Saturday, February 20, 2016

Worth the wait

A baby story about patience and surprises:

We have been waiting for this day for weeks so this birth story begins some time ago. 5 weeks ago at my 36 week appointment I was dilated to 2 cm. We knew it could still be a while but anticipated that Hadley's birth was coming. However, weeks passed and I just continued to progress very slowly. By 39 weeks I was dilated to 5 cm and having inconsistent contractions. My doctor scheduled me to come for prenatal testing at 40 weeks and to come back at 41 weeks but said, "I just can't see you getting to that point." We couldn't see it going on that long either, especially since both of my other kids were born early!

We spent the next 2 weeks trying to stay busy. We went to Mardi Gras parades, took the kids to the park, continued to work, and did everything we could think of to induce labor! But I found myself back at the doctor's office for my 41 week appointment on Monday morning discussing scheduling an induction. I was so conflicted about it, scared to do it and scared not to. Finally, we planned that I would come back Wednesday morning to be induced. I asked my parents to drive on over and we all had a nice day together. I started having some contractions that evening, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, although I was much more relaxed about it since my parents were already here.  My dad predicted when I went to bed that he would see me in a few hours because my water was going to break. Yeah right, we had been saying that for weeks.

I went to bed around 10 and got up at 1:45 thinking that maybe my water had broken. I waited a bit, then woke Ted up. I said, "I think my water broke, but I'm not sure. I don't think we have to go yet, though." Right after that a contraction hit me that was stronger than any of the practice ones I'd had, and I said, "Nevermind, I think we need to go." I woke my parents up to let them know we were leaving and told my mom to come to the hospital after they had dropped the kids off at school.

I got to the hospital and they said I was at 6 cm, but my contractions were much stronger and closer together than they had been at this point with my previous labors. By the time I got checked in, got to my room, and got my IV in, I could tell I was progressing pretty quickly. They gave me my antibiotic at about 5:00 a.m., and by the end of it I was feeling pretty intense labor pains. We called my mom and told her to go ahead and come to the hospital and let my dad take the kids to school. Ted said, "If you wait until they get to school, you might miss it." I didn't think that would happen, but I just wanted her support. Turns out, she would have missed it! I got up to walk around a little bit more, and then they wanted me to sit down to put me on the monitor again at about 6. My mom made it just in time for me to call the doctor in a little while later, and they said I was at 9 cm and they were going to call my doctor. About 10-15 minutes later my doctor came in and said, "Okay, are you ready to push?" I was, but I felt like it had progressed really fast. I pushed for about 10 minutes and the doctor said they could see her head of dark hair, but she still wasn't crowning. I felt like I was working so hard and nothing was happening, and I thought I was just being a whimp and needed to try harder. After about 30 minutes of pushing, finally she was born at 7:35 am! Someone said, "That's a big baby!" But we didn't realize until they weighed her that she was 9 lb 13 oz! That made me feel like maybe I wasn't being such a whimp. They put her on my chest and let me hold her and nurse her for a long time. She did great and has been so tough!  

Her brother and sister love her and have been so sweet. They may fight consistently with each other, but they have been so sweet and gentle with her. Jonah just starts giggling every time he looks at her and Gracie is always making sure she has toys and wants to hold her. We are so thrilled and in disbelief that our whole family is home and we are learning to be a family of 5.