I'll try to keep this short. When Joe tells the whole story it takes 90 minutes...
So Joe and I decided to spend the Christmas week up at the cabin. At my OB apt Monday (before Christmas) the doctor said the baby was low but I hadn't started dilating. When I asked about setting up a date for an induction she said we'd wait till the 38 week apt (Jan 4). That meant that it must be ok to go away for a week. So we leave that same day and Joe's parents come up Tuesday. Thursday morning (Christmas Eve) I wake up at 4 am with contractions, just like what happened with Cassidy. They were super irregular and short all morning, some 30 minutes apart, some 15, and usually only lasting 30 seconds. My doctor's guidelines for going to the hospital are contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, going on for an hour. Well that didn't ever happen, they stayed no closer than 10 minutes apart until about 2:15 pm when I got 4 or 5 about a minute apart. At that point we knew we should call the hospital and let them know we were coming. While Joe was warming up the car (it was 20 degrees outside) I got a contraction so bad I couldn't stand up and I knew I'd never make it to the hospital 12 miles away sitting in a car so I thought an ambulance might be more comfortable. So my father in law called the fire and ambulance. At this point I started feeling like the baby wasn't going to wait to get to the hospital and it took all I had not to scream through the subsequent contractions.
After about 15 minutes the fire department finally arrived and the chaos broke out. They had no clue it seemed. Fortunately, a female volunteer fire fighter had seen the ambulance en route and decided to follow. Though she had never delivered or helped deliver a baby, at least she had had 3 of her own and knew what to expect. She became my impromptu breathing coach/angel. (Side note- in all the chaos the fire department left an oxygen canister at the cabin, in front of the fireplace) After what seemed like another 20 minutes of confusion for them and excruciating pain for me it was decided that the baby wasn't quite making her entrance and there would be time to get me to the hospital. Let me tell you how not excited I was by the prospect of delivering my baby with a bunch of men who had no idea what they were doing and somewhere other than an equipped hospital. Once they got me on the gurney and somehow safely down the icy front steps (one of the scariest parts of the whole ordeal) I was loaded in the ambulance and we were off to the hospital, Jennifer my coach was in back with me and Joe was up front. The whole 20-25 minutes it took to get to the hospital I kept asking for something for the pain, and they wouldn't give me anything. I really thought my pelvis was going to explode but I couldn't make any audible noise because when I did I would end up pushing and I was not allowed to push. Even so, my body was pushing and at the end of each contraction I really could feel the baby descend and was well aware when the amniotic sac started coming out. Gross huh? Yeah. My water broke a couple of minutes before we got to the hospital.
The whole ride over I had worked so hard to keep the baby in and once we got to the hospital I couldn't wait to get it out. All I wanted to do was push, I knew it would get the pain over. Hallelujah when the doctor finally gave the ok to push. I think it was only one push and out she came. There was a slight pause between the head coming out and the body following but that was nothing compared to the contractions and the burning that lead up to that moment. We had been at the hospital less than 15 minutes at that point.
The hospital was not like the ones we are all used to, it is more an urgent care with an on call physician and a couple of nurses and one emergency room. They only deliver one or two babies a year there and so when they were unsure of possible complications or whatever need may arise they called in the LifeVac from Reno just in case. So they were there too. And we almost needed to use them. In fact I was strapped down on their gurney and had the whole plan laid out about me going by helicopter and Joe and Molly going by ambulance to Reno because there is a much bigger hospital that could handle the complication I had of not delivering the placenta quickly enough. When I finally did, just a couple minutes before we were to fly out it had been over 3 hours from the time I delivered Molly. At that point the risks to me get real high. Thankfully I finally did deliver it and we were taken to a much closer hospital (only 40 miles away) where we stayed for the next two days.
In the end everything was fine, our little girl was born perfect and everything turned out ok with me. I think this recovery has gone a little easier but the not sleeping much at night has been a lot harder to deal with because I have Cassidy to look after during the day. She has been so good with Molly. She loves to come up to her, pat her somewhat gently, and say 'baby'.
Molly was 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long and 22 days early. She has super long fingers and toes and has skinny skinny legs and no butt. It's really cute. She has what I call old man hair, hair on the sides but not on top. She is such a doll. Molly will sleep all day long but when she is awake she is so alert and just stares at you with dark blue eyes. I don't have my camera with me so pictures will have to wait.
With the way she came into the world, she won't ever have to worry about her birthday meshing into Christmas. Those are two very distinct days in our lives.