I stopped working just 8 days before Preston was born. I was the Lead Toddler Teacher and I cared for six toddlers all by myself at a day care. I was proud that I made it to 38 weeks+ being on my feet all day. Each day my supervisor would ask me when my last day would be and I always said the same thing, “Sue, I will be calling my husband to tell him I am in labor right here from my classroom.” But she advised me to spend my last week at home because it would be the last bit of time to myself for a long time. Thank you for sending me home, Sue. You couldn’t have been more right!
The day before Preston was born, I was actually already in labor. My contractions were strong, but they were not painful. I walked constantly. Sitting down only made my back hurt. And frankly, trying to get off the couch to use the bathroom every 20 minutes was a struggle. Around 3:30 p.m. I called my husband at work to tell him that my contractions were getting closer and closer together. At this point, they were about 5 or 6 minutes apart. And I still wasn’t in any pain. I told him to stay at work and he repeatedly asked if I was sure. I told him to finish his work day. What was a couple of more hours, right?
Later that evening, my husband started keeping track of every contraction. We still have the sticky notes we wrote on :) Two hours after he got home, he was calling the doctor. My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. Soon after, we were on our way to the hospital!
I was admitted to the hospital shortly after 9 p.m. The nurse told me that they would monitor the baby and that I should walk to help move him along. At my 38 week doctor’s appointment I was already 3 cm dialated and 60% effaced. I was pretty sure PAC Man was on his way. There was only one problem. Whenever I walked, contractions would come. Whenever I tried to lie down so the nurse could monitor PAC Man, I wouldn’t contract at all. After three hours of this, the nurse said I was not progressing any and that I wouldn’t be having a baby. I was sad. And tired. And hungry. Mr. Collins was pretty upset too. He couldn’t wait to meet his son. So, the nurse gave me an Ambien and told me to go home and get some rest. I had my 39 week doctor’s appointment in a few short hours and we were still playing the waiting game. I don’t remember the ride home. That Ambien had me OUT! But the last thing I do remember was having a bowl of cereal and having the BEST sleep ever! But the two of us would soon become three!
It’s about 7:30 a.m. and I am feeling great! They say sleep makes you feel that way, but I don’t remember. My husband called his mom to tell her what happened at the hospital the night before and how he was about to get up and get ready for work. My husband always said that he wanted PAC Man to be born on a Friday so he could spend the weekend enjoying his son. As he spoke with his mother, I went to the bathroom. There was so much… urine? Water? Wait, did my water just break?! I think it did! I calmly stand up, flush the toliet, wash my hands and I go back to the bedroom. I tell my husband that I think my water just broke. “Mom, I gotta go! Kelly’s water just broke!” I chuckled a little and I actually think I may have gotten back in bed. He asked me if I was alright and then called the doctor. My appointment was supposed to be at 9 a.m. so they told me to come on in so they could make sure my water did in fact break. As I’m getting ready, the pain starts. It. was. awful. Menstral cramps my ass! THIS was something totally different. Our friend, Kelly, arrived to take us to the hospital. All I remember thinking when we left the apartment was that I needed to vacuum and do the dishes. If you know me, then you know how upset I was about that stuff not being done. But it didn’t matter because my sweet boy was on his way!
We arrived at the doctor’s office and I was rushed right to a room. The doctor did a quick check and confirmed that my water did break. A nurse came in with a wheelchair and rolled me to an exit door that somehow connected my OB/GYN’s office to the hospital. No, really. Within minutes I was being admitted into the hospital for the second time in 12 hours. the pain was serious. I remember my husband smoothing out my hair and rubbing my shoulders while we were on our way to the hospital. He said he knew I was in pain because I wasn’t saying anything. I just kept breathing deeply. Let me tell you, it does work, but only for a while. Just before they gave me the Pitocin (something I wished I skipped), I was about to cry. That definitely got things moving and in less than an hour, I was getting ready for my epidural (something I thank God for every day). By 10:45 a.m., I had a BlowPop in one hand, an IV in the other and The Simpons Movie was playing on t.v. I was on Cloud 9! I was so relaxed and so happy! I could finally just enjoy the moment. D made some phone calls to friends and family and I took a nice nap :)
About an hour later, I woke up and I told D that I felt something wet in my bed. He lifted the blankets and told me that he could see PAC Man’s hair. It was time! He went to go get a nurse and before I knew it she was saying push. My doctor almost didn’t make it in time. After just six pushes, my baby boy was here :) At 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 25th, 2011, Preston Alexander Kitchens Collins was born. I was so elated! And so was his dad! I remember the moment the nurse handed Preston to D. He smiled so big! He was a dad now. I was a mom. We were now three :)
All I wanted to do was sleep. My epidural didn’t really start to kick in until right after I had PAC Man. So I had to be wheeled down to my recovery room. I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. But I wasn’t complaining. I just wanted to hold my son. He was and still is so beautiful. We followed our birth plan like we wanted and that was truly a blessing because most moms don’t get to do that. We spent the weekend in the hospital like we wanted. The only time Preston left us was for tests and his circumcision. Many friends and family came by to see us and our sweet baby boy. In the weeks following, we had many visitors who brought meals and gifts. It was a beautiful time for us. Parenthood is a beautiful time. I can’t wait for more experiences and memories with PAC Man!