I am getting somewhat of a grip on the postpartum hormones (Mike might say otherwise), and will venture now to share the story, which is actually terribly uneventful, but still, it's a birth story.
So let's get to it.
But first, a some current Joseph pictures since part one of this story has almost no correlating pictures- sorry about that.
(Side note: with both Naomi and Lucy I went into labor at 38 weeks, 4 days. I went ahead and interrogated my mother while she was here helping me about when she birthed her 8 children, just to see if I could be genetically disposed to early labors. I found out that she went early with 7 out of her 8 kids and 2 out of those 7 were born at 36 weeks. So I maybe I am!)
Anyways, I went into the 36 week appointment feeling "laborish" and expecting to be at least a couple centimeters dilated, maybe even 3. Then the doctor checked me and I had the worst case of deja vu ever when, with super wide eyes and shocked voice she declared:
"Wow, you are really dilated. A good 4, and very effaced"
Pretty much the same exact thing she declared to me 2 years ago at my 36 week check with Lucy. So I geared up for a good 2 weeks of feeling like it could be "any minute" and a whole lot of discomfort. There was a bit of an issue with how progressed I was because my doctor was going out of town in just a few days and would not return until my due date. So she begged me to "stay pregnant" until she got back, which almost made me cry because: 4 centimeters for 4 weeks? Somebody shoot me please. She did give me my records to give to her backup doctor while she was gone and in case I went into labor early:
Up until the appointment the contractions were not that bad, but something really changed after the doctor checked my dilation- my contractions got really, really crazy. I stopped at the store after the appointment and was having to stop walking during some of them. I was later told by nurses in the hospital that cervical checks can really "stir things up". Ok, good to know and I might be avoiding those in the future.
So I went home that Monday, July 28th, 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant and things were very "stirred": crazy intense contractions, especially at night, keeping me from sleeping any longer than 20 minutes at a time. No fun at all.
Tuesday came, July 29th, 36 weeks 6 days, and I was exhausted from barely any sleep and lots of hard early labor contractions all night, not picking up enough to go to the hospital, but hard enough for them to keep me awake. I got through that day ok, made dinner, cried a lot to Mike about how I could not imagine doing this for 2 more weeks like I did with Lucy, but it was WAY to early to do any caster oiling or anything crazy, and went to bed to try to sleep.
1 a.m., July 30th, 37 weeks exactly and I woke up with capital C Crazy Contractions, every 10 minutes exactly, and about a minute long a piece. They never got closer together, but kept me awake the entire night. I tried to pray a lot and offer it up for this family who really needed it, but by 7 the next morning I felt like someone would need to check me into an asylum if they couldn't check me into the hospital and I begged Mike to stay around that morning to help me. I kept trying to nap during the morning, but every time I laid down to rest the contractions came back and were exactly 10 minutes apart, so no napping either. BUT, every time I got up and walked around? They stopped. Almost completely.
So... not real labor. Right? Maybe, I still have no idea.
After a brief bathroom break with some other "laborish symptoms" which I will not name because they make ME gag, I decided to just call the doctor and see what she thought.
She thought I should go to the hospital.
I was incredibly reluctant to follow her advice because I could still talk through some of the contractions AND they stopped when I was moving and doing things. I was sure it would be a false alarm for which I was not interested in getting a babysitter for the girls. I was really surprised that the doctor told me to go in because she is usually the you're-not-in-labor-unless-you're-ripping-someone's-head-off-during-contractions type. However, since she knew how progressed I was, I decided to listen.
The rest to come very soon!