I learned my lesson with the first pregnancy: be patient. Caleb came eight days late, so I wasn’t surprised when I went past my due date (10/14) with baby #2. This time, however, I was determined to be patient and avoid the torturous walks, pineapple core, and evening primrose oil. But, I have to admit that we had a preference: Josh and I really wanted our baby to come before he started his unaccommodating Emergency Medicine rotation on 10/21. So, we prayed for her arrival and rested in the peace that God knows best.
On Friday, 10/18, I woke up to dull, menstrual-like cramps. I remember being cautiously optimistic since Josh was off work, it was a gorgeous fall day, there was a full moon that evening, and it seemed like the perfect time to have a baby. Too perfect, right?! I told Josh about the cramping, and he started timing these “contractions.” They lasted for an hour and were about four minutes apart, so Josh jumped out of bed and started getting his bag together and told me to call the hospital. With little pain and a 40-minute drive to the hospital, I was reticent to call my doctor, but I acquiesced. I was Group B Strep positive, so if I were to be in labor, I would need antibiotics as soon as possible. I spoke to a nurse who told me to come to the office, located adjacent to the hospital, to check out things.
Once our babysitter, my father-in-law, arrived, we got in our van, and the contractions stopped. I had maybe two contractions on the way to the hospital. Our spirits were a bit dampened, but it was a gorgeous day, so I remarked that this was a great opportunity to just enjoy some alone time in the car. And, IF, we were sent home, we must stop by Dunkin Donuts to make our outing worthwhile 🙂
I briskly walked in the office, smiled at the receptionist, and went back to a room. I certainly didn’t look like a woman in labor, and it seemed that contractions had completely stopped. My doctor was on vacation, so the nurse practitioner came in to see me. After a painful examination, she declared that I was maybe 1.5 centimeters, and this didn’t appear to be true labor.
We gathered our downcast selves and started for our long drive home–with a Dunkin Donuts stop, of course. After we got home, my father-in-law left, we put Caleb down for a nap, I phoned a friend, and then I sat down to eat my lunch and a donut. Contractions returned, but this time I had to stop and breathe through them. This time, I knew. We called my father-in-law again, and I gathered my bags. Again. Halfway to the hospital my contractions stopped. Again. I told Josh to pull off the interstate and wait; we were not having another false alarm.
We pulled in a McDonalds, and I had another painful contraction that confirmed labor was indeed happening. Contractions were unsteady for the rest of the drive, but they were painful, so we proceeded. We got to the doctor’s office around 4:50 p.m. and saw the friendly, but seemingly incompetent, nurse practitioner again. After checking me again, she said I was at 6 cm and was going to have this baby soon; it was time to go to the hospital! She was excited and a bit discombobulated, so it was no surprise when the door flew open immediately after she left, and she said “I just want the doctor to check out things before we go to the hospital.
Yep, I was subjected to another examination. It was terrible, but the doctor looked at me and said I was 4 cm, and she proceeded to tell me that she had just stripped my membranes–the baby was coming tonight.
And, thus it began. The labor/delivery triage, the pricking and prodding, the paperwork, and the wait for a room. Meanwhile, contractions were intense, and we finally got in a room around 6 pm, where labor progressed steadily without any complications. I kept wavering about getting an epidural, but once I reached the point where I had to make a decision (at 7 cm), I went for it. I was entering “transition,” and wanted to make sure I could enjoy the delivery. Also, the doctor was going to break my water in order to speed things up (normally, I would want this to happen naturally, but we really wanted this baby born on the 18th, so she didn’t share a birthday with a member of the family). My epidural with Caleb was great, but this one wasn’t as great. The nurse anesthetist hit a nerve, and I had weird back pain for days following delivery. I’m not sure if I would have an epidural again, but it did accomplish its purpose: I enjoyed the delivery!
After pushing for just five minutes (This second labor went much faster. I’m very thankful!), our precious little girl entered the world at 8:55 p.m. and went straight into my arms (no yucky meconium this time around, either!). There is no greater feeling than gathering a little bundle of life against my heart and being able to comfort her cries. It’s overwhelming, yet so humbling to be entrusted with this precious life. Within seconds, the little girl we had been waiting and praying for had arrived, and we were already in love.
Before Josh and I were married, we discussed and decided on the name ‘Adalynn’ because the ‘Ada’ and ‘Lynn’ are both from my and my mother’s name. In addition, I think it’s beautiful, and as a variant of ‘Adeline,’ it means “noble.” Plus, I liked the nickname ‘Addie.’ Fast-forward six years, and we still loved the name, but it had become popular, especially the nickname ‘Addie.’ I started to doubt my choice, but we both agreed that there was no other name for our daughter. And, overall, it doesn’t matter if it’s too popular or not popular enough. Adalynn is the name we love.
We finally decided on her middle name just a few days before she was born. We chose ‘Elise’ for three reasons: It has a beautiful sound to it, it’s the shortened version of “Elizabeth” (a family name on both sides), and it means “promised/vowed to God” (my favorite part).
Adalynn’s nursery is still a work-in-progress, but we are so thankful for what we have. In the beginning, we didn’t think we could afford a girl’s nursery, but we met some residents moving out of our neighborhood, and they sold us the crib and dresser/hutch at an amazing price. The rocking chair used to be my mother’s. The bedding and changing table came from Craigslist. The letters were made by my best friend, and the other small touches were generously given to Adalynn by family members. I hope her room will be a reminder of how much she’s loved, and ultimately a place where she can feel safe and secure to dream and become the girl that God wants her to be.