Eli, Adam, and Esther were all born well before their due dates. Eli was due June 21, born May 24; Adam was due November 11, born October 19; Esther was due May 31, born May 13. So Naomi was due December 6, but starting in the first week of November, I was wondering if she could be born any day. We made it through the time Eli would have been born, Adam would have been born, and then we got to November 18, the day Esther would have been born. On that day, it seemed to me that the baby dropped, but I thought my mind might be playing tricks on me since I knew it was the day Esther would have been born if she had had Naomi's due date. When Eli dropped (the day before he was born), I felt a distinct change from not being able to breathe well (before), to having to pee all the time (after). But throughout the pregnancy with Naomi she felt low, like most of the pressure was down under, not up in my ribs. On the 18th, however, the pressure down low seemed to increase noticeably. Could this be a sign that she is coming? I thought to myself all that day.
In the night, I was awakened a few times by contractions, but went right back to sleep.
At 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, November 19, my cell phone alarm went off. I got out of bed to take my morning walk with Janie & Elizabeth. I always have some contractions while we are walking, but this time it seemed like I had more. After our walk, as we were standing outside of Janie's house chatting, I continued to feel some contractions. When I walked in my door at 7:15 a.m., I said to Dan & Bug that today might be the day I give birth. Bug was especially excited, but I quickly warned that I could be wrong. Dan asked if he should go into work or not, and I didn't know what to tell him. He was about to take Bug to the mechanic to have her car fixed, so I told him to come back and check in before leaving for Detroit.
When I went to the bathroom, I saw some bloody show (too much information!), which I have only ever seen on the day I give birth. That made me feel a bit more certain that the baby would be born. I did the usual things one does to prepare for a birth: I shaved my legs and washed my hair. Contractions continued, but they did not hurt much at all. I folded laundry. I told Dan to stay at least an hour or so to see what happened. I didn't feel like eating, especially since I have always thrown up right before giving birth. Around 8 or 8:15, while trying to get the kids off for school, we started timing contractions. They were 4-5 minutes apart, and lasting 30-60 seconds. We called the doctor's office and told them we were heading to the hospital.
My contractions still weren't hurting very much, so it seemed strange to be driving to the hospital, but I've learned from past experience that I go fast. I was really hoping to get my epidural before I got to an 8 or 9. We checked in at 9:15 and while waiting in the reception area the contractions started hurting more and more. By the time I got to the triage room, I was begging for my epidural, and when they checked me I was an 8 already. That was good because it got the triage people to take me a little more seriously and hurry things along. I'd been telling them that this was my 4th baby and that I go fast, but I don't think they were paying too much attention until I was an 8.
My labor and delivery nurse, Michele, came to get me and we made our way painfully to the room where I would give birth. I was in so much pain I just stood by the computer station holding onto the desk for support. FINALLY my anaesthesiologist arrived and I had my epidural by 10 a.m. I guess that is pretty fast, but it didn't seem like it at the time. My OB broke my water at 10:30 and I started pushing around 11. It usually only takes me 10-15 minutes to push a baby out, but I pushed this little girl for a good 45 minutes. I was getting worried and it was really hurting, but when her head emerged she was face up, which explained why it was so much harder to birth her than my others. When they put her up on my chest she seemed much tinier than I remember the others being. Later they weighed her and she was my smallest...6 pounds 14.1 ounces and 19.5 inches long. The others were all over 7 pounds and 21 inches. I thought she would be my biggest because she was born the latest (well, just one day closer to her due date than Esther), so she surprised me with her relative tininess.