It was the morning of Sunday, March 12. I had been having strong contractions for several days, and sometimes they were regular, but nothing ever came of them. But on that Sunday morning, I could tell the contractions were different. I woke around 5am with very strong, mildly painful contractions and they stayed regular, every 2-5 minutes, and got progressively more painful.
I knew this was it! Finally! (I was 4 days overdue at this point)
Our babysitter lives about 30 minutes away (Hi, Amy!), so she was the first person I contacted. (Mr. N was still sleeping and I didn't want to wake him until I had to. *One* of us needed to have some rest.) I waited a bit longer, just to be absolutely sure I was in labor, and then I called the OB. I woke Mr. N around 6:30, our babysitter arrived shortly thereafter and we were off to the hospital!
shortly after we arrived at the hospital
We arrived at the hospital around 7:30am and they checked me--I was 4cm dilated. I was hoping for more. The nurses told me it takes the longest to go from 4cm to 5cm and that it would probably be a while. At this point, I definitely had to breathe through each contraction. I was walking around the room and would have to lean over the counter and B R E A T H E during every one.
A nurse came in a little while later and asked me to lay on the bed so they could monitor baby's heartbeat and then THE QUESTIONING BEGAN. Oh man. I forgot about all. the. questions.
My contractions were much more painful when I was lying down, and I complained enough so that the nurse finally let me walk around while being monitored and QUESTIONED (not that I'm bitter). Of course, the monitor didn't like that, so I had to lie down again (Argh!).
(If we ever have another baby I would totally consider having a midwife at home because ALL THE INTERRUPTIONS.) I will say though, that the nurses at my hospital are AMAZING and I know they're just doing their jobs. They really are wonderful. :)
For the record, *I* didn't think it was going to take that long, despite what they said--this was my 4th baby! So, I panicked a little and called the nurse in to see about getting an epidural. My initial plan was to just get an intrathecal *if* I felt like I needed something. But I changed my mind and FOR THE LOVE GET ME SOME DRUGS I'M TOO OLD AND TIRED FOR THIS, was what I was thinking.
So. I called the nurse in and politely said, I was thinking about getting an epidural.
Then we stared at each other blankly for what seemed like forever.
Then she said, You want to know what to do to get an epidrual?
Ok, I'll let your nurse know and she'll come and put an IV in.
Ok. Thank you, I said through clenched teeth. But I'm worried I won't have enough time.
Oh, she said reassuredly, you'll be fine. You have plenty of time.
After she left, I said to my husband, I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME! I'm not going to get any drugs!!
My contractions were very strong and painful at this point, but I was still breathing through them as best as I could, and honestly? I was doing a good job of it.
*pats self on back*
But I kept saying, there's not going to be enough time! I'm not gonna get any drugs!
After what seemed like forever, my midwife came in (the nurses waited a long time to call her and I'm not sure why? FOURTH BABY, PEOPLE) and checked me and GUESS WHAT?
I was 7cm dilated!!
I thought, I'm not going to get drugs! I'm going to have to do this again with no drugs and then I'm going to die.
To make (this part of) the story short, I *did* get the drugs when I was about 8cm. And boy, was I glad. It was such a relief! In the back of my mind, I was worried about the epidural slowing things down and affecting the baby, but mostly I just felt good and warm and fuzzy.
About 2 hours went by (my water broke during this time), but it really only felt like 1/2 hour--funny how drugs do that to you. And then I started feeling like pushing! Hooray! This was actually going to happen!
And I wasn't going to die!
After about 4 contractions worth of pushes, my sweet little baby was finally here! And she was huge! 9lbs 13oz, 21in long!
I honestly didn't think she'd be quite that big. I mean, my last baby was 9lbs 14oz, but he was a boy! I thought surely this one won't be *that* big. But she totally was.
And she was totally perfect.
The only hiccups we had was her head being out for about a minute more than her body (that can sometimes cause shoulder dystocia, which she didn't end up having) and loss of blood on my part. I always lose a lot of blood; normal blood loss I believe is around 250cc, and I always, with every birth, lose around 700-800cc! Apparently redheads usually lose more blood?
Everything went pretty smoothly and I was so, so happy to finally hold this sweet one in my arms. I felt like I had waited forever for her! Part of it, I think, was because of a miscarriage I had last year. She's been a long time coming.
look at those chubby thighs! swoon!
first bath :(
ready to go home!
And now she's here. :) Thank you, Lord.