I just wanted to take a few minutes to reflect back on this time last year. I am going to cover the most exciting, life changing 36 hours of our lives. I must warn you that it is long and includes ever detail I could think of.
Everything started Sunday (April 20) morning around 3am. I was 2 days overdue. Bucky and I had been just waiting on any sign that Claire was coming. I was uncomfortable and having a hard time sleeping. I woke up in a panic. I thought I was never going to have my baby. I dreamed or thought I hadn't felt her move. I woke Bucky up. We did what they taught us to do in our childbirth class. I drank something cold and sweet and laid on my side. Everything was fine. Claire started moving and I felt a lot better. Neither one of us could go back to sleep so we got up at 4am and I cooked eggs, cinnamon rolls, and biscuits. Bucky and I laid around and watched some movies. We decided to go to early church since we were up. I could barely find anything to wear that would even fit. I mean, I was going on 41 weeks of pregnancy. We went to church, said a lot of prayers, and hoped for the best.
On our way home, we stopped at Wal-Mart for some regulars. I started to feel a little nauseated. However, this did not stop me from buying a king-sized Snickers. I told Bucky we better go because I wasn't sure what was going on. We got home, unloaded, and changed. I started getting really sick. I will leave it at that. I quickly became dehydrated which started false contractions. I called the MD on call (Dr. Pittard). He told me to take some Immodium and drink fluids. I did both. Nothing helped. My contractions were not regular. Bucky was frantically trying to finish his work outside. I was talking to Dr. Golden and a nurse on L&D at the hospital. Finally, after about 3 hours of this, they told me to come in. We took nothing. Just ourselves. I began throwing up on the way there. It was Sunday around 2pm when we arrived at the hospital. They put me in an observation room. I was still only 2cm dilated so I didn't think this was actually labor. That was very disappointing. I continued to throw up for the next 3-4 hours. I was so dehydrated, they gave me 5 bags of fluid plus Phenergan and Zofran. I slept some and so did Bucky. We were in a tiny room. We had no idea what was going on. After getting re hydrated, my contractions stopped.
So, they sent us home around 7pm. We went by CVS to get an rx. By the time we got home, my Mom and Dad were here. They were going to stay with me Monday while Bucky worked. I felt pretty bad so I took some medicine and went to bed around 9pm. Bucky came to bed too. Unfortunately, I woke him up around 10pm with contractions. He was so tired. I came into the den by myself for a little while. I wasn't sure if they were real contractions or due to dehydration. I kept pacing. I couldn't sit still. I tried to time them. I called the hospital again and talked to Beth. She was my nurse earlier in the day. They told me to stay home as long as I could. I finally got Bucky up around 11:30pm. He never left my side for the next 12 hours. We began timing the contractions. They were stronger and more regular. I just kept pacing. I tried to get into the bathtub to see if that would help with the pain. It didn't. At all. While in the tub, my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I could see the panic in Bucky's eyes. He thought we were going to have the baby in our bathroom. He told me that is was time to go. I took a shower and we ran around like crazy people for the next 20 minutes. I couldn't even dry my hair. I was sure this was it. My parents jumped out of bed. I told them to wait until the MD saw me. There was no way they were staying at our house without me. They got their clothes on and were ready in no time.
We got in the car around 1:40am. My parents followed. The 15 minute ride to the hospital felt like 2 hours. We were at the red light by Logan's when my water broke. Bucky took me straight to the ER entrance. They actually made me fill out paperwork. I have no idea what I wrote. Bucky's friend, Forrest, was working that night. He got a wheel chair and took me to the 3rd floor. I felt like I was in a movie. I was breathing, clenching the chair, and saying go, go!! They put me back in the same observation room. What! I am in labor. I need the big room and some drugs! After changing into my gown, I discovered that there was merconium in the water. I panicked. I knew that meant that the baby was in distress. Beth was my nurse again. She tried to reassure me but I was really worried. And to add to my worry, the MD on call (Dr. Golden) had gone home because there were no patients. No OBGYN and no Anesthesiologist. They next 2.5 hours were a blur. I was 4cm when I arrived around 2am. By 4am I was 7cm. Both MDs got there.
I received an epidural, even though my original plan was to go natural. I knew there was no way I would have the strength to push since I hadn't slept in almost 24 hours. Once I got the epidural, I really relaxed. I put my makeup on. I talked in complete sentences. It was great. I couldn't feel anything. Bucky's Mom and Dad arrived around 5:30am. My labor had really slowed down. Around 7am we starting making some calls to tell people. It was really enjoyable.
Dr. Golden left at 8am on April 21 and Dr. Smith took over. He came in a checked me. I was at 10cm and ready to push. He left and it was me, Bucky, Lucy, and a nursing student. I pushed for an hour. Not much progress. Lucy and Bucky were very patient. They were encouraging but didn't do anything annoying like count. It was exactly what I needed. Dr. Smith came in. He said everything was going well and to keep trying. He came back in 30 minutes and we were at the same place. He turned my epidural off a little. I could feel what I was doing now, but no pain. He started 'coaching' me. Dr. Smith gave me specific instructions. He discovered I have a hook in my tailbone that was making it hard for the baby to move down. He said these exact word to me; "We are going to try this and if it doesn't work, we will go to plan B." I asked what that was and he said "c-section". I looked at Bucky. I was scared. I said "are you praying?" He was. I dug as deep as I have ever had to. I wanted to have a natural birth as much as anything. Claire had done great during the whole time. Never once did her heart rate drop or anything. I knew it was completely up to me. If Bucky could have taken over and done the last few minutes, I know he would have. But some how I was able to pull it together and a few minutes later, we met our angel. Everyone started getting excited. I didn't know what was going on and then I heard the sweetest sound a mother will ever hear. The cry of your newborn baby.
I looked down and saw Claire for the first time. It was surreal. This little person who had been growing inside me was looking up at me. It was the closest thing to a miracle I have ever witnessed. If you don't believe in God, be present at a birth. It is like heaven opened up and placed an angel in our arms. Dr. Smith scooped Claire up, the nurses cleaned her off, and then she was ours. Bucky held her first. He carefully brought her to my arms. My life has never and will never be the same. Thank you God for the beautiful blessing we know as Elizabeth Claire Street born April 21, 2008 at 11:00am. The best minute of my life. I love you, Claire! You have blessed my life since the moment I knew of you.