I will never, ever forget, for as long as I live, the early morning call from Meredith to tell me her sweet Annabelle had arrived...four weeks early! Meredith and I began our teaching careers together and became very close in our classrooms across the hall from each other. She was the first close friend of mine to have a baby, so naturally, I watched her like a hawk during her pregnancy and asked her four hundred gazillion questions, because at that point in my life, I was NOT planning to get pregnant for quite some time, if at all. Pregnancy was such a mystery to me, but Meredith seemed to glide through it like she'd done it a thousand times. I was in awe of her (and still am). The night before Annabelle was born, I sat at my computer for hours making my first baby song CD for Meredith, Justin and Annabelle. So it was quite a surprise to find out she was born that night! I was convinced it was because I spent so much time thinking about her. So, you're welcome, Annabelle. Glad I could help.
Here's Meredith's story of Annabelle's birth:
At 36 weeks, I was tired, tired, tired. I'd had one of my two baby showers and was going to have the other in a week, but for some reason, I woke up on that Saturday morning with a burning urgency to get everything ready for the baby NOW. I went shopping for a breast pump and got the car seat installed by a "professional". My husband thought I was nuts, but I came home around lunchtime feeling accomplished and ready for a nap. That night after a dinner of leftover Italian sausage rigatoni with tomato white wine cream sauce (yup - I remember the meal), we watched the UK - Florida game and man, oh man, it was one of those games. That was the year that UK struggled and Florida was #1 in the country and we lost at the very last minute. Around 10, I went to bed while my husband studied for a huge pathology exam that was coming up that Monday. As I drifted off to sleep, I started to dream that I had wet the bed. Suddenly, I woke up to discover that I HAD wet the bed - actually, my water had broken! My husband was coming to bed and I said, "Honey - either my water just broke or I wet the bed!" I was actually scared to death because I was only 36 weeks - everyone says that you're supposed to go late with your first baby and I knew that I was exactly 36 weeks - no miscalculations.
I hadn't really gotten around to talking to my doctor about what to do when I was in labor, how to know I was in labor, etc, etc. I called the on call number and the dr told me to come in right away if my water had indeed broken. I wasn't in any pain, so I took one last long shower, ate an apple, double checked my bag...then off we went, to the hospital! I will never forget that feeling on the drive to the hospital, knowing that it was the last time we would be just the two of us!
So we got to the hospital and checked in only to find out that I was only dilated one tiny centimeter. Boo! Although I remember every single detail, I am going to fast forward quite a bit...after getting pitocin through an IV, I dilated to 10 cm, but after over an hour of pushing, it became clear that the baby was stuck. She wouldn't budge and I couldn't move (I had an epidural - after 5 hours of pitocin contractions, I was begging for it), and then to top it off, my blood pressure started to sky rocket and the baby's heart rate was slowing. The doctor told me that I was going to have to have a Cesarean. At first I cried and begged and pleaded, "NO!" After all, I hadn't read any of the books' chapters on C-sections! It wasn't even an option to me. After some more pushing, though, it wasn't up to me - we had to get the baby out. I was prepped for c-section (definitely leaving out all of those details!) and I will always remember the moment in recovery when I was "with it" and got to hold my little baby for the first time (right before she got carted off to the NICU for a few hours). It was such a fun feeling to finally meet the little sweetie who had been kicking me and become my best little buddy...she still is! Sometimes, it still blows my mind that not only did I make and grow a baby, but I am responsible for teaching her so much. It's a pretty awesome responsibility, being a mommy!
...and Meredith is the best. Here's sweet Annabelle, 5 years old and every bit as beautiful as her mother, but looking just like her daddy.
Stay tuned for another birth story from Meredith - sweet little Clara was born in May of 2010 and she is a DOLL!