Once we got past the 13th week, I felt a little more sure that this pregnancy would result in a baby rather than heartbreak. I was still very much hypersensitive about every cramp or pain or weird feeling. I had been to Labor and Delivery at least 3 times by the end of the second trimester.
By 33 weeks, I was becoming accustomed to feeling like the baby was going to fall out, and stopped worrying so much about it. So the day of my OB appointment at 33 weeks, I was not terribly concerned that I felt terrible.
That morning, I took Abigail to a play group at the park, and it was unbearably hot. We went from there to Chic-fil-A for lunch and to wait for my appointment. I must have looked terrible because the Chic-fil-A workers were asking if I needed to go to the hospital.
Turns out, those ladies at Chic-fil-A knew more than me....
Just a few hours later, my OB found that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She sent me to the hospital for observation and determined that I was having regular contractions. So I got a series of shots: a set of steroids to boost the baby's lung maturity and a series of shots to stop the contractions. They told me I would likely only be pregnant for another week to 9 days.
Boy were they wrong! After lots of prayer and one week of bedrest, I stayed pregnant until 39 weeks.
I finally got to experience all of the parts of pregnancy I had always heard about but never experienced:
- Growing obscenely large
- Stretch marks
- Bring SUPER emotional (just ask my closest friends and husband)
- Wanting desperately to deliver because I was so uncomfortable
And then there was a new fear ...I was so afraid that the baby was going to be in danger in my womb. I cried a lot at 37 and 38 weeks because of that fear. It was a completely irrational fear because my OB and the high risk doc were monitoring the baby very closely.
Their only concern was that the baby was getting very large. At 33 weeks, the US tech told me that the baby was already about 5 lb, and the high risk doc said 6.5 lb at 35. They were predicting her weight to be around 9 lb if we managed to get to 39 weeks.
At 37 weeks, I started having regular contractions about ever 10 minutes, and I thought for sure we would be having a baby within the day. Turns out the contractions weren't making any changes to my cervix, so I just kept having them with no change for about a week. Then at 38 weeks, they got closer together, to about every 5 minutes. Again, I thought I was going to have the baby within the day. But the change to my cervix was only very minor.
I was 2 cm and 80% effaced and having regular contractions at my last appointment on Friday, April 27. Since the baby was expected to be large, we decided to induce the following Tuesday. I was excited, and SO ready after having contractions for 2 weeks.
On Tuesday morning we went into the hospital. I was already contracting regularly, but they gave me pitocin around 8:30AM to get the process jump started. My goal was to do it without pain medicine or an epidural. So I asked them not to break my water early on. However, since the pitocin wasn't doing much, I let the doctor break my water around noon. Things really got to moving at that point, and the pain started getting really harsh. I ended up demanding the epidural a couple of hours later because the pitocin contractions were too much to handle. The epidural started working about 10 minutes after they put it in, and I was much more comfortable. Then about 20 minutes later, around 2:45PM, the nurse checked me. I was already 8cm, so she started prepping the room. About the time she finished prepping the room, the pain changed, and the nurse checked me again. I was fully dilated and ready to go!
At 3:42PM, on May 1, Naomi Virginia Puckett joined our family. She was 7lb 5oz and 19.5 inches long. And our little family of 3 became 4.