March 8, 2015

The magic of Christmas and running errands

Something about running errands seems to induce labor for me. 

Believe me, in the weeks leading up to baby girl's birth we tried EVERYTHING. 

Brisk walks?

Massive pineapple consumption?

I even added a few extra red pepper flakes to my dinner. 
Still nothing. 

So by the time Christmas rolled around, I had reconciled myself to going until the scheduled induction on December 29. 

In the meantime, we enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family.
Brian's parents came up from Texas to spend the holidays with us as well as Brian's sister.
It was wonderful to have them. 
And having a two-year-old during the holidays was simply magical. 
We spent a good chunk of Christmas Day relaxing with my family and then went home where I officially started my maternity leave. 

The morning of December 26th was as normal as they come. 
Brian went in to work - but only had to put in a half day so we planned to do a little post-Christmas shopping/exchanging once he got home. 
Will and I spent the morning relaxing while Brian's mom ran a few errands of her own. 
Around 2:00pm, we were all ready to hit the sales. 
Now, I had been feeling contractions for several days (if not weeks) but they were spread out and nothing I couldn't talk through. 
I mentioned to Brian as we were leaving that the contractions has been  consistent all morning long,
But again - nothing too strong. 

By the time we got to the outlet mall, I was noticing the contractions more and more. 
After about 10 minutes of shopping, I decided to start timing the contractions. 
Just for fun. 
Sure enough, they were consistently between 5-6 minutes apart. 
We continued shopping for another half hour and I kept timing. 
5 minutes. 
Strong contraction. 
5 minutes. 
Stronger contraction. 
4 minutes. 
Uncomfortably strong contraction. 

I was updating Brian all afternoon and we decided at this point to head in the direction of home/hospital l. 
As we drove, the contractions kept up pace. 
By the time we got home, I was SURE I was in labor. 
We grabbed my hospital bags and a few other things, left Will and Brian's mom at the house, and headed to the hospital. 

It was about 3:30 by the time we got to the hospital. 
We walked right into the labor and delivery area and began check-in. 
I don't think the nurses there really believed I was in labor. 
I was pretty calm while checking in and so they asked me to sit to the side for a minute while they got a room ready for me. 

Now - I know they had plenty of clean beds. 
They just wanted to put me in a room by where some other women were in labor so we weren't so spread out. 
I just smiled and took a seat. 
No sooner than I sat down, a pretty big contraction hit. 
As I focused on breathing through it, Brian watched as my contraction slowly drew the attention of the nurses. 
The wave of pain hasn't even entirely passed before there was a nurse at my side ready to help me back to my room.
I guess they decided my labor was far enough along that they didn't want to wait any longer. 
And I couldn't have been more grateful. 

The next hour was like I remember before - a bit of a whirlwind 
I got changed and checked in, hooked up to the machines and measured - just to make sure I was progressing. 
And I was. 
By this point I was dilated to 5 cm. 
That was no surprise to me because the contractions were VERY painful by this point and the labor seemed to be progressing very quickly.
So amid all the hustle, I made sure my nurse tracked down the anesthesiologist. 

Aside: I feel like at this point I'm expected to justify why I decided to get "the drugs."
But I'm not going to - other than to say I believe in medicine and I wanted to be able to enjoy this experience as much as I did with my first child.
And for me - that meant I wanted an epidural.

The epidural was set by 6:30 and then the waiting game began. 
We didn't really have any "down" time during Will's labor so it was actually kinda nice to have some time for Brian and I to talk, text our waiting friends and family, and stress some more about what to name the new little one. 

Because it was the day after a holiday, my OB-GYN wasn't at the hospital. 
But another doctor from his clinic was there and monitored my progress. 
He also sent a text to my doctor to tell him I was in labor. 
Since my doctor is amazing, he text back saying he and his family had just gotten back from skiing and that he'd be right over.  
So at about 7:30 - and when I had dilated to 7 cm - the on-call doctor broke my water. 

My doctor showed up about 8:00. 
He checked in before getting in scrubs and it was just kinda funny seeing him in street clothes. 
It was just another thing that added to the relaxed, peaceful environment that was in that room. 
I know - those seem like the completely wrong adjectives to describe a labor and delivery room but that's truly how it felt. 

As Dr. Kaelberer was leaving to change, he told me I was fully dilated and easy to go. 
Now all I had to do was hold the baby in until he got back. 
And then things started getting crazy again.
The nurses strafing prepping the newborn bed and scale as well as all of the lovely instruments for my doctor. 
He showed up about 20 minutes later and got right to work. 
We all knew this baby was coming fast. 
With my nurse on one side and Brian on the other, I pushed through one and a half contractions and BAM!
She was here!
Our sweet little nameless angel was here.
6lbs. 3oz. 
20 inches long

And while William made his entrance known with quite the loud cry, this little girl was so quiet and calm. 
Which - as we would soon learn- was fitting for her. 
It only took about four hours, but it truly was an unforgettable four hours.
Nothing compares to holding a piece of heaven in your arms.


Love much,

Mama Beth