It took me far longer to announce it here than it should have but she's here!
I don't know how you feel about them but I love a good baby story so you're about to get mine in detail.
We'll start at the very beginning... Wednesday morning. I woke up and was sure my water had broken. Not a lot just a little trickle like it did with Catie so I was prepared, I know this drill. Go to the hospital, get checked out and sent home until labour starts or until 24 hits, either way I was having a baby in the next 24 hours, not the next 6 days like I had been preparing for. You can imagine my surprise and disappointment when they told me I was wrong, my water was still in tact. Discouraged I headed home and considered the idea that I had 6 crummy days left.
At this point I knew I was in the very earliest stages of labour but who knows how long that can last. I went throughout my day even if I was super grouchy and miserable. I had the occasional contraction during the day but they were really minor and super sporadic, nothing to get excited about.
I went to bed like usual and started being woken up by the odd stronger contraction around midnight. I could still mostly sleep through them at this point so I did my best to do just that. I moved to the couch eventually where I dozed a little but finally gave up around 1:30 in the morning. I had a bath and headed back to bed at 3:00 where Brad woke up and started timing things. I was surprised how quickly things were moving because by 3:30 I was in a ton of pain, they were coming super close together and it was time to go to the hospital. We called my in-laws and they came over to sleep at our house and be with Catie while we headed off.
They checked me in quick and asked about my pain medication wishes, they also discovered I was already 4 cm dilated. I make no apologies about the fact that I'm no hero. I don't like physical pain and I like labour even less so I let them know that I wanted drugs and I wanted them ASAP. I wanted an epidural when I could have it and I'd take anything else they'd give me until I was ready for that. They loaded me up with fentanol and when they offered me laughing gas as well I jumped at the chance (definitely a good decision). I laboured for a while and they called the anesthesiologist down.
Now with Catie I had an epidural and while talking to other women after delivery I became more and more convinced that my epidural was no good. Let me just tell you that I now know with a certainty that my first epidural was no good. This one turned out to be incredible! I may have taken a bunch of pokes in the back and the calling of a resident but it was worth the bliss that followed. I thought the drugs had stopped my contractions, turned out I just couldn't feel them at all anymore. I had a lovely nap and settled in while my body did just what it should be doing. Things were right on track.
The doctor came in occasionally to check me and we joked about how I was and would be her easiest patient of the day, everything was going smoothly and it was just a matter of time. Things continued to progress and we guessed this lady would be born around 11:00 in the morning, an hour from now. Still super comfortable and relaxed I was enjoying my time so far.
Sadly, 11:00 came and went and I hadn't progressed for a while. We'd just started thinking it was time to do something else when it was time to push. After about three pushes I was pretty sure I was in trouble, I had no energy, was starving and I started to fervently pray that this girl would come quickly. This was not in the plans.
The nurses praised me over and over again for my pushing abilities (apparently I'm a pro pusher). Each push moved her down a little but after the push was over she inched right back. Now is when things get worse. I don't care how well frozen I am, internal exams are always very uncomfortable for me and this is the point where doctors and residents and nurses and interns and janitors (okay, maybe not) all came in and took their turns very roughly examining me, trying to figure out the funny position Eden was in. Normally when babies are born they come out with the crown of their head first, Eden was trying to come out eyebrow first... not a good thing. In fact, one doctor as she checked said, "Oops, I think I poked her in the eye". We'd also, in all this checking stopped paying attention to my epidural and it had really worn off. I was in a ton of pain, I'd been pushing for an hour and a half, was exhausted and became kind of broken emotionally. I sort of lost all hope and could not stop crying. I retreated into myself and let Brad take care of everything while I thought of nothing but trying to make it through the next contraction. They topped up my epidural but I was so fragile it didn't do a whole lot for me.
It finally came time to talk about options. There were three, forcepts, a vacuum and a c-section. Only the first two weren't actually options as Eden was still too high up for those attempts and it just wasn't safe. C-section was the choice and while not what I wanted at least things started moving again. They got Brad ready, they wheeled me in and got started.
This is my favourite photo... a nurse took this right before they wheeled me into surgery and like I mentioned, I wasn't really doing well. I somehow managed to focus for a second and pull out this smile and I love how completely crazy I look. I think it captures the moment well.
By this point they had topped up my epidural for the third time and I was finally so frozen I could feel nothing. I was exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open so I mostly slept though the surgery as Brad held my hand. I did however hear those beautiful first cries.
One thing I will forever be grateful for is the conversations Brad and I had about what was important to me before any labour had started. I wanted three things. I wanted to hold Eden immediately after labour when she was all disgusting and gross still, I wanted a photo of Eden on the scale when they measured her weight and I wanted a video of her first (or nearly) cries. Clearly I couldn't hold her right away but because of the conversation I had with Brad I will always have the following photos to look at and some videos of those first few moments. He captured what I could not be there to see and because of that I think I'm able to feel far more positively about this c-section than I know a lot of women are able to. He took such beautiful photos that I don't even feel like I missed a thing.
The video needs a little work and that's Brad's area so I'll share it another day.
Here's a much better photo of me, far less crazy.
So after the birth they asked if I wanted to see my placenta and that's something I had really felt I missed out on with Catie so I was excited at the opportunity. I had no way of knowing that the drugs they gave me happened to give me incredible nausea and so it was barely in time that they got me a bucket to throw up in. I didn't really get to see the placenta as well as I wanted and I'm pretty sure I seemed like a pansy but it's such a small detail I'm okay with it. I spent the next 12 hours fighting the urge to throw up and itchier than I've ever been but I'm still grateful for all my drugs.
So she didn't come at all like we imagined she would, we thought she'd be born at 11:00 in the morning with very little effort and it wasn't until 2:44 on August 9 th that they finally pulled her out. She weighed 8 lbs 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. She's perfect, pudgy, adorable and didn't settle until they gave her to me (that's a way to make a new momma feel good).
We're home from the hospital and enjoying our time together. Big sister Catie has handled everything even better than I could have hoped but that's a post for another day though as I'm sure no one wants this one to be any longer.