It was a dark and stormy night. A shot rang out. No. Wait! That’s not how it all started. The real story from my perspective goes something like this…
Allyson worked a normal day at school and then afterwards she got her car washed. The car wash comes with free use of the vacuum, which Allyson took advantage of. On the way home, she drove through an area where there was mud and someone splashed her freshly cleaned car. That meant that when she got home, she had to clean her car off with the hose. That is where it all began. She felt a little trickle and thought that she had to use the bathroom, which she did. Very soon after that, another trickle and another trip to the bathroom. Why is this not stopping? Did my water just break, she wondered.
She told me what was happening and I consulted Dr. Internet. We tried a couple of things that would hopefully help us tell the difference between bathroom or water breaking. The results were in line with water breaking. The next call was to the doctor, who advised us to come to the hospital and get checked out. Because there was no big “gush” of water, Allyson was fairly certain that it would be a short trip and we would be back home that night.
What was going on with me during this whole thing? Well, I still thought we had a few days before Madison was to arrive. In fact, I thought Allyson would have to be induced a week or so after the due date. Hearing what was going on, I was fairly certain that this was going to be “the time”. It took a few minutes for the fact to sink in that we could have a new baby in the next 24 hours. My reaction was that of excitement and trepidation. I had been to the baby classes and I knew what was coming at the hospital. It looked like a long and exhausting ordeal. I was hoping that I would be able to do my part and be there for Allyson. I questioned my readiness for all of this but there was no turning back, no “hold on, I need a few more days”. It was time to man up and get this thing done.
Allyson is amazing and had everything planned out ahead of time. All she had to do was throw a couple of things in her mostly packed bag. We also had to get Haley situated. There was no mad dash. In fact, I had already cooked dinner so I ate something. Allyson didn’t want to eat in case she really was in labor. She did, however, take the time for a shower, etc. We casually set out for the hospital On the way, Allyson finally starting feeling a little of what I thought were contractions. She didn’t know if they were contractions or just a nervous stomach.
We arrived at the hospital around 7:30pm. I found it interesting that they had us go straight to a delivery room instead of the OB triage. The delivery nurse came to the room and hooked up all the monitors. She did a preliminary exam and Allyson’s water had indeed broken and she had already dilated to 4cm. She needed to get to 10cm. We were told that it usually happens at a rate of 1cm every 2 hours. The math showed that we had about 12 hours to go. I’m not sure what happened to the 3 hours between 7:30pm and 10:30pm but that is when we estimated delivery was going to be around 10am the next morning.
Now it was just a waiting game. I watched the monitors and told Allyson every time there was a contraction (which she already knew because she could feel them). The times get a little fuzzy here, but I think that around midnight, Allyson was at 7cm. She was moving fast and I suppose Madison was ready to see us. Somewhere in there, an epidural was done.
Skipping ahead (don’t you just love TV time), the nurse said Allyson was fully dilated and she would start pushing at 2:15am. She started more along the lines of 2:50am because it took a bit for the nurses to get the room set up for delivery. Another interesting thing I saw was that the nurse did most of the work to coach the pushing and the doctor came in at the end to “catch” the baby. When Madison was about to crown, the nurse got a hold of the doctor and the doctor told the nurse that she had an emergency surgery in 45 minutes. That meant we either “labored down” (slowed the labor) or had to deliver before the surgery. Once again, Allyson was amazing and was able to do the whole thing and deliver Madison in less than an hour, at 3:38am.
I suppose that because things moved so fast and Allyson had an epidural, it wasn’t anywhere near as exhausting an ordeal (for me) that the classes and videos showed. The exhausting part was that we had both been up for 22 hours at this point and Alyson hadn’t eaten anything for 12 hours. Overall, it was a great experience (again, from my perspective).
We were blessed with a beautiful 9 pound, 6oz baby girl.