So, in my last post, I said I was having some contractions, and they were timeable, but I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be the day. Afterall, it was 10 days before my due date and I wasn't ready. There was so much I had planned to do the week of January 3rd once Jenna was back in day care. So much to do to prep for the baby, to have a little down time to myself. To enjoy being pregnant for the last time. The pregnancy was treating me well, I wasn't miserable. I needed a pedicure. :)
At 3am on January 3rd, I woke up with pregnancy insomnia. Pretty typical. I waited a half hour in bed and decided to get up to get some work done. Payroll was due the next day and I wanted to get the time sheets prepped. I went to log into my work computer (remotely) and I couldn't get in for some reason. Hence, the blogging. I was just awake.
About 4am, I noted some contractions. Not painful, but I did recognize there was a pattern to them. So I started writing down the start times. 4 minutes apart. Hmmm... My last labor progressed really quickly, so I definitely was paying attention. I was starving all the sudden, so I went to make a bowl of oatmeal (the frozen stuff from TJ's is awesome, btw) at about 5:00. The contractions were progressively becoming more painful and I had to start breathing through them a bit. In between each contraction, I was doing great. I went back to bed at 5:30 in hopes of slowing the contractions down. It did that, but it also made them stronger. They were 6 minutes apart but I had to really go to my happy, calm, labor place to get through them. I did visualization with my last delivery, and I had been reviewing the materials periodically through this pregnancy. I was much more calm this time around, and I think that helped in the long run.
I decided I would wake Nick at 6:30, 20 minutes before Jenna wakes up to tell him I was in labor and this was most likely it. I sat and thought about the January 3rd birthday that this baby girl would likely have. I thought about all I hoped and planned to do with this week, while Jenna was at day care, Nick was at work and I was going to put my feet up, read, shop and relax before the baby comes. Of course, that all went out the window. I continued to breath through the contractions.
I remembered last time I was rather violent with each contraction... Yelling, groaning, in pain, voicing that pain for all to hear. This time, I realized the less I 'fought' each contraction, the easier they passed. They were still painful but I was able to focus to get through them. I knew they would end soon, I could feel them ramp up, peak and fade out. It helped that they were 3-5 minutes apart, so I had time to collect my thoughts, talk to Nick or do whatever I needed to do in between.
So I woke Nick up, told him and no less than 10 seconds after I told him, Jenna got up early for the day. We sent her back to her bed, told her to wait for her alarm clock to turn green. Nick got in the shower, I laid back down for 10 minutes before Jenna got up for good for the day (6:55 am). I got her dressed, she didn't question my brief pauses as I worked through each contraction. Thoughts flew through my head of 'what if this isn't really it? We would have called all the grandparents to come down for nothing' but another contraction would hit, and I knew this baby was coming.
I got in the shower while Nick called his parents and my parents. At 7:30 I called Labor & Delivery and told them the contractions varied from 3-5 minutes apart, but that they were definitely painful and my first labor progressed quickly. They said it was time to come in and they would be expecting me. I let them know that we would be awhile as we had to drop my daughter off first.
I was still in denial. We took our time packing up the car and getting Jenna ready to get in the car. We finally arrived at Uncle Mike and Aunt Heidi's at around 8:30. It took Nick a bit of time to get the car seat out and Jenna's items in their house. I remember watching them walk up the stairs to the house thinking this was the last time our family would only have 3 members. Jenna looked so big and was so excited to hang out with Uncle Mike. She practically kicked us out.
On the way to the hospital, I was still starving. I asked Nick if we could stop to get something to eat, and he said we should probably just get to the hospital. I knew I was stalling. Still in denial. She was early. 10 days early. I wasn't really ready to deliver, I wasn't done being pregnant.
We arrived at the hospital, I was doing really well in between contractions. Nick actually wasn't sure if this was really it because I was doing so well with the contractions, joking with him in between them. When we went to admitting, there was already a couple sitting there. We stood in the hall and the couple kept offering me their chair but I told them it was worse if I sat. Another couple came in about 5 minutes after us, so there were 3 of us that needed to be admitted. The nurses went a little nuts and called for all backups. We were taken down to the surgery center to be admitted, and just in time, we ended up getting into triage fairly quickly. When we got there, there was a woman that was just being checked in the bed next to us, she was 7 cm and her water had broken without her knowledge. Yikes.
They finally checked me and I was 5 cm. Just like last time. I was being patient, apparently everyone had come in to deliver at the same time. During a contraction, I heard someone talk to Nick, and when I opened my eyes, it was the nurse that helped deliver my niece. She went to school with Nick and Mike and announced to the triage nurse that she would be taking us. We then walked to the Labor Suite and that fired the contractions up again once more.
Once in the room, I was debating getting an epidural or not. Last time I didn't have the opportunity, things just progressed too quickly. I emailed my work to let them know I was in labor, and wouldn't be able to submit payroll. That yielded a bunch of texts (and maybe phone calls, I don't remember) back and forth and finally I realized if I waited much longer, I likely wouldn't get the epidural. So I asked for it. Our nurse said she would go get an anesthesiologist as quickly as possible if I wanted one but offered to check my progress to see if things had progressed (to help firm up my decision if need be). I sat down and turned and my water broke. I knew things were about to progress very quickly and when she checked me, I was between 6&7 cm.
She got the IV started, and the anesthesiologist was in the room in a matter of minutes. She gave me the epidural, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be (WAY better than a natural childbirth!!) and my nurse said the baby just had to turn and things would move along quickly. This was around 11:30. She had me lay on my side, told me to close my eyes for a bit, let the epidural settle in and call her when I felt pressure.
She said that women who rest tend to have a quicker birth than those that don't. I wasn't sure what to expect. I popped on twitter and/or facebook, then closed my eyes for about a half hour. Suddenly, I felt the urge. I called the nurse, someone else came in. Our nurse was just finishing up lunch and was told to be called when I did. She came in a few minutes later. She checked me and I was fully dilated. I said I feel like I have to push she said 'Go ahead'. I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head. I gave a push, she watched the progress, called for the midwife and said 'We've got a good pusher'. That was a relief. Last time pushing took so long I was sore for days. I didn't want that again.
The midwife came in (also the same midwife that delivered my niece) and we had to wait for a contraction. So she's there, staring at me. I pushed at about 1pm and her head came out. We had to sit and wait for another contraction to deliver the shoulders and body. At 1:07 pm, Clara Jane was born. I can't believe it took only 2 pushes. She was perfect. And didn't look like Jenna to me at all. That's what I was expecting. But perfect. Beautiful, serene.
She hung out on my chest for awhile and we stared at her. They were cleaning up below. We got an anatomy lesson on the placenta which was more fascinating than gross (believe it or not) and we just watched her. I nursed her a bit, then they took her to be weighted. The nurse was shocked at her weight and actually had to weigh her again. She thought she must weigh more than 6 lbs. 9 oz. but both times, that's what the scale said. She was well proportioned, but small in weight. She immediately earned the name 'peanut'. She was 19.5 inches long. Her hair was curly at delivery (and continues to be curly if wet, but straight when it's dry).
Enough jabber... on to pictures...
Introducing her to her sister:
Nick saved this shirt for 'Labor Day'. It was inspiring :)
First photo as a family of 4
Jenna was so excited to come and meet baby 'Tula'.
And she promptly ate my whole lunch once Clara had moved on to Grandma
Here's her first little photo shoot:
I love her. She's absolutely perfect. Our family feels so complete now. I don't feel like we've taken anything away from Jenna, I feel like we've added more love to our little nest. Jenna adores her, looks after her, loves to give hugs and kisses. She helps with diapers, brings me water when I'm nursing and has done fabulous all around.
My heart is really complete with the addition of Clara Jane to our family.