I will go ahead and warn you that this is going to be the longest birth story of all time. I'm mostly writing this for myself so that I can remember every little thing. Sorry in advance for the length!
Rewind to the weekend of January 30 through February 1. We had deemed it "Jackson weekend." We wanted to do things that were fun for our little guy since his world was about to change in a big way. Plus, his birthday is coming up on the 17th and we knew it would be hard this year to celebrate like we would want to. So on Saturday we took Jackson to a Build-a-Bear store. First we let him make a stuffed animal for himself. He chose a t-rex dinosaur and he had lots of fun doing that. Then we told him he was going to make a stuffed animal for Annabeth. He picked out a koala bear and then went through the whole process of putting the heart in, stuffing it, etc. Someone had given us this idea through a blog comment. Thank you! Jackson totally understood what he was doing and was excited about it. That night, as you know, we went to Monster Jam. Between the mall and walking through the parking lot of Reliant Arena, I had to have walked at least a mile that day.
On Sunday I toyed around with the idea of not going to church. I was tired and felt very pregnant and not that cute. But I decided that it was mostly vanity that made me want to stay home and I sucked it up. I thought maybe God would bless me for going. And He did. We had a guest speaker since Pastor Gregg was in Israel and he did this amazing presentation on creation. He narrated with Scripture after Scripture (from the creation account in Genesis and all throughout the Word) while we watched the most beautiful pictures of earth and outer space on the huge screens. It was so awesome. The Lord has been showing me that I had been really self-consumed and that I had been putting my hope not in Him, but in having my baby. All I could think about was going into labor, etc. By the end of the service I was put in my place. It was a great feeling to be relieved of my self-importance.
After church we went home and all took naps. That evening I had to run into the grocery store for 5 minutes and then I went to my friend Melanie's house to meet her new baby, Laney. Mom and Dad wanted us to watch the Superbowl with them and my grandparents, but I was too spent to do anything but veg on the couch.
On Monday morning I woke up in a great mood. I was bathed and had the house in order before Jackson ever stirred. We enjoyed our breakfast at the table together and then I had a great quiet time. I told the Lord that I was putting my hope in Him that day and that I trusted Him with everything. It was beautiful and cool outside. I resolved that Jacks and I would get out and enjoy the day together. I decided to take him to a bounce house place. I invited my friend Jenn and her boys to join us. We went and had a great time. Jackson needed my help getting into some of the inflatables, so I picked him up over and over again. And I asked Jenn if she thought I'd go into labor if I got in one and bounced. Don't worry, VVPG did not get her big old self into a bounce house and jump around. But if it had been my due date, I would have done it! After that we took the kids to McDonald's. We strategically planned to go to one inside a gas station because it didn't have a playland. Smartest move ever.
After that, Jackson took a nap and I got ready for my doctor's appointment. When he woke up, I dropped the Mister off with my mom and headed to the doctor's office. I waited an abnormally long time for him to see me. I was getting more ticked by the minute because I knew I was waiting and waiting to find out that I had still not progressed. Remember that on Friday I was absolutely not dilated or effaced. Posterior is the word that was constantly used. Whatever that means.
The doctor came in to check me and I nearly fell off the table when he told me I was 3.5 cm and very favorable for labor. Holy cow. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Are you serious? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Since I was already 38 weeks and 5 days, he was not inclined to have me walking around in such a state. He felt that we would be risking infection or me not getting to the hospital in time if I remained that way for long. He felt that the safest place for my baby was in the nursery. So we planned that I would show up at the hospital at 6:00 the next morning and they would augment my labor. Meaning, they would get my contractions into a regular pattern using pitocin. He assured me that if it were his wife in this situation, this is what he would have her do. He emphasized that if we needed to go to the hospital that night, then we shouldn't wait. They wouldn't turn us away at that point. He left the room to call the hospital and I called Curtis to tell him the huge news. We were both bewildered and excited. As I left, the nurse that I had gotten so used to seeing hugged me and we said, "See you in four weeks!" She was really happy for me.
On the way to my mom's, I called my friend Michelle to say I wouldn't be riding with her to bunco that night. Then I burst in the front door of my parents' house and said, "We're having a baby tomorrow!" They were as shocked and excited as I was. I took Jackson home and Curtis and I went into a frenzy of preparation. It was hard because I wanted to have a memorable evening with our son, but there was too much to do. It was a good thing we'd already had such a fun weekend and a great day. We put him to bed and I didn't let myself get real emotional about it. For some reason he had trouble falling asleep and was still talking to himself an hour later. That never happens. Mom planned to be at our house at 5:30 the next morning to take over.
During that hour I washed my hair and Curt got us some Chick-fil-a. The doctor had said to eat a good dinner but have nothing past midnight. I only ate half a sandwich because I was so nervous. I started getting really scared that my water was going to break at any second and then my contractions were going to get unbearably painful before I could get to the hospital. When I labored with Jackson, my water broke on its own in the hospital bed and then my contractions suddenly got very bad. I had already asked for my epidural at 3 cm and I had to wait an hour before the guy arrived to do it. I guess I am still traumatized by that hour of waiting. I know I sound like a weenie. So the fact that I was already dilated past that point was really messing with me. I was having contractions as always and because of all the day's activities, there were a ton of them. I had one painful one and called my mom before it was even over to ask her to come and get Jackson. What if we needed to go that night? Thankfully, he was still awake. He was totally excited to go back to Bibby and Pappaw's house. They came to get him and everyone was happy.
We finished getting ready and got in bed as soon as we could. I was thankful that my house was already in order. The baby's room still didn't have curtains, but it was okay. When I finished doing my hair, I breathed a big sigh of relief. I got in bed and started counting contractions. They were not 100% regular, but close enough for me to obsess about whether we should be at the hospital or not. I could not make myself go to sleep. So if I couldn't sleep anyway, I thought it would be better to "not sleep" at the hospital where my baby could be monitored and my epidural was close by.
The car was already loaded; we just threw our clothes on and jumped in. Curtis and I arrived at the hospital at 2:30 a.m. When we got to the nurse's station, they told us they loved it when their scheduled patients arrived early. I'm not sure why that is, but it made me feel really good. Then, as the Lord would have it, we were paired up with the night nurse we had during our dress rehearsal on Friday night. That was such a blessing. She could not have been more wonderful. Props to Nurse Cassandra, who was with us until 7 a.m.
I'll go ahead and end here since my baby girl needs to eat and I'm sure your eyes are glazed over. Part Two to come! In the meantime, here are some pictures.
I think someone asked to see the cake from my LPM baby lunch. Is that cute or what?
Here we are at Build-a-bear. Jackson's pushing a pedal that pumped the stuffing into the t-rex's body.
Picking out the heart.
Putting the heart in his t-rex.
Presenting Mr. T-Rex.
The finished product.
As Jackson would say, "Whas in'ere?"
Annabeth's koala, made with love by her big brother.
It's debatable whether the pink baby accessories that we got for free made Annabeth's Koala look cute or so-ugly-it's-cute.
At the bounce house place.
There was no playland in the gas station Mickey D's, but there were video games. Blast!