Part two of Heath’s birth story, you can read part one HERE.
Around 7pm my contractions were consistently 5-7 minutes apart so I texted my best nursing friend, Jessica, who was going to meet us at the hospital to be your delivery nurse and let her know that I thought maybe tonight would finally be the beginning of your birthday story and for her to be on call. I still wasn’t convinced this was the real deal because the contractions weren’t super painful, they were just noticeable, and because your sisters labor had lasted for such a long time; I think my text to Jess even started “at the risk of sounding like the girl who cried labor” haha.
Then I called your Grandma Lulu because she was going to watch your sister while your dad and I were at the hospital. I told her I thought we might be going to the hospital at some point that night, but that if we did it probably wouldn’t be until around 3 in the morning so she might want to spend the night at our house just in case. I told her not to rush because I was still comfortable, had plans of putting Evelyn to bed, eating dinner, taking a shower, and possibly even taking a Benadryl so I could nap. I did zero of those things.
I told your dad I would put Evelyn down and then I sent him out to get food from my favorite Mexican restaurant–guacamole sounded really good! As I was playing with your sister I realized there was no way I was going to be able to concentrate enough to read her books as I was now contracting every 2-3 minutes and was having to pause to breathe through some of them. So your dad put her to bed when he got home and I paced in the kitchen pausing through contractions and staring at all the good food that I was waiting to eat until your dad came back downstairs. Well putting Evelyn to bed is not a quick process, it takes about 30-40 minutes and by the time your dad came down I was no longer in the mood to eat. I continued pacing in the kitchen trying to convince myself to eat, I really wanted that guacamole!, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Your dad stood watching me and kept asking if we should go to the hospital because my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was having to breath through some of them, but in a bit of labor denial I said no because we were still laughing, talking, and joking during the in-between.
It was about 9pm by this time and I decided I was going to hop in the bath figuring that would slow the contractions down and then maybe I’d feel like eating or taking a nap. Part of this whole labor denial thing is that even though I know all labors are different I just figured that because your sisters was so long I truly didn’t think I could possibly be progressing as quickly as I was. Hers was 36+ hours so for nine months I had thought that I was going to have time to do things like take a nap, crochet your blanket, labor in and out of the tub, and bake cookies for the nurses in between contractions. I was about to find out how wrong I was.
With your sister the contractions practically disappeared when I got in the water so when they didn’t ease up even a bit in the tub it finally occurred to me that this was the real deal. Around 930pm your dad came in and asked if I was sure I didn’t want to go to the hospital or at least call my mom to see when she was going to get to the house, but I insisted it was still early because I could still talk to him in between the contractions. I even encouraged him to take a nap because it was probably going to be a long night and told him not to call mom because she said she was going to be at our house by 10pm so there was no need to bother her but she is typically late. At this point I did text Jessica though and let her know that we would probably be at the hospital sometime before midnight. Within 10 minutes after sending that text things greatly intensified. I felt much more pressure and I was having to vocally breath and really focus to get through the contractions so I knew it was time to start gathering things to get ready to go to the hospital.
It was about 950pm when I got out of the tub and in between the time I walked from the bathroom to our closet to get dressed I realized I was going to need a lot of help. I called your dad who had been working in the garage and told him it was time and that I needed a hand. He came upstairs and found the clothes I was looking for, grabbed all of our bags, loaded the car while I got ready, and called my mom who said she was on the way. As I was getting dressed my body was literally shaking from all of the pressure with each contraction, not pushing pressure but like your head was crushing my pelvic bones pressure–nice right? As awful as that sounds, it was so much better than the back labor I had felt with your sister. It was 1005pm at this point, getting dressed between contractions that were coming every 2 minutes and lasting at least a minute is really challenging so it took a while, and your Grandma Lulu still wasn’t at the house like I said usually a little late. We made our way downstairs and by the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I told your dad I didn’t care if she wasn’t there yet, Evelyn would be fine, and that we needed to go. As we were getting in the car mom pulled up, I hugged her neck, and we left.
Luckily the hospital is only like 7 minutes away because contractions in the car are about a zillion times worse. Your poor dad, I was begging him not to hit the bumps or take the turns so quickly during contractions. He says he is just thankful I didn’t ask him to run any red lights haha. We got to the hospital and I sat in the car for two more contractions because during the first one we were still gathering our stuff and then I wanted one more to pass so I knew I had a solid 60ish seconds to get from the car to the elevator inside the hospital before I had another one. Your dad here says I was being stubborn and should’ve just let him drop me off at the front, I can’t say he’s wrong. That’s because I’m right.
By the time we got inside and to the elevator another contraction was already building. We got upstairs and I had another one at the desk signing in, but the excitement of being at the hospital and seeing all of my work friends there to greet me lessened the pain. I walked from the desk around to our room refusing the wheelchair; in my head if I got to the room and was still only 1cm after making Lulu and your dad rush to get me to the hospital, calling in my friend who lives 45 minutes away to come to the hospital on her night off for a delivery that wasn’t going to happen, and seeing women labor day in and day out and then not knowing when I was actually in labor myself I just never could’ve lived it down so I walked.
Again this fear of not actually being in labor came from your sisters delivery because when I got to the hospital with her I really felt like I was in a lot of pain, but I was still only 3cm, which is what I measured with her for 3 weeks. I even told Kate, another one of my favorite co-workers, as she walked us to the room that if I was still 1cm I was going to cry, and I really think I would have. We had a good laugh and then another contraction came and I hobbled through it into the room.
It was so incredibly special delivering at the place where I work and especially coming in during the night and being with all my night shift girls. They had been on the nine month journey with me and we talked about you often. They were also the only people who knew your name. We had a really difficult time deciding on your name and when we finally did we kept it to ourselves because we didn’t want opinions one way or the other. We also still wanted to see you to make sure it fit, but those girls have such a special place in my heart and I shared it with them. So when we walked into the room and saw ‘Happy Birthday Heath’ written on the whiteboard it was truly special and the reality of the moment really sank in. They all care for you so much. Your dad made the joke “hey honey look a Heath was born in here just before us”…..God I love his jokes haha.
(side note: another one of my delusional labor thoughts was that this time around we would get pictures of me in front of the car on the way to the hospital, checking in, and then again in the gown in the room because we have none of those from your sisters birth, which makes me sad– but bah ha ha! Yeah right. Pictures were no where on my radar so now neither of you have them…lucky you guys though you each get to know every single detail about your entrance into the world. You’re welcome.)
I got changed into one of the gorgeous green potato sack gowns, got into the bed and then things start to get fuzzy….