I had some great ward friends throw me a baby shower, which I didn't get a single picture of, but it was lots of fun with more cute little clothes and blankets than I knew existed! Bless the women in my ward who know how to dress little girls and are willing to share their wisdom with me. :)
So, onto the birth story, feel free to skip ahead if birth stories make you yawn/queasy/want to overdose on birth control.
My parents flew in late on May 29th. I should have gone to bed early, but instead I stayed up late and went to bed just before they got in, at about 1 AM. I had a doctor's appointment the next day in the morning and my parents were still nice enough to watch the kids while I went, even though I know they were super tired and jet-lagged. When I got to the doctor, she looked at my chart, checked me out, and asked me why in the world I was still pregnant since I had been making great progress for the last three weeks. I just sat there, huge and still pregnant, and told her I didn't know. I was the same way with the boys, the doctor would tell me I'm progressing and to not go far, and then nothing would happen to past my due date. Anyway, the doctor stripped my membranes (which isn't exactly comfortable, by the way) and told me call the next week if nothing happened over the weekend, but she was confident that I'd have the baby within a day or two.
The rest of the day was pretty normal. We took Jason to school, went grocery shopping, went to the bank, nothing too exciting. When Brett got home we went to a local pizza place for dinner, where the family next to us quietly remarked on my massive size and wondered when I was due. I had been having small contractions off and on in the afternoon, but they didn't hurt and they weren't consistent. Once we headed out to dinner they started becoming uncomfortable, but were short. During dinner, the contractions were becoming more frequent and intense. It was then I realized that I had no idea how to time contractions. I'd been induced with both the boys, so I didn't ever need to time anything. I told Brett and he found and downloaded an app to my phone that let me push a button for the start and stop of every contraction and would calculate the info for me. (Where would we be without smart phones? Guesstimating contractions in restaurants like fools, that's where!) After dinner, my app told me contractions were 4-5 minutes apart. Brett wanted to take my parents on a short driving tour around town, so we did that. It was actually a helpful distraction while we were out driving around, mostly because I could just close my eyes and find a "happy place" instead of answer my kids when they keep asking what's the matter with me. We got home about 7:45, and got the kids in the pajamas and ready for bed, very quickly, because I wanted to go to the hospital right NOW. By the time we got to the hospital, two minutes later, I was in a lot of pain. While walking into the building we passed another lady walking out and she laughed at me. And I silently wished she would break her ankle on the way out so that she could hobble into the hospital in pain and have someone laugh at her. Then I felt bad, and then more contractions. When we got to the labor and delivery they asked if I had called my doctor yet and I sort of panicked. Was I supposed to? Were they going to send me home? Did they not think I looked "in labor" enough to be taken seriously? Thankfully another nurse just took me into a room and said they'd start monitoring me. I had Brett take a quick preggo picture, because I have pictures from my other pregnancies and wanted to be consistent:
|This is my "hurry and take the picture while I can still smile" face|
By the time I was changed into a gown and they'd strapped the monitor to me, I was at the transition phase of labor. I was at 7-8 centimeters and they told me if I wanted an epidural, to ask for it now. Here's where I strayed from my previous labor experiences. I told them no. I don't really have a good reason for why I chose to go without an epidural this go-round, my previous labors were both induced and with epidurals and I had no problems with that, the recovery was fine, everything went smoothly. Basically, I've always wanted to see if I could go without it and have never been able to, so I wanted to try.
Ok, here's the thing about childbirth-every single TV show, movie, actor's portrayal of a natural delivery is absolute crap. There's no lamaze-breathing through that. There was, as I found out quickly, a whole lot of screaming, which many people "forgot" to mention when telling me about their experiences. While I was in labor some part of my brain recalled a sentence from a book I'd read that stated, "Nurses observing women who use the Bradley Method often report that the woman in labor appears to be sleeping." LIES. Who are THESE women? If they look like they're sleeping it's because they're not far along or they've passed out from the pain.
Thankfully, it didn't last forever. Our little girl came fast like I hoped she would. She was born at 9:19, meaning from the time I walked in the door to the time she was born was just less than an hour and a half.
If you're wondering what that white thing is on my wrist, it's a tissue. Brett knows I hate the IV, especially the needle sticking into my hand part, so he asked the nurse to cover it up for me, which I thought was very sweet of him.
The boys are quite in love with her. I worried they really wouldn't like her, especially Brandon, but they both have done well. If anything they like her a little too much, I'm constantly telling them to get out of her face so she can sleep and that they can't fight over who gets to hold her next.
She has lots of dark hair like the boys did when they were born. People keep asking how Brett and I made a baby with such dark hair, and I really don't know. I haven't known with any of the kids! Neither of us had dark hair, or really any hair when we were born. I don't know where this genetic quirk comes in, but I think it's adorable! She has blonde eyebrows and eyelashes so I think it'll lighten up quite a bit within the next few months like Jason and Brandon's hair did.