On Tuesday, April 20th @ 9 am, we welcomed our newest member of the family, Tenley Anne Petro. She weighed 7 lbs 15.5 oz (and yes, I did just say .5 b/c she was only half an ounce away from weighing 8 lbs. And to be honest, that counts for something for a woman who just birthed a baby naturally! :) ) and was 20 inches long. All the important things went very, very well! But this labor was SO very different from Hannah Gray’s.
I had been having some contractions off and on, but nothing timeable or increasing in pain for a couple weeks. So on Saturday night it didn’t seem to be any different. However, while we were at church on Sunday, I told Ethan that this baby is coming within the next couple days. The contractions were consistent, but still only a couple every hour and then every couple hours. We went home and got some groceries to prep the house in case someone came to stay with Hannah Gray while were gone. We made sure that our bags were packed for the current weather and that the baby’s things were ready. Sunday night came and went without any changes, other than another restless night on Sunday.
By Monday morning I was having contractions coming in b/t 7-10 minutes and our midwives said to come in when my contractions were 10 minutes apart as they were worried any less time than that and I may not make it to the hospital based on history. So we met my friend Holly at the hospital who took Hannah Gray for us. Then Ethan and I found a park and walked around and then were surprised that contractions were only holding steady and not getting any closer. So we went to Barnes and Noble, read magazines, had lunch and by mid-afternoon began to wonder what was going on. They sent us to see the midwife at the hospital to be checked out. I was dilated and effaced more, but only to a 3 cm. The hospital nurses were a bit surprised as I was obviously having “real” contractions, but I did not want to spend more time at the hospital pre-baby than necessary. She sent us home and told me to have a glass of wine to relax, eat a good dinner and rest. And I am so thankful I followed her directions.
By 9 pm on Monday I was having painful contractions still, but still only 10 min apart. Ethan encouraged me to call the midwife as I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep through these. She said to take some Benedryl to knock me out and that if the contractions got worse, I’d wake up. So I did and got 3 hours of precious sleep. At 12:54 AM I woke up like I had gotten kicked in the stomach and waited for the next contraction to see how far apart they’d be. It came in 4 minutes later. I woke Ethan up and he rushed to gather our things. His was getting really nervous about making it on time with contractions that close. I called the midwife to see if I should come in as I didn’t want to meet Holly again at 2 AM only to be sent home again. But she didn’t answer. We decided to go as I now couldn’t stand through the contractions any longer.
I think Ethan turned a 30+ min. plus drive into an under 20 minute drive. There was no one on the road which was great as we were really worried about dealing with traffic if I went into labor during the day. We checked in and I was fully effaced and 6 cm dilated. We were excited and we all anticipated that we’d have a baby before daybreak. Well, by 7 AM we had no baby, contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and my midwife was going off duty. The new midwife on call came to visit me at 8 and checked me then. She said I could probably start pushing soon, but water had not broken yet. At that, my water broke and I knew what was coming next- the rough part to put it mildly. Donna (our midwife) said we’d have our baby within the hour. She was exactly right, at 9 am Tenley Anne Petro was born. For as long as I labored, I only had to push for about 5 minutes. Once I was ready to begin pushing, Donna started yelling for nurses just in case she needed the extra hands. She expected a baby Hannah Gray’s size (mid 6 lbs) and knew that baby could very well “fly out”. But no nurses came, Ethan couldn’t reach the call button and Donna just kept yelling for them to come. Once Tenley had made her entrance, I looked up and saw several extra faces! There were the nurses and two nursing students standing there looking somewhat stunned. They had not yet seen a regular delivery, only c-sections and this was their first natural childbirth. They had a ton of questions and we didn’t mind them being there, but we were definitely surprised to see them.
handling contractions, probably around 5/6 AM