|the last baby belly shot I took at 39 weeks!|
On Friday evening (June 23), I took a long walk around the neighborhood catching up with my college roommate, Kristen. She is pregnant with her first, and so of course most of the conversation revolved around pregnancy and babies (which I could probably talk about all day!) We talked for about an hour, and then I got off the phone to help Luke get the kids to bed. According to my Fitbit, I had over 20,000 steps for the day- more than I'd had in quite awhile! I'd been hoping that the more walking I did, the more likely my body was to go into labor.
Throughout the night on Friday, I felt the occasional contraction, usually when my bladder was full. I kept wondering if that's what I was really feeling or if it was just my wishful thinking that we were closer to meeting baby. On Saturday morning, I woke up and did my usual 3 mile walk around the neighborhood. I felt little contractions here and there while getting ready for the day and while we went grocery shopping. We decided that since it was such a beautiful day, we would pack a picnic lunch to eat at Piney Run Park. After walking around there for a bit, it felt like the contractions were becoming more intense/painful, and I told Luke we may need to head home soon.
|hanging out at Piney Run|
At home, I folded a load of laundry and finished packing the hospital bag for myself and a bag for the kids to take to my mom's. Around 3:20, I decided to start timing the contractions on my Baby Center app. I decided to pace around our room, which seemed to make contractions get more intense. Once I started timing them, they were all about 5 minutes apart.
After about an hour and 20 minutes, and Luke encouraging me to call, I talked to the doctor to tell her what was going on. Contractions didn't feel as intense as they did with Jonah, but were consistently about 5 minutes apart. Dr. Richards told me that since this was my third time, she trusted my judgement and to come to the hospital if I felt like it was time. I was totally second guessing myself wondering if we should wait because I really didn't want to get sent home! But the pain was pretty bad by this point, and Luke was really pushing to go because he was a tad worried about having to deliver a baby in the car.
We waited a bit longer for Luke's parents to get to our house to watch the littles, and then we headed out a little after 5:00. I was still timing the contractions on my phone and realized they were slowing down! They were now about 7 minutes apart and I told Luke I was pretty sure they'd send us back home. When we pulled into the ER parking lot, we sat in the car for a moment, trying to decide what to do. (Luke really wanted us to go in!)
After another painful contraction hit, I decided we should at least go in so I could be checked. I really didn't want to have to deal with these contractions without an epidural anymore! As we walked into the ER lobby and waited in the short line, the contractions got closer together. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long and I got wheeled up to labor and delivery.
We sat down at the registration window and I realized I forgot my ID and insurance card at home. Luke has an insurance card, but the lady didn't see my name on it (it's definitely on there!). Thankfully she was able to pull up my info since I'd delivered there before. As I sat there the contractions slowed down again, and all I could think was I should fake it so that they would actually take me back and check me! After about 10 minutes and only having ONE contraction, they took me back to a room, and my nurse helped me change into a gown in the bathroom. The contractions picked up again, and as she helped me to the bed, I was in a lot of pain, and praying that they kept me there! The nurse checked me, and I thought I heard her say I was at 9 cm. I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly so I asked her how far along I was, and she says 9! I asked her if I can get my epidural, but she said there's not enough time.
Three more nurses came into the room and swarmed around getting everything prepped. One was asking me questions to get some history, telling me to pause as I got through contractions. Another suggested I stand to help with moving things along more, and within a few minutes of doing that, the doctor arrived. They helped me lay back down, and the doctor checked me.
She said "you're a 10!" She broke my water, and then told me to pull my legs back and try pushing when I felt the next contraction. As it came, I was screaming and hoping that I was pushing hard enough. I pushed till the count of 10, and then paused as we waited for the next contraction. On the second contraction, I could feel the doctor helping things along, and only vaguely realized my sister had made it into the room to take some pictures for us. (Heather later told me she heard someone screaming when she walked onto the labor and delivery floor and hoped that it wasn't me- totally was!)
I honestly can't remember if it was the third or fourth time pushing, but baby's head came out, and they told me to stop pushing for a moment. Then I pushed once more, and baby girl came out at 6:33 p.m. and they laid her on my chest. As the doctor lifted her up to me, she said "it's a girl!" I really couldn't believe the baby was a she, and that she was here so quickly!
|our little 5 lb 10oz bundle of joy!|
Since I missed out on the epidural, I could feel everything the doctor was doing when she delivered the placenta, and I felt some of the stitching up even with the little bit of numbing the doctor gave me. For me, that took away from just being able to enjoy holding my brand new baby, and I would totally get an epidural if we were doing this again. BUT God was definitely with me throughout, and I was really just so thankful for a healthy baby girl!
One of the nurses in the room told me later that after seeing me at the registration desk not really having any contractions, she thought for sure I wasn't very far along. She said next time (ha!) we should head to the hospital as soon as I start feeling contractions. After the doctor was done stitching me up, she came over and told me I did a great job. I laughed thinking about how much screaming and yelling I'd done, but it was good to just be done with the delivery part and was thankful for her encouragement.
We snuggled with Clara for probably close to an hour before they took her over to be cleaned and weighed. The nurse helped me get started with nursing, and Clara did a pretty good job with latching, but fell asleep pretty quickly. My sister ran out to pick us up Panera for dinner, and then the three of sat there eating and staring at our new baby girl while the nurse asked some questions to get all the information filled in. I kept looking at Clara in disbelief that she was already here!
Overall, I am SO thankful for how everything happened. Our nurses were great, I can say I had a drug free birth (though if we were doing this again, I would still choose the drugs!), my doctor was encouraging, and we didn't have to labor at the hospital for long at all. The timing of Clara's birth in our lives has been absolutely perfect- God's timing in every way, including Luke being able to be home for 12 weeks of paid leave, a company policy that was effective June 1!
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6