Let's start this story where I left off on the blog, Thursday July 7th. I woke up that morning 41 weeks pregnant and ready to head into my appointments. That day I had a general midwife appointment in addition to a non-stress test and an ultrasound.
I showed up to work that morning to the general stares and questioning of my coworkers...along with a few jokers who felt the need to comment every.morning on the fact that I was still there. I tried to just smile and explain that baby was on their own schedule. I will admit I was a bit tired of answering to everyone though. I still felt fine, but the constant answering to everyone was starting to get to me.
I headed off to my super long appointment(s) and found that everything was a-ok. The ultrasound tech said everything looked awesome, fluid levels were good, etc. She was surprised when I said that I did not want to know the estimated weight of the baby, but when I explained my mindset she totally got it. *Thank goodness for women in medical practice* The non-stress test was uneventful, other than a great discussion on engagement rings with the nurse - she had a beautiful blue sapphire one.
Then I went in to chat with the midwife. I had Beth that day, whom I love with my whole heart and soul. She is just so stinkin' nice. Anywho, on the advice of some other friends we chatted about stripping my membranes. After she checked me, I was 3 cm dilated and still very effaced, just like the last few times. She was happy with the progress, and thought stripping my membranes would be a good option.
When I explained that A was on the ship on duty that night, however, she said, "Why don't we go ahead and schedule you to have this done tomorrow morning?" Stripping of membranes typically does not result in immediately going into labor, but she felt like we probably shouldn't tempt fate since A was stuck on the ship. So, we scheduled an appointment for 10am the next morning to have that done and told me she would be surprised if we didn't have a baby by the end of the weekend - eek! Yay! Just in case though, we also did have to schedule an induction. Boo. So, we scheduled another NST for Monday morning and the induction for 7am on Tuesday. She gave me a hug and said, "I hope this doesn't seem mean, but I really want to see you in labor!" and sent me on my way.
That afternoon I ran to the grocery store with my sister and had my first stop-me-in-my-tracks contraction, right in the Harris Teeter parking lot. Because that's safe. 9 month pregnant lady standing in the middle of a busy parking lot, under construction, with a shocked look on her face. I did have a moment where I thought, "Maybe I won't need that appointment after all!" but then I didn't have another contraction all day. Boo. Let me tell you though, now I knew what I was looking for because that contraction felt totally different than the other prelabor ones.
The next morning I called in to work and took a medical day, explaining the situation. I thought it was sort of silly to turn around and go back in if there was a possibility of me going into labor or just generally feeling icky, since a few people had told me that stripping your membranes was super painful. What happens is that the person performing the procedure inserts their finger or fingers into your open cervix and runs their fingers around the inside of your cervix separating your bag of waters from your cervix and releasing natural prostaglandins to hopefully help things get going.
A actually had a super early day that say and got home about 9am, so he was able to go to the appointment with me. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but Blair was there and explained the procedure to me. She checked me and I was at 4cm! Yay! A whole centimeter overnight. She then proceeded to do the deed, which was uncomfortable, but not all that bad in general. Blair remarked to A that I would be a great laborer because I barely blinked during the whole thing. Ha! Talk about a confidence boost!
She essentially told us to go home and get to doing what put us into this predicament in the first place to get some other natural prostaglandins stewing in there. Actually she said, "We could give you some here that are made in a lab and will cost you a whole lot, but I bet he would be willing to give you some for free, babies are expensive - take the free option." Have I mentioned how much I love the midwives?
We went home, had some lunch and got about the business of trying to get baby here...ran down the list again, breast pumping, walking, birth ball, snuggling and relaxing. He also put me on a mandated Facebook/internet/blogging hiatus. In a nice way, not in a "I am man, and will mandate things for you little wife" kind of way. Late Friday night I had my "bloody show" (again - can we not think of better terms for all of this labor stuff? membranes, bloody show, mucous plug. gag.) and I was pretty stoked, because I was sure labor was coming soon!
Well, you know how the story goes.
Saturday came and went.
Sunday came, A went back to the ship, and I ran to Target, and had a great pep talk with Baby on the way. I explained that this was a team effort and I promised that I would do everything that I could to bring him or her safely into this world, even though it was probably a scary unknown place. I told him or her that so many people already loved them and were so excited for their arrival so that they could hold and cuddle and love on them. And that ultimately I was going to make the best choices for them and me to both be safe through the birthing process, but it would probably be a better first step if we could do this on our own before Tuesday morning. But, that whatever path we were in for, it would be alright in the end because we would finally get to meet each other.
Night time came again and nothing. I emailed in to work to let them know that I would be in for work in the morning, but that I would need to leave for a NST in the afternoon, and that I had an induction scheduled for Tuesday morning. My sister and her boyfriend brought me a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard and I inhaled it while bouncing on the birth ball one last time.
It was about 10pm and I headed to bed, feeling a bit disappointed that Beth's prediction of a baby by the weekend had been wrong, but knowing that whatever was in store, I needed my rest.
A short two hours later, at midnight on the dot, I sat straight up in bed, awoken by what could only be considered a "real" contraction.
Evelyn is 9 days old
...and I honestly have no idea how many parts this story will have.