Jackson was born a day after my due date (at least what I considered my due date. My doctor said it was more like April 8th but I thought April 10th was more accurate. Turns out I was right...or at least, closer.) At the time, I was working as a special education paraprofessional at Madison Middle School . My last day there was April 8th because I thought I was in labor that morning. When I showed up at school the next day, no one could believe it. They just knew "Ibby" had joined our world. Well, one day later he did.
Early, early Thursday morning I went into what the medical community calls "spontaneous labor". Basically, natural labor. I remember these contractions felt a bit different than the Braxton-Hicks contractions that I'd been having. Slightly more intense, closer together, and more consistent. While I started getting ready, Justin called the doctor to see if this was really it and if we should come in. She must have asked him if I'd lost my plug because he came into the bathroom (while still on the phone) and asked me if I knew what that meant. Theoretically, I knew it existed but I really wasn't sure if I had lost mine or not. (First baby, people. Still trying to figure things out.) The nurse told Justin, "Oh, she'd know. It's hard to miss." As luck would have it, I lost it a minute or two later...while he was still on the phone! So, she told us to go ahead and come in. Once off the phone, Justin came into the bathroom and found me in the shower. His reaction went something like this:
"What are you doing?! We're supposed to be going to the hospital."
"We've got time. My contractions aren't that close together yet and I want to look as good as possible for the pictures."
"This isn't the prom. You are about to have a baby!"
"I know. Trust me, we're good."
"If you end up having that baby here or in the car on the way to the hospital, don't blame me. And I'm not going to be very happy about that, either!"
(Believe me, I know.)
To try to ease my husband's irrational fears, I showered and shaved as quickly as a pregnant woman can and then painted my toenails. I tried to hurry with that, too, but you can imagine Justin's frustration. Finally, I was ready to go. Justin drove like a maniac...which is saying something because many a time I've grown impatient with his leisurely pace. This time, however, I was more than a little irritated with his speed. The truck wasn't known for its shocks/suspension and every bump hurt! In fact, I took to sitting mid-air just to ease the pain. Justin's behavior was somewhat understandable, though, with this being our first child coupled with the fact that we lived on the north end of town and the hospital was on the south end. Still, Abilene is no metropolis. It was only about 15-20 minutes away.
Once we arrived, we had an "informal" check-in and were then sent to a "holding area" (or that's what I called it. You know, that's where they send you to make sure you are in labor before getting you a room of your own.) We had curtains for partitions and after only a few minutes in our little "cubby", Justin tells me to put my fingers in my ears and stop listening. WHAT?? Being the good wife that I am, I humored him even though he wouldn't tell me why. (Can you picture it? And I don't know about you, but when I had a contraction, my natural instinct was to put my hands on my sides and my stomach. You can't so much do that with your fingers in your ears.) Even with my fingers in my ears, though, I could still hear some of what was going on. There was another woman in the "cubby" next to us who was pregnant with twins. Apparently, at least one of them was breech. She was screaming. I mean, really screaming. (That would be the part I heard.) My sweet husband was concerned that if I heard all that commotion, I'd freak out. My heart really went out to this woman and I hope she and her babies were ok, but it didn't so much scare me in relation to my own labor. I don't know why. It just didn't.
After what seemed like forever, they finally sent us to a room and formally checked us in. I'll pick up there with the more exciting part of the story next time. Like I said before, bite-size pieces! :)