We went to bed around midnight on June 23rd 2005, and as soon as we said goodnight and kissed, I turned to lie on my side and my water broke. It was the weirdest feeling ever. I hadn’t experienced any contractions yet, so I took my time getting cleaned up and ready, making sure to put my make-up on. We made a stop by our friends house to drop off a house key so that he could tend to the cats. I was doing just fine, with still no contractions. We made a stop by 7-11 where my contractions started, so we sped to the hospital.
We arrived at Morton Plant Hospital around 1:30 a.m. on June 24th. Once I was checked in and settled, the nurse did her assessment and told me I was 2 cm dilated. About 2:45 a.m. I received a little piece of heaven, called “epidural”. Then my family and friends started arriving. My parents, Emmy, Crystal, Jake, Aunt Lori, Kahla, Ben and Heather came in to see me and wish me well, and then they headed back to the waiting room.
From about 3:00 a.m. until 7 a.m. Doug and I were able to get a little sleep. We wanted to be well rested for the delivery. My epidural along with a few hours of sleep did wonders. I slowly started progressing at the rate of about 1 cm an hour. According to Dr. Rudolph, I was moving along perfectly. A few hours later, our friends Sean and Kim Caldwell showed up to capture some moments on video for us. Doug got on the phone and called his family, St. Lukes ( where I worked), Liz and Chad, Mel and Trevor, and a few other close friends to announce that our baby was on the way.
Around 1:30 p.m. I was 9 c.m., and suddenly I started feeling contractions and the pain gradually increased. The nurse thought the epidural was wearing off and that a little more might help. It didn’t. So after another half hour or so they realized, that the epidural had slipped out of place and it was another 30 min. or so before the anesthesiologist was back to do another one. It was then that I realized how grateful I am for epidurals. Oh, I will add that Doug was amazing during this time. He pinned a little onesie upon the wall at the foot of my bed for me to look at, and while I was having contractions, he massaged my legs, arms and neck. At one point he was at the head of the bed rubbing my head and scalp and asked me to close my eyes. Then he whispered, “Imagine you are in our beautiful backyard. Our baby is 6 months old and you are pushing our child in the small red swing that hangs from the big oak tree. You are enjoying the laughter from our babies voice and the smile on his/her face”. Then he kept reassuring me that it would be over soon and that in only a short amount of time we would find out if our baby was a boy or girl. Then he walked down to the foot of the bed and massaged my feet and legs. It was so comforting. I know he felt helpless and he kept telling me what a great job I was doing. Then he kept thanking me for working so hard to bring our child into this world. It helped take my mind off the pain. He was amazing and I knew he thought I was pretty amazing too. It made me realize (even more) how much I love this man and how excited I was to raise a family with him.
Every time Dr. Rudolph checked my dilation status, he’d say, “Let’s give it one more hour.” I just wouldn’t move past 9 c.m. So finally at 3:30 p.m., he decided that we should proceed with a c-section. At this point I was relieved because I’d already been in labor for 16 hrs. and I knew within a matter of 1 hour I would get to meet our new baby. They numbed my lower half completely. That was weird. My legs felt like one thousand pounds. Doug started prepping to be in the OR with me, then went to inform our family and friends. As I was wheeled out of my room to the OR, I passed the crowded waiting room where I saw all of my loved ones looking out the glass window at me, waving with huge smiles. It was so nice to see so many faces and to know that I had so much support. At this point our close friends Liz and Chad Bostak had joined the large group in the waiting room.
It was everything I had to stay awake in the OR. I battled the heaviness of my eyes with my excitement of hearing our babies first cry. The epidural and 16 hours of labor made me feel very tired. I didn’t feel much, just light tugging and pulling.
At 4:45 p.m. I heard our babies first cry. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I tear up now thinking about it. Then Dr. Rudolph said, “It’s a GIRL.”
We were ecstatic. Secretly both of us longed for a girl, so we were thrilled when we found out it was a “Sara”. They took our little Sara away to clean her up and check her weight. She weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. I remember the nurse asking if I had a lot of ice cream and milkshakes during the pregnancy. Sara cried, and when Doug walked over to her he said, “Hi Sara, it’s Daddy” and she instantly stopped crying. She recognized his voice from all the months he would talk to her while she was in my womb.
Then after about 20 min., but what seemed like an hour, the nurse finally brought her over to me for the first time. I will never forget the excitement and anticipation I felt to hold her and see her for the first time. She was beautiful and perfect. She had huge cheeks and cute little kissable lips. Her head was perfectly round, thanks to the c-section delivery.
Then they took her away and I fell asleep while the surgeon finished his work. Meanwhile Doug headed to the crowded waiting room to announce the great news to our family and friends. They nearly knocked him down when they saw him. He started by saying, “ Our baby is here, and is healthy, and weighs 8 lbs.10 oz”, and everyone became increasingly impatient as they waited to find out the gender, Then he said, “ She is beautiful.” The waiting room was filled with screaming, jumping, and rapid phone dialing as our friends and family members called others to share the news.
I woke up in recovery half an hour later and Sara was lying in the bassinet next to me.
Around 7:30 p.m., after about 2 feedings, the nurse wheeled me from recovery to our new home for the next few days. Our room was perfect. The room had wood floors, warm colors and an amazing view that looked out over the water. And the best part of the room was the beautiful baby girl lying in a bassinet next to my bed.
On Saturday we slept, fed Sara, changed Sara, ate, and started the process all over again all day long. At one point, Doug took a trip to Target to buy a few new outfits for Sara, as a new father. He came back with some very cute little outfits for her. He said when he got to the register his cart was filled to the brim with new clothing for her and when he realized the amount he was about to spend he had to put most of it back.
We had quite a few visitors that day. Among them were my parents, Emmy, Crystal, Aunt Lori, Kahla, Ben and Heather Stuecher, Sam and Maureen Rudkin, Eric and Amy Mills, Tim and Cindy, Ellyn and John, Darlene and Rick, Darlene Schrayer, John and Julie Adrian,Laura and Rob Schwager and Jim Nesselroad.
On Sunday, Doug and Chari Yandek, Rob and Christie Dittmer, Grandma and Grandpa, my parents, and sisters, Michelle and Tim Brown, my boss Lori, and friend Candice came for a visit. Doug started working on a little video slideshow of Sara to send to our out-of-state family and friends.
This was the first day that I tried to walk after surgery. It was very uncomfortable. Doug and I were beyond tired and beyond elated. We were ready to go home too!
Monday morning we were told that we could go home. After all the screenings and paperwork we were discharged at 12:00 p.m. That was surreal. We were headed home now as 3 Webber’s instead of 2. We placed Sara in her new carseat in the clean and fresh smelling Honda CRV filled with new baby stuff. Then we slowly drove home, going about 10- 15 miles under the speed limit. Doug and I kept looking at each other in shock that we were taking a baby home with us. What now? When we arrived home Doug unlatched Sara’s car seat and carefully carried her in the house.