Jane made her entrance into the world two weeks early, on the day I hit 38 weeks. I had more contractions throughout her pregnancy than I ever did with Eleanor, so while I shouldn't have been entirely surprised, we were still surprised. I had an appointment the Friday before she made her debut and the doctor said I was already almost 3 cm dilated and 70-80% effaced, but I still thought we might make it closer to her due date than we did.
Tuesday morning (the 15th), I woke up to call into work at 5 am and see if I was needed. I was put on call due to low census, but couldn't fall back asleep. I kept having contractions and regardless of the position I laid in, they weren't going away. I ended up getting up with Chris at 6:45 when he gets up for work to eat and drink something and just see if I could get the contractions to stop. Around 9:30 am, I decided to call the doctor to let them know I thought I was in labor and Chris came home to take me over to the office to get checked. At around 11:30, we got to the office and they said I was 4-5 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and that Jane was sitting very, very low already. Because this was a change from the couple days earlier when I was checked last, they wanted me to head over to the hospital to have my contractions monitored for a bit before they decided whether or not I should be admitted. After being in the triage room for about an hour on the monitor, they told me there hadn't been much change and that I was probably just in an early stage of labor so if I wanted to, I could leave. Since I was only at 38 weeks, they weren't going to do anything to make labor more forward, so they said either it will peter out, or they'll see me back there in a little while.
We went home and Chris went back to work. I laid down on the couch for an hour and a half (no change in contractions) and then took a walk around the block with my neighbors (they definitely picked up while I was walking). Chris came home and picked up Eleanor, who we had dropped off at daycare for the day since we thought I might be in labor, and we took a family walk around the block around 5:30. When we got home, I laid back on the couch, but at that point I knew that I needed to go back to the hospital for sure. Chris and Eleanor ate a brief and rushed dinner and my mom left to drive down and help take care of Eleanor. I told Chris we weren't going to be able to wait for my mom to get here or even for them to finish dinner so he called our neighbors, cancelled our Bible study that we were supposed to host that night, and ran Eleanor down the street to her friend's house. When he got back, we hopped in the car and went straight to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 7:15 pm, which, being a nurse, I felt bad about since it is right toward the end of shift change. They hooked me back up to the monitor while they went through the admission screening. I was around 6 cm while I was in triage, and then they admitted me to the same room I had when Eleanor was born. They started an IV and hooked me up to some antibiotics and then we started signing all the paperwork. Around 8:30, they checked me again and I was at 8 cm. I was finally able to hop in the labor tub (just had to keep my arm out of the water). This time they had decided to leave me hooked up to the fetal monitor, which seemed odd to me, but as it was waterproof, I didn't say anything. I was around 9.5 cm a half hour or so later, so I went back to the bed while they set up the room. Right before I started pushing, the nurse informed us the the baby was having some decelerations in heart rate, so we may need to be prepared in the event that the doctor needed to use measures to get the baby out faster. The doctor came in and broke my water and I started pushing just before 9:30 pm. She had the cord wrapped around her neck, but she was in good hands and we were blissfully unaware at the time. Jane was born at 9:52 pm weighing 6 pounds, 8.4 ounces and measuring 18.75 inches long.
Jane so far has been a very sleepy and relaxed baby, occasionally taking up to 45 minutes to wake up to eat. We are setting alarms at night to wake her up and feed her, and though we are tired, I know when she is waking up on her own we will be more so :) Eleanor is doing a great job adjusting, all things considered, and so far loves "baby Jane."