt' actually administer it.
At 11:50ish, I felt like I needed to push, but was told not to. Oh my gosh, that was the most awful feeling in the entire world. The pressure was so intense that I didn't know what to do. My body wanted to take over and I had to make a conscious effort to not allow myself to push. I tried "blowing out the candles" while I waited for the Dr. I was working so hard not to push that my stomach literally shook and bounced with each contraction. Micah said it was the weirdest thing. I finally yelled out asking where my Dr was because I was told I could push as soon as he arrived.
I heard the Dr come in and watched as the broke down the bed in preparation for delivery. He told me I could push with the next contraction. I was so relieved. Two pushes and his head was out. Two more, and my precious boy entered the world at 12:00 noon. I birthed him with absolutely no pain medication, and was able to open my eyes and see him the minute he arrived. Such a precious memory.
The cord was around his neck twice, but he was doing so well after birth that the Dr layed him right on my chest. I had always wanted to hold my babies immediately after delivery but had never been able to because of the pain medicine. What an amazing experience to be the first one to hold your baby.
Noah scored an 8/9 on his Apgars. He weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long. His head circumference was 35cms. Absolutely perfect in every way. I was able to hold him after they cleaned him up and we snuggled and he nursed for an hour in the delivery room.
They took him to the nursery and had me order lunch. I was confused why I wasn't out of bed and showered yet. My nurse was in several times a minute checking me, and she told me I was bleeding more than I should be. She pushed on my stomach SO hard numerous times, which was the most awful experience ever, but eventually got my bleeding slowed down enough to allow me to shower.
I look back on that day and could relive those first few minutes of Noah's life over and over again. Everything I went through during this pregnancy, the nausea, the gestational diabetes, the discomfort, the preterm labor. Everything was so worth it. I'd do it all again 1000 times for my little boy. I am in complete and utter awe at the love I feel for this precious baby. It never ceases to amaze me when I think about how much I love each of my babies. God is so, so good.