How she happened, this little angel beauty:
Contractions had been teasing me for weeks, organizing for an hour at 8-10 minutes apart, then tapering off. Tuesday night, we had a birthday supper with our friends and I diced a 1/3 of a hot chili pepper into my taco salad, hoping to move things along. I woke up the next morning with contractions 5 minutes apart and told Jim he should stay home from work.
But, no dice. They slowed down to 20 min apart and off to work he went.
We went to bed Wednesday night around 10 pm. I slept soundly until 1:24 am when all of the sudden a rope of contraction wound around my middle. Another one 5 minutes later and then they continued for about 45 minutes. I woke up Jim, ate some waffles, and drank a glass of milk. He encouraged me to lie back down to try to rest.
Sure enough, back to 7-10 min apart, but this time I felt like they were here to stay. I couldn't find a comfortable position. Side lying was excruciating - only standing or all fours was bearable and I couldn't really rest in those positions. Jim pulled a chair up to the bed so I could sit and rest the top half of my body on a few pillows. This was perfect. I could actually relax through the contractions and then almost fall completely asleep between them.
At 5:00 am my water broke and contractions came consistently between 4 and 5 minutes apart. After calling our precious Barb to come stay with James and loading up the car, we quit timing them and just drove. I was so excited and pumped with adrenaline and hormones, I couldn't stop shaking almost the whole ride to the hospital.
We checked in and had to start out in a triage room (apparently October 4 is a popular birthday). My nurse checked my progress and said, "Huh..." I was expecting 4 cm at the most. We whooped and hollered when she said 7 cm!
She said, "We'll go ahead and call Dr. Stafford."
"Yeah," she said, "this is going to go pretty fast."
Sure enough, I went to use the restroom, and the next contraction made me want to bear down and push. The nurse heard me and yelled, "Don't you have that baby in the toilet!"
The next little bit went so quickly. I made it back to the bed, Dr. Stafford was there along with 4 other nurses, all ready to apparently catch my baby girl. I was still in shock - surely it couldn't be time yet. After about 5 or 6 sets of pushing, Anna emerged, warm and smooth. She snuggled quietly on my chest (after yelling for a bit about the nasal aspirator) for the longest time. Absolute heavenly bliss.
Jim was our champion, rubbing my back and legs and cheering me on through the pushing. One of the sweetest moments was when he held Anna for the first time. He leaned against the wall, slid down on the floor, curled his arms and shoulders around her and said, "You can have whatever you want."
I watched my husband fall in love with another girl right before my eyes. And it was beautiful.
We are having a sweet and uneventful recovery period, reveling in the love and generosity of friends and family. James came to the hospital and was so precious with Anna. After being very concerned with all my hospital bracelets and saline port, he gave Anna hugs and kisses and then hopped down on the floor to play with his rocket ship. Pretty standard 3-year-old behavior :)
My dear friend Mandy flew on the wings of the morning and met us at the hospital to take pictures during the labor. I was SO thankful for this gift. These are images that would have otherwise quickly become fuzzy in my memory. She says the lighting was tough to work with but I think they turned out beautifully. (Click to view them in an enlarged album)
Just arrived and excited!
The Man, Dr. Stafford
Helping me relax
Time to push!
This was the moment she was laid on my chest and Jim was hugging me. Love.
Crying as I watched them together for the first time. With my warm blankets and Jell-O of course.
6 lbs 15 oz, 18" long, born at 7:11 am
We are so very thankful for answered prayers. For a quick and safe delivery and for a most amazing and beautiful baby girl.