Thursday, April 26, 2012

Full of Laughter

. . . that's what I'm choosing to believe about the little teaser in my tummy.  My little Ella baby has been teasing us for the last week - to the point that her Grandmommy and Aunt Anna have already flown in from Alabama and are sitting on pins and needles ready to meet her and I'm officially on maternity leave!

Tease #1: At my check-up last week on Wednesday (37 weeks), her head was already at a station 2 and I was 3 cm dilated.  Last Friday I began having semi-regular contractions.  The magic number to go to the hospital is 5 mins apart for at least an hour.  We would get to just under an hour and then not have another contraction for 20 mins.  Then they would pick up again, be less than 5 mins for just under an hour, and then slack off for 15 mins.  Brandon was in Abilene praying he could finish the weekend with the symphony, his folks were at my house with me, and my mom caught the last flight out of Birmingham hoping to get here and go straight to the hospital.  My contractions continued that same pattern through Saturday morning, and then all but disappeared (and disappointed) for the rest of the weekend (though we did have a couple of other tell-tale signs that things were going to happen soon - but they're gross and you don't want to hear about that).  Still, we made it through the weekend, Brandon finished his gig, my mom decided to stay, and Ella was still chillin' in her cozy little womb.

We had our next check-up this past Monday.  Because of all the contractions (and other signs) we had over the weekend, my doc didn't want to check for dilation for fear of getting things stirred up too soon (Monday I was 37 weeks and 5 days).  He did say that IF nothing happens between then and this coming Monday that he'll get things started for us and send me straight up to Labor and Delivery.  But he thought that was a big if - meaning she could come anytime.  I decided to keep working and try to finish out the week at my school (it's state testing week, all I had to do was sit and monitor the bathrooms).

Tease #2: Anna flew in after her exams on Tuesday and was very thankful she made it in time.  I hit 38 weeks yesterday (Wednesday), went to work/bathroom duty, and started having regular contractions again.  They were close enough and strong enough that I started timing them.  Regular contractions at about 4 mins apart!  When I hit the one hour mark, I went up to our school nurses office, called Brandon, then called the doctor.  They suggested I go get monitored in Labor and Delivery just in case.  So, some of my closest work friends (our principal, counselor, and art teacher) and I loaded up and left the school while Brandon, my mom, and my sis loaded up and left from home (the hospital is almost right in between).  We got hooked up to the monitors (Ella was perfect, btw!) and checked and measured and all of that "fun" stuff.  I was 3.5 - 4cm dilated and 75 - 80% effaced.  They monitored us for about 2 hours, but when they measured everything again they didn't see enough change to keep us.  So, home we went.  My contractions got harder and stronger and stayed regular (and painful!) all afternoon but started getting further apart as the night went on.  This morning I'm only having 2-3 contractions an hour.  They're still stronger than they were yesterday morning, but not quite as painful as the worst ones yesterday right after we got home.  We decided to go ahead and officially start my maternity leave as of today though, just in case something else happens . . .

DISCLAIMER: Very few people knew we went to get checked yesterday - we didn't want to alert everyone just in case this wasn't the real deal - so please don't feel bad if you're just finding out.  I promise we'll shout it from the rooftops when she's really on her way!

I really don't mind waiting.  I know the longer she stays with me (to a point) the better and healthier she will be.  I'm not totally miserable unlike many of my preggo friends at this point and it's been a pretty easy pregnancy, so I'm not in a hurry to have this part of the journey end.  Of course, my heart's desire is to see and hold and kiss my baby girl as soon as possible and if I knew it would happen today I would just burst with joy, but I'm ok with waiting a few more days if we have to.

What's killing me is all of this teasing!  Is she coming?  Is it time?  "Just kidding, mom!"  Up, down, up, down, up . . .  I can just picture little Ella giggling one day as I tell her all of the ups and downs we went through in these last few days before she was born.  I'm choosing to believe that she's showing us a little of her personality now and that she will be full of joy and laughter (and probably a little mischief).   :)


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