The Thursday before Fischer's birth, at Whitney's midwife appointment, she was told she was at a 3 and that it would probably not be too much longer before we would have the baby. Most of the day on Saturday and Sunday, Whitney had "false" labor. The contractions were of varying intensity and regularity. Whitney has a bad habit of ignoring contractions until they are really painful and really close together, but she was a trooper and we went to church; she even taught her primary class. I'm not sure who she thought that she was fooling, because it was obvious on her face when the contractions hit.
Sunday evening after the kids went to bed, Whitney and I played a few round of boggle. I had an unfair advantage in many of the rounds as Whitney contracted. I often asked her if she wanted to pause the game, but she just powered right on through the contractions. Before we went to bed at 11:30 I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital...she declined, said that she thought the contractions might peter out. I gave her a priesthood blessing and we went to bed...or at least I did. Whitney woke me up at 1:30 and said it was probably time to go to the hospital. I know from experience that that means it is really time to rush to the hospital. I tried to hurry her along, but she wanted to do this and that, including touching up her makeup (she has done the makeup thing pretty much before every birth...she has not yet figured out that there is a reason that no one takes her seriously at the hospital until there is a baby coming out). I was trying to keep track of her contraction times, but I was pretty disoriented. She would not let me call our neighbor, Jenny Staggs (we had pre-arranged weeks ago for her to come down if it happened in the middle of the night) down until she was "ready" to go...I finally called Jenny at about 1:45am and told her that I was not sure that we would wait for her to get to our house before we left. I got to the bottom of the stairs thinking that we were ready to roll out, only to find that Whitney was assembling lunches for Georgia and Ezra. I knew I could not stop her, so I helped her make sandwiches and get carrot sticks, cookies, and whatever else needed to get in there...two lunches and two contractions later I finally got Whitney outside the house. We got in the suburban and pulled out of the driveway just as Jenny was walking into our yard. Perfect timing. We did give her a quick update, then sped off to the hospital.
Our hospital is under construction so we parked about 2:05am near the ER and went through the ER doors, but then had to navigate our way up to the maternity area. The ER receptionist was less than helpful. It was quite the maze and although wheelchairs were accessible in more than one location, Whitney refused to use one. Basically, we could not walk more than about 50 ft between contractions at which time Whitney would hang on me, rather than support her own weight. We backtracked a few corridors and had to buzz security to get through a couple of doors, but eventually we got to the maternity area. They checked us in when Whitney was at a 7. The nurse noted that if her water broke, we would be having a baby immediately. Our midwife was nice enough to write a personal note in her file that pretty much read: "When this patient checks in, call the midwife immediately." This was the first birth that the nurses seemed to be in a little bit of a hurry...they were finally taking it seriously.
Whitney, semi-smiling, in between contractions
The only in-labor picture since we forgot to take one outside the hospital like we usually do
Anyway, the checked us in around 2:20, then moved us to Labor and Delivery. A midwife from Whitney's practice was at a nearby hospital and was told to come quick, but just in case, they got the doctor from this hospital to also come down and introduce herself. The local doctor would be the one to deliver. We waited around through a few more contractions, Whitney did great. Between 3:30 and 3:40 Whitney said it was time to push, so I called the nurses in and they set up everything. The doctor got ready, she complimented Whitney on her incredible pain management, and checked her...she was at a 9.5, but she would be ready any minute, she agreed that if Whitney was ready, then we should go for it. The nurses counted as she pushed...they got to ten and the head was out. Whitney took a breath and pushed for 2 more seconds and then Fischer was born at 3:44am. There was just a tiny tear that the doctor said was too small to stitch. They weighed and measure Fischer - 6 lbs 15.7 oz and 18.5 inches long. Fischer was fine, but his oxygen was a little low, so they gave him some and they had him under the heat lamp to help him with his body temperature but within 30-45 minutes from when he was born he was doing fine at keeping his body and his O2 levels up.
Meeting Mama for the first time
It's Whitney now...this is where Spencer finished up, so I'll add my 2 cents and call it a night :)
Overall, Fischer's birth was one of my easiest, matched only by Scarlett's. I can't complain a bit. I felt like I stayed on top of the pain for the most part and while it wasn't any fun, it really wasn't all that bad (...except for the pushing...I reeeeally hate pushing. As Spencer mentioned, it only lasted for an uber-intense minute or two, so I can't whine much.) Just a lot of trying to relax and deep breathing, like my other 2 natural births (minus the vomiting like during Oak's). The recovery has been fairly easy too. Fischer latches on and nurses like a champ, preferring to cluster feed, as the nurses put it, and then take long-ish naps in-between (in layman's terms, he nurses frequently and for fairly long during awake periods and then sleeps for a good chunk of time in-between). I'm just so happy to finally have him here. He's already such a blessing in our home and I'm just so grateful to be his mama :)