Jennae slept soundly until 2:30am when she was awoken by more contractions. Even though this was her fourth baby, she did not immediately know that she was in labor. (Just like all women, each labor is unique.) So Jennae went downstairs to get some water and a snack. (Many times, false labor contractions will stop when you eat, drink, move around or take a bath.) Once Jennae was in the kitchen, she decided to straighten up. She thought that if the baby was going to come early, she wanted the kitchen to be clean. So she spent the next two hours sweeping and mopping the entire downstairs area.
During this time, she continued to notice her contractions but they were not unbearable, so she didn't even bother timing them. (Once again, it is very common for a women to have a strong "nesting" urge and a burst of energy before labor.) By 5am, Jennae decided to try to go back to bed and get some more sleep. Unfortunately, by this time the contractions were too strong for her to sleep through them. That is when she decided to sit at the computer and start timing them. At this point, they were still fairly irregular, ranging between 7-10 minutes apart.
When Daniel woke up, she let him know what had been going on and they decided to call the hospital. Jennae was still not completely convinced that this was real labor, so she decided to take a bath to see if the contractions would stop. Meanwhile, Daniel told her that the hospital recommended she wait until the contractions were 2 mins. apart and so strong that she could not talk during one. This advice is typical for a woman planning a vaginal birth, but Jennae wondered about following that advice for a woman planning a c-section. At any rate, her contractions became suddenly much stronger after she got in the bath, so she and Daniel started making plans to go to the hospital. This was around 8am.
Jennae got in the shower to rinse off and started having contractions so strong that she had to stop what she was doing in order to cope with them. However, this did not stop her from taking the time to dry her hair after getting dressed (I couldn't help laughing about that) while Daniel was getting the boys ready. Their oldest daughter was already at Gramma's house, and the two boys would be going to the neighbor's house.
As they were going through the garage to get into the car, another contraction hit. Jennae had to stop and lean forward a bit until it was over. Her son noticed this and was asking her what she was doing, if the baby was kicking or if she had to go to the bathroom, but she couldn't answer him. When the contraction was over she told him yes, that she did have to go to the bathroom and went back inside. This is when she had the first urge to push and she realized that time was short.
It was a 20min. drive to the hospital and then a long walk through the corridors to the maternity ward. Daniel tried to get a wheelchair for Jennae but she insisted that walking was much more comfortable than sitting, even though she had to stop every time a contraction hit. When the nurse had gotten Jennae into a room, Daniel left to go park the car. While Jennae was in the bathroom trying to change into her hospital gown, she had to call the nurse for help because she was feeling the urge to push again. The nurse had to quickly help her get changed out of her clothes and into her gown so she could check her cervix. It was about 9:35am when the nurse discovered that Jennae was completely dilated and ready to deliver.
This news was a big shock to Jennae. She was not prepared to hear that she was completely dilated, and she wondered how this would change her plans. She asked the nurse if she was going to get an epidural now (in preparation for a c-section), but the nurse said no. There was no time for an epidural or a c-section. She would have to deliver naturally. Jennae was not mentally prepared for this possibility and she started to get a little scared, but everything happened very fast after that.
The nurse called for assistance and they wheeled Jennae on her bed down to the delivery room. When Daniel came back upstairs he found Jennae's room empty, but fortunately he did not miss the birth. The nurse was still trying to get an IV into Jennae when she started pushing. After the first push, she told the doctor that she could feel the baby's head. He told her that the baby was very close and it would only take one more push. This gave Jennae the courage to give one really good push even though it was painful. But once the baby was out, the pain was gone.
Aubryn was born at 9:44am (only 20 mins. after getting to the hospital) weighing 6lbs. 15oz. and very alert. She nursed well and Jennae felt great other than some slight cramping feelings. In a few days, they will be able to go home and Jennae will be back to normal in no time (compared to the long recovery after a c-section).
Congratulations on a beautiful birth!