I had been telling people for months that I thought Harper would arrive earlier than her January 25th due date. Everyone would say that it was my first baby and that I shouldn’t get my hopes up but something inside me was telling me to prep for her well in advance.
December 31st – We had gone to our friends house for New Years Eve and had a blast. I spent the evening wishing I was sipping on champagne and telling party guests that I felt like Harper was ready to come. Harper NEVER. SAT. STILL. She was always wiggling and kicking and plotting her escape plan. I knew it wouldn’t be much longer.
January 1st- A friend of mine (who delivered a couple weeks before me) told me I should make “padsicles” for post-delivery pains. All afternoon I was creating the concoction, applying to the pads and putting them in the freezer for the agony I knew I would soon be enduring.
January 4th- I hadn’t slept the night before because sleeping on my sides were making my hips throb more than ever before. After G left for work, I took a video of my belly moving from Harper’s search for the exit route. I couldn’t possibly imagine her being in there for nineteen more days! By the afternoon I decided I had to do something about my hips and went to purchase a balance ball in hopes of stretching them out a bit. That night, I sat on it and rolled/bounced around while I watched two episodes of the Real Housewives and went to bed.
January 5th- I slept better after the balance ball experience, which was good because I had a long day ahead of me.
- 6:50am- I woke up to a quick, light rush of water. I had heard a lot of people experience this and say “I thought I had peed myself”, but I knew right away my water was breaking. I sat up, tapped G on the back and as I rushed to the bathroom said, “sooo, my water just broke”. He jumped out of bed and kept saying “ARE YOU SURE? NO. ARE YOU POSITIVE?!”
- 7:00am- It kept coming, and coming. I had wet towels covering the floor as if our toilet had just overflowed. At this point, we knew today was the day. G called our parents to tell them to get in the car since my parents & grandparents had a 5 hour drive ahead of them and his parents were 7.5 hours away. Since I wasn’t having any contractions and I felt great, I took a shower and did my hair and makeup while G ran around packing his bag. (I had packed mine a couple days before)
- 8:45am- We called the hospital because we had heard that due to the influx of pregnant women in Midland these days, women were being sent home to labor for a while since the rooms were constantly full. The nurse who answered the phone told us that they had room for us and that we should go ahead and make our way to the hospital. Better safe than sorry.
- 9:15am- Arrived at the hospital and got checked into a room. The nurse taking care of us reminded me that our doctor was out of town that week and informed us that the doctor on call would be taking care of the delivery. I hated not having our doctor with us at the end since she had been with us from the beginning. She was the reason we were pregnant and she always made us feel comfortable and confident. The doctor on call just so happened to be the doctor we were told we needed to see when we moved here but she was too booked and couldn’t see us for months. We knew we were in good hands. This seemed like it was God’s perfect plan.
- 9:45am- A nurse came in to swab me for a test that would confirm that my water had broken. The test was positive. TODAY would be Harper’s birthday! I was still only having mild period-like cramps so I wasn’t in pain at all. G and I just kept looking at each other with wide eyes and smiles. We couldn’t believe it was happening.
- 10:30am- We touched base with our families and let them know that I was feeling great and looking forward to having them in town for Harper’s arrival. I planned to have my mom in the delivery room with me so I was glad that she would make it on time as I had only dilated to a 1.
- 11:30am- A nurse came in and said that they had been keeping a close eye on Harper and wanted to share their concerns with the doctor. This was unsettling news, but the nurses didn’t seem panicked so I didn’t let myself get worked up.
- 11:45am- The doctor came in and informed us that Harper’s heart rate was dropping every time my body tried to have a contraction. She told us that she was willing to keep an eye on it for a little while longer and then we would discuss my options. I started to freak out a little and stopped listening. I heard the word c-section mentioned and watched her leave the room. I looked over at G and tears started to roll down my face. I wasn’t mentally prepare for a c-section. I hate needles, I have a fear of knives and I had never had surgery of any kind. Hell, before today, I had only ever had an IV once. He calmed me down and told me not to expect the worst yet.
- Noon- The doctor reappeared and said I needed to make a decision. She would allow me to try to labor and hope that Harper would start handling the contractions (and possibly end up in an emergency c-section) or opt to go ahead and have the c-section. In that moment, I became a mom. A wave of calmness came over me. I had not one tear in my eyes and I looked over at G and said “I’m good with it if you are.” We both knew that this was the best way to ensure that our baby didn’t endure and unnecessary stress. G text our families to let them know the change in plans. My parents were only about 45 minutes out and I hoped that I would be able to see them before being taken to surgery.
- 12:35pm- I was being wheeled to surgery. A major surgery at that. I hadn’t seen my parents and that stung a little, but I knew I would have G with me and that’s what really mattered. They had G wait in the hallway while they injected all the numbing agents and got me prepped. The doctor came in the room as they were putting the needle in my back and with tears in her eyes said, “I have something for you.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket and played me a video of my mom standing in the hallway. She was holding back her own tears and I could hear her voice shaking but she said all the things I needed to hear from her. She told me that she was here, she was sorry she missed me and that she was proud of me. She said she couldn’t wait to see me and to meet Harper and that she knew I was going to do great. I cried and thanked the doctor as they laid me down and went to get G. The nurse assisting the doctor turned on the speakers and said, “Your husband told me I should play Beyonce to help you through this.” I had never loved him more than I did in that moment.
- 12:45pm- The surgery was started. The doctors were chatting about Christmas and what presents their kids got and the anesthesiologist leaned down and whispered in my ear, “It’s a good sign when you don’t hear them talking about you. It means everything is going well.” I remember feeling pressure and before I knew it, I heard the doctor tell G to stand up and watch. (Later, when going through the pictures on his phone, I saw photos of them removing Harper from my body and I asked G if he remembered taking them and he said he didn’t! Everyone was shocked that he watched and even more surprised to hear he took pics!)
- 1:10pm- Harper June Grimes was brought into the world to Beyonce’s “Love On Top”. I remember hearing her cry and looking at G as I cried and said, “She sounds perfect!” G left my side to be with Harper. He watched them clean her off, put her footprints in her baby book and then he put on her first diaper. They wrapped her up and let him bring her over to me while the doctors were closing me up. I remember my upper body shaking uncontrollably and asking the anesthesiologist if it was normal. He told me that my upper body was reacting to what my lower body couldn’t feel. He said that my upper body was trying to tell me something painful was happening. I was shaking so much that my teeth were clacking together but that didn’t stop me from saying hi to my baby for the first time.
- 1:30pm- G held her next to my face as I introduced myself to her and she turned her head to follow my voice. I kissed her on the forehead and then the nurses escorted G to the recovery room to be with Harper and wait for me.
- 1:50pm- The surgery was over and I was taken to the recovery room where my parents were standing over my baby and hugging my husband. It was the most perfect sight to see. My parents left the room and for the next hour, G and I cuddled our precious baby girl.
Once we were settled in our room that we would be in the next two nights (about 3pm) we were joined by my parents and grandparents where we talked about the shock of our morning and how quickly everything happened. My mom told me that the anesthesiologist came up to her when I was in recovery and said,”I have to say that that is the first time a patient has asked me in the middle of surgery if their eyelashes were falling off.”
G’s family arrived around 7:30pm and we were asleep by 9:30pm. It was a wild, unexpected day but the more I think about how opposite the day went from how we imagined it, I smile and think “the day went EXACTLY how HE planned it.”