Sometime in mid-June 2009, my mom and I took a trip to my grandparents house in Merced. I was ready to pop, and didn't even know it! I spent all weekend swimming in their pool. I remember feeling completely weightless and carefree...I also remember how hard it was to get out! With the 30+ lbs of extra weight I was carrying around it was almost impossible to climb out of the comforting, cool water.
On Monday, I went in to the doctor, who "checked my cervix". Nobody prepares you for this. I was so shocked as he basically pushed his whole hand into me. Thank god I had convinced my mom to come with me and hold my hand. It turns out that the spotting was indeed from my cervix, which was now 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. To me, that sounded like a baby would be popping out at any minute. According to him, I could go into labor that night, OR walk around for another month before going into actual labor. YIKES! My second trip to the restroom in the 10 minutes after getting home from the doctor, I noticed more spotting and what I understood to be, my mucous plug... Oh the beauties of childbirth.
After walking around for 2 1/2 weeks in slightly uncomfortable pre-labor, we went to Jason's parents house to celebrate his 29th birthday. Normally I am a very social person, and I was trying really hard to put on a smile and have a good time in the 90 degree summer heat with huge, swollen ankles, BUT I just couldn't do it! After 2 hours of sitting in a lawn chair with my feet propped up on a tree stump, I gave up. I leaned over to Jason and said, "I'm sorry , but I just can't hang anymore. I need to go home." At this point, I was a little disappointed in myself. I know how much Jason loves to celebrate his birthday, and all of his friends and family were there, but I was done. So he took me home, and went back to celebrate some more...without me. I was so excited to get back to our little house, in our air conditioned living room and prop myself up on our comfy couch. I tossed and turned all night long.
The next day went on as usual. It was Friday, July 3rd. Since Jason had been out late the night before, he decided to stay home that night. We watched movies and he made me a peanut butter and jelly quesadilla for dessert. I ended up falling asleep next to him on the couch. I woke up around 10pm to the sounds of the TV and the urge to go pee....again :/ But something was different, I had energy! I felt like I had gotten a full 8 hour night sleep. As I practically skipped into the bathroom, I noticed some tightening in my stomach. After I went to the bathroom, I felt like I was still leaking. When I wiped I noticed more bleeding and in my heart, I knew that I was in labor. I slowly walked back into the living room and Jason said, "Whats up, you have a really big smile on your face right now." "I think I'm in labor," I said. He jumped off the couch and wanted to get in the car and start our hour long drive to the hospital immediately. I convinced him to let me take a shower first, then I made him take a shower. During all of this, my contractions had become very obvious and very regular, but I still wasn't in any pain. We left our house around 11:30pm. I remember during the drive I was trying to time the contractions but every time I got them, I couldn't help but laugh. I was just so happy and excited. We called our parents and let them know that we were headed to the hospital. I called my mom and asked her if we could drop off Tucker for awhile. She of course caught on and insisted on coming with us. (I was going to beg her to anyway)
By the time we walked into the hospital, I wasn't laughing during contractions anymore. They weren't painful yet, but they were nothing close to funny. I remember putting on the gown, peeing (again) and getting weighed. I weighed in at 180lbs! As soon as I laid on the bed to have my cervix checked, the contractions came on full force. I was only 3cm dilated which was enough to get me admitted and a bed in labor and delivery. Unfortunately, there were forms to sign and it seemed like it took the nurses hours to get these forms ready. During this time, the contractions were increasing with pain and my mom, Jason, and I were in this small, dark room with a few nurses watching the tragedy of Michael Jackson on TV. I remember Jason whispering to me, "If they don't quit watching that TV we are going to pack you in the car and drive to CHOMP." I signed all of the forms, except for the form consenting to an epidural. I informed the nurse that at this point I could handle the pain and didn't need any medication.
Then I went into back labor. This is not fun. I had heard about it in childbirth classes [at the hospital], but I sort of ignored it. I guess I thought that I was going to have this wonderful, pain free, routine labor. I felt like every contraction was causing all of the muscles in my back to tighten. After what seemed like hours, I caved into to the epidural. Or so I thought.
I told that nurses that the urinary catheter felt like it was leaking and that the bed was getting wet. They checked me and said that my water had finally broke. After another hour, Jason told the nurse that I was still in pain and I couldn't hide it any longer. She got the anesthesiologist and he poked around some more and realized that the first epidural had come out and the medicine was dripping all over the bed. It turns out my water hadn't broke yet. Now my options were, let him try again or get a one time injection that lasts 2-4 hours. I went with the later and got immediate relief. My mom, Jason, and I tried to take a nap and enjoy the absence of my moaning and groaning.
About an hour later, the nurse came in to check me and told me it was time to push. With Jason holding one leg and my mom holding the other, I pushed for 3 hours. The doctor finally came it and said it was time for us to meet our baby. Hailey Lynn Baker was born on July 4, 2009 after 11 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing. This was the third time I cried during labor, and these were tears of joy.
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