I need to get the birth story of Lillian down before it completely escapes my sleep deprived mom of 3 mind. If you want the short version without all the details here it is:
It was FAST. As in less than 2 hours from the very first indication to holding my baby.
I was FURIOUS. I did not get the epidural (or ANY drug stronger than an ibuprofen) which wasn't just IN my birth plan it WAS my birth plan.
That completes the short detail-less version of the story. From here on is the the full version. Proceed if you wish.
Tuesday February 25th began with me being 39 weeks. I had a routine doctors appointment that day but first we walked Jackson to school, the long way around. When I got home I hung up both boys weekly laundry and wrangled Lucy into the bath. I knew her sister would be coming soon and wanted her to be fresh and clean to meet her. This feat is normally not a small task, at 39 weeks, it's really interesting and possibly humorous but Lincoln was the only witness and he didn't laugh...much. I had decided to put my hospital bags in the car because if this visit went anything like the last doctors visit with Lincoln, I could go straight to the hospital. I got Lincoln on his way with the neighbors and I headed out to Target. No trip alone goes without a visit to Target so I walked in and ended up purchasing 5 12-packs of soda on sale. My doctors appointment was relatively uneventful. I already had an induction date for Thursday so this was just a routine check. He had me at 4cm and 70% effaced but I think that was on the conservative side. Either way, I asked him to do a membrane strip and he did. It wasn't painful at all. I hoped it might help speed things along since going in Thursday was a game of "chance" . I was 3 of 4 elective spots that could easily be bumped. He sent me on my way and said see you Thursday or before. I had decided that I needed pink nails when I meet my baby girl so I went to the nail salon for a quick manicure. After I got them done, I picked Lincoln up from his play date and came home to start preparing dinner. Once all the makings for spaghetti were complete, it was time for Jackson to be home. I hadn't gotten my exercise in that day so I put them both in the car for a trip to the gym. (It was 4:30-5:30) I spent an hour on the treadmill walking and watching parenthood on the kindle. It makes the treadmill walking bearable and I don't notice the incline when I watch something. I do love the funny looks I got while walking on the treadmill THAT pregnant. I can always tell when they didn't notice from behind and then I get off or turn around and see it register on their face.
Before dinner, I helped Jackson work on his "weather" poster because we would be a little busy the end of the week. I got dinner on the table about 6:30 and that's when I noticed the "trickle". It wasn't a sure thing at first so I kept up the dinner service and Jason got home. After the third "trickle" I was about to sit down at the table to a LARGE plate of spaghetti and I told Jason, "I don't want to alarm you but I'm pretty sure my water broke." He asked what exactly that meant for us, did we need to hurry? I said, no, no hurry. I wasn't having any regular contractions but you have to go to the hospital when your water breaks so we would definitely be going in tonight. He and the boys ate their spaghetti. At that realization, I decided to forgo the spaghetti and eat peanut butter cheerios instead. It just seemed like a better choice. After I was done, I began packing the boys bags to send them to the neighbors house for the night. I also had to pack their bags for school and their lunches. I got pjs for them down and asked them to eat so they could shower. By the time I had those things together, I had started having some measurable contractions. I had escalated from "no big hurry" to "GET in the shower NOW" and when I dropped them off at the neighbors I scurried to the car and told Jason to GO! We live about 20 minutes from the hospital and I noticed the clock right away (It was after 7:30) and I was having contractions easily every 5 minutes and they were increasing in intensity pretty dramatically. We were getting close to the hospital and ran into a bit of construction traffic. It was an extra long red light and we decided this was a case in which running it was proving necessary.
He dropped me off at the front door because parking is pretty terrible there and I made my way between contractions to Labor and Delivery. I approached the desk and announced I was there to have a baby. It was 8:04 at I was handed a pencil and some scrap paper to answer a few questions and then sent to the "laboring bench". This is a special bench. It's right in the middle of the L&D hallway and it has a special sign above it that claims it's reserved for laboring mothers. My contractions had moved into the every 3 minutes range. I was NOT impressed with the service to this point. It didn't seem to occur to them that I was ACTUALLY in labor. I didn't need to go to triage, I needed a ROOM to labor in. I sent my sister THIS photo to show my disapproval of the "laboring bench". After sitting on the bench for what seemed like an eternity, I was ushered to a triage room for a cervical check. When she discovered I was already past 5cm, she called in and told them I WAS in fact in labor and needed to be admitted. Imagine that. I could have told them that, um, 20 minutes ago.
With my hospital gown and NOTHING else on, she wrapped a sheet around me and between contractions, I made my way to room 266. I knew waiting on them to get a wheelchair for me was null. I made it to the bed before the next contraction hit but things certainly didn't slow down. I immediately made my request for an epidural known. I knew I needed the IV first so I was begging them to get the dang IV started. The sooner the better. It was about 8:30-8:35 when we entered the room. They had to put orders in and draw blood, blah, blah, blah. Jason was at my bedside, I had been using his hand for "focus", aka squeeze it as tightly as I could. I was starting to sweat. I had brought my stroller fan and I needed him to hold it IN MY FACE. I replaced his hand with the bed rail. He should thank me now as I really took it out on that bed rail! My arms and shoulders were tremendously sore the next day. Jason said, "It's from you gripping that bed rail." I didn't know I had used it to that degree. This is about the time the details start to blur to me. I know at some point I looked up at him and said, "I'm not gonna get an epidural, am I?" He calmly put me off, just like the nurses had been doing.
8:56 I am in pretty immense pain and Jason looks down to see a HEAD crowning. The last thing I hear is him saying "Nurse, um, NURSE!" When she looks over, there is a buzz of activity that kicks into action. They yell precept, PRECIP! 6 other L&D nurses rush in and they bring with them the Precip cart and the precip warmer for the baby. I'm thinking this is kinda like the crash cart but for deliveries. Precip is short for precipitous. The Websters definition of precipitous is: happening in a quick or sudden way. done too quickly without enough thought or planning.
I don't know about them but I'd been PLANNING on an epidural for 9 months and it wasn't happening. They tossed some gloves all around and one of them gave me the "push" command. It wasn't necessary. Pushing isn't something you can actually control at that point. Not pushing isn't possible. One more push and at 9:01 we had a baby. Caught by my faithful L&D nurse on call. There was no time for removing the end of the bed or those silly stirrups. I had said all along, I didn't need a doctor for much. I had done this before. I didn't mean it literally. But then again, his only job that day is to catch the baby and he missed that by more than 20 minutes. Again, the time before and after is SUCH a blur, even for Jason but they let him cut the cord and me catch my breath while they wiped her off. I got to hold her right after they weighed her. It was enough to put a smile on my face where there had been a permanent scowl due to the lack of epidural. I was pretty shaky afterwards and told them they could bathe her while I got my self together. She never had to leave our room. I took some time to let my family know that she had arrived and I was going to live and let the nurses live after not getting the epidural. When it was all said and done, I was quite happy to have had a short enough labor to not need an epidural and being able to get up nearly immediately after having her was the greatest feeling. I didn't even need the IV after delivery and they took it out.
I wasted NO time playing dress up with her. I had 6 outfits and 7 headbands on her before the clock struck midnight. Jason finally just turned the light out on us. My dreams had come true and he knew it!
Look at those precious wrinkly feet!
We got a little bit of sleep and awaited my moms arrival. She was already planning a flight for Wednesday morning. She just needed to secure her own transportation to get to the hospital. She got there in record time. She wasted no time getting to see this baby!
The GREATEST hospital bag. (by stella&dot www.stelladot.com/jamiedefoor) But really, a great and big bag to hold everything for a 36 hour stay! Mom brought the decor for the baby crib but if you think she laid in that thing, you should think again. She thought there was pins and needles in it and would screech if we put her near it.
The boys finally met her Wednesday afternoon. Jackson was smitten with her right away. He's always loved babies. Lincoln liked her but was a little weary of her. His first comment was "her head is really tiny!"
Look at that giant paci. I HATE those paci's and wouldn't you know it's the ONLY one she will consider taking. I'm still pushing the other kinds but she gags on them.
deFoor family of FIVE. At night in the bed, I still whisper over to Jason, "We have a GIRL! We have THREE kids. We now have to request a table for FIVE!" Neither of us can still quite believe it.
I have no doubt she's going to be spoiled. She's got these two, her daddy and me. She doesn't have a chance.
Tiny little baby feet with the longest newborn toes I've ever seen. She didn't get her feet from me. I have Flintstones feet. These toes belong to her father for sure.
I made my departure ASAP on Thursday morning. I was ready to leave on Wednesday but they said she had to stay until the doctor released her. I could have told them she was perfect but they don't listen to me!
I didn't want to leave without having my picture made in front of the laboring bench where she almost met the world. If I had sat there 10 more minutes, we might have had a situation.
I was surprised that they let me walk out. Not that I wasn't capable but I've always had to be wheeled out even if I felt like walking. This time, the nurse walked me to the door and handed me my baby to take home. I took her and RAN! I was happy to be free and even happier to be toting this little baby doll!
I am SO in love. Jason is SO in love. The boys are completely smitten with her. I hold her most of the day. When I can't use both hands I wear her.
It's possible she may be the most photographed newborn on the planet.
Life is better with her in it!