I love thinking about the week leading up to Simone's arrival. I was in that final stretch of pregnancy... you know.... the I'm too huge to do much right now phase. I was big, and felt like a low hanging fruit!
My final Doctors appointment was the Thursday prior to having Simone and the Doc promised I wouldn't make it out of the weekend. But, you know how that goes...being that pregnant is like saying hurry up and wait. We just wanted to meet Simone and hold her close. I was already progressing... I leave it at that. Just waiting on contractions to start.
So, Friday passes, then Saturday... and I told Todd I was sure I'd end up being pregnant forever. During those days all I did was bounce on my exercise ball and beg Todd to take me on yet another walk around the neighborhood.
Sunday, October 21st I woke up feeling strange. Like, don't have anything to say kind of strange... which BELIEVE you me...that's a strange one!
Todd & I had breakfast at one of our favorite little spots, The Nosh and I couldn't even get through my pancakes. Which are ah-mazing (with a delish sugary walnut topping thing...serious go there!) and that is completely unlike me. However, I told Todd let's press on with our plan to buy me a crafty junk organizer at Lowe's.
A lady in Lowe's asked, "Oh, when are you due?"...to which I probably half talked half grumbled "tomorrow". We come home from Lowe's and I'm convinced that I'm starting to have the baby/somethings wrong/were going to end up delivering her in the car when I saw the teeny tiniest bit of blood. So off to triage we went! This is about 2pm.
Long story short in triage...spent 3 hours with an awesome nurse (from Michigan...she noticed my can of Vernors) who was hilarious said I wasn't progressing. Told me to go home and enjoy my final days of pregnancy, but before she sent us home she did one final "check". Now, I had my membranes stripped at the Doc's office on Thursday... but this Michigan nurse must have had some bear sized hands because when she "checked" I think she started my true labor right then.
I waddled to the car with Todd... tears coming down my face... I wondered how I could deal with the pain for a few days!? Todd.... my sweet Todd, tells me let's go home, get dressed, and go have one last date night before becoming parents. I would pretty much do anything (barring hurting animals or giving up brownies) to enjoy a nice night out where someone else cooks, serves you, and cleans up. So, this charged me up. I got all fancy in my nicest pregnancy dress. At this point I was pretty used to what I WAS calling contractions, and ready to put this baby-having business to rest, for the night at least.
Todd took me to The Keg (which, comeon... I don't know many people who don't love their twice baked potatoes!) for one last hurrah. Our waitress took our order, and as she took my menu and walked away...BOOM... my first REAL contraction. Now, I thought I had contractions earlier... this was toe curling, white knuckling, eye crossing REAL. I told Todd to start timing.
Our food came and I was at about 6 minutes between 1 minute contractions. Now, our birthing class had taught us the 5-1-1. Don't come to the hospital until your contractions are five minutes apart, one minute long, for over one hour. So, I ate my dinner between my contractions, and white knuckled my chair when I was having them. Todd swears people were staring at us, you know... just clearly in labor trying to get in my last meal! I couldn't have been bothered to notice.
Todd asked if we should go right to the hospital from dinner, and I was NOT having that. I wasn't going to be sent home again... so I pressed him to take me home where I would gather my things and put on my jams before heading off.
We got home and I had him put my bags in the car so we could hop in when I was ready. Now, at this point my contractions are between four and five minutes apart. Todd wasn't sure what he should do, and to be honest I didn't know what he should either, so I told him to assemble my new craft organizer! Now, when we talk about this we crack up because here I am... full blown labor and he's putting together this huge thing in the garage. Don't anyone give him a hard time about this, I swore to him it's what would make me feel better, and to tell you the truth....it did.
At some point I realized we got to go. I've been in 5-1 labor for about two hours and it's getting closer between my contractions. So we drive to the hospital...I don't really think I ever sat in my seat... I kind of just hovered using the "oh s*#$" handle to hold myself up. HAVING A BABY IS NO JOKE.
We get to the hospital, are sent into triage again, and start the wait to see if I'm progressing. I gave the nurse devil eyes when she suggested that if I wasn't I would go home again... Through every contraction Todd would be right there. At one point the only thing that helped was having him put his forehead against mine and breathe. He stayed calm and there were not incidents of hair pulling, slapping, or name calling like in the movies! After an hour the nurse returned, and sure enough I was at a 6, and being admitted. She asked me if I would like my epidural waiting for me, and I asked if it was too early. She laughed at me. I even tried to be cool and walk to labor & delivery... that wasn't happening.
When we got to our room it was such a cool, calm, and perfect experience. The Doc who gave me the epidural was named Dr. Lee and he did it with such speed and ease. I realized epidurals aren't for everyone... so all I'll say on this matter is I loved Dr. Lee, I felt no pain after that point and I loved being able to relax and take a three hour nap before having Simone.
At around 4:30am the nurse came in to check me. She was sure I wouldn't be too far along, so Todd took a quick bathroom break. She went to check and looked at me with a smile & said... well, Amy, you're at a 10, we're going to get the Doctor called and do a practice push. Todd came out and she said hey, Dad... we're going to push now. He was a little shocked, and I started to shake. I hadn't really thought too much about the fact that I was about to push this baby out until right then. The next hour or so the nurses got everything ready, we did a practice push, and my Doctor arrived.
I'm so glad I made the decision to have the birth of our Daughter be something that just Todd, myself, the Doctor, and our amazing nurse were a part of. Todd cheered me on the whole time. He said the sweetest things... I won't share them all, but my favorite thing he said was "you're bringing our daughter into the world"... and I'll never forget his face and how I felt when he said it.
After three contractions (could have been four)... on October 22nd, 2012 at 6:19am, Simone Michelle Hart was born. When I saw her it was so surreal. I know it's what everyone says (because it's so true) I fell in love with her more than I knew was possible. Todd was by her side as the nurse cleaned her, weighed her, and measured her. They had Todd bring her back to me and we just all snuggled together. We did this as a team, the three of us. And I knew right then that we would be this team forever.