Keeneland. Like everyone else who has been, we love it. And since it's only open two months a year, April and October, you have to go when you get the chance. And yesterday we got the chance. We decided to take the girls, who also loved it. Although taking small children is a somewhat different experience than when we used to skip class in college and go. (Oh wait I never skipped class!) Kate in particular loved the horses, crying out in desperation at one point, "I want to touch it! I want to touch it!" So if you haven't been to Keeneland, GO!
Since I went two weeks overdue with my first, my #1 question to my new ob-gyn's office in KY was "How long will you let me go before you induce?" "Oh we never let anyone go over 41 weeks," the nurse replied. Sounded good to me. I was still hopeful that I would this time, with my second, go into labor naturally. Especially since I started feeling contractions around 20 weeks. I even went to my doctor's office at one point to make sure I wasn't experiencing preterm labor. With Jonah I never experienced a contraction until I was induced, just some Braxton Hicks tightening. My due date of April 3 came however with no delivery, and I was scheduled for induction on April 10.
On the evening of April 6, I grew very excited as my contractions grew stronger and more regular. I didn't want to say anything to David until I was sure, so he went to bed while I timed my contractions. Around midnight, the contractions increased to 5-7 minutes apart. It was time I decided. I woke up David. Called the doctor's office. Called my mother-in-law Paula to come on in from Radcliff. Called our friend Phil to sit with Jonah until Paula arrived. Grabbed our packed and ready suitcase and headed to the hospital where they checked me in without delay. And then the contractions just stopped.
My nurse told me I had two choices. Go home, or wait until morning when my ob-gyn could order an induction. Since I was already past my due date, we were already at the hospital, and Paula had come to help with Jonah, David and I decided to go ahead with an induction. Around 10am they started the pitocin. At about 12pm the doctor broke my water, after which the doctor and David watched the announcement of the new UK head coach Billy Gillespie. Sometime between 2:30 and 3, I told the nurse I couldn't take the pain any more and wanted an epidural. Even though I managed to not have one with Jonah, it seemed more painful this time. She checked my cervix and stated, "Well you're only 4cms dilated." I said I didn't care and wanted the epidural. NOW!
What happened in the next 30mins to an hour was just crazy. What seemed like very little time after the nurse left to order the epidural, I remember asking David why did I feel like I needed to push if I was only 4cms. Then I remember screaming and David yelling in the hall for our nurse, any nurse to come and help. A nurse aide came. She looked down to check my progress, saw the baby crowning, and started screaming for my doctor. The delivery room suddenly came alive with medical personnel running around franticly trying to get everything ready. With one foot in a stirrup and one leg hanging off the edge of the table, the baby came. Quickly. I remember someone yelling to the anesthesiologist coming down the hall, "Nevermind too late!" The doctor actually joked that it was a good thing I was induced or I would have given birth on Nicholasville Road. Funny. My nurse just kept repeating, "I just checked her. She was only 4 cms!"
Regardless of the chaotic and painful delivery, everything was better when they put my little Caroline Mae in my arms, so small at 7lb 2oz and 19ins. She was born on Good Friday, and it was truly good. They took me to my room from the delivery room and was immediately amazed to see snow falling from my window. One of those beautiful, peaceful snowfalls. Two days later we took Caroline home to join our family on Easter Sunday morning. The best and most memorable Easter of my life. Happy Birthday Caroline! I love you so much!