July 12th, 2014 What a life changing day that I remember like it was just yesterday! But lets back up to July 8th, her actual due date.
Throughout entire pregnancy my doctor gave us an approximate due date, but also referred to it as a due week. He does that because this wasn’t his first baby and he knew that babies come when they want. So of course I would always be like “July 8th? Oh ok awesome! That’s the day she WILL be here.” I would let “due week” go in one ear and out the other. I wanted her here sooner rather than later. Duh. So when we went into my appointment on July 8th I was feeling great! Not a feeling you want when you want to be going into labor. Before real labor everything feels a little off as your body is about to do the most amazing thing that it was made for. You want to be feeling contractions and in some pain, because that means BABY IS COMING! So we go in for my appointment and he is super casual and tells me I am barely dilated to 1 1/2 cm. Which is some progress from the week before, but not much. Also not much when you want to be dilated to 10 cm on that day lol.
While this is happening, my sister-in-law is on the other side of the hospital in labor and delivery anticipating the arrival of her sweet baby boy. After the short appointment and the “see you Friday to check on Lilly if she isn’t here yet” news, we walked over to visit them. She had been checked in and was having steady contractions and dilating and full on in labor. Might of been a tad jealous, ha. Nathan had to get to work so we went home and I headed to the gym. I was determined to get Lilly out! After a two mile run and a 30 minute walk I headed back home, tired with no labor signs. Later that day my first nephew was born and I was such a proud aunt! He was so cute and perfect and wonderful. All things to make you want your baby here NOW.
By the end of the day, no baby. Theee more days pass by, no baby. I continued to workout out (run/walk/elliptical) and still no signs of labor. We walked to the hospital to see our nephew, we walked to Starbucks to get coffee, we walked around the apartment complex several times, any reason to walk/be active I took, and still no baby. When I went in for my appointment Friday morning to check on Lilly and make sure she had enough room/fluids and wasn’t in any danger, the doctor said: you are almost dilated to a 2. Almost. ALMOST! All that working out and salsa and jumping and tea drinking and whatever else was on the internet to “induce labor”, none of it had helped. So we got a sonogram and she was snug as a bug in there. She was snoozin’ and not coming out that day. My heart longed to see her sweet face. To hold her. To kiss her. To love on her. I wanted all of it. I also had family in from Mississippi and Scotland to see her and they were leaving the next day, so no pressure towards Lilly on making her arrival.
Saturday morning at 5am I was awaken to some mild cramping. After a few cramps had come and gone I started to wonder if they were contractions because within the next few cramps I could start to feel them in my lower back. So over the next two hours I timed them and they weren’t super consistent at about 5-10 minutes apart lasting 30-45 seconds, so I didn’t wake Nathan up. I kept telling myself, ok one more and I will wake him, no one more, and so one. By 7am he was starting to wake up so that we could get ready to meet my aunt for breakfast before he had to head into work. When he rolled over I showed him my phone (I downloaded a “contractions timer” app) all giddy and he got a huge smile, but also was like- what the heck, why have you not woke me up sooner?! So we decided to go for a walk and a mile later the contractions started to get closer together and more consistent and lots stronger. Things were still fun at this point. We were just laughing and chatting away. I was still able to keep walking/breath through every contraction. In the middle of this walk my water broke. It didn’t gush, thankfully! Just trickled on and off. But I didn’t know until we got back to the apartment. So when I told Nathan that I thought my water had broke he said, “are you sure you didn’t pee on yourself?” I was sure because I still had bladder control and knew I wasn’t randomly peeing on myself . So we showered and got ready to head to the hospital.
During this time we had told my aunt we weren’t going to make it to breakfast with the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well because we didn’t want to get anyones (my own) hopes up and it be false labor. So my mom called after I got out of the shower (I am having contractions every 3ish minutes at this point) and I am trying my hardest to be super casual and tell her I was feeling better and I would come over later to help set up for my sisters birthday party. We didn’t want to tell anyone anything till I was checked into the hospital and in active labor. So trying to breath like a normal person who isn’t having contractions and also dying laughing at my husband because I am lying to her is not an easy task.
I get off the phone with her and unpack and re-pack the hospital bag that had been packed for weeks with thoughts like: “do I have everything I need, is this really what we want her to wear? Should I bring snacks, I am pretty hungry? Should I bring extra clothes?” And my dear husband is patiently waiting by the door saying “Tiffany we have to go. Tiffany, let’s go. I will come back if I need to!” He finally gets me in the jeep and we head to the hospital around 930 and head to the labor and delivery wing. We immediately see my doctor and he was looking pretty rough. He had been up delivering babies all night (I’m convinced it was the full moon!) so he was headed home and I had to have another doctor deliver.
Once we finally got situated and in a room, the nurse came in to check me at about 10am and tells me I am dilated to a 3! Which is great to me, because just yesterday I was “almost a 2”. She also confirmed that my water had broke, so they were going to allow me to stay (they usually send you home if you aren’t dilated to at least 4cm.) because of risk of infection. After she leaves and says she’ll come back in two hours to check me again is when we decided to text our families and let them know that we might have a baby today! Within the next hour several family members showed up to the hospital to see us. I used a medicine/birthing ball during that two hours to relieve some pain in my back during the contractions. Ladies, USE THE MEDICINE BALL! It works wonders.
During this time nathan is doing a WONDERFUL job at evaluating my pain and getting a feel for how much I can take. Since before I was pregnant I had said that I wanted an all natural birth. I didn’t want to be induced, I didn’t want any medicine to give me/speed up contractions, no epidural, nothing. Nathan knew I felt very strongly about this and we had several talks about him not letting me cave and get the “good stuff”. I wanted to feel it all, experience it all, and know that I could do it. But we also came up with a “safe word” for me to use if it got to the point to where I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Our safe word was “safe word” because I didn’t actually want to have one. I just didn’t want to have the option of an epidural. But it made Nathan feel better so we did it. I also wanted to enjoy Lilly being delivered and her arrival, so I had to keep telling myself that if I got one that I’m not a bad mom and I’m not a failure. Which was the best thing I could do for myself! I needed to be open to whatever could happen that day. So all during pregnancy we tried to figure out things that make me laugh and I would tell nathan, do this or say this when I’m in pain and it’ll make everything better! Which worked for a little while.
A little before noon the contractions were hurting pretty bad and very close together and nathan could see I was in a lot of pain, so we asked for family to step out and give us some time alone. Nathan’s attempts at funny stuff was starting to fail and become less funny. The nurse came back at noon to check me and said I was dilated to a 6! Yay! So much progress in just two hours. She entered a few things into the computer and said she would be back in two hours to check me again. But because she had me lay on my back to check me then the contractions at this point become unbearable. She had my lay on my side before leaving the room and I knew I had reached my threshold of pain. Only 15-20 minutes had passed during this time and I could feel my body getting ready to push. So I told Nathan and asked him to call her back in to see what was going on. He called the nurse with a very disbelieving tone: “can you send someone, she thinks she’s pushing.” He continued to say things that I thought were funny and my response was: “No, just no.” Laughing was only causing more pain.
My body continued to push with every contraction and once the nurse arrived she hesitantly checked me (because it had only been 20 minutes and the whole risk of getting an infection thing) but she checked me anyways and said “WOW! You are definitely at a 10 and I can see babies head!” THANK YOU JESUS! I was at the point to where if I hadn’t dilated any or had barely dilated at all, I was going to have to get an epidural. So hearing that I was at a 10 was like, ok awesome! That means NO EPIDURAL, yay! Now what? What’s next. Let’s do this! Over the next forty minutes, yupp forty minutes, we waited for the doctor to come. That whole time my body is pushing with every contraction. If you ever think before labor, I don’t know how to push or what will I do- your body was made for this sister! It literally will do it on it’s on. I am trying to “nicely” ask every couple of minutes, you know in between screams and pushes, with my most desperate voice “where is she? when will she be here? Can you (the nurse) deliver this baby?” I didn’t care who delivered Lilly at this point, even if it was Nathan, I just knew she needed to come out. While this is all happening the nurse just keeps saying “don’t push” -LOL, “hold your legs together”- yeah, that doesn’t keep a bbay in, and “yeah, I can still see her head!”. And still no doctor.
Finally a little after 1pm the doctor shows up. This is the part of my labor and delivery experience that I wish I was more prepared for. I wish I had known a little more what it was going to be like or what to do. The doctor I had deliver was not nice or gentle at all. Which are very important things when delivering a baby! She made the whole experience feel very rushed and chaotic. I am very thankful I only had to push 4-5 times, because I don’t think I could have lasted any longer. The doctor was yelling at me to do things one way, and the nurse was yelling at me to hold my own legs and that Nathan couldn’t help, and the other nurse was yelling at me to hold my head down, and it was just too much all at once. Thank you Jesus Nathan was in there to encourage me along the way! He is so perfect!
I had pushed a couple times once she got there, with the next push her head came out, then both her shoulders popped out with another push (OUCH!!!). The doctor said we need one more push – I am thinking “can you just pull her out”?- and your baby will be here! And sure enough at 1:17pm Miss Lilly was out and screaming! I couldn’t see her yet, but all I could hear was Nathan saying “she is perfect! She’s so perfect”. I thought I would cry, but I was in too much shock. I just kept thinking, oh my gosh! I just had a baby?! Is this real life? Crazy. They then did a quick wipe down and laid her on my chest for some skin-to-skin time. They placed her really high though and I couldn’t see her face and the first words out of my mouth were: what does her nose look like?! (Reference sonogram picture above) Nathan laughs and says, “not like the sonogram!”. He knows me so well. I adjusted her some and was able to see her better and he was right, she was perfect.
After some skin-to-skin time I was able to nurse her and cuddle her sweet self. After that, nathan had some time with her we were able to let the crowd of people in to meet her. Apparently it’s a safety hazard to have almost 30 people back at one time to meet her. She was already so loved and my heart was so full. We continued to have guest for the next 24 hours and were released to take our baby home the next afternoon.
What a crazy and wonderful experience. Through all the pain and chaos, I would do it all again. Those first couple weeks/months after you think: “yeah, I’m never doing that again! No more babies unless Nathan has them!” But it’s true what they say, you forget about the pain and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Everything eventually heals and goes back to normal, or a new normal and it all seems worth it. My heart has so much love for the girl who made me a momma.
If you made it to the end, you deserve an award my dear friend!
Until next time,