On July 1, 2016, we discovered that we were expecting a baby, due on March 10, 2017. On October 15, 2016, we discovered that our little baby was not just any baby, but Annabeth Shealy Callicutt (the best little gal in the whole wide world). On February 11, just a day shy of a month before her intended due date, Annabeth Shealy decided she couldn’t wait another moment to join our family.
Around 9:15 p.m. on February 11, 2017, my water broke. I immediately knew two things:
- I was thankful that I’d washed my hair and shaved my legs that night.
- Josh was going to have a heart attack.
“Josh…my water just broke. We should probably get ready to head to the hospital,” I said, trying to keep my tone light and my voice quiet.
“What, so we’ve got like a week or so?” Josh calmly replied.
“Hmmm…nope. We are going to have a baby tonight or tomorrow,” I explained, still trying to keep my voice calm.
Needless to say, one of us ran around the house like a madman while the other played with the dog. (It was Josh. Josh was the madman). I immediately called my mom while Josh tried to install our car seat. He finally just tossed the car seat and base in the backseat. We made it to the hospital quickly and were immediately checked into the largest suite on the floor (all the praise hands, indeed).
My nurses checked my vitals, ran two bags of fluid, and we watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother on the iPad. My Mama, Daddy, brother, and sister-in-law arrived bearing gifts of Girl Scout Cookies (which I couldn’t have), fuzzy socks, and hair ties. Though my water had broken, I wasn’t uncomfortable. An anesthesiologist came by and started my epidural. I waited for the warm rush that all my friends had told me about and never experienced it. At the time, I shrugged it off. Then…things got uncomfortable.
Apparently, my spine is a little funky. Not funky enough to fail my sixth-grade scoliosis exam, but funky enough to cause an epidural not to work. Internally, I found myself wondering why my friends all praised their epidurals. Long story short: my epidural pooled in my left leg causing numbness in my left leg only. Everyone assured me that I was only feeling pressure when in reality, I was feeling every single contraction.
This went on for eight hours. During those eight hours, my sweet nurse tried multiple drug combinations to quell my pain. Some made me nauseated, some made me feel drunk, but none touched the pain. At one point, Josh said I grabbed her arm and told her that if the pain didn’t stop, I wouldn’t be able to have the baby. It was hard for me and scary for everyone else, especially Josh. When shift change occurred, the nurse stayed late to make sure the on-call anesthesiologist checked my drug intake (she was fabulous). The new guy walked in, took one look at my back, and immediately stripped everything out and redid the tubing. He moved the port up one vertebrate and suddenly, I was pain free.
I was finally able to sleep and did so for two hours. My new nurse woke me up to check on my progress, looked at me with wide eyes, and said, “It’s brown!”
“What’s brown?!?” I replied, very concerned (and to be honest, a little embarrassed).
“Your baby’s hair! Don’t push!” she all but squealed.
Everyone fully expected that I would have a planned c-section. I’m tiny and Annabeth was on track to be at least eight pounds by her intended due date. When that nurse told me not to push, it was the most surreal moment of my life. I was about to do this thing that nobody believed I could do. Six pushes later, Annabeth made her grand debut at 10:51 a.m. The NICU team whisked her off to pump the fluid from her stomach, check her vitals, and complete her APGAR assessments. Weighing in at 5.15, she was definitely a healthy size despite being born a month early. We felt so many things: elation, exhaustion, joy, and fear.
Nine months later, our tiny girl is truly our sweet angel. She’s a bundle of bright, vivacious energy with a sassy personality that is an utter delight. We’re considered to be “older” first time parents in our community and I’m so thankful that we are and that we’ve really been able to enjoy parenthood. We owe that to our baby’s sweet disposition, but we’re also going to give a lot of credit to Babywise (judge away, folks, but my baby sleeps twelve hours a night in her own crib).
I’ll be sure to share more about our journey through parenthood, especially with the exciting Christmas season that is now officially upon us!