Emma Grace's birthday was such an incredible day and for memory's sake and because I love when people share their child's birth stories - here goes:
January 26th - when it all began:
I was 1 week overdue and as if my labor inducing massage, pedicure, chiropractic adjustments, daily 6 mile walks, and using YouTube to attempt using pressure points to induce labor weren't enough. We finally moved to the last thing I was "open" to that my Dr. and friends suggested...and it worked! Around 3pm, my contractions started and I was starting to see other "signs" that indicated things were happening!
My contractions went from 3pm all evening and were anywhere from 1-15 minutes apart. I starting cleaning like crazy, baking cookies for the nurses just in case, and trying to move as much as possible so my contractions would progress. I was SOOO excited because with Eleanor I was literally not dilated, not contracting regularly, NOTHING when I got induced so actually feeling contractions that were not pitocin induced was amazing!
Around 10pm, we decided to try to get some sleep - I was still contracting and they were getting more painful but one of my biggest prayers in all my very intentional prayers regarding a natural childbirth was to not labor through the night/deliver a baby in the middle of the night. So I knew if that were to happen I would need sleep. Welll...I didn't really sleep much that evening. My contractions were getting more painful - so much so that I could lay down through them. And they were coming every 15 min. so as soon as I would fall back asleep I would have another. The awesome part though was that I was so excited every time I would have another because I knew they were being productive.
I made it through the entire night with them going 15 min. apart and around 9am they STOPPED! I couldn't BELIEVE it! Thankfully, we had an appointment with Dr. B at 11. Andy had already decided to take off that day so he could go with me to the appointment because at this point - we would schedule an induction date hoping I wouldn't have to get to that.
January 27th - Dr. Behan Appointment
We dropped Eleanor at school, packed our bags, and all we would need for labor and after Emma Grace was born in the car (just in case) and headed to our appointment.
I told Dr. B all about the night before and he checked me - I was a FOUR! I had never gotten to a four on my own before. I was so proud and excited all at once! I know this sounds silly but for someone who's body couldn't initiate childbirth on it's own with Eleanor, this was awesome!
Dr. Behan was amazing as usual - he knew I didn't want to be induced but after knowing about my contractions for 18 hours straight the night before and the fact that I was 4 - he literally suggested giving me just a "wiff" of pitocin and it would start everything again. Andy and I talked for a minute and decided to give it a go - we agreed that:
1. Dr. B really had our best interests in mind
2. I felt rested enough but going a whole evening again with no sleep might make the next day rough
3. It was earlier in the day that MAYBE the baby would come in time for Eleanor to come meet her that evening
4. Dr. Behan promised I would only go to like a 4 and that we could have conversations with him/the nurses before upping it/before he would break my water
All important reasons for inducing right?
SO we left the office, went to get "lunch" at Smoothie King (girls you KNOW why I didn't want solid food for lunch...right?) and checked into L&D around 1ish.
I got back to my bed and met my
All ready to go...
April did all the questions, blood work, and hooked me up to pitocin and monitors by 2pm. We got to a 4 in pitocin and I literally wasn't feeling anything so she called Dr, Behan and asked if we could up the pit. From then on, things started getting stronger. Andy was AMAZING - my sweet husband there when I needed him and quiet when I needed that ha - turned the music up when I asked and sprinted to the right side of the bed when I needed to stand and lean on him (side note - when you are hooked to pitocin you are chained to the bed because you have to have the baby monitored 24/7 - April allowed me to stand by the bed though and would come re-hook up my monitors anytime I needed her to - she never ONCE acted put out by accommodating what we needed to be comfortable and achieve our goal.).
Then all of the sudden, my water broke - it was nothing exciting like Charlotted on Sex in the City -- just enough that I realized what had happened. April came in and checked me - I was a 6/7!!
I couldn't believe in only a couple of hours how much I had progressed! Contractions started getting strong after that and I started feeling the urge to push - she checked me again and I was an 8. At this point, it was getting rough. I remember telling Andy a few times I couldn't do it - but I am telling you - in retrospect, it was possibly like 20-30 min. at most that I was in transition...maybe an hour but not long looking back.
I felt like it hadn't been hardly any time at all and the urge to push hadn't gone away. April would come in, I would yell at her (in the nicest way I could) that I needed to push. I remember her telling me to hang in there and that it would be soon but my body was literally pushing as I was sitting up in the bed - I couldn't help it. She told me to breathe and I was not happy about it. I PROMISED her it was time and sure enough, she couldn't believe how quickly Emma Grace had dropped but it was time!
She checked me and quickly ran to the phone to call Dr. Behan to get down there. She assured me he was on his way and I remember asking, "Is he RUNNING!?" It was the weirdest feeling needing to push but not being able to.
Finally Dr. B came in, got dressed (not quickly enough in my opinion at the time ha) and before I knew it, I was stirruped and ready to go! The entire entourage of nurse leadership in L&D walked in along with a couple of baby nurses and I pushed for the first time. It felt like such a relief but was also pretty painful of course.
Another crazy bodily impulse I couldn't control - the yelling. Everytime I would push I literally yelled...a few obscenities might have come out as well for which I countlessly apologized. I remember the nurses finally saying you do NOT need to apologize for anything right now.
4-5 pushes in and she was already crowning - I remember them commenting on her dark dark hair and before I knew it - she was here! Only about 4 hours after I had first been admitted to the hospital.
Before I could even look down at her, April leaned in and gave me the biggest hug - even before my husband! I say this not to put down Andy or April for that matter but just to illustrate the kind of nurse she is. You can tell how invested she is in her patients - she made me feel so special and was so absolutely wonderful. Just like when Eleanor was born, I remember gazing up at Andy and seeing his eyes well up with tears along with a HUGE smile across his face. It happened, we finally got the gift of another child we had been praying for for so long.
We had asked Dr. Behan before that if everything was ok with Emma Grace that he wait to cut the cord and let all of the cord blood empty out into her. He did and then finally allowed Andy to cut the cord - something he hadn't done before.
Skin to Skin
Another amazing experience that I hadn't ever known before with Eleanor was geting to hold my newborn baby seconds after she was born. What made me laugh the most was that literally as soon as they put her on me, she let out the biggest amount of meconium I had ever seen - all across my chest! After we got cleaned up, and she was swaddled, I absolutely loved looking down at her beautiful sweet face.
Dear Sweet Emma Grace,
I can't tell you how wonderful it was getting to see you for the first time. You looked like ME which was a change from your sister and your beautiful eyes and precious little lips, teeny fingers, and the sound you made when you were eating all won me over instantaneously. I was so afraid I couldn't love another child the same way I do Emma Grace but as everyone said - my heart's ability to love multiplied that very second.
As if it were timed that way, a soon as you finished eating for the first time (like a champ), Daddy got to talk to you, and Mommy was all finished getting "fixed up," your Marmi and Pop Pop brought by your big sister, Eleanor to meet you.
I will never forget the joy that came from my two babies meeting each other for the first time. Eleanor smiled so so genuinely and was so excited to finally meet you. My heart is complete and my "cup runneth over!"
This day could not have been any better and I can't wait to see what is come as you joined our family today!