We are thrilled to welcome our baby girl to the world, nine days early. I'm convinced she's her mama's girl and wanted to make her entrance into the world before the close of April so her birthstone could be a diamond.
She's absolutely perfect and we can't stop staring at her. It's crazy the amount of love you immediately feel.
I thought I'd share a little of her birth day while I still remember it. I read so many terrifying blog entries on difficult birth stories while I was pregnant I thought it'd be nice to share a not-so-difficult story. If you had an extremely difficult labor, you should probably stop reading now.
Monday afternoon I went for my regular doctors appointment. At 38.5 weeks I was 3cm dilated. Frustrating again to receive news, but to not really know if I was immediately going into labor or would end up going late. The doctor even said next Monday we could set a "if she's not here by" date to induce.
But still since labor was progressing and my mom and Bobby's coworkers seemed so impressed by 3cm dilation I spent Monday evening wrapping up the last few "need to do this" items, including finishing off a website for a canvas printing business Bobby has partnered with and installing the carseat base in the back of the car.
Around 2:30 am I woke up for my regularly scheduled bathroom break, but was feeling some cramping in my lower abdomen. I've felt cramping on and off the last couple of weeks so I didn't think too much at first. But as I lay there in bed I noticed the cramping was a little different with definite start and stop points. So I used an iPhone app I had downloaded a few days earlier to start tracking contractions. They were about 9 minutes apart and were increasing in intensity enough that I wasn't falling back asleep. I kept tracking them and pacing the floors during the more intense ones. Around 4am my movements awoke my husband who asked what was going on. "My stomach is cramping" led him to think I meant from food. I tried to explain to him that this is a different type cramping and I'm also hurting in my lower back, which made him think I'd pulled a muscle putting carseat in. I assured him neither was true because these cramps were familiar from my days of endometriosis.
We watched the intervals drop from 9 minutes to 7 and I decided to go ahead and shower and get dressed in case they didn't subside (I was still expecting them to stop). Then they dropped to 5 and I warned my husband he should probably shower too. I'd read once they'd been at 5 minutes for an hour it's hospital time.
By this time it was around 6am. Some intervals were only 3 or 4 minutes. Since we knew I was already dilated we decided to go to the hospital to have them check and confirm I was in labor. I'd been texting my mom the whole time with contraction intervals but didn't tell her we were going to hospital because I was still sure they'd send us home.
When we first got in the car the contraction interval jumped back up to 7 and I thought for sure this is false. It was 6:22am when we got near the hospital and I told my husband to go ahead and go through a drive through to get breakfast for himself because the main entrance of the hospital didn't open until 6:30 and I wanted to avoid the emergency room. You can start to see here where this may be the most laid back delivery ever. My back cramps were getting really painful at this point so I didn't eat to avoid throwing up.
Once we got to the hospital, checked in, and sent to the triage room where they examine you to determine if you actually are in labor it was probably 6:45. They hooked me up to the machine to measure contractions and its funny but it felt so good to see the line going up that I was having a contraction. As excruciating as some cramps were, I was still worried they were all in my head and wouldn't even show up on the machine. The vindication of hearing my husband say "Wow, that one spiked way up" was more comforting than annoying. So they checked me and I was 5cm dilated. I was shocked since I'd just been 3cm 12 hours before at my appointment. I think I said something like "So I guess we're staying" to the nurse. I had to phrase "come to the hospital" a few different ways in text to mom before she fully grasped what was going on.
When I got to the "big room" - seriously the size of this hospital room puts some luxury hotel rooms I've stayed in to shame - the nurse asked if I wanted to order my epidural. I was surprised because from what I remembered from my sister-in-law and the birth stories I read, I thought the epidural came much later, like hours into labor and closer to birth (oh if I only knew!). I asked her the pros and cons of going ahead and ordering and she said the only real con was I couldn't walk around anymore. I was fine with that because walking wasn't helping my contractions and they were getting more intense and closet together. She said it'd take an hour anyway.
By the time the doctor came to check me I was 6cm dilated (wow, this is going fast) and said once my platelet tests came back and IV was drained I could have my epidural. Contractions REALLY had started to hurt at this point so I was ready for the epidural.
The epidural had been something is been worried about the whole time, but it really didn't hurt more than a pinch. Of course I never looked at the needle. My husband said if I'd seen the length of the needle going into my back I wouldn't have been ok. But I didn't and the entire process was easy and stress free.
Once the epidural took effect I was able to talk easily with the waiting friends and family in my room. No more contraction pain at all, even though we could see on the monitor they were still coming. Then the nurse came in to check me and said I'd gone to 9cm and would be delivering in 30-45 minutes. Wait, what? It was only 9am at this point. I was expecting an all day ordeal. My little girl was ready to meet us.
In 30ish minutes the doctor came in, checked me, said her head is RIGHT THERE - it's time. He sent in my family for a quick wish her well and then set up the room for delivery. My husband stayed by my side and mom stood on the other side of the curtain in the delivery room so she could hear first cry.
I pushed for 15 minutes and felt absolutely no pain while pushing. It's a strange feeling because I could still push and could feel to push, but there was zero, zilch pain. I only pushed when they saw I was having contractions on the monitor and at one time laughed while waiting for next contraction because they told me the baby's hair was sticking out enough that the doctor spiked it on her head. Yes, I laughed in the delivery room. See where this isn't like the other stories you read?
And in 15 minutes of pushing and less than 8 hours from the time I had woken up with my first sign of a contraction my baby girl was here. As if Mommy didn't already love you enough, baby girl, your easy entrance into this world makes you even more perfect!
And as if I didn't love him enough already, waking up from a nap to see my husband had posted a photo on Facebook of himself holding our baby girl with these song lyrics totally melted my heart.
"Home - is where i want to be
But i guess i'm already there
I come home - -she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did i find you, or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this where i'll be . . . where i'll be"