Gemma’s Birth Story (Part 1)
I’d been having very light contractions for about three weeks or so, and each day wondered if this would be the day that they picked up. (nope, it wasn’t.) My due date was January 8th, and I mostly just hoped that we would be able to enjoy the holidays and time with family before the baby came and I was in the hospital. The holidays came and went, and still no baby. I knew from my weekly appointments that I was getting closer, but still, labor was not starting.
With my first pregnancy, I was all set to let the baby stay in for a long time and didn’t want to rush anything, because I think I was a little bit crazy. This pregnancy was a lot rougher, and by those last few weeks, I was DONE. I took my doctor up on his offer to strip my membranes (sounds much worse than it was) at my 39 week appointment, because I figured it was close enough to the due date, and because I was dilated a centimeter more each visit, starting at 36 weeks. Despite that (and everyone’s emails and texts to see if ANYTHING was happening), my due date came and went with a trip to the hospital’s OB… for a non-stress test.
Four days later, I went for my routine weekly exam and another non-stress test. No less than three people exclaimed, “I never thought you’d be here today!!” Obviously, they were wrong. I noticed that my daily contractions had picked up verrrrry slightly that morning, but I still wasn’t getting too excited. At my appointment, my doctor and I decided to schedule an induction for the next day. He would be gone late in the week (this was a Monday), Joe was able to be away from work, my parents were still in town for a few days, and I wanted to take advantage of all the help I could get. I also felt comfortable with the decision, since I had progressed enough over the past few weeks that my doctor was confident breaking my water would be enough to induce labor, without resorting to Pitocin.
I headed up to OB for the non-stress test while my parents took care of the kids at home. I had been there for awhile, waiting for the nurses to have enough data to let me go home, and enjoyed a little respite watching HGTV before all the crazy that was going to be coming. My nurse offered to let me order lunch, but also said that if I did order food, odds were good that I’d be released before my food came. I opted to wait until I got home, because I also wanted to eat my dad’s cooking while I could, and I knew I’d be back the next day for a few days of hospital food. Turns out that it was a good choice, because they did tell me I could go home about ten minutes later.
It was around that time that I was pretty sure I felt my water break.