Abigail Kate Shriver
December 12, 2008
8 lbs 3 ounces
20.5 inches long
It was about midnight on December 12 when I felt my first "real" contraction. Having had the Braxton Hicks all day long I kind of ignored these stronger bursts of fireworks in my belly...for a while. Then about 1am, I awakened to the next louder and even more gregarious kick in my gut. Still not sure if these were the real deal, I grabbed some paper, went downstairs and paced while realizing these barking puppies were happening every 7 min. After putting in a somewhat excited call to the doctor's pager (they must love those 2am phone calls from over zealous moms) I was told to "keep timing your contractions and call us back in an hour." Like a good little patient I did what I was told, or tried to anyway. I went back upstairs, gently woke up Andy to tell him we'd have to go at some point that morning but no rush.
About 5 minutes went by and another two contractions had me to my knees when I decided to get my shoes on, call Marni to watch Grayson, and get Andy's keys. I wasn't as gentle in this wake up effort and shook him practically yelling, "Get your shoes on, we're leaving NOW, I'm not gonna make another hour." I remember letting Marni in, making fun conversation and then falling to my knees again in a contraction that wasn't kidding around. Then, about 3 minutes later- BAM- another bully of a contraction and I was hot-steppin' in to the minivan.
Just like in the movies, I yelled, writhed, and cursed our way to the hospital. It was icy and wet outside so my rational husband was doing the speed limit trying to get us there alive. The speed limit and red lights never felt more ridiculous to me and Andy was subsequently "encouraged" to run them or watch a baby be born in the bucket seat of the van. We turned a 20 minute commute into a couple of Indie laps and arrived at the hospital entrance about nine minutes later.
On entrance into the maternity ward, I had a few more episodes of kicking and screaming my fool head off. This time, I wasn't cursing Andy however, I was pleading with the nurse to check me and find the epi man. She did both and we found that things were very much under way. I was 8 cm and the epidural man was on his way. I believe I thanked him so much and so effusively that things got a tad awkward between us and he shyly backed his cart into the hall and disappeared into oblivion. Still, an angel's face he had :)
The doctor came in after the epi and wanted to get the show on the road. Blessed was I when my sweet sweet nurse suggested they wait a while to let me enjoy the magic juice flowing about my spine. So they left us for an hour until things got exciting again...push time! Dr. Shirker checked me to find all systems were a go (10 cm) and told me she'd just stand there w/her catcher's mitt on b/c I wasn't going to have to push for very long. She was right. Fifteen minutes of torturous hell ensued until my body needed to expel the lovely being inside by grabbing (avert your eyes if you're squeamish-it's gonna get a little graphic) my ankles and pushing until my body almost imploded w/effort. It was all worth it when out came BIG Abigail Kate. She was whisked away before I could get a good look but I already knew she was a beautiful girl with as much determination as her momma to see the world on her own clock.
Here it is, 2009 already I'm still wondering what happened to December. For us, our little Abigail Kate was born, much sleep was lost, and Christmas took place despite our efforts to stave it off a few weeks until we were ready. Apparently Santa didn't forget Grayson this year as our living room "play area" has now spilled over into the unfinished basement. Poor thing, down there with the steroid spiders. At least he got slippers for Christmas :)