For those of you who don't know and are interested in all the sordid details, this is the account of how Brynna made her debut. The first debut of many, I'm certain. :)
Just when I had begun to think the day might never come (I was 3 days from my due date), it happened...
Much like every other night I was making dinner for the family and - also much like every other night lately - I had a few contractions. But these contractions were different. These were uncomfortable. We ate an uneventful dinner (the contractions stopped when I sat down to eat) then took the clan upstairs to Skype Grandma and Grandpa (Jay's parents) to wish Gram a happy birthday. We told them about my irregular contractions and she told me to hurry up and have the baby so they could share a birthday. Little did we know, I'd almost come through for her. Grandpa knew, though. He'd called it the week before. He said we wouldn't be able to Skype as usual on Sunday because we'd be in the hospital. Sure enough - that's where we ended up.
The evening progressed and soon it was Brogan's bedtime. Putting him down was an emotional experience for me. Deep down, I knew this would be the last time that he would be my only child and my sole focus. Life was about to change for all of us. We tried to pass the time with a movie but only 30 minutes into it, my contractions were not letting up so we decided it might be a good idea to get our things together. You know, just in case. Jason showered while I packed a few final things and Googled "differences between true labor and false labor." I refused to be "that lady" that they sent home due to false labor. No, if I went to the hospital, I was going to come home with a baby.
By this point, my contractions were fairly regular but only about 30 seconds long. Until, that is, 11 p.m. Literally two minutes after I went to bed. Everything I'd read said to try to sleep between contraction in early labor. Ha! That was clearly not going to happen. At the same time, though, I thought it was still too soon to go to the hospital and I wanted Jason to get some rest so I went downstairs to walk around. After a half-hearted attempt to watch an Iron Chef re-run, I decided we'd better mosey along to the hospital. I roused my drowsy labor coach, put on some make up and gathered my bag and pillow between increasingly intense contractions. Jason was not in a huge hurry to get there but I knew I'd feel better once I was surrounded by capable medical professionals.
Brogan was fast asleep so we simply delivered his monitor to my neighbor, best friend and gal pal that I can always count on in a pinch: Monique. She was so excited that it was finally time to meet Brynna! We shared a few quick hugs and I rattled off a couple last-minute Brogan if-this-then-that instructions. Then Jason and I were on our way.
What a different trip to the hospital this was as compared to the last time we had a baby. No speeding. No swearing. No rush. I even took the time to scarf down a Fiber One bar in the parking lot. I didn't know how long it would be until my next meal. Little did I know that I'd soon be placing my breakfast order...
We walked into the hospital at 1:02 a.m. and spent about an hour in triage. I answered medical questions, cracked jokes with the nurse and barreled through somewhat steady contractions. The nurse checked my cervix: I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I was happy with that and, more importantly, they were admitting us. Game on!
I really wanted to avoid an epidural and asked if I could walk around during labor. "Not a problem," the labor and delivery nurse responded. "Let's just get some fluids in you then you can get out of bed." Well, that never happened. My contractions got very intense and close together very quickly. (I am happy to report that my word of choice when I'm intense pain is "OW!" Hey - you never know exactly what you might say in that situation.) Between gasps, I asked them to check me again. If I hadn't progressed to at least 7 cm, then an epidural was going to be in my future. There was no way I could handle this pain for hours on end. Before the nurse could come over to check me, I felt the need to push, which they strongly encouraged me not to do, yet. I was on my side and could not roll over to my back but she managed to check me anyway. When she took her hand away, it was bloody and she said, "That's 10!" I didn't see her face but Jason said the look on it was priceless. It was 2:15 a.m. and it was time to push.
They called a tech to bring in a delivery cart and she asked who it was for (her exact words were something like, "Is it for the girl that was just 4 cm???") No one expected things to progress quite so fast. They quickly summoned Dr. Eaton - the one doctor at my OB's office that I had not met, yet, of course - she gingerly placed my feet in the stirrups and gave me the OK to push whenever I needed to. I pushed hard five or six times and, within about 2 minutes, at 2:27 a.m., Brynna Katelyn Oberhaus slipped into our world. They placed her on my chest, Jason cut the umbilical cord and we sat in awe of our new baby.