introducing Isla Page Otto.
born Friday, September 21, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
7 pounds, 12 ounces.
I had been having contractions daily for several weeks leading up to Isla's birth, so I knew it was going to be hard to tell when it was the real thing! I had an appointment with my midwife on my due date, September 19th. I was delighted to find out I was 3-4 cm dilated and looked like I would go into labor soon. I didn't mind at all going over the due date; I was just happy that it looked like I would avoid being induced.
Friday morning began as usual: I got Carson off to school and played with Everett and Faye at home while preparing yet another meal to freeze. During the morning I felt a few contractions, and it occurred to me that they felt a little more intense than the ones I had been experiencing. I tried to call and page Rick to tell him this might really be the day, but I got no response. We met Carson's bus a little before 10:00 a.m. and took him straight to his piano lesson. (It was an early release day at school.) When I got out of the car at the lesson, I felt a good contraction, and another one while we were there. I tried getting in touch with Rick again and was a little worried that he wasn't responding.
We got home from the piano lesson and had lunch outside. I really felt like I wanted Rick home in case I was going to go into labor so he could take me to the hospital. I called a friend whose husband also works at the Army Medical Center and asked if he could get in touch with Rick. Garett said he could, and I told Rachel to tell him not to worry about it yet, but that if it was an emergency I would call back.
About five minutes later, I was walking around picking toys up when I felt a pop and the familiar feeling of warm amniotic fluid. My water had broken at 12:15 p.m. I ran upstairs to change and get a towel while calling Rachel back. Over at the hospital, Garett got in contact with someone in the surgery department who went into the OR and told Rick, "it's time!" (Rick had been sewing someone up in the OR and hadn't known his pager was on mute!)
I immediately called friends to help: Sarah was at my house in five minutes ready to drive me to the hospital, and a neighbor girl (a lifeguard from the pool) was able to run over right away to babysit. I told Carson my water had broken, and he was so cute. He jumped up, ran to my room, grabbed my hospital bags and put them in the car. He found my list of instructions for the babysitter and got all ready to tell her what to do. Everett was busy playing int he backyard and had no interest in coming in for me to tell him I was leaving to have a baby. I hurried and put Faye down for a nap before jumping into Sarah's van.
Sarah and I both didn't have a great idea of how to get to the Army hospital, but we entered the address in the GPS and hoped it would take us to the right place. The drive is about 30 minutes. For the first half, we just chatted while I breathed through a few contractions. During the last few minutes of the drive, I was having some good contractions and was really, really wanting to be out of the car. Sarah got on the phone with Rick when we drove into the medical center and was trying to figure out what entrance to go to and where he was. She pulled up to an entrance, and I tried to get out but was sort of frozen in a contraction! Some stranger guy tried to help me, but I had started to maybe melt down a little bit and was calling out, "WHERE is Rick?? Where is he??" Finally, Rick came running up (from another entrance) and helped me out of the car and into the hospital.
Some people were trying to help and brought a wheelchair, but I just could not sit down. Rick took my hand, asked someone to hold the elevator, and we made it to the elevator after pausing for a contraction or two. As soon as we got off the elevator, I felt the urge to push. This totally shocked me: I had been in some pain, but I did not think it was already time! I could actually feel the baby's head, and I froze in the hallway of the hospital, my body starting to push. Rick dropped the hospital bags, scooped me up in his arms, and ran towards the labor and delivery ward. The man at the L&D check-in desk looked a little befuddled when he heard and saw us coming down the hall; fortunately the triage nurses could also hear us, and they directed Rick to the nearest bed. Finally we got to a triage room, and were joined by the nurses and the doctor right away. Rick dropped me on the bed, removed my skirt, and two minutes and two pushes later out came our baby girl, born at 1:05 p.m.
They put her on my chest right away. I was just in a little bit of shock and disbelief that she was really here already! I think it took me a little while to feel like she was really here and mine, but I am loving her more every minute. After a quick 24-hour hospital stay, we are home and are all enjoying the newest member of our family.
We are grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who watched over a miraculous and safe delivery. (I keep imagining the what-ifs, like if I had waited just five minutes later to go to the hospital!) I am especially grateful for a strong hero-of-a husband who carried his laboring wife while running down a hospital hallway.
Baby Isla is sleeping on my chest right now. She is just perfect and we love her so!