She’s finally here! Thyme Moriah Freeman was born March 11th, 2015 at 5:17am weight 8 pounds 3 ounces and measuring in at 19 inches long!
I am actually writing this from my hospital room, with baby Thyme asleep on my chest. I am being held as a prisoner of sorts, since the doctors deemed I need to stay for two days before being discharged. I normally wouldn’t mind, except that the staff at this hospital like to barge into the room every 15 minutes, making sleep pretty much impossible. Between my sleepless night of delivering Thyme, and my sleepless night at the hospital where staff woke me up the moment I’d pass out, I’m rather exhausted at the moment. So if I sound rambling and sleepy and incoherent… that’s why!
Here’s How My Birth Plan Was SUPPOSED To Go…
When I went into labor, Jonathan and I planned to start timing contractions. I would labor at home for as long as possible, then head out the door when contractions reach 5 minutes apart for a hospital in Clovis (about an hour and a half drive from our house). There is a hospital about a mile from our house (and a 5 minute drive away) but I had heard that the hospital in Clovis was far nicer, so we decided the drive would be worth it and we’d go there instead.
I figured once we head out the door I would text my family so they would have plenty of time to gather their things and meet us at the hospital in Clovis, and my sister would meet us at the hospital and watch Tessa while I labored and had the baby with my mom and Jonathan in the room. After the delivery, after getting some rest, we’d meet up with family and Tessa would meet her little sister in our hospital room afterwards. So that was SUPPOSED to be the plan.
Here’s How Thyme’s Birth ACTUALLY Went…
I woke up around 1am on March 11th, uncomfortable and thinking I had to go to the bathroom. Or something. All I know is that I couldn’t get into a comfortable sleeping position, I couldn’t settle down, and that I needed to visit the toilet. Over, and over, and over again.
I was up and down every 15-20 minutes, visiting the restroom and just kind of indecisively thinking that maybe I needed to pee. Or poop. Or throw up? I couldn’t quite decide, because each trip to the restroom, nothing really happened.
It wasn’t until just before 3am that I identified the source of my discomfort to “an upset tummy”. I was having what felt like dull and vague menstrual cramps located very low on my abdomen. I had heard that some women began labor with this exact sensation, so I started to really focus on the cramping to see if there was any rhythm to them. (Keep in mind that I was induced with Tessa, and so I never really had the experience of a spontaneous labor starting. I had no idea what to expect!)
I focused on the cramping but it was pretty constant. The intensity of the cramps came in waves, yes, but it wasn’t like they had a real start and stop, so I had nothing to “time”. It didn’t even feel like Braxton Hicks contractions. It just really felt like painful gas or a bad menstrual period. But the fact that the cramps DID increase in peaks, and that the peaks MIGHT be the beginning of labor contractions that I could time to gauge when I needed to head into the hospital prompted me to wake my husband up around 3am. He was already partially awake because of my frequent trips to the bathroom, and the thought of possible labor woke him up fully.
I was completely indecisive on when to declare myself “in labor” because we’d need to factor the long drive to the hospital into when we headed out the door. The typical advice we planned to follow was to head to the doctor when contractions are 5 minutes apart, and we figured we’d head out at contractions 5-6 minutes apart.
But as I said, my cramps were not very contraction-like. There was nothing TO time.. just a constant ache! So we laid in bed (with me taking a couple more uneventful “maybe I just need to poop” trips to the bathroom), playing on our phones, Google searching labor pains and how to tell if and when it’s the real deal. While playing Google doctors I began to notice a very definite beginning and end to the cramps. I could tell when they started, and when they’d ebb. So I thought, “Finally! Contractions I can time!! These might be the real deal!”
So we timed my “contractions” – and they were about two minutes apart.
Now, you’d think we would have grabbed the bags and headed to the hospital right away at this point.. except that this made no sense to me! Aren’t the contractions supposed to build up? They don’t just START at two minutes apart, they should be starting about 15 minutes apart. Or 10 minutes apart. Or something. Right? If “head in at 5 minutes apart” is universal advice, then it would mean contractions build up. So I was unconvinced that this was TRUE labor.
Not only were the contractions so close together, but they also didn’t really hurt. They were just annoying. Every single thing I read online said, essentially, “By the time they are 5 minutes apart, you will KNOW you’re in labor” and “Contractions at this stage really hurt, and they just keep getting worse!” So I was thinking, this has GOT to be false labor. Contractions two minutes apart would mean I was on the brink of having a baby, and that I should be in monster amounts of pain. Right?
So, wide awake by now and confused beyond reason, I decided to go take a shower. While sitting in the hot shower, I DID notice that my contractions increased in intensity, and that they were perfectly timed and predictable. I could tell when they were going to start and end, and they were approaching painful – I would find myself wincing in discomfort as they peaked. At this point I was convinced I WAS going into labor (maybe?) but I was still confused. The contractions were now only 60 seconds apart, and I was still only mildly in pain. This just didn’t jive with every single reputable “this is what labor is like” source.
But at this point, hubby and I decided we’d head to the hospital anyway, just to see what was going on. I was convinced I would be checked, told “you’re having false labor pains crazy lady, go home” and would just be sent away, so I didn’t want to contact my family in the wee hours of the morning and tell them to drive the one hour to the hospital for what was very likely to be a false alarm.
But as we were casually gathering up our bags for the hospital trip, the cramps started to hurt. Like, really hurt. Suddenly, and without my even realizing it, I would find myself stopping to just wince and breathe through the cramp.
After audibly grunting through a contraction I finally decided to call my mom to explain the situation, and during a particularly intense contraction, where I started babbling and repeating myself and groaning a bit, my mom was like, “Ummm, honey? You sound like you’re having a baby. That doesn’t sound like false labor.”
All at once the lightbulb just went off. I was having a baby, and it was going to be soon, and I needed to go to the hospital NOW. It’s like, the moment I acknowledged that the baby was on her way, the contractions started hurting. BAD. I got a bit frantic, telling my husband we needed to go go go.
We jumped in the car at 4:50am and I shot a text to my mom telling her to HURRY to the Clovis hospital. But then, while pulling out of the driveway, I had a contraction so intense that I felt the urge to push. Now I remembered THAT sensation from having Tessa. And if I was at the “push” stage, we would NOT make it to the Clovis hospital in time. So I told my husband we might need to go to the hospital down the street from our house, and I texted my mom the change of plans and told her to go to the Visalia hospital instead.
Jonathan was trying to talk me into holding on until we reached Clovis, when I had ANOTHER pushing contraction and this time, I was pretty sure I FELT Thyme trying to come out. By this time I was uncontrollably yelling in pain with each contraction. So I started freaking out and yelling that we need to get to the hospital by our house and we need to get there NOW.
When we pulled up to the hospital a couple of minutes before 5am, I tried to run into the emergency room, but had to stop and double over in painful contractions, leaning on my husband and yelling in the parking lot, while a sleepy Tessa hung groggily and very much confused onto her daddy’s arm. A hospital aid ran out and met me with a wheelchair and rushed me upstairs to labor and delivery since I was very much unable to walk with contractions less than a minute apart.
The aid wheeled me up to the labor and delivery desk, where a nurse tried to walk me through paperwork to fill out.. but when I had another painful contraction accompanied by involuntary yelling, she took one look at me and said, “Nevermind, get her back and checked in!”
So they wheeled me to a check in room, where another nurse casually asked my height, and tried to get me to stand on a scale to get my weight. I told the nurse, “I am having my daughter RIGHT NOW. She is trying to come out! I need to push!” She looked at me like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, they ALL say that, you’re not that far along..”
She handed me a gown to put on, and when I tried to take my pants off, I doubled over into another painful contraction just as my water broke and splashed all over my pants and shoes. (Lovely!) Not very classy, I’ll admit, but my point was made. The nurse, (suddenly taking me seriously), had me lay on the bed and checked me.. and then promptly freaked out, calling other nurses and staff to inform them the baby was coming RIGHT NOW. They pushed me back into the wheelchair and whisked me down the hall, telling me to NOT push each time I would have a contraction hit.
By the way, at this point I was in PAIN. I could feel Thyme pushing out of my hips, and with each contraction my body was prompting me to push her out, but I kept fighting the urge as I was being wheeled top speed down the hall. When they finally got me on a delivery bed, I started to obey my bodies desire to push, and I felt Thyme forcing her way out.. but the nursing staff kept telling me to stop pushing since the doctor wasn’t there yet.
Frantic and in the throes of delivery, I kept yelling at the staff, telling them I HAD to push. I kept demanding, “When is the doctor coming?! I have to push! She’s already in my hips! I can feel her!” I was on the verge of pushing Thyme out, doctor or no, when she walked into the room. I said something inane like, “You’re so pretty!” and then began pushing.
Or rather, I gave two big pushes. The first I felt like I pushed Thyme out completely. I felt her head clear my hips (THE most painful part of delivery in my opinion) and thought I was done. But people kept yelling at me to push some more, and that she was almost there, so I gave one more big push, felt another flash of pain, and then at exactly 5:17am, I had a baby crying on the stomach. (I guess her shoulder was stuck on the way out, so the first push I got her head out, the second push, I got the rest of her out.)
Oh, and did I mention, Jonathan had Tessa in his arms the entire time?! Everything happened so quickly that even though the hospital has a “no children in the delivery room” rule, she was on Jonathans arm the entire time. Once Thyme was on my belly, Tessa kept trying to pet and poke at her head.
I was only in the hospital for about 20 minutes (from parking to delivery) before my little girl was born. TALK ABOUT CUTTING IT CLOSE!!! I did suffer a second degree perineal tear, although I didn’t feel it at the time (which is surprising, since I had the same tear with Tessa and I DID feel that one!).
My family arrived about 15 minutes after Thyme was born. We didn’t even remember to pull my camera out until Thyme was close to an hour old. Tessa was extremely calm and chill and curious and not at all stressed or scared, even after watching her mom scream on a table surrounded by strangers. (Seriously, she was SO calm and curious!)
Thyme is absolutely GORGEOUS! She has a head full of thick dark hair (the first thing Jonathan said when she was being delivered was, “Oh my gosh sweetie, she has SO MUCH HAIR!!”) and she is tiny and soft and sweet. She cries with a trilling vibrato that sounds like a cougar cub. She is extremely calm, and only cries when she has a need and stops crying immediately upon the need being met.
When she’s awake she’s observant, makes eye contact, and tried to pick her head up on her own. Oh man, I am aware that I am rambling right now.. I blame a combination of being sleep deprived and just being in awe at having my second little baby finally in my arms!!
Anyhoo, I’ll wrap this blog post up (2,400 words?!?! YIKES!!) and of COURSE I will post more in the following days! In the meantime, here are some photos we DID manage to snap amidst the choas of having our little baby!! ^_^