I have been trying to write this post since May 11th. Apparently life really is a lot busier when you have a two year old and a newborn.
Warning: This is very long and TMI.
Most of you know by now that Patrick August Gringer was born on April 28th at 1:43 am. On Easter Sunday I was awakened by our house phone ringing at 6:15 am. It was the hospital (Unity) calling to tell me that my mom was bleeding from her trach again and they were moving her back to ICU. Unfortunately this meant that she had to go back on the ventilator. I immediately got dressed and called my brother so we could head up there to make sure she was ok. As I was driving up there I thought to myself this stress might make my water break and that's the last thing we need. After sitting at the hospital for a few hours I started to cramp and I decided to use the restroom. To my surprise, I started to lose my mucous plug. The cramping seemed to stop though. On Monday morning I woke up for work feeling nauseous. I went to work and felt fine the rest of the day. On Tuesday morning I woke up feeling really nauseous and I actually got sick. I felt pretty terrible all day and I was extremely tired. I wasn't really sure what was going on since part of our family was battling a flu from the weekend. I didn't know if it was labor or if I was sick. I was having what I thought were braxton hicks contractions, but at times they were kind of painful. I began timing them, but they were all over the place. I ended up going home right after work and I didn't even go to the hospital because I still thought it was a flu and I didn't want to get my mom sick. I laid on the couch all night and timed my contractions but they were still all over the map. I went to bed early just in case anything happened. I didn't have any contractions throughout the night and when I woke up I felt really good. I showered and began getting ready. While I was drying my hair I began to have some mild cramping. I drove to work while having some more cramps. When I arrived to work (@7am) I felt off so I went to the bathroom and I was immediately shocked and scared to see blood. I called Jason immediately to tell him what was going on and he said to calm down and call the doctor and then call him back. I called the doctor and waited for what seemed like forever for the on call doctor to call me back. When she called back she said it is completely normal, but she wanted me to head to their office to get checked just in case. I left school completely in denial that I was in labor. While I was waiting to see the doctor at about 9am I began to have very mild contractions. I couldn't even tell if they were braxton hicks or the real thing. They were more regular though. I saw Dr. Herron who actually delivered Grace. She checked me over and said that I was 1 cm dilated and about 60 % effaced. She said I could have the baby that day, the next day or two weeks from then. Since I had a substitute for the day and I still wasn't quite sure if I was in labor I decided to go sit with mom at the hospital. Mom was convinced I was in labor and telling all of the nurses and techs that came in the room. I was still in denial. As the day went on, I did notice that the contractions seemed to become more intense. I decided to go pick up Grace from Jay's moms and head home just in case. I got home around 4pm and the contractions were getting progressively stronger and regular. Our friend Lilac came over around 7pm so Jason could help her make B-day invitations for her son's party. By this time I had the labor ball out because the contractions were much more intense and now they were also in my back. I didn't say that I was in labor yet. She noticed as soon as I came in and said "You look like you're going to pop! I bet the next time I see you, you'll have the baby." She was over for a while and helped with Grace as it was becoming more and more difficult for me. By 9pm the contractions were 5 minutes apart. I called my doctor's office and the doctor on call (Dr. Dwyer) called me back. She asked if the contractions were so intense that I couldn't talk or move during them. I said not really. She told me to me to take a shower, relax and come in when they were more intense. Jason called my brother Brian and asked him to come over and stay with Grace. He also called Nana and I remember at this point he told her that "I might be in labor". He asked if she could come a little later to watch Grace the next day since Brian would be there. I decided to take a bath and after the bath I laid down for a while to get some rest. Jason ran over to the gas station to get beef jerky while I was bathing and when I was in bed waiting for him to get home my brother arrived. As I was laying down the contractions became more intense. When Jason got home, I asked him to finish packing the rest of our things using a list I had made at the hospital earlier in the day. Every now and then I asked him if we should just head to the hospital and he said no let's wait a little longer. At one point I called him in and said we need to go now and he was still hesitant, but said ok. I got out of bed and began to walk out of our room. I made it to the dresser and had an extremely intense contraction and at the end of it my water broke (@11:30pm). Brian started to call my dad and my mom to tell them my water had broke. My mom of course said she was staying up until I had the baby and she wanted us to call her when that happened. I remember changing my pants and then I headed downstairs to the car. You could tell Jason was not the one in labor because it took him a while to get into the car. I remember being a bit annoyed by this, but I was in too much pain to say anything. On the way to the hospital the contractions continued to be very intense and they were now 4 minutes apart. We arrived at the hospital at midnight and we had to go through emergency to get to the birthing unit. I went in to the triage area and waited to be admitted. It seemed like it was taking forever and by this time the contractions were so painful that I had to make some sort of noise. The resident came in to see if I was dilated and went to check me in the middle of a contraction. I remember kind of yelling at her to wait. She checked me at I was 5 or 6 centimeters. It still took them a while to do everything and I don't remember much more about triage except during one contraction I felt like I needed to bite something and went for Jason's arm and then realized what I was doing and stopped. Since I couldn't really walk at this point they rolled me to my room in the triage bed. I don't even remember how I got to the bed in our actual room. We arrived around 1am. Once we arrived they checked me and said I was now 9 cm dilated. They began to prep the room for the delivery and they said that there was no time for an epidural and I said ok. A few minutes later I remember feeling like I needed to push. They checked me again and said I was 9 1/2 and I could begin pushing since the baby's head would push me to 10cm. I remember pushing and yelling because of the pain and then apologizing because I was so loud. They kept telling me not to worry because the woman in the room next to us had just delivered and she was even louder. I pushed for about ten minutes and then Patrick was born at 1:43 am. They immediately put him on my chest so I could hold him. I held him for quite a while and then they took him to clean him up. By 2:15 we were all cleaned up and I was able to nurse him for the very first time. I remember right after he was born my mom called to see how we were doing and to her surprise Patrick was already born. It was such an amazing labor and delivery. It was definitely my dream birth. We were so fortunate that everything went the way it did and we ended up with a healthy baby in the end. Everything happened so fast that Jason didn't have time to get the camera from the car. We were waiting until we were in our actual room and then Jason was going to go get our bags. Thank God for camera phones!