You see, I've been married for almost 9 years - I got married when I was 19 and had no business having children. My husband and I didn't yet own a home and really didn't want to have children until we did. We were living with my parents, while saving some $$ to buy a home, last year (1997). On March 1st - I threw a HUGE surprise party for my husband's 30th birthday (a big success!) and on the 2nd we went looking at homes for sale. We found a townhouse and made an offer (not a planned happening!...just a fluke!) The next day, I went to work and was telling my boss that my monthly girlfriend hadn't yet visited me but that I knew I wasn't pregnant and that I was sure it was stress! I truly didn't think I was pregnant but, she talked me into getting test. So, I ran to the store at lunch, and brought it back to work with me. I went into the restroom and took the test...waited my 3 minutes...and took a look. Well, I only saw one pink line, instead of two...okay, so there was a 2nd line, but, it was SO PALE that it was virtually non existent! So, I threw the test in the trash and went back to my desk. A little birdie inside of me kept telling me that there was indeed a 2nd line and to go look again. I dug in the trash and proceeded to tear the 800-number off the box. I called and told the operator not to laugh at me, but that I had a question - I told her that the line was REALLY PALE and she laughed at me. She said that it was picking up the hormone that it was looking for and to get a blood test done. So, I did.....and had to wait until the next morning for the results. Meanwhile, I go home and there's a message on our machine saying that our offer on the house has been accepted! WHAT?!?! Oh my. Little did my husband know - I might also be pregnant - he didn't even know I was late! The next day, I called the lab - of course I couldn't be patient enough to wait for them to call me - and guess what??? I was pregnant!! ME??? PREGNANT??? I cried...and ran in to my boss' office to tell her the good news! I was so scared and so happy all at the same time. They sent me home early that day - I wonder why...maybe because I couldn't CONCENTRATE ON WORK!? So, I ran to the store, bought a tiny gift box, some tissue paper and some little yellow booties. Went home - and gave my husband the birthday present of his life!! BOY WAS HE SURPRISED! We did buy the house and moved in a month later. My pregnancy was PERFECT! No sickness....No cravings....No aversions to food...NOTHING! A few uncomfortable nights there towards the end, but, survivable. My last day of work was to be the 10th of October - her due date was the 20th. Perfect, I'll have one week to relax. I'm a "nesting" kind of person anyway - so, I didn't have that pregnancy "nesting thing". Well, this little baby of mine must have known that is was okay for her to come out now - I spent the weekend like I normally would've, and on Monday was planning to have my mother and a friend over for lunch. I was awakened by a small cramp and decided that on my first day off - I wouldn't sleep in Afterall....I'd get up and get ready for lunch instead, vacuum, dust...etc. While getting ready for my company to come...I felt a little strange and those small cramps were getting a little closer together. Hee! I honestly didn't think that I was in labor...so, I made a few phone calls, but didn't cancel lunch...no no no...i was having them over no matter what! Afterall, this was the first day of my last days of freedom! My husband came home from work to take me to the office so that they could put a monitor on me. The nurse said that I was in labor but, my contractions were VERY small. (Could've fooled me!! SMALL?? WELL THEY SURE DO HURT!) I finally was able to see the Dr. and he gave us the good news...I had dilated to 3 and was going to have a baby that day! WOW!!!!! My water hadn't broken and I still had my mucus plug....I thought we were safe for another few days! Needless to say, I had to cancel lunch! In to the hospital we went (same parking lot) and next thing I know - I've got a hospital robe on and a blood pressure cuff attached to my arm! IT'S HAPPENING! We had a beautiful room, huge with pretty window treatments, wallpaper border to match, an armoire with stereo system...the works. We turned the stereo on and we're good to go! The Dr. came in and broke my water and then they started my pitocin - even though I had already started my contractions, I guess they wanted to speed things along. While the nurse checked me periodically, I asked if she felt hair on my babies head - she said yes! Aaaawwwe! After pushing for a while, she said I was doing such a good job, that I could stop while we called the Dr. in. So, we waited and laughed and talked. With approximately, 8 hours of labor, one wonderful epidural (happydural!), and 45 minutes of pushing....I gave birth to the most beautiful living being I've ever seen! WHAT A MIRACLE! They had a mirror at the foot of my bed so that I could watch her come out - BEAUTIFUL! I cried tears of joy the whole time....She rated a 9/9 on her APGAR. Her head was perfect, not misshapen, her lips were shaped just like mine - perfect little dip at the top...great for when she gets to play with my lipstick! Her daddy cut the cord and she was put directly on my chest...oh my God - what a beautiful thing! She weighed 7lb 7oz and was 20 inches long. PERFECTION at it's finest! Everyone, friends and family, outside the delivery room said they couldn't believe that they heard us laughing at times. Get that epidural and you'll have fun too!! By the time you deliver, you're not so numb that you can't feel the baby come out either - so, I did feel her come out - it just didn't hurt! I wanted to enjoy having my baby - not be in so much pain that I can't have fun with it. We laughed and had a great time. My mom was in there also, being the video camera"man". It was picture perfect...my husband was a HUGE help, helping pull my shoulders to my knees on my left side, and giving me a lot of support...we also had a student nurse in the room with us helping like a champ on my right side....and to this day, almost 6 months later, we still keep in touch with her. We found out while I was in labor that this was to be her first birth experience. We think that's pretty neat that Haley was her first and we keep her updated with cards and photo's. She loves it! The only thing that happened was that will all the pushing and moving around, my IV came out and started to infiltrate into my arm....therefore, my blood did not clot the way it should've after he put my stitches in...so, I bled more that they liked....but, once they fixed the IV...I was fine. The hospital gave me the option to let Haley stay in the nursery, or to room with me. Honestly, it was about midnight when all was said and done and I was in my room - I was hungry (remember, I didn't get to eat breakfast OR lunch!) and was very tired. So, she slept in the nursery that night. By the time we went home, two days later...our room looked like a florist with more balloons and flowers than you could imagine. Everyone was glad that Haley had arrived! I did tear a bit so, there was some uncomfortable recovery but, all well worth it! She's a wonderful baby and is now cutting her first teeth - two on the bottom and one on top - all at the same time with no signs of teething - no crankiness, no fevers...nothing. LUCKY US! No one can ever describe what it's like nor can they explain how much love you'll have for this baby - you'll only know when you have yours. To top everything off - when I returned home from the hospital, I went upstairs to take a shower and found a present on my pillow. Laying there was a beautifully wrapped gift and a card - the card was a Thank You card from my husband, thanking me for giving him the most beautiful gift ever and in the box was a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet!....I haven't taken it off since and she's 5 1/2 months old!!