A Rainbow Pumpkin Birthday Story

Since I've neglected to write about Abigail's birth thus far, it seems fitting to do so on the eve of her first birthday. It still seems so strange to think not only that she's here but that she's been here with us for one whole year.

Prior to active labor starting, I had been in prodromal labor for about 4 weeks. The contractions would come and go nearly on a daily basis, none strong enough to really get things going, though. The weekend before she was born I was particularly frustrated. I had contractions for hours at a time only for them to completely vanish as quickly as they began. As much as I really wanted to be in labor that weekend, I was also concerned about going into labor. That weekend was Joe's first weekend of drill with his national guard unit. I was worried about contacting him should something happen. (Even though his unit is 30 minutes away... The hormones...) Unbeknownst to me, a friend of mine had actually been praying that Abigail wouldn't make her appearance until after his weekend of drill.

Joe came home from drill Sunday evening, and we went to his grandparent's house for a big family pizza dinner. When we left, the sun had set and the supermoon was brightly shining. Secretly I hoped that all those old wives' tales about full moons and birth were true. We went home, had a normal evening, and I probably went to bed later than I should have.

At 4:45am I woke out of a sound sleep (which is rare) to a very strong contraction. You know how "they" always say you'll know when you're in labor? I'll be darned if "they" weren't right... Again. ;-) They came pretty regularly, though I didn't keep an eye on the timing. I knew they would get rough soon so I tried to rest, and breathe through them without waking anyone. A little before 6am, I decided to wake Joe. His alarm was going to go off in a few minutes anyway. I gave him a nudge and said, "So if you want to get a shower, you better get one now. We're going to the hospital." He ran to get in the shower, and I attempted to throw some clothes on. He had asked me if I wanted one, and I almost laughed. (Thanks, contractions.) I knew we didn't have time for all that. In between contractions, I called my MIL to let her know it was "baby day." 

After Joe was dressed, I sat on the exercise ball and attempted to eat (ha) while we waited on his parents to arrive and take care of the big girls. In reality it was probably only 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. Eating made me feel sick (hello, active labor) so I tried to move and breathe. We left as soon as his parents arrived, at about 7am. I had forgotten it was Monday, but was quickly reminded as we pulled into traffic on the highway. Fortunately it wasn't too bad, and we made pretty good time. Extra fortunate because I was beginning to realize that I was having back labor and sitting actually made things hurt worse. 

We finally get into the hospital and checked in around 7:30. I was at 7cm (what I was with Millie, too!) so we got moved to an actual room. I had to decline a wheelchair because sitting made the contractions worse...and every single nurse looked at me with crazy eyes. *sigh* I basically labored standing up, with the exception of being forced to sit while they assaulted me with needles in an attempt to set up an IV. (5 tries. FIVE. TRIES.) One of my favorite doctors happened to be on call, which was such a relief to me. He came in once or twice to check on me. There were nurses in and out, too, but I don't remember too much of it. 

I go to "labor land" after a certain point, so all I remember was laboring with Joe's help. We stood and swayed for the most part. I do remember that he tried to do counter pressure on my back once (this helped a lot in labor with Millie) and I all but yelled at him. Unfortunately, not much helped the back labor. Around 9am a nurse came in and I begged her to ask my doctor to break my water to speed things along. There was a bit of a concern since I was GBS+ and had only been there 2 hours with antibiotics in. Thankfully, my doctor trusted me when I told him breaking my waters usually speeds labor along. And he was confident that I'd gotten enough antibiotics to be safe. So we prepped for that. 

He broke my water and then began to explain how the contractions would be much more intense, etc. I knew this, and he knew I knew this, but I was actually still appreciative of that. He left and about a minute later I had the worst contraction ever. It was crazy painful and I thought I was going to break Joe's hand (poor guy). After that, I realized.... I could feel her head in the birth canal. So I'm in pain, but I mention this to my nurse because....um....WOW. She says, in disbelief, "okay, well let me just check to see if I can feel what you're feeling." She checks. She runs out of the room. Meanwhile I'm thinking, this is not my first baby. I know what I'm talking about here. 

She comes back, followed by I don't know how many people, and my doctor. He assumes the position and 2 instinctive pushes later... She's here. She's pink, and screaming, and beautiful....and I see her cord flop out onto her belly as he holds her up for me to see. Shock. Disbelief. Relief. JOY. Welcome to the world, Abigail Siobhan-Maebh; our BIG little miracle.

Happy first birthday, Pumpkin. (We call her that because she was born in October. :)) I can't believe you've been with us this long! And yet I can't imagine our home without you in it.