Caroline Marie Miller began her entrance into this world in the most leisurely fashion. I had contractions start on Tuesday evening around 7:00 PM on Oct. 8 that were about 10-15 minutes apart, but which did not get closer, and then stopped at about 11 PM. They restarted at 4 AM on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and continued throughout the day at about the same time spacing, but grew increasingly stronger than the day before. I could tell it was the "real deal", but felt VERY confused as to when things were going to "kick into gear", as it were. Contractions stopped again around 11 PM, and I went to bed a bit grouchily, but - no fear - they restarted at 4 AM again for the second morning in a row, Thursday, October 10, and they were doozies, yet only 10-20 minutes apart - and then they stopped at 7 AM when I got out of bed to get the kids ready for school. And they didn't officially resume all day - I would have about 2 STRONG (couldn't walk or talk through them) contractions an hour, and that was it. Grrrrrr.
I messaged a Facebook friend, Ashley, who I had remembered had experienced the same thing fairly recently, to ask her how long it lasted in her case, and she told me that after two nights of labor that started and then stopped, she had HAD it, and she had taken a tablespoon of castor oil that kicked her right from latent labor (the early phase) into active labor, and her baby was born that night.
AH HA!!! Said I.
I immediately decided that I was the perfect candidate, and guzzled down exactly one oily tablespoon swirled together with a bit of red gatorade I had sitting on the counter at about 4:15 PM. Then I happily and most expectantly got to work. I packed my hospital bag and picked up the house, and tried to explain to my seemingly unconvinced husband that time was of the essence. :)
Sure enough!! At about 5:30 PM, 1 hour 15 minutes later, my contractions restarted at their 10-20 minute intervals of the previous day, and BOOM, by 6:11 PM they were under 10 minutes. Victory dance. I decided to climb into the whirlpool tub, since that really helped my labor with Zion. A few contractions later I climbed back out, because it hurt just as bad in there as it hurt out of the tub. When contractions were about every 4-7 minutes at 7:45 PM, Tim called our friend Carolyn to let her know that we thought that we needed to go into the hospital. At about this time my contractions increased to about every 2-3 minutes, and I noticed my legs were shaking during them. I was starting to hope we were going to make it to the hospital. :) Carolyn arrived a little over 1/2 hour after we had called her, and we were on our way, on a dark and warmly rainy night.
I had probably about 5 contractions in the 5 minute drive to the hospital, and one on the way in, one right inside the door as we were waiting to talk to the receptionist, and one as I sat in the wheelchair. The receptionist had hastily switched to getting us checked in as soon as she realized that she had a patient in labor, and I was soon on my way up to the floor.
I was not very excited to see the triage room. I sort of preferred a bed, because I had some pretty strong suspicions as to what exactly was going to happen in the triage room. :D On the uncomfortable stretcher. I think I got to the triage room at about 8:47 or so. I changed into a gown and climbed up onto the stretcher, where the tech put the external fetal monitors on to check the baby's heartrate and my contractions. I had one contraction on the table that I was able to still just breathe through, then the nurse arrived, and then the next two that followed came with some not excessively loud groans. I was just SO SO uncomfortable in my partially reclined position on the stretcher, and wanted to climb AWAY from the pain.
"Can I change my position??" I asked the nurse, not exactly sure how I would do such a thing, but INTENSELY wishing it were so.
"In just a minute", the nurse promised. "We just have to check the baby's heart rate and see how far along you are."
I felt another contraction start and couldn't take it any more. I grabbed the side of the stretcher and gave myself a mighty heave onto my right side with my head over the rails, began a moan that turned into a sort of bawl, and brayed out into the wide blue yonder of the space between the metal rails and the wall while Tim supported my head...and pushed. I felt the pop of my water breaking.
"Pant, Carrie, don't push!! Pant!!" the nurse told me. I had bad associations with such instructions. :D When I was delivering Zion, they were scolding me for pushing, and I was having none of it this time.
"I HAVE TO!!" I bellowed.
"When did your water break?" the nurse asked.
"It just did," I panted, and felt another contraction coming, and I pushed again, yodeling my pain out yet again, and felt the baby crowning, and the nurse's hands were down around the baby's head, and I felt CONVINCED (in my foggy birthing brain) that she was trying to hold the baby in until the doctor arrived.
"DON'T PUSH HER BACK IN!! LET HER COME OUT!!" I barked. Very bossily. I was very bossy.
"I'm not!!" The nurse protested. "I'm trying to keep you from tearing!" Poor nurse. :)
One more push (and yell), and Caroline was born, at 9:02 PM on Thursday, October 10, 2013. She started to cry before she was even fully out, and she was very pink on arrival. She came out hand-first before her head. Tim cried as soon as he saw her. She looked a little like Zion to me when I first saw her, but mostly we thought she looked like her own person. :) She was 6 lbs 2 oz, and 19 1/2 inches long.
We named her Caroline Marie after her grandmas, Carolyn Miller and Edith Marie Beery. Also, we had wanted a name with a song associated with it, since Layla's name was from the Eric Clapton song, and Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond) was the song that fit right into the scheme.
Welcome, Sweet Caroline. We love you so so so so very much.
(Caroline at 3 days old.)