Harper’s Birth Story

Here is the second Best of 2016 blog. This was originally posted on Figuring Out the Plot.

I suppose Harper’s birth story really starts at our 36 week appointment where the nurse shockingly announced I was dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced. She was sure I’d have the baby by the next week. So, I kicked it into gear, packing bags, getting plans made, doing laundry, you know, the usual. (Meanwhile, my husband was working out of town for two weeks, staying overnight, everyone was a nervous wreck about Braun and I being home alone and living 45 minutes from the hospital.)

At the 37 week appointment, I was at a 4 and at the 38 weeker, I was a 5. No one could believe I was still going to work, taking care of Braun even walking my mile and a half a day at the gym, but I felt fine. I mean I knew I was having some contractions, but they didn’t hurt that bad and were never in regular intervals.

So after three weeks of false alarms, I wasn’t worried when my husband ran over to my parents house last weekend. They live about 1.5 hours from the hospital. He was going to just go for the day, but then ended up spending the night for several reasons–getting feed, hunters coming in, picking up sheep, needing brand inspection papers. He asked his mom to come and stay with Braun and I while he was gone. I thought this was ridiculously unnecessary as nothing was happening and I didn’t need a babysitter. Famous last words.

I felt fine all weekend. On Saturday night, I was having the same sort of mild contractions I’d had for the last three weeks. They were about 15 minutes apart, but never got closer or stronger, so I went to bed. I didn’t tell my husband when he checked in to see if he needed to come home or if he could spend the night. I figured it was more of the same that had been happening the last couple weeks.

At 4:30 in the morning, Braun woke up crying, so I got out of bed and headed for his room. As I turned the corner to walk in his door, my water broke. Just like the movies. Gush of water on the floor. Go time.

Now, let me add here that I told the doctor that I hoped my water would break so I would know when to go to the hospital. He laughed and said that hardly ever happened in real life and that I would be in labor before that. So, I prayed to my favorite saint, John Paul II that my water would break. And it did. So, good work JPII!

My mother-in-law offered to drive me, but at that point, I wasn’t in any pain and I didn’t want poor Braun to be drug out of the house to the hospital in the middle of the night. So I told her I could handle it if she could stay with him. I mean, women used to have babies on dirt floors. And cows just lay down and calve. I could drive 45 minutes.

I called Ty. He reports seeing my name on caller ID at that time and thinking, “Oh crap.” He said he took the fastest shower ever and headed this way.

My brother heard him and texted to say, “You having a kid?” Ty said yes. My brother was only concerned with his cooler that was in the back of our truck–didn’t want it stolen at the hospital. Apparently, my brother went back to bed and then got up early to guide a hunter. He didn’t ever tell my parents what was going on, so they had no idea. My dad said he heard someone getting around, but he just assumed it was Ty and my brother getting up to hunt.

I don’t even want to know how fast Ty drove his truck. He kept me on the phone until I got to the hospital. When I arrived, he was about 30-40 minutes away.

I had been very concerned about where to park my truck. You have to go into the emergency room to get to labor and delivery in the middle of the night and I didn’t want to get towed. Ty kept telling me how stupid that was–just pull in like you own the joint and deal with it later. Must be a woman thing, because a couple of other girls have asked me where I parked and said that would have worried them too. Fortunately, the first space next to the ER was open, I whipped right in, and walked into the ER.

I told them I needed to get to L&D now. Everyone started moving really fast when they saw me have a contraction. The poor girl who got stuck driving my wheelchair up there kept saying, “Please don’t have a baby before we get to the third floor, please don’t have a baby until we get to the third floor.”

We got there, I told them what was going on, and they got me checked in at 5:30 am. By this point, contractions were about 3 minutes apart. The nurse checked and said I was at a 6. So I texted Ty and told him he could slow down a bit, we had time. Famous last words again.

The nurse asked 5 million questions. Most of my answers included the word “epidural.” The conversations went something like this:

Nurse: Don’t worry, the doctor has been called for someone else so he is on his way.

Me: What about the epidural guy? Is he on the way?

Nurse: We’ve got a lot to do before you can have an epidural. I’ll do my best.

Nurse: Do you have a birthing plan? 

Me: Yes, get here and get an epidural.

Nurse: You doing okay?

Me: Just give me any drugs you have. I will take any drugs at this point.

At 6:05, Ty texted “I’m here.”  About that time, I told the nurse I thought she better check me again. She said, “You’re an anterior lip!” and she started scurrying around. I asked what that meant and she said, “You’re a 9 and the baby is coming fast.”

I called Ty at 6:07 and just said, “You need to get in here NOW.” He was in the parking lot.

The nurse said, “Do not push, Dad’s not here yet.” I probably asked for drugs again if I’m being honest.

Then she said, “Oh crap,” and screamed, “We need a doctor and more hands in here now!” At that time, 6:10 am (40 minutes after getting to the hospital), Harper was born, the nurse caught her, and Ty and the doctor both ran in the door.

The doctor took Harper. Ty grabbed my hand with one hand and the scissors to cut the cord with the other. And that was that.

I asked “I guess I don’t get that epidural, huh?” The nurse said, “You don’t need it now!” I said, “Well, I guess that saved me $700.”

We let our parents know. I called my folks and my dad sleepily answered. I told him we had the baby. He said, “Oh my gosh, we have to get Ty!” He didn’t realize he had left the house. About that time, Ty texted him a photo with me and Harper, and everyone calmed down.

And just like that, we were a family of four.

Life seems to always be an adventure with us, but we wouldn’t want it any other day. Happy Birthday, sweet Harper! We’re glad you’re here!

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