Almost 6 weeks ago, on my birthday (!), our sweet baby girl was born! Kate was 9 lbs, 10 oz and 22 inches long. And once she decided to come, she came fast! Phew! Here is her birth story, and since I have limited time while she and Henry nap- this will not be as well-written or prosaically pleasing as I would like. Here goes.

I was nearly 4 days overdue and 3 cm dilated…just walking and waiting…I forgot how long those last few weeks last, especially when the doctor said for several weeks, “I doubt you’ll make it to your next appointment.” How I loved and loathed those words…

On Wednesday morning, I woke up and started having regular, kind of uncomfortable contractions. Then they started getting regular-like every 3-4 minutes regular! Our hopes started growing, and we even made a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a dvd player so that Henry could watch Baby Einstein with his grandparents while we were in the hospital. Our hopes were dashed after lunch when my contractions subsided. But “just in case,” I took a nap to reserve some strength (and because I was hugely pregnant and tired from lugging around my 30 lb 18 month old!). I took Henry for an afternoon walk, and I started having contractions again, this time more around 10-15 minutes apart (again- disappointing). The contractions died down completely by the time we went to bed at 10:45, but I still thought “maybe tomorrow morning.”

I woke up with a start at 11:45, went to the bathroom, and BOOM, my contractions got crazy painful, crazy fast. Faris called his parents to put them on alert that we would probably be calling them to come over within the hour, and we started getting our things together. Faris heated my rice heating pad (an amazing gift from my doula in Birmingham), and I fled to the edge of the bed for some serious contractions. After about 5 minutes and several contractions, I told him to call his parents and get them here SOON! We thought we would be able to take our time at home, work through a lot of contractions before the hospital, but I didn’t think I’d be able to handle a car ride (even though we are literally blocks from the hospital) for much longer.

Thankfully, his parents had been ready to go for weeks, so they arrived very quickly, and we were checked into the hospital by 12:45. I think I was about 5 cm dilated (maybe close to 6) by the time they checked me, and in retrospect I must have been really close to transition by the time I got there. All I know is that I was in crazy amounts of pain and the light was too bright in the room. I think Faris maybe adjusted it or tried to, but I really needed him next to me, putting pressure on my back (he was a champ!), so the ambiance wasn’t perfect in the room, but oh well!

I decided to get in the jacuzzi to perhaps allay some of the pain, but my water broke right before I was going to get off the bed. So I decided to take a hot shower instead. When the nurse said for us to pull the call rope if I felt the urge to push while in the shower, I gained new hope that I must be kind of close to giving birth (I had no idea how close…). Oh my goodness- after a few minutes of a super hot shower and not a ton of relief, I really felt the urge to push. It was so strong,  I couldn’t really even get the words out to Faris. Finally I managed to say something to him, and I got out of the shower, flung the hospital gown back on, and literally flew onto the bed sideways (that’s how it felt- I’m sure it was more of a 40-plus weeks lumbering movement). By that time, my doctor had arrived. I told them that I needed to push, and they told me they weren’t ready. Um excuse me, this giant baby is literally about to pop out of me, and you want me to stop her?! It was the hardest thing in the world to pant through a couple more contractions and not push…but somehow I managed.

When I could take it no longer, I told them that she was going to come, and I think they gave me the go ahead to push (or perhaps saw that I was going to push no matter what). After just about 3 or so hard contractions, our darling Kate barreled her way out! I took one look at that precious, chubby little girl and I didn’t care how many stitches I was going to need (a lot). She was born at 2:04 am, just an hour and 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, a little over 2 hours since the hard contractions started. We prayed for a quick delivery, and wow!

She has been nothing but a joy and delight to us since that day, and her older brother is finally getting a little intrigued by her (both good and bad, I guess). More on that transition later…