Here's the story of our super fast labor and delivery experience with our newest addition - Andrew Paul Herring.
Tom was working through the night on the night of Thursday, November 3, so after putting Clare and James to bed and doing a few things around the house, I got myself ready for bed as well. About 10 PM, I started to feel a little sick to my stomach. Perfect timing - just as I'm trying to go to sleep. After about half an hour of feeling sick and having some bloody show (if you know what it is, great. If not, go ahead and look it up if you're that curious),I figured that these were signs that labor would probably happen within 24-48 hours (usually these are good indicators). I put on a movie for about another 30 minutes and tried to let the sick feeling pass so I could get some sleep.
Around 11, I was still feeling pretty sick, so I called my mom to ask her to drive back up to our house from Olympia to be with the kids and me overnight. At this point, I just figured that labor would happen in a day or so, but was feeling gross enough that I didn't want to be at home by myself with Tom at work. I also called Tom at work to let him know how I was feeling and that he should be ready to have a baby in a day or so.
Then only 30 minutes later (11:30 PM), I was feeling really sick so I called Tom again at work and asked him to come home. It was about this time that I was able to say that the pain I was having was no longer from being sick to my stomach, but that I was indeed having contractions that were about 10 minutes apart. I asked Tom's sisters Berna and Maddy to come here to stay with our kids so we wouldn't have to load them up and drop them off in the middle of the night, and they headed to our house from Silverdale.
Within 30 minutes (around midnight) the contractions were only 3 or so minutes apart, and no one was here yet. I called Tom's work again to make sure that he'd left, and was about to go next door to ask our neighbor to come stay with Clare and James. Everyone arrived here about 20 minutes later, and in that time I'd gotten the car loaded up and moved out to the street with the keys in it ready to go.
We left for the hospital about 12:30 and Tom shaved off 5 minutes from a normal 20-minute drive, wanting to go quickly, but not wanting to go so much over the speed limit that we get pulled over. We called Jackie and told her that we were headed to the hospital and that if she still wanted to join us, now was the time. We prayed for a healthy delivery and that we'd get there in time, and arrived at the hospital about 12:45 AM, with my contractions only 1 minute apart.
I'm usually pretty calm in labor, so when we arrived and told the security guy at the check-in desk that I was in labor, he took his dear sweet time getting my name spelled right. The second time he asked me how to spell my name, I just responded, "These contractions are 1 minute apart. I need to get back there now." They got us back to a room and I started to disrobe and put the hospital gown on so I could be ready to have a baby in a few minutes. The nurse came in and said, "Oh, well, you look like you're ready to go!" I said something to the effect that I'd like her to check how far I'm dilated because this baby is coming soon. I'm sure they hear it all the time from women who think they're further along than they are, so she was shocked to find out that I was already dilated to 8 cm. Then I found out that this room was not an actual delivery room at all, this was just the triage room where they get people check and decide if they're going to admit them or not.
Once the nursing staff heard how far I was dilated, it was all hands on deck. They were amazing -- we walked down the hall to our actual delivery room and there must have been 6 nurses in there, all doing different things to be ready to receive a baby. Our OB unfortunately lives too far away (bummer, because we love her) to make it in time, so the on-call OB got herself dressed and ready to catch our little one.
After a flurry of activity, there were about 5 minutes of complete calm, where I was able to just let Tom, my mom, and the OB know that I was starting to feel a need to push, and she responded, "We're ready. You just do whatever your body tells you to." It was so nice to hear that after being so concerned with the fast & furious labor that had started only a couple of hours prior. Then, after 2 pushes, our new little son was born at 1:09 AM, weighing 8 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 inches long, and placed directly in my arms. God is so good.
Here are a few pictures from the delivery and with family and friends. I'm sure we'll be posting more soon!