We had been anxiously awaiting the day for months and it had been getting worse over the most recent weeks. I was so uncomfortable all of the time! I had started to get nauseous at six and a half weeks and had thrown up the whole pregnancy, with the exception of about 2 weeks right in the middle. On top of that it was now June (summer heat) and I had started to swell like a marshmallow. At our appointment on June 18, Dr. Barton was a little concerned about the swelling in combination with high blood pressure and so suggested I get induced on Friday, June 20th, if the baby hadn’t come by then. That would be 10 days early. He’d told us a week and a half before that it could be any day as I was already dialated to a 2 or 3 then. I finished things up at work over the next day and a half and Thursday evening we headed to the store to get some things for the next day. It was about 7 pm and I was starving! (I hadn’t eaten since lunch.) In the produce section we ran into someone Joey knew from scouts. I was standing there, minding my own business while they talked when I began thinking “I wonder if my water just broke and I wonder if I should go to the bathroom…” Then without warning, the flood gates opened! There in the grocery store I stood, both legs soaked and a puddle on the floor. Neither Joey nor his friend had noticed what happened so I stepped quietly behind Joey, waited for a minute then whispered urgently in his ear “Joey, we have to go…NOW!” Joey at first wondered why I would be so rude until he looked down and saw the puddle. He hastily ended the conversation and we jetted out to the car, leaving the cart with the grapes and gummy bears we had picked up at the front of the store. (Incidentally...it only happens about 10% of the time that your water breaks before you are actually in full blown labor...)
We ran home, grabbed a few necessities, changed clothes :), paused for a picture and headed to St. Marks. We arrived at about 9 pm and I still hadn’t really had any contractions that I could feel. When we checked in they said “We’ll put this lady who thinks her water broke in room 4…” Kristy just laughed inside as she was pretty sure it could not have been anything else. After we got all settled the contractions began coming steadily and quickly. Soon they were right on top of each other and I asked for the epidural. It was now about 11:30 pm. Before I got pregnant I thought "I am getting an epidural in the parking lot!" I felt sure I was a total wimp and couldn't deal with the pain. But after the birthing class, I felt really brave. It was helpful to have more information on all the options and the actual birth process. I thought I would see how long I could last before I got one. Bravery is fleeting amidst that much pain and the epidural couldn’t come quickly enough. In my class they had told me that "some women even sleep between contractions". Well maybe some people do...but my labor progressed so quickly that there was no "between" contractions. They were literally one right on top of another. So I go the epidural and it was just what the doctor ordered. I was ready to start pushing about 12:30 AM and finally at 1:53 in the morning, June 20, 2003, our baby girl was born.
We had gone through several variations on her name prior to her birth, but hadn't been able to settle on anything. Joey suggested Kelley Madison. I loved it! Kelley is my mom's maiden name and one of my sister's was nearly Kelley. Plus we spent a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa Kelley growing up and so it seemed perfect. When I was in college I went to New Jersey for the summer as a nanny and one of the little girl's I'd watched was named Madison. She was so adorable and I'd loved that name ever since. For a long time thought we would have a "Maddie" as our first little girl. In the end however I didn't love the fact that it was the number one name in the country (or close to it) and so it went in the middle. (As a funny side note I know relatively few Madison's, Kelley's age or otherwise :)
Kelley has been such a joy and a blessing in our lives. I was surprised at how instantly I loved her and how mothering came more naturally than I thought it would. I am truly blessed.