Well, it was a week ago that I just felt kind of funny all day. Having never gone into labor on my own, I didn't dare to think it possible! Still, in the afternoon I attempted to get ahold of Pete to just let him know that I didn't exactly feel normal. Although we figured I'd be induced as usual and we'd have no need to rush to the hospital, he had assured me that he ALWAYS had his cell phone on!! Well, he was at a golf outing for work that day and I tried in vain to get him on his cell phone for HOURS! I was getting slightly worried when FINALLY in the evening on his way to cadets at church (for his first meeting as a counselor) he called me back and said he didn't have a signal at the course. I told him to just be sure to answer his phone if I called again. Then at 7:45 my water broke!!! I had 2 out of 4 kids in bed and was trying to calmly get the other 2 in bed as well as call Pete on his cell phone. Again, he didn't answer!! Turns out he was in the middle of helping one of the boys work with a saw for some kind of project and he had to wait until they were done cutting. So he called me right back, I told him my water broke and he said he'd be right home and he hung up on me! So I called our friend, Annette (her husband, John works with Pete, they go to our church, and they live about 5 minutes away) to see if she could stay with the kids until we could get one of our mom's here. Thankfully she was on her way home from work and she came right over. When she got here I was trying to finish up packing while Maddie followed me around crying that I needed to read her a bedtime story. It was slightly stressful. Again, since I've never gone into labor on my own I had no idea if I was going to start having really strong contractions right away or if it would take awhile. When I was ready to go, I read Maddie part of a book and got her in bed- she would rather go to bed early and have mommy tuck her in than have a babysitter put her to bed! By then Pete was home and we had explained to the kids that the baby was ready to come out and we had to go to the hospital. So away we went with Pete driving very fast. I let hime know that he could drive normally- I was fine! Oh yeah- I forgot part of the story- the night before, Peter fell out of bed and hit his head on his nightstand which required a trip to the ER and a couple of staples. So Pete had a practice run on both the hospital drive and a night of very little sleep. And John and Annette helped us out that night as well because I wasn't home when the boy "broke his head" (as Kate later explained to Ella). Okay, so when we got to the hospital my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but not very hard. I got all settled in and was told that we'd just wait and see how the night went and then I'd be started on pitocin in the morning if I wasn't progressing. During the very long, restless night the contractions pretty much stopped. At 6:30 am I was given pitocin. In the past it took awhile for the contractions to get hard- not this time! At 7:45 I decided to ask for staidol which I've had with every other labor. On staidol I still feel everything, it just relaxes me. Being more relaxed means I dilate fast- I went from 6 cm to 10 cm in 15 minutes. I pushed twice and baby was born at 8:11 am. Our sweet little girl is so tiny to us! After having babies that weighed 9lbs 8 oz, 9lbs 9 oz, 9 lbs 12 oz, and 8 lbs 8 oz, having one that is 7 lbs 10 0z is crazy! Her little legs are so skinny and she hardly has a butt!
Pete's mom spent the night with the kids the first night. Then my parents came from Michigan in the morning, popped in to see Charlotte and me at the hospital, and my dad dropped my mom off at our house and headed back to Michigan. My mom was here Thursday and Friday to help us out. I came home from the hospital on Friday. Then Saturday my dad came back to get my mom. Pete worked half of the day on Friday and was able to take off Monday and part of Tuesday. So this is my first day on my own. We are so thankful that we've had so much help from friends and family. It's always an adjustment to bring home a new baby. And while we're pretty comfortable with caring for a newborn, you never know what kind of challenges you'll have with the other kids. They've all adjusted well so far. I just can't leave the baby in the room with Ella without supervision because she thinks Charlotte is a baby doll and wants to grab her and squeeze her. She's learning to be more gentle each day though and she loves it when I hold them both and she can rub faces and kiss her baby sister. Maddie has become quite the little mommy. She asks all the time if she can hold Charlotte and she has been playing with her dolls a lot more. Peter and Kate like to hold her for a few minutes and they're very generous with kisses, but they are really too busy playing and enjoying a little break from our typically very scheduled day of school and chores to spend much time with her. Hopefully next week we'll get back to doing some school work- we'll see how it goes. I just want to enjoy every second with this sleepy cuddly baby. The whole reason we started school in July was so that we could take a break and everybody could get used to us being a family of 7. So that's what we're going to do!