throughout the pregnancy, i constantly thought about my labor. austin's labor was, in my opinion, incredibly quick and relatively easy. it lasted seven hours and only two of those was painful. i was induced and felt that it had taken some of the "awesome unknown and spontaneity" of labor and delivery. but this time- i was excited for things to happen as naturally as possible. i monitored my blood pressure and did as much as i could in hopes to experience spontaneous labor.
i had decided that "in a perfect world", i'd have all of our bags packed, labor would start and i'd tell charlie [and other people on my list of "people that need to know"] i'd get in my bathtub to deal with contractions, eating and drinking to keep my energy up, and he would take austin to the sitters and come back to coach me through contractions. then once they got into a steady rhythm and had ben working hard for awhile, we'd get to madigan and head to our labor suite. staying at home long enough would allow me to move as i pleased, wear what i want, and not have to fight people for what i wanted. once she was born, austin would come visit and meet his sister and we'd have tons of film and video of the entire event to look back on years down the line.
Part One: Start & Stop | getting the work done with little effort
as you know, i fell at 31 weeks chasing the dog and found out i was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and at -2 station. a few days later, i had a few contractions at school that wouldn't let up so i ended up in the hospital for preterm labor at 32 weeks. they slowed my contractions and gave me two doses of steroids for bella's lung development. i was sent home after four days and put on bedrest. i could cook and shower, but i couldn't do much else. i set up a comfy spot on our couch and proceeded to "relax".
let me tell you, relaxing with a toddler and a dog...IMPOSSIBLE! i did as much relaxing as i could, but it didn't feel like enough. lol i just KNEW something was going to happen once i got home from the hospital. every little thing made me think i was going into labor. i felt like a pregnant hypochondriac. i even joked that i could feel better about her coming early. i remember there was one night that i paced the house all night with crampy contractions while everyone slept. i was for sure i was in labor or would have her, but they fizzled out and i was finally able to sleep. there were lots of other signs to make me think she was coming, but alas she didn't come.
my family had come into town the night after i was admitted for preterm labor and helped me with the "nesting" around my house. they had deep cleaned my house and helped get us ready for bella's arrival. they even went out and bought her two coming home outfits and packed our hospital bag. i felt all kinds of ready to go. the only thing we had to do was buy a bassinet. we're a co-sleeping/family bed type of family, but having a full size bed with two adults, one toddler, and a chihuahua makes for little room for a newborn. so my aunt suggested we buy a bassinet to keep on my side of the bed, especially since bella would be a super little girl. i agreed it was a great idea, but kept putting off the actual shopping.
i guess you could say i had a feeling the bassinet would trigger something...
last picture i took off the belly.