Since Nicolette was born 6 days before her due date I mistakenly listened to and wholeheartedly believed all of the people who assured me that if I first child came early that my second would also come early and possibly even earlier than the first. WRONG!
In the weeks leading up to my due date I had a significant increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. Sometimes very regular and time able for 2 hours or more so I felt sure that Walker would be coming SOON!
The week prior to my due date the contractions went away and I started feeling great, like I was only 5 or 6 months pregnant. I had plenty of energy and nothing really hurt or ached. I felt certain that Walker had hunkered down and decided to never come out and I was terrified that I was going to have to be induced. So I followed all of the wives tales…I ate eggplant parmesan, put hot sauce and red pepper flakes in everything that I ate, increased my stretching, went for long walks, played with Nicolette and her friends at the pool, tossing them around all in hopes of shocking my body into having a baby. But alas, August 11th (my due date) came and went and not a single sign of sweet Baby Walker. On Tuesday, August 12th I tried to keep Nicolette and I busy so that I wouldn't sit around and obsess over every twinge. We went to the mall for story time at Pottery Barn Kids, walked around, ate lunch and then headed home in time for her nap. That afternoon I took Nicolette out for a long walk through the neighborhood in her stroller (and got totally drenched thanks to a pop up rain shower), came home cleaned the house and made dinner. I gave up on spicy food so we had breakfast for dinner - fritatta with zucchini, tomatoes and onions, biscuits and bacon. We gave Nicolette a bath and I put her to bed (The Italian and I started alternating bedtime duty so that Nicolette wouldn't be shocked when daddy had to take over full time for a bit once Walker arrived). I kissed her goodnight and headed downstairs. I did some stretching (I'd been practicing yoga squats and lunges throughout my pregnancy because I read that it helps prepare your body for labor and is especially helpful if you plan to have an unmedicated birth. I turned on The Real Housewives of New York Reunion and went about my stretching. Sitting in squats or lunges for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes at a time, did a few downward dogs and then laid down in bed with my feet up and was texting with some girl friends trying to firm up plans for the next day - again, trying to keep myself and Nicolette busy so that I would focus on something other than the anticipation of having a baby.
At 9:48pm I was mid text trying to convince a friend to meet us for a playdate in the morning when I felt "IT". There was a little "pop" feeling inside and then nothing for a couple of seconds, then all of the sudden there was water! I hopped out of bed and ran to let The Italian know that I think my water broke…headed to the loo to check and sure enough it must have broken. I had just been joking with some of my girlfriends about how water breaking is never anything like they show in the movies with a big gush….well, Walker must've wanted to prove me wrong because there was a big gush and it just kept coming and coming and coming.
My hands were trembling as I called the dr.'s office and they quickly put me through to the midwife at the hospital. I was not having ANY contractions so she told us to take our time saying that I could take a shower if I wanted and just head to the hospital in a few hours. I didn't really feel like taking a shower. Dave hopped in the shower quickly and began putting his bag together. I couldn't settle myself down so I quickly set to rewriting the list of things that needed to be packed up for Nicolette in the morning (her monitor, sound machine, lovey, blankie and all that stuff that I couldn't pack in advance). We called our dear neighbors and they came over to monitor sit Nicolette until our friends who were supposed to keep Nicolette would come and pick her up in the morning. I started having mild contractions around maybe 10:30pm but they were super mild and I had 20 hours of contractions before Nicolette was born so I didn't think we needed to rush. I changed the sheets on the bed, made sure that the trash and recycling were taken out (because I'm crazy like that) and all the while The Italian is trying to hurry me out the door. We left the house right around 11pm and this drive to the hospital was so different than with Nicolette. With Nicolette I was in full force active labor and trying to push as Dave barreled down the emergency lane of the highway at what seemed like 150 mph. This time we were just casually driving to the hospital like we were going to a dr.'s appointment or something. I started timing contractions and noticed that they were about 3 minutes apart.
We checked in, dropped off our snack basket I had put together for the labor and delivery nurses and they took me to triage. The contractions were getting a little stronger but not bad.
I was still able to smile, joke and take pictures and goof around while waiting for them to check to ensure that my water had indeed broken (it had) and they strapped monitors on for a bit to check my contractions and Walker's activity level. By 11:30pm they had determined that I was indeed in labor and dilated 5cm and 70% effaced so they transferred us to a labor and delivery room. They pulled up my birth plan and brought in the yoga ball and made me sign 800 pieces of paper (skipped that last time too since I basically walked in the door and had a baby). They wanted to put me on the monitor one more time because Walker wasn't as responsive as they would like. So Krista my sweet L&D nurse got some juice and told me to lay on my left side while we waited. It was a little uncomfortable in that position but sure enough about 10seconds after drinking the juice I felt Walker start bee-bopping around. Midwife Tina (who also happened to have delivered Nicolette) came into the room and sat to talk with us a bit. She told me to call her when I started "huffing and puffing" so that she could be there to help me.
After that I was clear to move about as I wished. By this time it was about 12:45am. I wanted to walk around to find Nicolette's picture from her "Big Sister Class" so we did that and then headed back to the room.
Then at 1:17am I had a pretty bad one, I rated it as a "4" and I told Dave to call Nurse Krista and ask her to come back in and check my cervix again. I had asked in my birth plan to have cervical checks upon request only and hadn't been checked since we arrived at 11:30. WELL, he hadn't been paying attention when she gave the instructions on how to call her so kept asking me what to do and I remember saying in between contractions, "Just figure it out, Dave". I'm proud of myself for not yelling at him, just very firmly told him to get it together and figure it out. It probably took 10-15 minutes or so (I couldn't really time things anymore at this point) to figure it out and get her back in the room and when she checked and said I was probably 7 or maybe inching towards 8cm. I took a deep breath and said ok then, I'm going to go to the bathroom then in the 10 seconds it took me to walk from the hospital bed over to the restroom (literally 10 steps) I had a crazy contraction and I felt HIM…COMING OUT! I screamed and said "He's coming out!!!!!"and nurse Krista ran in and checked me and sure enough I had gone from 7cm to 10cm in less than 10 seconds. She said "We have to get you back in this bed now". So I waddled back and just threw myself on to the bed laying on my right side. I started pushing immediately as I heard her on the phone calling the midwife and additional nurses. Midwife Tina ran into the room and said, "You didn't even give me a chance to help you!" I pushed for what they said was 15 minutes (but felt like an hour) and he was here! He was a big boy and his shoulders got stuck so pushing through that was crazy difficult. They made me push in between contractions which is a lot harder to do than it sounds. Dave said that he was worried because he saw how serious Tina got when it got to his shoulders and all of the sudden they were all telling me to push and helping me. It took two big, hard fought pushes and then his shoulders were out and then all of the sudden I heard a little scream and he was on my chest! Again, I can't believe that we were able to do it without any medications!
We also got a visit from Michelle that afternoon!
We are thrilled to finally have our sweet boy with us. It's hard for me to imagine our family without him and I can't believe that I ever thought that our family was complete without him! We are SO BLESSED! Praise be to God for taking such good care of us and blessing our family with such beautiful and amazing children!