The short version:
She was brought to bed of a fine boy. 10 points if you get the literary reference.
The long version:
Displaying the same forward thinking 'lets get this thing over already' attitude as his brother and sister, baby Star Wars decided to surprise us all and arrive 2 weeks early.
We weren't caught totally off-guard. I knew that I was dilated. I just figured that he'd hold out a little longer. So when I went in for the my regular checkup on Friday the 7th and Dr. W. said "you're at a 5 - there's no way you'll make it to next week" I still didn't get my hopes up that he would arrive quickly.
That night we went to a birthday party for Aidaleena and visited with Grandma and Grandpa for a while. Joe played WordShaker on the iPod for hours, all the while hassling me about being addicted to the game. I talked to my parents about the visit to Pearl Harbor they had made that day. We came home, put the kids to bed and watched some TV and played some more WordShaker before going to bed late.
At 1am I started having contractions that woke me up. I've had them on and off for a few weeks and they never get regular so I went back to sleep. I dreamed I was timing the contractions on the WordShaker game. By 3am I couldn't go back to sleep between them so I started watching the time. They were coming every 8 minutes and by about 4am were painful enough that I woke Joe up - mostly so he could feel bad for me and rub my back. We kept timing them but I'm pretty sure he kept falling asleep between each one. After a while, laying down felt awful so I got up, finished putting things in a hospital bag and finally asked Joe to call his parents. The contractions had gotten to 7 minutes apart but no closer and I really felt like we were going to be sent home - I almost didn't want to go.
His parents hustled over - by the time they got there I was starting to cry during each contraction. They still wouldn't get any closer together. The drive to the hospital was really hard. Sitting up in a seatbelt was about the worst position I could imagine and I was glad the drive wasn't any longer. I made Joe leave my hospital bag in the car - I didn't really want to get sent home and wheel a suitcase back out with me. We walked into the hospital right at the same time as my friend Jessica, a nurse who works in Mother/Baby. I was excited to see that she was on shift while we were there.
Joe told the triage nurse that I was in labor and she said she would check to see if I had made any progress because the contractions still weren't coming very fast. She kind of loitered around a little but she finally came back, checked and said "oh wow... you're at a 7. Let's get you across the hall and have a baby!"
After two inductions, for some reason I had imagined that going into labor on my own would be a slower process. So when the anesthesiologist (who fortunately had just arrived for the day) explained that she couldn't do an epidural because there wasn't enough time, I was really surprised. She decided to do a one-shot spinal block which would take effect faster. This part is a little bit of a blur - people were running around doing IVs and setting up the table for the baby and finding the on-call doctor. Joe and I laughed a little because we really hadn't thought we were here for an express-lane baby. Dr. H. commented that it's a good thing we hadn't waited for the magic 5-minutes-apart contractions because we never would have made it to the hospital in time.
The anesthesiologist did the spinal as quickly as she could but baby was ready and we started pushing before it had set up all the way. It did make the pain more manageable though so I'm glad it worked. It seems kind of funny to think about now - during the contractions I would push and the nurses would give instructions and it seemed really noisy and between them (they were 6 minutes apart) we would all chat about trips to Disneyland or how Violet and Dash would feel about waking up to a new little brother. We told the doctor that Violet was absolutely sure that this was still a baby girl and she had just been holding a carrot in the ultrasound pictures. How did she get ahold of said carrot? Mommy ate it of course. The nurses laughed a lot at that.
After just a few pushes we had us a baby! Dr. H. said there was definitely no carrot and it was a boy - what's more, he looked exactly like his father. I really like this hospital (the other two were born at a different one) because they let you hold the baby right away. With the other two I felt like I didn't see them until they were wrapped up in their little swaddled cocoon. They wiped him off a little, weighed him (7 pounds, 1 oz) and put him immediately on my chest. Then they just left us alone so we could see his precious hands and check to make sure he has that funny turned-under toe that Joe has (he does). He had been yelling at the top of his lungs and as soon as I got him back he settled down and opened his eyes and just looked around. He even nursed for a few minutes and I was relieved to find that I remembered how, even though it's been 5 years. Apparently I got 7 stitches but the spinal block had finally taken effect so I didn't know. Whew!
This is when we realized that we had left the camera in the car. Because I was so sure that L&D would find a reason to send me home, I wouldn't let Joe take the suitcase into the hospital when we arrived. It had the camera in it. So the only pictures we had at that point were taken with our iPod. Joe, to his credit, decided to NOT play WordShaker while I was in actual labor. He also waited until the baby was delivered to tell me that he had set a new high score.
Another reason the spinal block is my New Favorite Thing is that it wore off fairly quickly and by the time I had some breakfast (a delicious veggie omelet) and was moved downstairs I was pretty much ready to be back on my feet. I really hate being paralyzed for hours and hours after an epidural. One of the nurses told me that she started punching our info into the computer at 6:20 and we had the baby at exactly 7:02. All in all, it was a fairly eventful start to the day.
And no, I didn't get either of the Christmas trees taken down.