We are so lucky to have another sweet baby in our home! Our little Betty Florence joined the family on January 28, 2013 at 2:36 am. She weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces and measured 19.5 inches long. We love her so much!!
I guess the story of Betty's arrival begins on Tuesday, January 22nd. I had my 39 week appointment and my doctor stripped my membranes. I was excited and hoping that it would get things going and that we could meet our baby girl on the 23rd. But my doctor said that even though I was 3 cm (third week in a row), the baby was still pretty high and it was hard for him to strip as thoroughly as he wanted. He explained that the procedure would either do the trick and put me into labor, or I would be up all night with contractions that would never materialize and I would hate him in the morning.
I left the office hopeful and had some contractions that afternoon. They continued through the night, but in the morning they died down. This became the pattern for the entire week. Consistent contractions all night, and then sporadic ones throughout the day. It was frustrating! For a few days I was sure we would be in the hospital by the next morning at the latest, but eventually I figured it just wasn't time and kind of gave up hoping that it was. Poor Spencer felt very in the dark and I think he thought labor would be more predictable.
We wisely took Spencer's parents up on their offer to watch Clara so we could go out to dinner on Saturday night. We went to the porcupine grill and were seated in a balcony area directly over the bar area. Spencer told me that if my water broke, it would likely go all over the people below us. I reminded him that between my mom, my sisters, and me (that's 13 babies delivered to that point) no one's water had ever broken spontaneously before getting to the hospital. I simply wasn't going to have that kind of a dramatic experience.
On Sunday morning around 4 am I woke up with some intense contractions that were getting closer and closer together. After almost two hours of contractions 3-5 minutes apart, I finally decided to eat breakfast in preparation to head to the hospital. As soon as I did, the contractions began to slow. I went back to bed and continued to have contractions throughout the day, but they were 10-15 minutes apart. I went to church, but only sacrament meeting. I left church just as it began to snow. By the time Spencer and Clara got home it was really starting to accumulate. We already had 20 inches of snow, a layer of ice and some more snow on the ground and now several additional inches of powdery white. It was snowing badly enough that Spencer even canceled our dinner plans with his parents.
We hunkered down for the evening and put Clara to bed. My contractions started to pick up a little as we watched a few shows on Hulu. It was about 9:50 when one contraction was intense enough that I was rocking on all fours on the living room floor, when I felt a little pop inside and then a quick gush of fluid. I ran to the bathroom quietly shouting, "I think my water just broke!" But then I was confused... I always heard that when your water breaks it just keeps coming until the baby is born. But absolutely nothing else was coming and I started to doubt whether it was my water breaking or not. I quickly texted a few friends whose water had broken to compare experiences and felt reassured by their experiences.
Spencer didn't want to waste any time and called his parents to have his mom come down and stay with Clara. We knew it would take a little while because of the weather, so we used that time to finish packing for the hospital. I was still having contractions, and they were pretty intense, but I was still unsure if I was really in labor. It was a treacherous night for a false alarm, so I prayed that the hospital would keep us there and that this was the real thing. Spencer's mom arrived and I quietly slipped into Clara's room one last time before we left. She slept so soundly. I stroked her hair as I told her that I loved her so much, and that things would be different when I came home or saw her again. It was such a mix of emotions to leave home that night.
We took surface streets to the hospital and nothing had been plowed. There was a good six inches of snow on the roads and we went about 20 mph the whole way. While I tapped my feet or knocked the dashboard through contractions, Spencer would ask if we needed to pull over. We got the the hospital around 11:00 pm and checked in. Both times I've checked in at labor and delivery I've felt pretty silly.
"Hi, what's going on?"
"I think I'm in labor. And I think my water broke."
"Are you still leaking fluid?"
Typing and what feels like an eye roll...
We skipped triage altogether and were admitted to room 17. We had such a nice nurse, Laura. I changed into a hospital gown and when she checked me she said I was 4 cm (which was a little disappointing since I felt like I'd been in labor all week) and confirmed that my water had broken. She said that the baby's head came down so quickly she essentially plugged up the flow of fluid. At 12:15 I got an epidural and at 12:30 she checked me again. 5 cm. She said I was making good, steady progress and thought we'd probably have a baby in 4 or 5 hours. She suggested we try to rest a little and said she'd check me again in two hours.
At 2 am I was fully dilated! She said the head was "right there," and had me do one push, just to see what kind of pusher I was. When she watched me push, she told me not to push again while she got the doctor. Dr. Froerer was on call and said that because of the weather and since it was the middle of the night, he would just deliver my baby instead of calling my doctor, if that was ok with me. So... two contractions of pushing later and my baby girl was here! I couldn't believe how quickly everything went. It was so fast compared to my three hours of pushing with Clara!
Much like Clara's arrival, Betty was placed on my tummy while they wiped her down and Spencer cut the cord. Just like her sister, she let out a tiny wimper - no screams or crying - and then was taken to the warming table to see if they could get her to cry a little more. She was so cheesy and furry and cute! Big double chin and puffy little cheeks.