*Warning. This is long:)
So, Addison Claire made her debut at 12:18pm on Monday, January 14th, but the fun started that Sunday evening. Around 5:30pm, I began feeling little sharp cramps that were coming about every 15-20 minutes. I didn't think much of it, and I even persuaded Brad to go walking with me around the NOBTS campus...I had been a walking maching that week trying to get things rolling. I was getting super impatient about meeting our little girl, even though we hadn't even reached her due date. I had been 2 cm dialated and 80% effaced for almost a week.
Soon, I noticed, the cramps were coming every 8-10 minutes apart. I was still thinking that maybe they were Braxton-Hicks (but up to this point, I had never had any), but I called the hospital about 11pm, anyway. They told me to call the doctor on call, who sleepily told me to wait until they were every five minutes apart for about an hour. So, that's pretty much what the night consisted of. I tried to sleep, but they were uncomfortable enough to keep me awake. Around 4am, they were consistently about five or six minutes apart. However, I wasn't convinced because they really didn't hurt that bad. I was sure I was having some sort of super consistent false labor. If you can see where this is going, don't hate me yet...there was more fun to come.
About 6am, Brad convinced ME that we needed to go to the hospital. So, I called my friend, Naomi, who was our invaluable third helper-person for labor day. She was ready to go before we were! After the long check in process at the hospital, the nurse examined me and confirmed that I was having contractions and was 4 cm dialated. I couldn't believe it! I was like, this is awesome! Labor doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it would! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! My doctor then informed me that I wasn't technically in active labor and could go on like this for several hours or even days before things really got going. Then she told me that, if she broke my water, things would probably take off. After hearing that there were really no bad side effects from doing this, I said, "Hey, we're here; let's have a baby today!"
She broke my water about 8:45, and OMG did things CHANGE quickly. Within five minutes, I was pacing the room and having THAT kind of pain, the kind that makes you want to spit out bad words. The contractions started coming one on top of the other, with not even a minute or two in between. It was absolutely insane. There was no rest or relief at all. I was about to cave and get the epidural when the nurse came in. I asked her to check me, and she said that I was now at 7 cm...I had dialated 3 cm in an hour and a half!!! No wonder it stinkin' hurt. That was the encouragement that I needed to keep going without the epidural or any kind of drugs. Instead, I climbed in a birthing tub, which made life SO much better for a little bit. The contractions were still terrible and made me make noises normally heard by dying cattle and/or someone possessed by an evil spirit, but the water gave me a longer break in between. At this point, I was saying, "I don't think I can do it. I don't think I can do it." Brad and Naomi reminded me that I had wanted to go natural all along, and to keep breathing (which closely resembled hyperventilating, at this point).
About 45 minutes after my check, I suddenly felt like I had to PUSH! I tell you, it's crazy...my body couldn't have not pushed if I had tried to stop it. So, we rushed out of the tub and back to the bed. The nurse had to call my doctor twice to get her there, because she didn't think I would deliver until around 6 that night! Thankfully, she made it in time. After about 40 minutes of pushing (and almost passing out twice...I wasn't breathing 'cause I was so focused on getting her out!), she was there! When they placed her on me, I said, "She's beautiful...She's purple!" Haha, but that's apparently normal! The hard part was over!
Folks, this whole thing took place in about 3 1/2 hours....that's really, really fast, especially for a first-timer. The nurses and doctor were shocked, but said that I took it like a boss:) And I have to brag on Brad...he couldn't have been any more perfect, and I definitely couldn't have done it without him. And Naomi was running around helping and encouraging at all times, even with a herniated disc that I know was killing her. SO thankful for the support I had that morning. It hurt, A LOT, but the high that I got from the wave of happy momma hormones was stinkin' awesome. Our 6lb 14oz, 19 3/4 in. baby girl was here and already had her personality on display when she tried to flip herself off of the weigh scale because it was apparently too hard for her taste.
As fast as it went, my body responded pretty well, and I think recovery should go quickly. After experiencing childbirth, I'm like, "Sure, sign me up for a marathon. I could totally climb Mt. Everest. Let's do a triathalon." I have a heck of a lot more confidence in what my body is capable of after that. It's amazing to see and experience how the Lord has fashioned our bodies, and the way He has perfectly created our girl. He has been so gracious in allowing Brad and I to experience a closeness beyond the bond that we have felt in our marriage. Parenting her is already teaching us more about the character of God, which was my "theme" in exploring Him through His Word this year.
There is so much more I could say. How much work breastfeeding is, how little sleep we're getting, how she really like to sleep on somebody and not in her bassinet, how she moves and kicks like no other newborn I've held (thanks, Dad, she got your talent for soccer). I'll try to save some for later posts. For now, pictures!
Last picture as a family of 2
Best. Doctor. Ever.
Ready to go home
Daddy is HOOKED
Dad's favorite picture
Not sure what to think of the "New Puppy"
Probably her favorite sleeping position...Mommy's too.