If you are just visiting my piece on the internet and are interested, you can read birth story part 1 here.
*Edited to add photos that I forgot the first time.
3:00PM June 5, 2011
Anyways, when I finally found Heather and Tom I told them the good and bad news and was on my way back to the house. It was about 3pm when I left the Union. On my way back to the house, I remembered that one of our friends was injured and was “coaching” the soccer game that EJ was playing. I called him, he answered and we able to switch players to get EJ off the field. If you are tracking, EJ was the third person I told my water had broken.
At this point, I felt no different and no cramping or pain so I figured we were preparing for the marathon 24-48 labor that our birth class had taught us about. I did what I was told and called the midwife on duty and did my best to explain what happened. I explained the water leakage and that I felt no different other than that symptom. The midwife actually told me I could go back to the Union!! She said to relax, rest and call back in a few hours to check-in or to call back sooner if something drastically changed.
5:00 PM June 5, 2011
EJ and are at the grocery store stocking up on snacks and fluids because we hadn’t completely finished packing the hospital bag. I kept reminding EJ to grab snacks because, “this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.” We also decided that we should stock up on softener salt as well…..priorities. At this point, I’m feeling very very light cramping and I don’t think these are contractions but for kicks we start tracking the length and duration on EJ’s phone. The contractions were all over the map and varied from 10-20 minutes apart.
No change in pain level or contraction length or duration but I finished packing the hospital bag in case they told us to come in that night although I was really hoping for one more night in my bed. Kerri and Sammy called to see what we were doing that night and it was fun to tell them about the day and calling EJ off the field. They offered to bring dinner over around 730 and we happily accepted.
We called the midwife again as she had instructed and told her that although the contractions (I still wasn’t sure if what I was feeling were contractions) had dialed up a bit, I was still easily able to laugh and talk through them. When Kerri and Sam arrived, I had zero appetite which alarmed me a bit because I ALWAYS have an appetite especially when it comes to Sam’s mom cooking. Have I mentioned how much I love Kerri and Sammy before? They mean the world to us and it seems fitting that they were with us during some of our last hours as a couple. Kerri took over tracking the contractions while to boys installed the car seat. Around 7:30 things started to change and the contractions intensified. I knew these were the real deal and I had to close my eyes, bend over and sway to get through them. After a few cycles Kerri mentioned that the contractions had gotten really close 2-3 minutes apart and were lasting 1-2 minutes in duration.
I called the midwife to let her know what has changed. She told me to that she wanted this pattern to hold for atleast an hour before advising us to come to the hospital. She suggested that I get into the tub to help release some of the pressure and pain. We say our goodbyes to Kerri and Sam, thank them for there help and get into the tub.
7:50 – 8:50 PM
This was the most painful hour I have ever known. I just kept telling EJ, she (our birthing instructor) lied, she lied, she said I would get a break. She lied. I fell deeper in love with EJ that night. He held me hand the entire time and I’m pretty sure I was crushing it. He told me how amazing I was so many times I lost count. He was everything I needed and wanted.
EJ calls the midwife back because at this point I’ve turned into the shedevil and I’m cursing/moaning/screaming every 2 minutes. At this point, I really started to doubt my abilities. I think I told EJ more than once, I can’t do this anymore and I’m going to need the epidural. The midwife is surprised when we called back, I think she thought the same thing we thought, that the contractions wouldn’t hold in the 2 minute range because they dropped from 10 minutes apart. Wrong, they did hold and they held something fierce. I think she also heard me in the background and told EJ to get us to the hospital quickly.
9:10 – 9:20 PM
Weirdest, most painful car ride I’ve ever taken.
Almost shattered the window glass with the seatbelt I sent flying when a contraction struck in the hospital parking garage. EJ was terrified but wasn’t letting on at all, another reason I love him.
The nicest, most informed security man wheeled me to the maternity floor because in my contraction haze I couldn’t remember where to go and I couldn’t make the walk.
Made it to triage. The nurse kindly warned me that she was going to wait until my next contraction had passed because after she checked me, the following contraction would be much much more intense. I’m 9-9.5 CM dilated and I’m in disbelief……..then the next contraction hits and she wasn’t f***** kidding. (I actually said that)I kept apologizing to the other couples for how loud I was being as we were wheeled out and into our room.
The next 25 minutes are a bit fuzzy for me. I only remember three things clearly. First, telling everyone that I felt the need to push. Second, being surprised that my midwife said okay. And lastly, EJ’s face coaching me through it all.
At 10:01 pm on June 5, 2011 I met my daughter. I was very surprised that she was a girl. Everything happened so quickly and we weren’t able to let all of our family know that way that we had planned but it was a pretty fantastic day, that ended with a daughter.
Baby Johnson went without a name for over an hour. Although I had held her immediately, she needed to be weighed, measured and bathed before I got her back. We were torn on the name and I told EJ that I couldn’t decide without really looking at her. Zoe Elizabeth was in a hurry to be born on June 5 and we couldn’t be happier. In just a over a week my little girl will be 5 months old.
Thanks for letting me share such a special story.
*The times are just estimates and added for humor more than anything else.