elsie's birth wasn't exactly what I expected.
It was better.
It made up for every awful, miserable day of pregnancy.
(is that some kind of rule? The more difficult the pregnancy, the easier the labor?)
My doctor wanted to induce a week early, but we wanted to hold out until my mom got here. We had a few moments of panic over the week we waited, thinking we might not make it after all, but we did. Monday the 15th I had contractions every 8ish minutes all morning and afternoon. They died down in the evening. Tuesday morning they were every 15 minutes, but got closer together as the day progressed. We drove to Ohio that evening to drop Luke off at his cousin's (they're only a couple hours from our house, and the hospital was only an hour away...and it was an hour away from our house anyway, so it wasn't a huge concern to drive there). We got him settled and watched him have a blast with cousins. My mom was planning on picking him up the next afternoon as she drove into town. We headed back an hour and got a hotel next to the hospital for the evening. My contractions were picking up and I could tell baby was moving herself farther down. I took my last sleeping pill (thank you doctor!) and got a good nights rest.
We headed into the hospital at 5:30 the next morning. I got hooked up to all the monitors, and was contracting every 6-7 minutes (this girl was coming that day, inducing or not). I was 3 1/2 cm dilated. Around 10 am, I decided to get an epidural, mostly just because the anesthesiologist was going to assist with a surgery at 11, and wouldn't be available again until later in the afternoon. Natural birth is just not my jam, but totally awesome if it's yours.
This is the scariest part about birth for me. Oooh, I want that epidural, I just don't want to actually have to do it, you know? This experience was a million times better than my epidural with Luke. My anesthesiologist had the most beautiful voice and accent and he was strangely really calming? Plus, they allowed Travis to hold me this time instead of a nurse (which maybe wasn't all that great of an idea, because I almost bit his shoulder during it...and I only refrained because my mom bit my dad while she was in labor and has never lived it down). And you guys, it was just amazing. Painful, yes, but quick. And perfectly placed. With Luke, my legs went numb, but uh, everything else was definitely NOT numb, if you know what I mean (and I was walking a half hour after I gave birth, sooo, not that great of a job there). Afterwards, the nurse went to check me again, but before she could, my water broke. I was at a 4, btw.
We discussed some middle names (it was so hard this time around?), and Trav got some work done. I chatted with my mom, took some naps, and generally earned my giant water bottle.
Just after noon, my doctor left the office. Since I wasn't super close to delivering, he stopped by another hospital to see a different patient. At 1:00 my nurse came to check me again. I was at a 7. She asked if I was feeling any pressure yet (I wasn't), so she told me to tell her when I did.
At 1:17, she came back to tell me the doctor had just gotten on the highway. I almost didn't mention it, because it was so slight, but I told her I was feeling the tiniest bit of pressure. The nurse said she'd check me again, but it probably didn't matter because my doctor would just do it again when he got here anyway. She flipped me on my back and...started freaking out. My baby's head was halfway out (that epidural was AWESOME). She yelled for the baby's nurses to come, and called my doctor to tell him he wasn't going to make it. I guess he tried to tell her to wait, because she kept yelling that she was going to have to deliver this baby because this baby was delivering herself anyway and there was no waiting. I tried to hurry and brush my hair, but I didn't get to finish because, well, there she was, at 1:23. I literally didn't do anything at all. I was laughing the whole time and kept repeating how amazing this was that I couldn't feel a single thing.
And then there was a tiny miracle on my chest. She came out crying, but stopped as soon as she snuggled into my skin. That's something I never want to forget.
She was perfect. I had my fill of that baby, skin to skin, and then I handed her over to be weighed and wrapped so that her daddy could have a turn holding her.
And oh, she was so beautiful. We were really surprised that she was the exact same size as her brother. We were equally surprised at how dark she was- skin and hair (and I was very pleased- I kept envisioning her dark). She has my (and Luke's) nose, chin, and eye shape. She looks very much like her brother and has my mom's exact hair color, and literally THE LONGEST TOES we have ever seen.