By the time my pregnancy progressed into the 36th week, I had had all I could stand of doctors. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I was suffering from moderate pre-eclampsia, both of which called for weekly visits to my doctor, more weekly visits to a specialist, two weekly stress tests, and a weekly visit from a visiting nurse. My due date was 11/27/2003.
The plan was for me to have a scheduled C-section at 38 weeks, but obviously, our son had other ideas.
On October 27, I was admitted into the hospital for observation because my blood pressure had been terribly high. I was released after nine hours. I was told I was not dilated or thinning and nothing was going to happen for quite some time. I was furious that I had wasted an entire day at the hospital!
On October 31st, Halloween, I went to work as usual. I felt a strange tugging in my lower right side, but I dismissed it as round ligament pain because that was what the doctor had told me on a previous occasion. I was miserable at work, but plugged right along.
At 5:15 p.m. I drove home, turned out my porch lights, and climbed into bed. I was so incredibly tired! At 8:36 p.m. I heard a very faint popping sound, then I felt a gush of warm water. I jumped up and, unwilling to believe I was in labor four weeks early, decided I must have wet myself. I was annoyed and not feeling very good. I took a shower and changed my bed sheets.
At 9:30 p.m. I felt a tightening and pain in my belly. A few minutes later I felt it again and more warm fluid ran down my leg. By then I knew I was in labor. But my contractions were three minutes apart and I was alone!
I called my labor coach, and she and her husband came to drive me to the hospital, where I was told that I was 3-4 cm. dilated and would be admitted. It was 11:40 p.m. when they wheeled me into my private birthing room. On the way to the room I began to vomit. I was so mortified! I thought I must look like a ridiculous idiot to all these people! I kept apologizing to the nurses who cleaned me up.
I opted for an epidural and one was administered by 12:55 a.m., by which time I had been in labor for a little over four hours. At 1:15 a.m. I told the nurse I felt so much pressure that I couldn't stand it! She checked me, then jogged to the phone in my room.
Suddenly, there was an incredible commotion! My bed was broken down, lights were turned on, and about a dozen staff members appeared. My friend, Danielle, asked what was going on, and my nurse said, "She went from 4.5 cm. to 10 cm. in 15 minutes! This baby's coming now!"
I couldn't feel my legs due to the epidural. Actually, I couldn't feel anything, but I had this incredible urge to push!
It only took nine minutes and four pushes to deliver my son. Ethan Patrick was born at 1:33 a.m. on November 1, 2003: All Saints Day. He weighed five pounds, five ounces, and was eighteen inches long. He was beautiful! I had never seen anything more gorgeous than his face!
They whisked him straight to the warming table to be checked over because he was premature, but they found nothing wrong with him. I held him for the first time at 2:10 a.m.
I have to tell you, I have never felt like I have done anything extraordinary in my life, but looking at my little boy made me feel so accomplished! He was, and is perfect. He's my little strawberry blond angel sent straight from heaven above. I have never loved anyone as much as I love him and I don't know if I ever will!