About 2 weeks before my due date in March of 2008 I went in for a regular appointment and was told that everything was closed up tight and see you again next week. That afternoon I started having contractions. They weren’t crazy intense like my first baby, but they were definitely uncomfortable. I was in the Marine Corps at the time, and all those men were rather uncomfortable with me having contractions at the office so they sent me home. My husband was also a Marine so I drove to his work about 5 minutes away and we spent his lunch hour walking the track and driving on bumpy roads. His boss said they weren’t doing anything super important that afternoon so go ahead and take me home.
I got to enjoy those lovely prodromal contractions for 2 whole days. Not very painful, but incredibly annoying! On the evening of the second day of almost non-stop 7-10 minute contractions we had some friends over for dinner. The last belly shot I got was of their baby asleep on my bump!
After they left Cameron (my hubs) was already in bed about 90% passed out when I went to the bathroom and my water broke. There was no doubt what that giant gush was. Instantly I started having contractions I could barely walk through every 3-4 minutes.
“babe, get up. We need to go to the hospital”
“What? Are you sure?”
We called a neighbor to come sit with the oldest for a few minutes until his stepmom could come get him and headed out the door. It was normally about 45 minutes to the hospital, but with lack of traffic and Cameron driving we got there in just under 30. They checked me in around 10:30 and got me hooked up to all their monitors and such. I got a shot of IV pain meds which one again made me loopy, but didn’t lessen the pain. A little before midnight the nurse came in to check me right as I had the urge to push. She called for the doctor and he barely had time to get his gloves on before Madeline flew into the world after only 3 pushes.
As soon as she arrived Cameron wanted to cover me in hugs and kisses, I told him to leave me alone! lol I hadn’t seen or heard my girl yet and he was blocking my view! He went over to check her out and that’s when I heard her first cries and the nurses told me she looked perfect. We had forgotten the camera in the rush out the door (pack a bag? what?! That’s for planners, not impulsive people like me!), but luckily this time around we had a camera in the cell phone and Dad caught this beautiful picture of our first little girl grabbing his finger.
One thing I absolutely loved about the military hospitals was that every baby rooms in with mom from the beginning. First bath and everything else is done right there with me watching. What I didn’t like was that it was all done before I got to hold my girl. Once they finally handed her to me I didn’t want to let her go!
Madeline was my earliest baby as well as my fastest labor. I really think that all of the healthy eating and exercise I did as a Marine helped a ton with preparing my body for a wonderful experience both during labor and after birth. I was definitely in the best shape of my life at that point. I have since read the book “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy” by Dr. James Clapp. He has confirmed after YEARS of research that women who exercise regularly before and during pregnancy have faster, easier labors and usually give birth earlier within the 38-41 week normal window than women who don’t stay active. Unfortunately this knowledge has not kept me totally consistent in my exercise efforts with future pregnancies.
Just for fun here are a few more crappy cell phone pics from the proud daddy of his new girl scrapbooked rather unimpressively by me when I was just learning Corel Paint Shop Pro!
Once again I didn’t have an Epidural. the anesthesiologist wouldn’t have gotten there in time even if I had asked lol. I did get an IV shot again, but it was given very close to birth because she came so fast. I think this contributed to the fact that it was INCREDIBLY difficult to get her to wake up and latch on to breastfeed for the first 24 hours or so. Poor baby was drugged!
Overall this was a much better birth experience than my first and increased my confidence in my body to do what it was built to do.
If you’re interested you can read the rest of my birth stories here on the blog as well