Shifaa turned one today. SubhanaAllah, birthdays always remind me of how fast time flies, and how we never know what the future holds for us. It's been a whole year that I have been meaning to document my little one's birth story (as I did with her older sister's in the first month of her birth!), and I have not done it. So today, I go forth!
Shifaa's expected birth date was February 28th, 2007. My husband works in Iraq, and I was living in the States, awaiting her delivery. In the beginning of February, my *lovely* husband told me that he had a conference to attend at the end of February (24-26th) and would travel to the States after that. He was counting on our second baby coming after the delivery date, just as her sister had. I was pretty upset, and told him that there was a 90% chance he'd miss the delivery, and if he did, I would be so upset at him. He wasn't too worried (ahem, ahem).
On Friday, February 23rd, in the middle of the night, I woke up to this really weird pain, and thought it was a contraction. I woke up freaked out and awaited another, but none came (thank God!). I promised myself that tomorrow I would get my hospital bag packed and do last minute things. On Saturday, I got a couple of big things out of the way, but I had yet to pack my bag. Tomorrow. I went over to visit my in-laws that day and had my sister in law drive me back home.
I went to sleep and woke up at 3 am Sunday morning with this really weird feeling that I needed the bathroom. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling that my water had broke, but I assumed I just needed the bathroom. I waited in bed for thirty minutes and the contractions became very real and defined. I got up, went to the bathroom, and realized that my water had broke. I decided to take my pre-labor shower (a very long affair). Meanwhile, I was wondering how I was going to wake up my father and mother to drive me over to the hospital (the joys of giving birth without your hubby around).
Around 4:30 am, after I had finished my shower, and my contractions were getting stronger, I decided it was time to knock on my parents' bedroom door. We got in the car around 5 am, and found that the weather was sleeting and snowing. My father and mother sat in the front and my sister sat in the back with me, timing my contractions. They were almost a minute long, and about two minutes apart, but I wasn't super worried. I had the same experience driving to the hospital with my first daughter, and she arrived 14 hours later.
We got to the hospital around 5:35 am, and I walked in. I had to stop and wait out a couple of contractions along the way. It was a pretty quiet night in the 'birthing inn' and the nurse was very relaxed and taking her time. My mom was freaking out and asking for a wheelchair, but I was more into walking to help along the labor.
I got to the delivery room and went into the bathroom to change. I couldn't get out because I kept on feeling like I still needed the bathroom (sorry, tmi). The nurse came in, and said pretty loudly and authoritatively, "I need you to get onto the table, now." I got on the table, and by now the contractions were really, really bad. I had intended on not getting an epidural, but I asked for it a this point. The answer, "Sorry honey, you're about to have your baby."
The nurses woke up as soon as they examined me, and I heard one of them calling for the doctor on call, " I need a doctor here, now." My midwife had not yet arrived. All of this was around 5:50 am, right after we arrived.
I was screaming now, and my mom was holding my hands and reassuring me. Surprisingly, she was pretty good. I thought she'd freak out and run out of the delivery room (she's not a touchy, feely kind of mom).
They told me to wait a second, and I had no idea, what I was doing, other than screaming really loud (I think I was over-dramatizing a bit). My midwife ran in, threw off her sweater and told me to push. I think I pushed about three times, and then my mom said, 'SubhanaAllah.' I was still screaming, but I looked down and saw a baby in my midwife's hands. And suddenly I realized it didn't hurt anymore. :))
My second little girl was born at 6:05 am, three hours after my water broke. It was the best labor ever, and I still smile when I think of it. I was walking around ten minutes later, and I felt great, alhamdulillah!
And what made it even more amazing is that I had no hard feelings for my hubby. If he had been there, we would have had a longer drive to make, and perhaps not made it in time to the hospital. God made it easy for me, and for that, I am thankful.