I stood there; pain pulsing through my stomach. I couldn’t understand. Braxton Hicks contractions were not supposed to hurt. At 37 weeks, and being my first baby, giving birth was far from my mind. In fact, I was trying to convince my baby she needed to come late. Her due date was September 4th, and the only way to miss ever having her birthday on Labor day (because why would you want to share your birthday with any holiday??), was to have her September 8th or later. And by no means was she allowed to come in August. Five family birthdays in August was enough for one month. “Mom, you’re positive I’ll know when I go into labor, right?” were the first words out of my mouth when she answered her phone. I was in Utah, and my parents lived in WA. All birthing advice came via the phone. A day prior,
my sister-in-law had her baby in their bathroom, on the toilet, as did my mom with her fourth baby. “Mom, what if I have my baby on the toilet?” I wailed. My mom assured me that I was not going to have my baby on the toilet, and that I would be fine until I visited my doctor three hours later. I went to my doctor appointment. Since my doctor was out delivering babies, my nurse checked me and told me I was still not dilated, and effaced only a little more than the week before - probably 20%. “You’re dehydrated,” she said. “Go home, drink a lot of water, take a warm bath, and take some Tylenol.” I went home under that assumption. That night, Eric, my husband, and I went on a walk, and I kept having to stop and breathe through these Braxton Hicks. After we got home, I could time them every two minutes for 45 seconds. Eric reminded me that it needed to be the 5-1-1 rule--5 minutes apart or less, 1 minute long, for 1 hour. I went to bed, and was able to fall asleep. Around 1:30 a.m., I woke up, and went in and out of sleep until Eric woke up at 4 a.m. to go to work. At that point, I didn’t even try to sleep anymore. My parents were making their way to Utah that day for their annual trip to BYU education week. I knew my mom would be up at 3 a.m. getting ready to leave, and so I called. Her response to my misery: “I’m really sorry dear. We will be there soon.” A bit later, I went to the bathroom and had lost my mucous plug, but just shrugged it off. I took a warm bath, took some Tylenol, and then tried to clean my house. I tried contacting my doctor’s office, but they were out of the office so I kept leaving messages with the on-call nurse but no response. During this time, I contacted my friend Christina, a labor and delivery nurse, and told her what was going on with me. “Some women go without their mucous plug for two weeks. No need to worry,” she told me. For the rest of the day, I kept having lots of Braxton Hicks and I wasn't getting anything done. That afternoon, I started bleeding. After telling Christina, she insisted that she come get me and take me to the hospital. I was adamant she could not come get me because there was absolutely no way this was labor, and DUH, my house was still not clean for my parent’s arrival! She came anyway. I took a shower as she vacuumed the rest of the floor I didn't finish, and then we left.
We picked up Eric from his work carpool at 5:30 p.m., and arrived at the hospital shortly after. Christina parked the car, then texted us saying that she would be in the waiting room. Eric and I walked up the stairs to labor and delivery, and I stopped at the wall, and stared at him as a little tear rolled down my face. “I don’t feel good,” I said. “It’s okay – labor and delivery is right here,” he calmly told me. I pushed the buzzer and explained to the lady that I was not in labor, but should probably be checked out because I was bleeding. She buzzed me in and a nurse started leading me down to room 234. “Look, I’m not in labor,” I told her. “She can’t be born in August, I’m only 37 weeks, and she’s going to come late.” She stared at me in disbelief and exclaimed, “You look like someone in labor.” I just looked at her like she had NO idea what she was talking about. I got dressed into a gown and the nurse checked my cervix. She took her hands out, spun to her left on the black, swivel stool, and without looking at me said, “So… you’re at an 8. So if we could go ahead and get this room ready….” I interrupted her, “ I’m sorry...WHAT?!!?” “You’re an 8.” “As in from 8 to 10 you have a baby?" “As in, you’re having your baby right now.” Eric, thrilled upon hearing the news, looked at me excitedly and said, “We are having a baby!!” I screamed, “We are NOT having a baby!!!” Nobody seemed to care what my opinion was. And, well, neither did I when a contraction hit me five seconds later. For the first time all day, I knew these were REAL contractions. This baby was coming and I better get prepared. Eric texted Christina and told her the news. She was a bit shocked as she figured I'd be at a 3 or something. She waited patiently in the waiting room.
An hour later, at 7:02 p.m., our little Breelyn Elizabeth joined this world at 6 lbs 15 oz, and 19.5” long. Soon I realized that my family was going to be passing the hospital soon, and we needed to call them. Eric called them; my mom answered. “Jackie had the baby, so come to the hospital.” “What?” my mom answered in disbelief. “Jackie had the baby.” Eric repeated. “….what? But she was a 0 yesterday. She what??” “Jackie had the baby.” After the shock wore off, my family headed to the hospital to visit. Bree was then welcomed by lots of family and our dear friend Christina who took the very first pictures of our new family!