Thursday, April 7, 2011

Early Labor

I'm sitting at home, on our couch, holding my sleeping baby and realizing that all of the little details of her birth are vastly insignificant now. All that matters to me is that she came home safe and sound and that she is doing well!

However, I realize that I could get booed right off of the blog world stage if I left our birth story at that, ha, so I'll document for the sake of saving face.

And also for the sake of my memory. Since we all know that in about 4 weeks the edges of this memory will become fuzzy and I'll resort to saying where and when I had her and that will be it!

Brace yourself. This is a long post.

I had my 38 week appointment on Wednesday, March 30th, (I was 38 weeks and 5 days,) and though no physical exam is given here, the Doctor I saw measured my belly and felt for Grace's position and said that she "wasn't coming anytime soon."


Thursday morning, March 31st, I began having contractions during class. They continued all day long but I didn't even try timing them because I could just tell that, although they were coming often, they weren't consistent. I'm guessing if I had timed them, they would be coming every 8-12 minutes.

Thursday night, we went over to our friends' house for dinner and a game night. On the car trip over there, I told Ian that I didn't know if anything was going to happen soon, since I didn't have any other early labor symptoms.

While at our friends house though, I had my first "other," early labor symptom (I'll spare you the details,) and I started to get excited. I had the contractions the rest of the night, and all through the evening. They were mild and just a little stronger than menstrual cramps. I woke up and took a shower, and right after my shower they stopped completely.


I was kind of alright with that though, since Friday was April 1st, and I really did not want Grace being born on April Fools Day. After all, it's no way to enter the world on a day where you'd be thought of as some sort of cosmic joke.

We went to church on Friday and hung out at the house all day, but no more contractions. I did 3 loads of laundry and put the finishing touches on a bunch of things around the house. I skyped with several friends and finally went to settle down for bed around 12:30 only to have the contractions come roaring back.

And they hurt.


Stop you in your tracks, have to breathe through them, can't talk, kind of hurt.

So, as I tried crawling into bed at 1 am on Saturday, April 2nd, I pulled out my cell phone and started timing the contractions. I timed them for about 40 minutes and they were a solid 7 minutes apart.

I got up and turned on some Gilmore Girls and pulled out my computer to use an online contraction counter until about 4 am, when I realized that it was probably about time to get moving. My contractions were getting closer and closer together at 3-5 minutes apart and were even stronger.

I got a shower and had a complete melt down. I knew we were still hours away from our in town border post from opening (at 8 am,) so that if the baby was definitely coming, we would have to do the long drive out to the desert border post, an almost 2 hour round trip.

In my head, I kept going over and over the situation. We could either A.) wait until the one in town opened up and possibly have the baby come before it opened or B.) go ahead to the far away post and risk having the baby in the car.

I prayed that God would give me a peace about the situation and give me an answer as to what we should do. He brought Psalm 121 to my mind, a verse that I've meditated on many times during the last couple of years.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

What an appropriate verse to come into this world with!

I finished my shower and fixed my hair, washed some dishes, and woke Ian up at 5 am. He was a little confused. I don't think he realized I wasn't in bed that whole time.

He kicked into high gear, taking a shower, cleaning up around the house, while I finished getting ready and packing the last minute hospital bag things (toothbrush, deodorant, etc,) and tracked my contractions online for another hour. They were coming 3 minutes apart and were lasting 40-50 seconds.

We knew it was time to get moving!

But first. I had to take care of the strawberries.

Yes, the strawberries.

You see, I had just bought 3 containers of these GORGEOUS strawberries when we were over the border in the big city. I had not had time to clean and cut them and I knew that if we were truly in labor that we would be back in our home for several days, meaning those strawberries would go bad.

I just had to clean and cut them to take with us to the hospital.

Ian looked at me like I had lost it.

Or grown a second head.

Either way, it was not an endearing look of love and affection.

After about two minutes of him asking me "you want to do what? and you're in labor?" I realized the foolishness of my ways and at 6 am on Saturday, March 2nd, we got in the car and headed for the border.

We made record time, thanks to no traffic, and the border office was absolutely empty. I was having horrible pain with these contractions and had the chills and was nauseous. We were able to be heading back from the desert border post within about 30 minutes and we were over the other border into the big city within an hour.

We pulled into the hospital parking lot and (I) waddled into the labor and delivery ward at 7:30 am. The receptionist asked if I had an appointment and I said no, that I was in labor. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a language barrier, and she didn't understand me (in a labor and delivery ward, go figure.) Finally she asked if I was in pain (what they say for contractions, I learned,) and I was able to mumble out a "yes," before going into a really strong contraction. That kind of kicked the ladies at the desk into high gear when they realized I was in active labor!

Tomorrow, the Labor and Delivery story!


leah said...

loved reading this, can't wait to hear the rest!!

Emily said...

Britt....ONLY YOU...would think to clean strawberries while in labor!!! LOL! Poor Ian...he probably thought your next trip was going to be to the psych ward on that one! Funny how nurses in the labor and delivery ward are pretty much the same here...they look at you like you have 3 heads until you go into a real contraction...then they move it. Having your water break at the desk will do it too! Can't wait to hear the rest of this story! But please go take a nap before you do'll hate yourself if you miss a sleep opportunity!

Unknown said...

OMG i love the strawberries part! I can't wait to hear the rest :) and i am so glad you are both safe and healthy!

Emily Powell said...

Do you guys have a mailing address that I would be able to use to send you a little baby gift? I'm not really sure how it works with you being over seas. If so just email me at because I would really like to send little Grace something :)

Callie said...

I'm glad you decided to record the details - it's fun for us to read, and it will be fun for Grace to read someday too! Can't wait to hear the rest!

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

Oh my word, the strawberry thing cracked me up! I'm curious - what site did you use for your contraction timer?

Rachel and John said...

I would feel the same way about the strawberries! I hope they didn't go bad on you!!!

Brian and Ashley said...

This is great! I can't wait to hear the rest. And it's a pity about the strawberries- so funny!