I was not quite 38 weeks but boy was I ready. The doctors told me it would be any day and Grandpa Paulsrud had take the next week off work in anticipation our little guy would be here. I was frustrated and feeling a little pressure that he needed to come since people had already started to make plans.
Well around 8:30 PM I was laying in bed and shot up faster than I think I'd moved in months. Ok - that was different. I had been having contractions all week but wow - that was something else. So began the walking - it was the only thing that was comfortable. I literally paced the apartment and I'd stop - work thru a contraction and keep moving. Dan sort of followed behind me - a little unsure of how to help. He started timing the contractions - if you didn't know or haven't had babies in a while the general rule of thumb our doctor told us was your contractions need to be about 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long for 1 hour before you go in to the hospital. I was determined that I was not going to be that first time mom that keeps going to the hospital thinking I'm in labor when I'm not. So I said to Dan - we aren't calling anyone until we know this is it. Things progressed really quickly. By 9:30/10 PM the contracts were coming faster than 5 minutes apart and more than a minute long. Called the doctor and they told us to head in - so off we went to the Aurora Women's Pavilion connected to West Allis Memorial Hospital.
Honestly, I know it may seem bizarre but this is a beautiful place. No really - it's beautiful. I can't think of a better place to go thru this experience. It doesn't feel like a hospital but you have the certainty of knowing you have all of the accomodations/tools of a hospital without the sterile feeling. This is the lobby:
I had a brief trip to the hospital the weekend before with my mom so was all pre-registered but this is the registration area - does this not look like a hotel?!? (Maybe that's why Dan kept calling it a hotel - ha!)
So anyways - we arrive around 10:30 PM and by 11:00 PM I'm in triage - I'd like to point out it is a full moon and the OB floor is going nutso. My OB, Dr. Carlson is not on call (bummer) but his associate Dr. Joby George is and she'll be monitoring my labor. Here is Dr. George:
I had decided I wanted to try to go as natural as I could but by 11:30 PM I was talking to my mom on the phone and telling her that wouldn't be happening - ha! :) So first they gave me a shot of a pain med (which did nothing by the way) and around 12:00 AM I had been moved from triage to a labor and delivery room. (and yes - that is what the L &D rooms look like there)
At this point - I want the epidural - they start running the IV bag of fluids and the anesthesiologist is finishing up a C-Section and will be in once I'm done with the bag of fluids. Ok - small issue - we assumed labor was going to lengthy (that's what they say about first time mom's, right?) so we had left our bags in the car assuming Dan would have time to go get them once we get checked in, etc. Sooo...Dan calls our friend Mollie Pape who comes up to the OB floor; gets our keys - goes to the parking garage and hauls up all of our bags, cameras, etc. THANK GOD for Mollie!
It's a little after 1 AM and my water breaks - Dan literally jumps to miss it. I'm ready to go; my awesome L&D nurse says the anesthesiologist can come in but I'm right there and she thinks I can do it without. (God bless her) I agree- I'm ready to push and don't want anything to hold this up. Dr. George isn't to the hospital yet; this is her first delivery at the Women's Pavilion so none of the nurses know her.
They get me ready to go and my L &D nurse literally yells down the hallway that we need any doctor cause this baby is coming with or without Dr. George. She arrives and literally less than 10 pushes and at 1:49 AM on September 4, 2009 Connor James Paulsrud was born. I would like to point out that the L&D nurse told Dan I was the quietest natural child birth she had ever been a part of - ha!
My parents had bags packed and literally grabbed their bags and left as soon as we called at 11:30 PM. They had just over a 2 hour drive and according to my Mom if my Dad hadn't needed to stop for coffee (hey it was late - I cut him a break) they would have made it in time. Either way - they arrived about 15 minutes after Connor was born.
He was so alert and of course the comments had already started about 'that red hair' :) - within his first hour Connor was clasping his hands closed - which he does a lot to this day
And of course - Grandpa Jim has been praying for a left handed pitcher and 2 hours old was not too early for him to be putting a baseball in his hand. (which for the record was a stressball I had packed to use during labor which did not even come out of the bag until after Connor was born)
So there you have it - Connor James was born and the rest is history! Happy Birthday Baby Boy!