Saturday, January 3rd started out a typical "pregnant" morning. I awoke with some contractions that went away shortly after getting up. I was growing very anxious with each passing day to have my baby so I decided I was going to walk walk walk, even if only around the house! I did laundry, cleaned and organized, anything I could think of to keep moving.
That afternoon I took a little nap and felt those nagging contractions again so I got up and moved around, only this time they did not go away. By this point Craig was getting a little used to me saying "This could be it!" so he patiently timed them for me. They were 12 minutes apart and growing increasingly painful. I didn't expect to have such intense pain so early in labor so I called First Nurse to confirm they were in fact contractions.
I expected the nurse to tell me they were contractions but keep watching them and call back when they were 3-5 minutes apart. So I was greatly surprised when she told me we should come into the hospital now and she would be letting the birthing floor know we were coming. What?! It's time? Due to my symptoms and the incoming ice storm at the time she felt we shouldn't stay home much longer.
This was it! With tears in my throat I went downstairs to tell Craig. I could see the panic-fear-excitement in his eyes but he remained calm and comforting and we stood there and held each other. I couldn't believe after all the waiting it was finally time. I actually finished the laundry (couldn't let that load stay in the washer for 3 days!) and my packing while Craig referred to our checklist. We were busy little beavers moving around the house getting ready! About 30 minutes later we were on our way.
On our way to the hospital
I didn't realize just how icy the roads were. Although my heart was in my throat as we were sliding all over the place on the side streets, I think I was less uptight than usual in bad weather since I had other things on my mind! I was focused on getting through the increasingly close contractions. By this point they had quickly reached 5 minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds. We prayed on the way asking God for a healthy and smooth delivery, safety for our baby, and a good staff at the hospital. I would later find out that God would answer all of our prayers! Craig asked if I would mind if we stopped at Burger King on the way because he was hungry. I knew that the baby wasn't going to be "falling out" anytime soon, and more importantly I know how my hubby gets when he is hungry, so I said sure. I was soon to become not quite so agreeable...
We made it!
Craig was happy he got his food and I was happy to make it to the hospital without getting into an accident! We went up to the 4th floor, the birthing unit, and they were ready and waiting for us. My regular OB was not on call that night but I was fortunate enough to have a doctor that I knew! Dr. Malaki is married to someone I know and we had met before. After monitoring me for about an hour Dr. Malaki declared that my contractions were steadily 2 minutes apart so we would not be sent home. What a relief! 8-) So the journey begins...
Working toward the prize
The contractions were more painful than I imagined! Craig was so sweet to try to comfort me through them but I had to tell him, "Don't look at me, don't talk to me, don't touch me" during a contraction. We tried walking the halls and some other relaxation techniques we learned in our birthing class. I really wanted to try to deliver naturally but after about 5 hours of enduring the pain and only being dilated to 2cm I decided I needed some rest! So an epidural was ordered and I soon got some relief by midnight! I was able to sleep through most of the night with checks from the nurse and Dr. here and there. I was taken such good care of. We knew Dr. Malaki's shift ended at 8am. At about 5 he told us that he really hoped to deliver our baby! By 7 I was dilated to 10! So the pushing (soon) began! The next 2 1/2 hours were the most exhausting I think I have ever endured. It seemed as if I was working so hard and not getting anywhere. After what seemed an eternity Dr. Malaki said those beautiful words, "Stop pushing!" I knew our baby was just on the brink of coming out! Craig and I looked at each other with such joy and relief! Our baby would soon be with us!
Gage William Engelbrecht
At 10:41 on Sunday morning, Dr. Malaki still with us, I gave one more push and could feel our baby come into the world! What a beautiful feeling! My first question was, "Is it a boy or a girl??" Dr. Malaki and Craig both waited for me to find out for myself...The nurse laid a BOY on my chest!! He was so perfect. I couldn't hold back the tears. A boy, just what I was hoping for. Craig and I had 3 names picked out for a boy that we could just not narrow down ahead of time. We decided to wait until we saw him (if it was a him) to pick one. We looked him over then looked at each other and both said, "Gage!" After nine long months our little boy had arrived.