About eight months ago when we figured out we were going to have a baby due on the 31st of January, Ben said, "it'd be interesting if the baby were born on my birthday."
A month ago when everyone was placing bets on which day Peanut would be born, Ben said, "I pick the 28th in a snowstorm."
Because, of course, that's when Ben was born 35 years ago: on the 28th of January during a giant winter storm. The "Blizzard of '78".
On Sunday evening (the 27th), I was having a fair amount of pain in my ribs because the baby kept kicking a nerve or something there. As we were going to bed sometime around midnight, I got a particularly sharp kick and pushed down on the baby's foot to dislodge it while saying, "Hey kid, you have to move - that hurts!"
Ben leaned over and spoke to me stomach firmly. "Baby, this is your daddy speaking," he said. "It's time for you to come out now."
And then we went to sleep.
For about an hour and a half.
I woke up at 1:30 or so feeling kind of odd. I got up to go to the bathroom and saw some things that scared me enough to call the midwife in spite of the hour to make sure everything was all right. I'd read whatever I could about the early signs of labor and what I was seeing seemed a lot different than what I'd read about. She said it sounded like labor was beginning and that I was seeing signs that things were progressing - she asked if I'd had any contractions and I said no, though I realized I was feeling really achy and kind of swollen or sore. She said she expected I'd be feeling contractions soon and let her know how things were going around 8 or 9 am. Ben heard me on the phone and got up to see what was going on. I actually wasn't feeling very well at that point - apparently there's a hormone change at the beginning of labor that helps everything get going, but it's first effects on me were to cause me to shake like I had a high fever or something. Pretty uncomfortable. Ben turned the shower on because for some reason I relax when I'm in the bathroom with the steam from the shower and the noise of the water going and then he got the book we're reading out loud and read to me a while. At 2:22 AM, I did indeed feel the first real contraction - which is definitely nothing like the practice ones I'd gotten used to!
The shaking got much better, though, and we decided to take a hot shower and go back to bed to rest as much as we could since we figured it would probably be a long day.
And it definitely was. For the next eighteen hours or so, labor went along in "textbook" style, according to Eileen the midwife. My biggest challenge was to keep drinking and eating enough to keep my energy up since the contractions were squeezing my stomach and making having anything in it pretty tough. Ben kept feeding me things like malt-o-meal and water and raspberry leaf tea and gatorade while he set up the hot water tub in the kitchen and made arrangements for Grandma Lila to get next door after she was up and dressed for the day.
By the way, both our families were great through this - even though we know they were probably on pins and needles for information, they didn't keep calling but left us alone to concentrate. Dad Turner also got someone to shovel our driveway, since it turned out that instead of a blizzard we were having a slush storm.
It took a long time, though, and we were starting to wonder if the baby would really make it in time for Ben's birthday. There were some complications at the end that made everything take a lot longer than it would otherwise, but our experienced midwife figured out what to do to overcome them and at 11:00 she turned to Ben and said, "Well, Daddy, this baby's going to make it on your birthday after all!"
At 11:34 pm, Peanut finally emerged as a fat little chubster with a head-full of black curly hair...and she is very definitely a girl. So about my theory about babies all being boys until proven otherwise...I've been proven otherwise!
Peanut is now officially (we filled her birth certificate out today) Abigail Lauren Turner. Her birth weight was 8 lbs, 8 oz, but I still haven't caught how long she is. I'd guess around 21 inches - she's a good-sized little dumpling, which is funny because people kept telling us how small I was and I kept saying, "this baby is NOT small, though!"
She also officially shares Ben's birthday, which is pretty neat. Somewhere near the end of labor, I remember turning to Ben and saying, "How did you know she'd be born today?" And he said, "I don't know - I just guessed." Then he said, "What else would I choose - I mean, it's my birthday!"
Everyone who reads this might get tired of hearing it, but Ben was pretty wonderful throughout the whole labor and delivery. I was not as cognizant as usual right at the end, but thankfully I do remember seeing Ben's face when Abigail's head was first showing. It was, as some of my family speculated it might be, his "I just lost my queen" look only happier. For those who have never played chess with Ben, this is probably not an easy look to describe other than it's sort of like very happy shock. It was a marathon day for him as well as for me and it's taken us a few days to sort of start getting back to normal. But gradually we're picking things up and getting ourselves together and adjusting to Abigail being around. Grandma Lila has been spending most of her time next door with Mom and Dad, but she will probably be home tomorrow and then it will seem much more as though things are normalizing.
So that's the short version of events at the Turner Junior household this week! I expect Ben is going to put more pictures in the next few days, but for now I'm going to finish this post and get some sleep before Abby needs to be fed again. Now that she's caught on to the whole nursing thing, she's pretty punctual about mealtimes. What else would you expect from a baby Turner who has rolls on top of rolls?
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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