Baby Chloe's Birth Story

It's now been two months and somehow I seem to have zero time to actually sit down and write anything.  I can't believe how time is flying by.  So before I forget all the tiny details, I'm going to write the story of how Chloe came into our family.

It was just about 38 weeks when I saw my midwife on a Tuesday afternoon.  She checked me and noted that I was only dialated to a one and basically not softened at all.  We discussed being induced since I live so far away and with baby number three the delivery could be really quick.  I was convinced I would have high blood pressure issues again but I was healthy as could be!  Yay!  Because of that, the induction idea made me a little concerned since it was basically for convenience.  I really wanted a natural birth if I could help it.  We discussed possibly postponing it if I hadn't progressed more in the next week.  

That same night I woke with contractions and started timing them come Wed morning.  They were very close and very short.  I assumed it was false labor and they did in fact fizzle after I got home from dropping Ethan off at school.  The rest of Wednesday was uneventful so I went on with life as usual, even going down the hill for our Life Group.

Then Thursday morning I sent Aaron off to school on the bus and Ethan and I set off to run some errands while John was at work.  I meandered down to Conifer to meet up with a few Zumba friends to give away some of my unneeded baby stuff left over from boys.  This is the last pic of my belly (with my friend Mary Ann) before I went into labor .

We stopped at Staples to pick up a few needed items.  I also took Ethan to the park and then grocery shopped.  I then stopped at Ace hardware on the way home to get supplies to make the kids chore chart that I worked on that afternoon.  After all of that, I remember telling Ethan that I needed to lay down because mommy was really tired.  But then Aaron got home from school and I went to work on dinner complete with fresh baked focaccia bread.  I got the kids down to bed right at 8 and promptly got in the bath tub.  I had been cramping all day but just ignored it.  I figured my body was just "moving things along."  John got home at about 8:30 and I remember him telling me I really should wait to take a bath until the kids were asleep as they were wide awake and playing in their room.  He though I just had a rough day with the boys.  Ironically I didn't - I was just very tired and my back was killing me!  And looking back I had to use the bathroom a TON that day.  I think I was losing water all day.  Some women's water breaks all at once and some lose it over time.  I was the later and I didn't realize what was going on.

I crawled into bed around 9:30 but I couldn't sleep.  I played candy crush and scrolled my FB feed.  John periodically asked if I was OK and I would tell him I was just crampy.  Since the boys were both induced, I had no idea how it felt to actually be in labor.  Finally around 1am I could no longer stay in bed.  It hurt too bad to just lay there so I thought maybe I should walk around.  I went to the basement so I wouldn't wake my sleeping family.  That's when I started to get nervous and I called my BFF Amy at what was 2am Kansas City time.  My contractions - I knew they were contractions by then - were about 3 minutes apart but they were only about 30 sec long instead of a full minute.  I had convinced myself they were just more false labor contractions.  But I could hardly speak and the only relief came from sitting on my big exercise ball.  She told me I needed to hang up with her and call my midwife - that she thought I was in labor. I told her if the contractions were going to be this bad for much longer that I wasn't strong enough to do it med-free.  Turns out I didn't get a choice anyway!

I was panicked. Was this really it?  I was 38 weeks exactly.  I was in tears at this point from pain and fear that I was having this baby right now.  That's when John came around the corner and knew it was time. He was so supportive and started getting things together. While John called Matt, I texted my midwife Jen.  I was too nervous to call her so late but she called me back immediately. " It's my job," she reassured me.  I explained through several more contractions what was going on and she told me to secure childcare for the boys and head down to the hospital and that she would meet us there.  We are so grateful for Matt and Jacquelyn.  They made it up to our house in great time.  Even so, I was already having contractions a minute apart.

While we waited for them to get there I sat on the ball in our bedroom unable to move away from it.  The pain was so bad that I couldn't text Amy anymore.  I had been giving her updates and she even offered to send John an emergency delivery PDF!  She knew I was in labor for sure.  I managed to get to the bathroom where I got sick - a lot.  Yup, my body emptied everything out in preparation for delivery.  I was probably in transition at this time.  Imagine doing this while also having intense contractions every minute.  I tried a pair of pants on - way too tight.  Ripped them off.  Settled on some sweat pants, a nursing tank and robe with slippers.  No shoes.  I couldn't concentrate hard enough to put actual shoes on.  We had no bag packed for any of us - myself, John, or Chloe.  John raced around packing what he could think of.  I told him to throw in a few tanks, a pair of capris, and my shoes.  No time for things like a brush, deodorant, toothbrush, or shampoo.

Matt and Jacquelyn arrived and I remember trying to explain Aaron's school bus routine but I couldn't think straight.  I had at least 5 more contractions on the way to the Jeep.  We took the wrangler.  The bouncy, loud, and non-roomy Jeep.  It was awesome.  In between contractions I was so cold so I had my robe on but then during contractions I was HOT.  So I ended up keeping the robe off all the way down.  With my right hand gripping the roll bar handles and my left hand on the seat belt buckle we started making the 45 minute ride to the hospital.  Leaving our street, John noted the beautiful frosted trees.  Our first frost.  It was indeed beautiful - in between contractions.  It was so weird how almost normal I felt between contractions.

The contractions themselves where HORRIBLE.  I could feel myself loosing it but I was trying not to "fight" it.  I was remembering all of the advise about trying to let your body relax and let it do it's thing.  That it would last longer and be harder if you fight it.  But by the time we reached Conifer, still 30 minutes from the hospital, I had a really bad one and actually felt little Chloe's head come out and go back in a little.  I FREAKED out!  Screaming at John that the baby was coming NOW was like a scene out of a movie!  We called my midwife who walked me through trying to maintain control and be calm.  She told me to breath shallow and try not to push.  John wondered out loud if he should pull over if we saw a cop so they could assist with a road-side delivery.  I told him to just get us to the hospital.

I kept screaming and pushing my body out of the seat because I felt like I was sitting on her head.  But at the same time, I didn't want her to come out so I think sitting actually helped me.  We reached our exit and John just started blowing lights.  He was so great - calm and steady the whole time.  If he was freaking out - which I know he was - he didn't show it.

We pulled into the ER circle drive and they met us with a wheelchair.  "We're having a baby!!" John was shouting.  They knew we were coming as my midwife had called ahead to warn them.  Still they wheeled me to the triage desk and started asking me things like my date of birth.  I fought to breath as I was pretty much hyper-ventilating.  I heard John say, "we're having a baby RIGHT NOW."  They rushed me back to an ER room where I don't remember getting my clothes off but the Dr. there checked me and said, "we have time to get her upstairs."

WHAT??  John said at that point he could see her head.  And just like a crazy movie there was an entourage of nurses and the doctor racing me through the halls, up the elevator, and to the room where I was supposed to deliver.  All the while I am laying on this gurney with my everything hanging out wondering how close I really am.  I was in so much pain and no one told me they could see the head.  I thought I still had lots more time left and was freaking out.  But not for long as I had another big contraction and suddenly...  she was born.  She basically shot out!  I didn't "push" or anything.  At least not consciously.  The doctor did a one-handed catch and later we were told her umbilical cord was about the only thing stopping her from flying off the cart!

Our beautiful girl was born at 3:22am.  She was so tiny! Jen walked in about 20 seconds later!  We must have just missed her in the chaos.  She was there for the afterbirth though.  They put Chloe on my chest right away and I was so relieved it was over.  But it wasn't!  With my boys I had the epidural so I didn't feel what happened afterwards.  John cut the cord.  Still holding Chloe I violently shook - from being cold some but mostly from shock.  I couldn't control it.  It was time to deliver the placenta and I felt a pop.  Apparently they pulled on the cord and it popped out of the placenta causing a lot of bleeding.  The doctor on call was called into the room and after confirming that I had taken no medication told me that this was going to hurt.  I said, "do we have to do this NOW?"  The look on John's face confirmed yes.  So she proceeded to manually tear the placenta out.  It hurt far more than the actual birth!  And all the while I was still holding Chloe.

It was all over very quickly.  I continued to shake for a while in both physical and mental shock.  I don't think we weighed her for at least an hour.  We just hung out, completely in awe of what had just happened.  We were in instant love.  When the nurses came back in later they weighed her.  5lbs, 10oz, 19 inches long, 12 inch head diameter.  Such a tiny peanut.  That's when we started making the fun phone calls to the grandparents at 4 in the morning.

Everyone was healthy.  The next few days were a blur.  We stayed our full 48 hours in the hospital while Matt and Jacquelyn stayed with our boys.  We had lots of friends come visit and of course Uncle Matt and Aunt Jacquelyn came with the big brothers to see her.

What a ride.  She has captured our hearts and we will forever have this amazing story to tell about the night she came into our world.