Every year for the past 31 years my mom has told me the story of my birth on February 12th. I have always loved hearing my story, but since giving birth to Caroline , I have had a whole new appreciation for hearing it. I intend to carry on this tradition with Caroline and Baby Boy (once he makes his grand entrance!), so here is the story of how Caroline Helen entered the world and changed our lives forever…
Baby Girl’s due date was December 24th, but the Christmas holiday came and went with no baby. On December 26th, we had an appointment with my doctor to be "checked" and we were all set to stay at the hospital after the appointment and have a baby. Well, I was still ONLY 1 cm dilated so we heard the disappointing words, “You’re not far enough along to be induced. Make another office appointment a few days from now, but HOPEFULLY, you’ll go into labor sooner.”
We walked out of the appointment…still no baby…and into a snowy, winter wonderland that had not been on the ground just 1.5 hours prior. There was no less than 4 inches of snow on the ground and covering our car. Knowing that we were in for some snow, we decided to pick up a few pizzas for lunch (for us and my family who was in town for Christmas) and some Redbox movies so we could hunker down at home and wait for the baby to come.
Let me paint the picture of the next series of events: Our house was at the top of a hill. It had been snowing all morning and snow was pouring out of the sky. Greg was wearing boat shoes and I had on Ugg slippers (We planned on staying in the hospital after our appointment). I think we had our winter coats in the car, but we definitely weren’t wearing them. So…just as we were 75% up the mile climb up our hill to our house, our car’s tires started to slip and we lost forward momentum. Cue the engine revving sound, as we slowly slid backwards. I put the pizza boxes on the passenger seat, trudged through the snow around the car to get in the driver seat, and get ready for what is going to be an interesting ride. Meanwhile, Greg has positioned himself behind the car, ready to push our car up the snowy hill…in boat shoes. Miraculously, this plan of pushing the car up the hill did work while my foot was pressing the gas pedal to the floor to find any inkling of traction between the tires and the road. Unfortunately for Greg, this process caused A LOT of car fumes. So not only was he pushing our car up a snowy hill in December in ill-prepared shoes, but he was also sucking in fumes while trying to run up a hill. Needless to say, we were SO thankful to arrive home safely and vowed to not leave the house unless it was to go to the hospital to have a baby!
Safely home and with bellies full of Papa John’s pizza, Greg, my parents, my brother and I played board games and watched movies all day while the snow continued to fall. We all ate dinner at home that night while watching The Dark Knight Rises. Before the movie ended, around 9pm that night, we looked outside to see the snowfall had picked up. My family decided to head back to their hotel before the movie ended and the road conditions worsened.
Greg hadn’t been feeling 100 % that day and his flu-like symptoms worsened as the night went on. I woke up at 2am to find Emmet asleep in our bed, but Greg wasn’t in bed next to me. I noticed the light on downstairs in our family room; he had gone downstairs because he didn’t want to wake me with his coughing. I made it halfway down the stairs and my water broke. So at the exact time I realized what had happened, I shrieked, woke Greg up from a groggy state on the couch, and told him we were going to have a baby!
The first call we made was to the doctor’s office and the second was to my family who was fast asleep in their hotel room, in between our house and the hospital. As it was 2am, we told my family that we were going to head to the hospital and would keep them posted on the status. By 2:45am, Greg and I were heading to the hospital on the snowy, yet plowed streets, and I think I heard Greg say a quiet prayer when we successfully made it up the smaller, but not insubstantial, hill of a street that we lived upon.
At 3am we arrived at the hospital and they confirmed that my water had broken. As they were hooking me up to the monitors, I had my first real contractions. However, my contractions weren’t regular and I was no more than 2 cm dilated, so I was started on a drug called Pitocin to kickstart labor.
Greg and I were finally “settled” in the birthing room at 5:30am and we decided that we had a long day ahead of us so it would be best if we got some sleep. With me in the hospital bed and Greg on the couch/love seat/bench (we are not quite sure what it was), we tried to sleep. Well, we were wired with excitement and sleep did not seem to be in our future. I switched on the tv and found one of my favorite movies Hairspray, the updated version with John Travolta, playing on repeat, much to Greg’s chagrin. Greg promptly fell asleep in the chair next to me and thankfully, I was able to get some sleep for a few hours too.
Later in the morning, my family came over to the hospital to say hi and wait for baby girl’s big entrance. I have NO idea what we talked about, but I’m glad that they were there to support us. We did take a “walk” around the L & D floor before my epidural was placed and that “walk” felt like a double marathon.
Around 5pm, I was fully dilated and it was time to push! With just an hour of pushing, baby girl’s head was crowning and we were about to be parents.
At 6:12pm, Caroline Helen arrived in this world on December 27th and we fell in love instantly. She was 8 pounds and 20.5 inches long. Our sweet baby girl arrived 3 days after her due date and was filled with joy, love, spunk, and patience for her rookie parents. Caroline, you are brave, kind, smart, and beautiful on the inside and out and we feel so lucky to be your parents. We love you!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for Baby’s Boy birth story!