Mommy & Daddy first learned that I was on the way on June 4th, 2006. It was a Sunday morning and Mommy really didn't expect to discover that she was expecting me that day, but when the pregnancy test was positive, she came out of the bedroom with a huge, shocked, silly grin on her face to let Daddy know!
Mommy's pregnancy was a bit stressful at first, with a few problems, but God answered their prayers and everything was fine. Everything about Mommy's pregnancy was an answer to prayer, since Mommy has psoriatic arthritis, which could've gotten significantly worse during the pregnancy or post-partum; and which could've caused me to arrive on the scene early.
I definitely didn't arrive early, though. My due date was Feb. 4th. Nothing happened that day, or the next, or the next. I kept everyone waiting, and Mommy & Daddy could hardly wait to meet me! (Not to mention, Mommy had had enough of being pregnant by then!) But then...
At 12:40 a.m. on February 13, 2007 -- my Daddy's birthday -- Mommy's water broke! She hadn't been to sleep yet that night, having had a little bout of insomnia, so she was lying on the couch at the time. She quickly got up and went into the bedroom to wake Daddy.
A few minutes later, contractions started. After phoning the hospital to let them know that Mommy was in labour, Daddy emailed his office, and Mommy laid on the couch for a while. After a bit, since the contractions weren't too bad, Mommy and Daddy went back to sleep. Or at least, they tried to.
At 7:30 contractions were coming every 8-10 minutes, so they phoned the hospital and the doctor on call said to come on in. This was it! So they thought! They phoned Grandma & Grandpa Johnson in Seattle and Grandma & Grandpa Friesen in Chilliwack, to let them know they were headed for the hospital. All my grandparents came to the hospital and were there when I was born.
They got in the car and immediately contractions started coming every 5 minutes. With a 90 min. drive from Mission to BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver ahead of them, it was a bit alarming. But then contractions slowed quite a bit, and by the time they got to the hospital they were only 15 min. apart.
After an assessment and some waiting around, the doctors decided to induce Mommy, since her water had already broken and she had high blood pressure.
At about 2:30 p.m. they began inducing Mommy and everything after that was a blur. One thing Mommy remembers is that every few hours she would look at the clock, praying I'd be born on Daddy's birthday. But by 9:00 p.m. she knew that wasn't likely. She was so disappointed!
Finally, in the wee hours of the morning on Valentine's Day, Mommy started to push and I was born at 2:45 a.m. -- according to the hospital clock, anyway. Daddy says it was 2:41. Whatever! I was there, and they were so excited and full of joy!
After they cleaned me up, I was placed on Mommy's chest and spent the next hour staring into her eyes, wide awake and alert, bonding with my Mommy. It was incredibly special.
Mommy & Daddy first learned that I was on the way on Mother's Day, May 11th, 2008. It was the best Mother's Day present imaginable! Grandpa & Grandma Johnson were visiting for Mother's Day and so Mommy packaged up the pregnancy test in a ziploc bag and put it in a little gift bag for Grandma, to share the news with her too... but Grandma thought it was a thermometer at first and was a little confused. As soon as she figured out what it really was, though, she was almost as thrilled as Mommy & Daddy!
On January 13, 2009 -- three days after my due date -- Mommy learned from the doctor that she was 3 cm dilated. A couple of days later, she had more signs that my birth was imminent. But then........ nothing happened! Just as Mommy was getting very impatient and wondering when I would arrive, she got up on the morning of January 20th and had a little bit of amniotic fluid leak at about 7:30. At around 8:45, suddenly there was more of a 'gush' of fluid and she knew her water had broken.
Contractions didn't begin right away, but after a phone call to the doctor (with whom Mommy had an appointment that morning at 10:20), Mommy & Daddy were told to head to the hospital, and it's a good thing! Just minutes before getting in the car, Mommy had her first contraction at 10:00. In the car, the contractions were 5 minutes apart, then 4...
Then we arrived at the hospital at 10:30, and lo and behold, there was NO PARKING to be found anywhere! Mommy had 4-5 more contractions while Daddy drove around looking for a spot. In desperation, Daddy pulled over to the curb and was going to just leave the car there but fortunately Grandpa & Grandma Friesen pulled up right behind him. So Grandma took Mommy up to the maternity ward just before 11:00, and Daddy transferred Nora and her car seat to Grandpa's car, Grandpa took her home, and Daddy finally found a parking spot.
In the meantime, Mommy was told she was in active labour and 4 cm dilated, and just as Daddy got upstairs they were setting up a room for her. Pretty soon, Mommy was in her room and sitting on the birthing ball as the contractions started coming faster and harder. After a time in the hot shower, Mommy went back to the bed and was already 7-8 cm dilated.
Transition was very hard, and before Mommy knew it, they were asking if she was ready to push. Pretty soon, she felt ready and started to try, but because I was posterior she didn't feel very much and it was difficult. Then my heart rate started to drop, and the doctors knew they had to get me out quickly, so they applied a vacuum to my head and pulled as Mommy continued to push. A very short time later, at 1:31 pm, I was born!
I practically came out of the womb sucking my hand, and continued to do so as they cleaned me up and stitched Mommy up. Then I was handed to Mommy and it was a wonderful moment!