Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A year ago today, our lives changed forever!

Around 7pm on April 18, 2006 I felt my first contraction while standing outside talking to our neighbors. I was 4 days overdue and very uncomfortable. Let me start at the beginning of the day...

Early that morning, I had let the dog out to play in the backyard and she immediately ran to the fence and jumped over it. I watched her run away in dismay, knowing that I couldn't chase her because of my *great* physical condition. I made my way to the car, drove around to the back of our neighborhood where there is a big field, and just hollered as loud as I could for Cayman. By God's grace, she actually came to me! I was so thankful that I found her because the Lord knew I didn't need to worry about her during this time in our lives. My concern was, though, that I couldn't constantly watch her outside after the baby came, so Patrick came home a few hours later with a "no-jump" harness for me to try out.

My mom called shortly after Cayman came back and said that she was on her way to come and keep me company, which I was so thankful for! I was in great need of a distraction and wanted her opinion on what to do with Cayman. We figured out this "no-jump" contraption and put it on Cayman. What it did was hinder her back legs from movement, so as she walked or ran, she had an extremely short gait which made her look histerical. I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard than on that morning.

Mom and I spent the day shopping and literally brainstorming ideas on how to keep Cayman confined. She designed another contraption that she sewed to attach toto Cayman's harness. Again, it was the silliest thing I ever saw and laughed so hard that I couldn't stand. About 2 hours later, I went into labor.

My contractions quickly went from 10 minutes apart to 7 minutes apart and they also kept getting longer. I planted myself on my birthing ball (you know, those big exercise balls people do crunches on?) and bounced as much as I could to help progress labor. I called my dear friend, Kristin, who is a midwife assistant and lactation consultant in Jacksonville and I remember her telling me to rest during these "little ones". I about jumped off the ball and through the phone! Little ones?!?!?!? You mean, it's gonna hurt more that what I was feeling at that moment? Geez, I was in for a long night! I tried my hardest to rest, but I was in so much pain and by midnight, my contractions were 5 minutes apart and about 10 seconds long. I was in the bathtub a few times trying to find relief, but after a few persistant words from Patrick, we called the doctor, explained my situation, and he told us to come on down to the hospital.

We left for the hospital around 1:30 or 2am and Patrick drove REALLY carefully the whole way. I was so thankful for little traffic and easy access to the hospital. We knew exactly where to go (thanks to the tour we had a few weeks earlier) and I was whisked to triage to determine if I was really in labor (I could've told them that!!!!)

I was 6cm when I arrived and by the looks of my progression and the baby's fetal stats, they gave me permission to get into the tub. Oh, the whirlpool tub was very relaxing! But, the water got cool quick and I was only in the tub for maybe 20 minutes before I was uncomfortable. I was hooked back up to the monitor and decided to stay in bed since I was so tired. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart and 80 seconds long and I did my best to relax between them, thanks to the help of Patrick and mom who both took turns rubbing my back the WHOLE time I was in bed.

The only funny story I really have regarding my labor is that Patrick was wearing wind pants that made a "deafening" swishing noise that annoyed the mess out of me. I told him that he needed to STOP SWISHING! Needless to say, he quickly changed into some shorts.
I guess I'll stop there for now. There's a lot I remember about 2 hours before Mallory was born and I'll pick that up tomorrow. I'll leave with this comment...

This is the last picture that was taken before we left the house to go to the hospital:
I would have you guess the significance of this picture, but I'm not going to do that to you! While I was breathing my way through contractions, my mother realized that she arrived at my house with a camera bag but no camera. Yikes! The only camera I had was my SLR that is, for some reason, very intimidating to people who don't know how to use them. I gave my mom a quick "point and shoot" lesson and this is the picture she took. I was a little concerned that we'd have no pictures in the delivery room because she *sometimes* forgets how to use "new technology", but mom pulled through! Again, I'll share that in my next post. But, I have to tell you I chuckle whenever I see this photo and remember what I felt when my mom said she forgot her camera!

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