Turned out, Noah had his own special way of coming into our lives.
I woke up Sunday morning, 10/10/10, a little before 2 a.m. with slight contractions. I thought it might be due to eating a root beer float not long before going to bed (really smart) and since they were not terribly painful, I waited to see if they were for real. By 3 a.m., we called Nick's mom to come and stay with the kids and started packing a bag. Somewhere in the midst of that, the contractions suddenly became very real and I wondered why on earth I ever waited for a second to leave for the hospital.
By the time we left the house, my contractions were two minutes apart. Yes, two minutes. I seem to recall them being that close together when I was almost ready to delivery my first two children. Funny.
I could not wait to get out of the house because all I wanted to do was scream, but did not want to wake up my first two blessings. As soon as I got in the van, I started yelling and punching the dashboard. My apologies to the neighbors. And my apologies to mother-in-law for whatever foul language I was expressing to her son while he stopped to record his precious sporting events of the day.
As Nick was pulling out of our neighborhood, he actually asked me, "Which is the quickest way, do you think?" Are you kidding me? Through my painful gasps, I managed to remind him that the highway was the way to go and to not stop for anything.
He smartly stopped at our first red light to watch for oncoming traffic, then went through it and thankfully, God blessed us with green lights the rest of the way. No cops on the highway (even though I know Nick was secretly wanting to get pulled over just so he could use the excuse, "My wife is in labor"), but as soon as we took the exit, we pulled up behind a police car. Seriously? Less than a mile from the hospital and now we had to start following the rules?
We got caught at a red light, still behind the cop and apparently my words to Nick were, "Just flash your lights and go around him-he'll see that you're going to the emergency entrance and he'll understand."
For some reason, my husband chose not to listen to his rational wife.
Miraculously, the light changed twenty seconds later (which felt like twenty minutes) and the cop turned off the road (Nick thinks the officer was scared by the sound of my screams and the pounding of the dashboard). All I could think was how badly I wanted to stand up because sitting was miserable with each contraction.
We pulled into the emergency entrance, I jumped out of the car and started yelling. I really did not mean to frighten the entire hospital staff who heard me from inside, but it was the only thing I could do to deal with the pain.
I was wheeled up to the labor and delivery floor, scribbled a couple of signatures on some paperwork and just kept yelling. I heard someone say, "Get her straight to delivery" and for the first time that night, the thought occurred to me that I might not get my desired epidural.
I held on to Nick and walked to the delivery room (because, again, sitting was unbelievably uncomfortable), stopping every few seconds to deal with another contraction. Got into the room and started changing into my gown. They asked me if my water broke, to which I said no and that it never does on its own. The words were barely out of my mouth when I felt the huge gush. That was interesting.
They helped me onto the table, checked me and within a couple of seconds I heard, "You're 10 cm-go ahead and push."
This was where I was completely torn with emotions. I still had this little voice inside of me yelling, "No, where's my epidural?" while the rest of me was thinking, "Thank the good Lord that I can finally push." Within a minute or two, Noah came right out. Born at 3:57 a.m. Two hours after starting contractions.
It was the most surreal experience that I have ever had. Because there was no waiting around time to think about him coming, it took me a few minutes to truly comprehend that he was really there, sitting on my stomach, staring at me with wide eyes. Simply amazing.
Once we were calm and put back together, Noah nursed really well. He was very alert for such a long time and Nick and I got to enjoy such precious moments together with our new son. He weighed 8 lb 3 1/2 oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. Because of the heat this summer, this was my most unactive pregnancy and somehow I delivered my smallest baby.
Abby and Caleb have already given me days of quotes and stories to share with you all, but for now I will end with how sweet they are with their new brother. They are still fighting and aruging with one another, but they are dear with Noah. I will enjoy these moments as long as I can.