I was getting ready to go to the hospital to have labor induced. Jeff had managed to convince the Guard unit to let him come home for the birth, and we'd gotten to spend one very short evening together. I was apprehensive, but so ready to meet my little boy.
We got to the hospital around noon, and by 1pm they had me hooked up to the IV and the pitocin had started. It seemed we had an endless stream of visitors. The whole youth group and half the members felt obligated to come visit Jeff (it wasn't me they were interested in!) before he shipped to Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever he would wind up (thankfully, he never deployed overseas, but we didn't know that then). It irritated me, because I wanted and needed that time with Jeff, but I didn't have the heart to run anyone off.
Mom & Dad stayed at my house until the afternoon, taking care of some last-minute projects that I didn't have tools to finish. Mom washed the bedding that arrived the day before, and Dad bolted the dresser into the wall and mounted a new light fixture.
Meanwhile, I was in the hospital, feeling mild cramps, but not much more. I was hungry, but they wouldn't let me eat. (Note to self: next time, no induction!) I downed a lot of Jell-O and clear broth, but it didn't help much.
Somewhere around 8pm, we still had visitors, and the cramps turned into recognizable contractions. Mom finally ran everyone off, and it was just my parents and Jeff in the room. Out of the blue, the contractions hit me so hard it took my breath away. Doc came in to check me and he broke my water and said I could have an epidural. For some reason, they turned off the pit drip completely at that point. Contractions stopped, and I was dilated to 4cm.
Several hours passed and nothing happened. They turned the drip back on, I had to get another epidural because the first one slipped, and I dilated to 7cm and quit. The doc said if I didn't start dilating again soon they would do a c-section.
I did not want a cesarean. Thankfully, in about an hour's time, I dilated to about 9 1/2 cm, so all was good. I don't remember how long I pushed, but it didn't feel like very long at all.
There are some things you never forget, some moments that sears themselves into your mind for as long as you live. Seeing Braeden for the first time was one of those. He was skinny, messy, and somewhat resembled a troll. He was beautiful! I wanted Jeff to be the first one to hold him, and there was nothing quite like seeing his expression at cradling that tiny little baby in his arms.
Tomorrow we'll celebrate Braeden's birthday. He was born March 27, 4:32 am. For today, I will enjoying reminiscing the anticipation (and agony) of waiting for his arrival.