I saw Dr. Love on Friday, February 14th. Everything looked good. He didn't check my cervix because he figured I knew if there was reason to. I didn't think I'd had any productive contractions, so he told me to come back the following Wednesday. Brian, Hazel, and I went to lunch, then I headed home to clean house and wait for the other kids it get home. That night Brian and I went out to Hill Country Pasta House not far from our neighborhood to celebrate Valentine's Day. We had the best time just taking our time and enjoying each other. We came back to Steiner and walked around, eventually dropping in at Tasha and Marcel's house to visit. I had contractions off and on all night, but again, nothing that seemed productive.
Brian's parents came Saturday evening and we all went out for Mexican food. I ate extra spicy food and had lots more contractions.
Margaret and Brian ran the Austin half marathon on Sunday morning. I went down there with them in the wee hours of the morning and got in lots of walking all around downtown, even a little but if running trying to catch some pictures of them.
Monday Hazel and I planted flowers in the front flower beds and cleaned up the back yard. We payed at the park and walked lots of miles. I was really feeling heavy and weary by the end if the day.
Tuesday I cleaned the pantry from top to bottom, washed sheets, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned windows, and caught up on all the laundry. Could defintely be accused of nesting. By the end of the day I was give out and did frozen pizzas for dinner. I was too tired it stay up and watch the Olympics. I took a bath and headed on to bed. Brian came to bed and woke me up and we did our best to encourage this baby to come. ;)
I guess we were successful, because around 1:30 I woke upmwith a start. I had been dreaming I was having a pretty strong contraction, and lo and behold, I was! I lay there for awhile and waited for the next one. It came about ten minutes later. I got up and ate a banana, loaded the dishwasher, and timed contractions for about an hour. They came every ten to fifteen minutes, painful, but never very close together. I knew these contrsctions were different from the ones I'd been having up to the that point. I climbed back in bed and tried to rest, but eventually worried that if I waited too long it may get too late. I didn't want to get stuck out in Steiner Ranch during rush hour! I woke up Brian and told him the contractions were pretty painful and that I was pretty sure we should go on in to the hospital. He had packed his bag the night before and mine had been packed for a week or so, so there wasn't much to gather up. I called my mom and left a message on her phone that we were headed in, then called my neighbor, Lisa, and let her know we are leaving.
I had contractions all the way in to Austin, roughly every ten minutes. It was a little sad realizing this was the last time we'd do this, make this trip to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. A funny detail I think I'll always remember is that Willie Nelson's "Reasons to Quit" was playing on the radio when we were in the car, which seemed appropriate for our last birth.
We went straight up to Labor and Delivery and I checked in. The nurse looked at me skeptically when I said I was in labor, I guess because I wasn't writhing or anything. She asked if I was scheduled to come in that morning, and I said, no, but that this was my sixth baby and I was pretty sure it was time. She said they'd put me in a room and observe me awhile. I was given room 315, the first room when you walk into LDR. The gave me an IV for fluids and antibiotics because I'd tested positive for GBS. Brian laid down and napped for awhile. At one point i felt the need to use the restroom.when I stood up I felt a pop and was pretty surevmy water broke. After a little while Brian's mom arrived and the three of us visited between my contractions. The nurse checked my cervix early on and I was dilated 3-4 cm.
My contractions got progressively more painful and long, but I was able to joke and carry on conversation between them since they still were about 7 minutes apart. I texted my mom instructions regarding the kids and getting them off to school. The nurse came and checked me again and I was still dilated 3-4 cm. Frustrating! It felt like so much work for nothing! The nurse came in and asked me about pain management and whether I'd be wanting an epidural. At this point I was hurtin pretty bad, but ad no idea how long it would last, so I was somewhat vague in my answer. The nurse said Dr. Love would be making the rounds about 7 am., and he could check to see if my water had actually broken and if not, could break it then. We all assumed I'd be hanging out awhile before Olive arrived. Suddenly things seemed to kick into high gear around 7 am. My contractions got really long and one on top of the other. I was thirsty, and hot, and cold, and light headed! I told the nurse I was going to throw up. Wait, no, I wanted ice! She and Brian were running around tryingt to accommodate me. Then my mom texted needing instructions on how to work the coffee grinder, so I struggled through a contraction while texting her. The nurse came back and wanted to check my cervix again, which was really not what I wanted to happen at this point since I was having one contraction on top of the other. Suddenly I'd gone from 3-4 cm to being dilated 8 cm (in less than 20 minutes!)! As soon as she was done I felt something like a bowling ball needing to get out of my body ASAP. I told Brian she was coming out right then. I knew I couldn't stop her! The nurse hollered for back up, gave me oxygen (i guess i looked like i was going to pass out, or maybe my blood pressure had a significant drop) and somehow Dr. Love ran in just in time to put his arms in his scrubs and catch Olive. I don't really remember pushing, she just pretty much shot out on her own! I just kind of lay there with my eyes closed for the longest time making sure I was still alive. I tore pretty bad and was bleeding quite a bit, so Dr. Love spent the next ten minutes poking my with needles and sewing me back up. Oh my goodness! Needles down in the nether region are unbelievably painful! But then I was handed this perfect, beautiful baby, and nothing else mattered. She was here! She was and is beautiful! She looks so different from Hazel and so much like William and Margaret, and yet she has her own look. What an amazing gift she is to our family, the gift we didn't know we wanted or needed.
It was so neat to see how God specifically answered our prayers in helping me know when I was in labor and giving me a quick, safe labor.