<I realized that this was cut off at the end, so I fixed it and reposted>
We found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day. We always thought it would be difficult for me to get pregnant, since I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21. We weren't trying, so it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
My pregnancy was relatively easy and trouble-free. At every appointment, everything measured exactly right - no morning sickness, no high blood pressure, no gestational diabetes, only gained 18 pounds. All the genetic testing came back clear - less than 1/40,000 chance of Down Syndrome, despite family history. We had a small scare in July; I started having cramps, so they brought me in for monitoring. A short time later, they told me I was just dehydrated, so to drink more water.
The baby was very inset in my abdomen, so I barely looked pregnant, though I felt it. Unless I told people, they could not really tell I was pregnant until around 8 months. I still wore many of my regular clothes and could never make maternity clothes fit properly.
We heard a perfect heartbeat at 10 weeks. We saw our first glimpse on ultrasound at 12 weeks; a little bug bouncing up and down and all around. At 20 weeks, we learned we would have a daughter, though I had felt sure for weeks that we would. No boy names ever felt right, blue clothes never looked right. I was always meant to have a girl.
In June, we chose her name: Scarlett Grace. No special reason, we just loved the sound of it. Chris was adament that we choose a name that was less common than his; he did not want our child to always have to use her last initial as he had - "Chris W."
As my due date approached, I slowed down a lot. I stopped working on September 29, when my sister was admitted to the hospital. Once maternity leave began, I was not sure what to do with myself. I puttered around the house, folding clothes and blankets over and over to make them just right. I walked the dog around the block every day to try to jumpstart labor.
At 37 weeks, I was 1 cm dilated. At 38 weeks, still 1 cm, my OB/GYN told us that we were looking at a big baby, at least 8-8.5 pounds. She suggested we could induce as early as 39 weeks if we wanted to. At my 39 week appointment, after my sister lost her baby, we asked to please induce just to have a plan. We didn't think we could stand the stress of waiting and rushing around, and wanted the family to be prepared and calm. The midwife told me again I was carrying a big baby.
On Friday, October 15, I was scheduled to induce, planning for delivery the next day, right on my due date. That day, as I waited impatiently, trying to rest, I talked to my sister on the phone. We were discussing contractions, and then I suddenly had one. It was pretty mellow, so I just took a nap and waited. At 7pm, I called the hospital to see if they were ready to induce me. I expected them to say no, it's too busy, just stay home. Wrong! They said, "Come on in, we're ready for you." We checked in, got settled and prepared to meet our dream girl.
I was 3 cm when I was admitted. They began Cervadil at 9pm and told me to rest, that they would monitor contractions I was already having and reevaluate in the morning. At 9am, I was 4 cm, so they broke my water and began Pitocin. There was meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid, so the doctor said it was lucky I was there already. As soon as my water was broken, the pain began. I got an epidural shortly after; the first try didn't work, so I got a second.
The baby started to show signs of distress. They put an oxygen mask on me and made me lay on my side, turning me every hour; my legs were too numb to turn myself. By 2pm, I was barely 5 cm, and the doctor was getting worried. We learned later that she had begun preparing for a C-Section just in case.
Suddenly, there was progress. I was 8 cm, then 9. The doctor said it could still take a few hours to be ready; I refused to believe that. Contractions were tolerable but painful and I was tired and anxious. I started to push on my own during contractions to get the baby moving. It worked - the next check, I was 10 and ready to push. Again, the doctor said, since it was my first baby, I might have to push for a few hours. She suggested a "test push" to see how I did...as soon as I pushed, she flew, grabbing all the nurses, throwing on scrubs and prepping the room for delivery.
20 minutes later, Scarlett made her debut. They were worried about the meconium, so they did not let her cry right away. They laid her on my chest, but the blanket covered my face, so I didn't see her. Chris cut the cord, even though he swore he wouldn't want to. As soon as they cleaned her up, she let out a cry. It was a huge relief to hear. My sister took pictures of her as they cleared her lungs so I could see her.
When they got her on the scale, she was only 6 pounds 7 ounces; what happened to that big baby I was supposed to have? We laughed that we had been so ready for her to be big, we never considered she would be small. She was finally placed in Chris' arms, as tears rolled down his face. Just days before, he was sure he wouldn't cry, that he was prepared and knew how he would feel. She was just that beautiful.