Sunday, July 31, 2011

On this night, three years ago...

Maybe I should back up before I get to night time.

We were thrilled to become parents to Elizabeth Rose and even more scared to death thrilled when an exam before the July 4th weekend showed me already at 3 cm, more than 75% effaced, and several weeks ahead of our August 7 due date.

The doctor told us to just get ready and to expect her any time.  So get ready, we did.  And proceeded to wait an entire month for our baby girl to decide she was ready.

In case any of you haven't been 9 months pregnant in South Carolina in the heat of summer, it was a looooong month.

So, when I woke up the morning of July 31 with stomach cramps, I thought...maybe this is it!  I called in sick to work and we promptly went to the doctor's office since we had an appointment later that day anyway.  Hooked up to the monitors, we were contracting every 20 minutes.  

The nurses patted me on the back, told me to go home and put my feet up and assured me that she would indeed one day come out.

I could have died.  The mental anguish of waiting for "any time" for an entire month had taken it's toll on me.  I had stopped working out, for fear of having my water break on the treadmill.  I was still working, but between moonlighting as a librarian, enduring Braxton Hicks, and rushing to the bathroom at the end of every class period, it was getting trying.

So I called my friend Kelli, who was also my chiropractor and close friend and told her (in tears) about how they had sent me home.  Now, Kelli is a superb mom to seven kids so she's been around the block once or twice, and after hearing my voice, gave me the best advice I ever heard:

"If you want to have this baby, DO NOT sit down or put your feet up.  You better keep moving."

Don't you love just straight-to-the-point friends?

Now, let me just back up once again and say that I was very active with this pregnancy and coached and gave lessons for 8 months, rode on a golf cart with Dana Jenkins driving during a full week of softball camp, and made Tammy walk miles upon miles with me around the neighborhood after work each evening.  So I knew that I couldn't just walk around to get things going here.

We went home and I set to work.  After much haggling with my husband, he agreed to let me mow the grass (we had almost an acre...and a push mower)...and weed the front flower bed...and clean the house top to bottom.  We ended up getting take out from Copper River (which I still miss to the point of tears today...honey butter croissants...mmmm...did I mention that I gained 60 lbs with this pregnancy??) and watching Chocolate, which I had never seen and he hadn't seen in a long time.  

The day was so great that we had almost forgotten the disappointment of being sent home from the doctor's office earlier with no labor and no baby. 

At 12:30 a.m., I woke up to pee for the 20th time that night and my water broke.  Freaking out displaced any excitement I was feeling earlier, so I went about the task of waking up the daddy-to-be.  

"Scott,"  I whispered, gently rocking his shoulder.

Why was I whispering?  He didn't move.

"Babe!"  I said louder.  "Wake up."


What felt like an eternity later, I got my husband awake and let him know that my water had broken that we definitely needed to go to the hospital right away.  He nodded in agreement and then said, "I'm going to get in the shower."

I could have died.  The shower??  I was convinced that I was going to have this baby within the hour.  Never mind that I really wasn't have significant contractions or that I was feeling zero pressure in the nether regions.

So I did what any sane, first time mother who's water had broken and already had her bags packed would do at (then) 1 a.m...  I vacuumed the floor. 

What felt like an eternity, but in reality was 15 minutes, we were in the car and off to the hospital.  I was a bundle of nerves and all I wanted to do was GET there.  So I began to relax just a little when we checked in and successfully made it to the maternity ward.

Scott and I looked at each other and smiled.  This was it!  Maybe we would get to meet our baby soon!

The nurse on call came in and greeted us and said those little words every laboring mother loves to hear, "Well, let's check you and see how far along you are..."

I held my breath and said my please-please-please-please-pleases in my mind...

"Well, my dear," the nurse said, "Congrats!  You're at a three already!"

I could have died.  Still at a three...after a full stinkin' month and water breaking and mowing the grass... (In case you're not up on the birth process, you have to get to 10 cm until they're ready to go.)

So, we had a long night ahead of us...full of cheesy 80's movies and a drowsy, freezing hubby and a laboring mama...and around 12:15 p.m., we were blessed with our Elizabeth Rose. 

She was little and vocal and beautiful and the most perfect little baby we had ever seen.

Today, she remains on her own agenda but is still beautiful and one of the two loves of our lives.  Elizabeth is energetic and loves gymnastics.  She is quick to smile and gives great hugs and kisses.  She loves pizza and grilled cheese and all things princess and baby doll.  She is a great big sister and loves playing with her little side kick and helping mommy in the kitchen.  

We can't believe how fast three years went...even though you all warned us.

So happy birthday, Elizabeth Rose.  We love you so much.  Waiting for you was well worth the wait!


  1. And to bring this puppy home, Elizabeth shall sing Juno. HIT IT HONEY!

  2. Happy birthday, Elizabeth :) I hope she had a great day!

  3. Happy birthday, Elizabeth! Such a sweet post, Annie! (I tried to comment yesterday, but my computer wouldn't let me!)