One of my genealogy goals for this year was to write out the birth stories of each of my five children. This is no small feat since the past 12 years of child-rearing and homeschooling has turned my memory to mush. The details of my memories are fading a bit and I want to make sure that I get them written down for my kids. I know that they will enjoy hearing about it later.
Katie is my second child, and my second daughter. I’m starting with her story, because her birthday happens to be in February and that’s when I’m writing this.
I found out I was pregnant with Kate while we were living in Copperas Cove, Texas and my husband was stationed at nearby Fort Hood. We were living in the first house that we actually owned. It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough for our small family and it had a huge yard with peach, pear, and fig trees – which produced tons of wonderful fruit.
We weren’t “trying” to get pregnant, but we weren’t not trying either. At the time, our first daughter, Ellie, was 2 years old.
I actually found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day 2001 – and as a present, I wrapped up my positive test for my husband. He was clueless at first – wondering what on earth I had just given him. I wish I had taken a video of his reaction, because he was so perplexed. I could tell that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but he really didn’t know what it was. It finally hit him though and of course he was excited. I think that was a pretty good Father’s Day present, don’ t you?
My pregnancy with Kate was fairly easy. No complications, other than the fact that she blocked off the circulation to my left leg. She was worth it though.
My husband’s parents came down to help out. We figured that if they were staying with us, then whenever I went into labor we could just leave for the hospital and not worry about childcare for Ellie. Kate didn’t come when she was supposed to though. We waited and waited and waited some more. Andy’s parents had to return to Kansas without seeing the baby.
I had gone pretty quick with my first child (I was at the hospital for about 2 hours) and so I knew that I shouldn’t hesitate to leave for the hospital. That, paired with the fact that a friend had recently told me about someone who had just had her child in the bathroom at home made me hyper-sensitive about getting to the hospital on time. I always had a fear that I was going to give birth on the side of the road in the car. Thankfully, that never happened!
I started having contractions at night (don’t ask me why but that happened with all of my kids!). They were pretty close together, so I decided I’d wake my husband up and start getting ready to go to the hospital. We dropped our daughter off with a friend and drove straight there.
I felt sick in the parking lot and ended up losing my dinner. I felt much better after that though and was actually able to walk inside to the desk. I told them I thought I was in labor and they kind of laughed like it was going to be a while.
They ushered me into an exam room and I put on one of those horrible gowns. So embarrassing, but at this point in time I didn’t really care much.
My husband was desperate for some caffeine and so he decided to go in search of coffee while I was being examined by the doctor.
I was a bit shocked when the nurse told me that I was already 10 cm, the baby was crowning, and they didn’t have any time to take me to the delivery room. Everyone started scrambling around me. They converted the bed, went in search of the doctor and my husband, and brought in all of the necessary things.
It all happened so fast! I didn’t have anytime to worry or even think.
Thankfully, my husband was only grabbing a cup of coffee at the nurse’s station. I don’t think he would have made it in time had he gone downstairs to the cafeteria. He was just as shocked as I was when he walked in and the baby was crowning.
My water didn’t break until a couple of minutes before Kate was born.
They told me not to push, and I didn’t. She was coming out on her own. They actually had me COUGH a few times. I’m not exaggerating. I coughed and her head came out, I coughed again and she was born. A healthy, beautiful 9 pound baby. It was amazing.
And do you know the wonderful thing about having a baby that quickly? The recovery time is so much shorter than normal. I didn’t have a long exhausting labor where I felt like I was going to collapse and sleep for days. I was up and walking around right away.
And here is a picture of Katie taken this weekend, blowing out the candles on her 10th birthday. It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since she was born.