I was pregnant FOREVER.
I know that people say it's a myth, but it's been 2 weeks now and I'm still convinced my pregnancy lasted an eternity. Or at least, longer than any other woman's. Ever. (Ok, ok, so this woman MAY have me beat...)
In reality, I had your standard 40 week pregnancy. It may not have been such a loooooong or miserable experience if the last 4 weeks weren't riddled with daily bouts of false labor. The ongoing joke in our home was that we were going to rename our son Peter, after the boy who cried "wolf!"
Fast forward to 3AM Sunday April 14, and you can imagine my hesitancy to rally the troops (..again) based off nothing but a few contractions and a "hunch."
So I cleaned the whole house instead.
Then I woke my husband.
Then I feasted. (Clearly, time has not faded the memory of the hunger following my 30 hour labor with Kaelyn. Yes, that says THIRTY hours.)
At 8AM, I woke my girl and gave her a last "only child" kiss... followed shortly by a "she doesn't even know that her whole life is about to change forever" meltdown on the drive to the hospital. If I had to guess, God was looking out for me when the doctors sent me driving back home (still pregnant) a couple hours later. He knew I needed to see she was "ok" (and would continue to be) before I could fully surrender myself to the labor process.
By the time I showed up at the hospital again a few short hours after being discharged, I was dilated 7 cm and ready to tackle the next 6 hours of natural childbirth. I can't pretend labor was easy, but it was wonderfully uneventful, and the birth was absolutely beautiful.
After the exhaustive 30 hour effort to bring Kaelyn into the world, sleep deprivation robbed me of that magical first moment as a parent holding MY child. I was half-asleep, staring at this angry wiggly creature who was as confused as I was about what was going on. With Everett, I was 100% conscious. It was the perfect first moment of girl-meets-teeny-tiny-boy and falls totally in love.
He wowed the physicians with his perfect Apgar score, his envy-worthy complexion, and his incredible alertness. He is, by all accounts, a healthy, normal baby. We are truly blessed.
We owe many many thanks to the incredible staff at Chippenham Hospital. Prayers were answered with Holly, our L&D nurse who had done natural births herself. Under her watch, nobody ever breathed the words "epidural" or "pitocin" - and her coaching at the end really "pushed" me (ha, get it?) over those last labor hurdles.
In the blur that is the postpartum period in the hospital, the names that have stuck with our barely-there memories are pediatric nurse Natalie, and lactation consultant Suzie. You ladies went above and beyond to ensure our first hours with Everett were as peaceful and uneventful as we could hope for.