Thought I’d go ahead and share some pictures I’ve been excited to share, and I’ll give an abbreviated birth story, too. (At least, abbreviated is the plan)
You may remember Cody was born at 41 weeks, so all along I was convinced this baby would be born past the due date, though not all the way at 41 weeks. I’d been having contractions for months, gradually getting more consistent and, in the past week, more intense. Thursday was Grace’s due date and I told everyone that a due date is just a day, not a set appointment or anything and that it would probably be several more days. Cody and I went to music class in the morning and the pool in the afternoon. During dinner, I started to feel some regular contractions with the same intensity I’d been feeling for a week or so, but by 8 pm, they kept coming one after the other and building ever so slightly in intensity and I said, “I think these might be labor contractions.” We started timing them, and about 9:15 we decided we would finish putting the hospital bag together and contact our neighbor who would stay with Cody. Our neighbor arrived around 10 and we made the five minute drive to the hospital, where they determined I hadn’t progressed since my last prenatal visit the previous day (already a 4, whoo hoo). We opted to walk the halls for an hour, contractions building in intensity until I was having to breathe through them and they were getting into my lower back and I prayed “dear Lord, please let the labor be progressing so we can call the anesthesiologist!” Thankfully I’d changed about a centimeter so we got admitted, IV inserted, blood drawn, and called the anesthesiologist. I think by that time it was about 1: I felt like it took forever while the nurse dug around in both my arms trying to get the IV in (I am still swollen and bruised. Ouch.) and waiting for lab to come and then wondering how many more contractions I’d endure before the epidural would be in place. I was about a 6-7 at that point and the contractions were pretty intense, and I also had “labor shakes” this go around, which means I was uncontrollably shaking and shivering and chattering every time I changed positions. What was promised to be 20 minutes of waiting was about an hour, but at last the angel of mercy arrived and by 2:45 we fell asleep. Woke up about 6:40 kind of feeling some pressure, and I was nervous the epidural might be wearing off, which it did twice with Cody, but when the nurse checked she said, “Nope, you’re complete and feeling the pressure of the baby. We’ll get things set up and get ready to push.” They wheeled in all this stuff for the delivery and for the baby and called the doctor, etc and at 7:15, I pushed through one contraction, then my doctor arrived, I pushed through another contraction, and he said “Don’t wait for the next contraction; push now” and out she came at 7:27! All in all, less than 12 hours from when I said, “I think this is labor,” and really only 10 of “Whew, this is definitely labor!” so significantly shorter than my first labor of 40 hours, although not nearly as fast as some of the anecdotes about subsequent children that get told!
Anyway, Grace is well, I am recovering well, Cody is loving on Grace all the time and Caleb is loving on Grace AND me AND Cody all the time! Sooo thankful he gets as much paternity leave as he does; I don’t know what I would do without him! Also, forgot to mention what a wonderful and tireless birth support partner Caleb was, first time and this time.
Thanks very much for all your prayers and well wishes! Stay tuned for more pictures.