Hello everyone! She's here!!
Warning: Kinda, sorta, REALLY long. ;)
Apparently Tuesday was a good day to have a baby!
But barely. She arrived Tuesday night at 11:04. She was six pounds four ounces and nineteen inches long. She has light brown/blonde hair with some light blonde and red in it and really light eyebrows and lashes. So we're not too sure which way her hair will go.
I have to tell you a little about the meaning of her name. We've liked her first name since we were pregnant with our second baby, Son. We didn't know what we were having so that was our choice if it was a girl. Then we still liked it through our third pregnancy, again a boy. And now, we still liked it when we found out that Jelly Bean was a girl!! I had looked up the meaning to the name years ago and really hadn't given it much thought again and didn't remember what it meant. Anyway, we picked her middle name based on the meaning, it means birth or born (in reference to Christ's birth) and I just loved it. In the hospital, Hubby asked me what her first name meant and I had no clue anymore, so I just looked it up again and the Greek and French origins of her name mean "bright light" or "torch." So her full name could mean a bright light or torch is born! How amazing!! God's got plans for this little one, let me tell you! ;)
So that's it. She's here. She's great.
You want to hear our birth story?
Okay fine. ;)
So Wednesday I posted about being up all night with contractions. They continued as I had written all day. They were every five minutes, very uncomfortable. I couldn't sleep through them, but I could still walk and talk through most of them. I was in early labor and I knew it. Around noon I started getting frustrated that there wasn't any change. I would even have ten minute breaks here and there with no contractions at all. So my friend Rachelle was so kind to come over and hang out with the kids and I. Then she pulled out her stroller, loaded up her kids and asked promptly "Ready to go for a walk?" We walked around the block a couple times and even ran a little at one point.
I also cleaned my bathrooms, cleared out all the laundry hampers, picked out clothes for all the kids for the week, cleaned the couches and vacuumed. Just a few last minute chores to get things moving. ;)
Well things were still the exact same until around 3:30 or 4:00 when I started to notice the intensity of the contractions increasing, however not the frequency. At this point I found myself still wanting to walk and move around a lot, but had to lean on something through a contraction and couldn't really focus well to talk through them.
Hubby had come home from work early and started to ask every 30 minutes "Time to go?" I told him I would absolutely NOT go to the hospital only to be sent home because my contractions are not consistent or frequent enough. That's what they told me with Baby and I was at 8 cm when I went BACK to the hospital a few hours later. So this time, I was not leaving until I knew I was already far along like that. So we waited.
Fed the kids. Bathed them. Read stories. Explained what was going on and that we could be taking mommy to the Doctor while they were sleeping if Jelly Bean told us it was time. Daughter was a little nervous about me being away, but really excited for her baby sister to come. Then we sat down to wait. I worked on a blanket and read a book. But then I noticed that the contractions seemed to subside a bit! It was around seven at night and I started to get frustrated again that they weren't progressing. I had already called my neighbor to be ready that night and hubby had already told his work he'd be out the next day. I started to think maybe she won't come tonight!
Hubby suggested that I lay down and sleep since I'd been up since midnight, but I didn't want to because I just wanted to keep things going! So I paced the house. For almost an hour I walked around, stopping to lean on a chair, swaying from side to side through contractions every five minutes. Around 8:30, I was still frustrated and very tired. So I decided to just give up and lay down. I fell asleep on the couch almost immediately. About 25 minutes later, my eyes opened so fast as my whole body folded in half. My stomach tightened hard and my legs were shaking as the worst contraction yet rolled through. It lasted for two minutes and after that I knew she was coming that night.
The contractions...ahh the contractions.
They were excruciating, the pain was so deep, rolling through my back and my abdomen, shooting violent shakes down my legs. I couldn't hold back the large tears that came with each one, my jaw clenched tight and my face was hot with exhaustion from this pain that couldn't be escaped.
I had been mentally preparing myself for labor for weeks. I didn't want an epidural (although I was sure I'd give in the second I walked through the hospital doors) and I knew I wanted to stay home as long as possible, even though the same plan with Baby had still led to five hours laboring in the hospital before he was born.
Every time I'd have a contraction I'd sing softly to myself "It is well" or repeat her name, reminding myself this was so minor a pain compared to the joy I'd be experiencing so soon. I'd tell myself that I was not at the limit of pain that God had designed my body to bear and I'd remember all the hours I'd spent praying for the tiny life inside me. It ended up being a really mental and sometimes even spiritual with the amount of prayers I was sending up, battle. Sometimes I'd think "If I were at the hospital, I could already have an epidural and be sleeping through most of this." But I'd remind myself that my body was designed to endure this and if Jesus could experience the suffering He had for us, I could surely endure this labor to welcome our baby into this life.
We decided to wait about an hour before going to the hospital, about the same as what we'd done with Baby. I had about seven more contractions, but the last three were almost back to back. We called our neighbor, checked on the kids and we were off by 10:15. We got to the hospital and signed in at admitting by 10:30. We were sent up to labor and delivery and taken to a room. I was having contractions every 1-2 minutes, each one lasting two minutes. I was crying and moaning and groaning, gritting my teeth, and often times thinking that I just needed to calm down. I changed into the open backed hospital gown and got into bed and they checked me immediately. It was 10:42. I was dilated to seven, although they said it was hard to tell exactly because my water bag was bulging (remember the high fluid numbers?). The baby's head was no longer on my cervix (it was the day and week before, causing a lot of pressure), but was being pushed up because the bag of waters was bulging down. That explains why everything felt so slow progressing all day...it was moving along nicely, but I wasn't feeling that intense pressure normally felt during active labor. So they laid me on my side to try to relieve some of the bulging and then left to start a chart and get an IV going. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I said I did if they thought they could get it in time, because by this point all of my self control was gone and I just wanted to sleep. I kept saying "I'm so tired...I'm so so tired!"
As soon as all the nurses had left the room, I felt a pop and then warm fluid rushed all over the bed, down my legs. There was so much fluid it just kept pouring out. Hubby went to the hall to tell the nurse and as soon as all the fluid had stopped, I immediately felt the most overwhelming and painful pressure right at my cervix. It felt as if a bowling ball slammed against my cervix out of nowhere. I literally felt like bones were crushing and pulling apart at the same time. I looked at the clock right when my water broke. It was 10:55pm.
The nurses were telling me to relax and not to push at all because we were waiting for the Doctor. I kept saying I was sorry and that I was trying and I kept telling them I wasn't pushing. It felt like something was inside me (well, duh) pushing the baby. My main nurse looked at me and said that if she had to deliver the baby, everything would be fine and that she'd done it numerous times before. I just nodded and didn't take the time to explain that I wasn't really concerned with who was delivering my baby, I just didn't want her to end up on the floor. I felt the nurse pushing back on the baby's head and I knew she was holding her head inside as she was talking to me. A minute later she said "Okay, head's out!"
I was surprised because I had been trying so very hard not to push, to hold her inside. But at the same time I wasn't surprised at all because I had felt her head pushing despite all my best efforts. The nurse told me to push one time, I did and Jelly Bean was born. I remember looking at Hubby's face and laughing because he was so excited, nervous, surprised and shocked at the whole situation. Bean's time of birth was 11:04, exactly 22 minutes after I climbed onto that hospital bed and 34 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Everything happened so fast, so different than the other kids...so unexpected.
The Doctor didn't make it for delivery. He arrived 20 minutes after birth. Our friend and photographer, who I had planned to be there for a little bit before the birth as well, arrived about three minutes after the birth.
**By the way, thank you so much Sarah for being a part of this day, this incredibly special time with our family and for capturing such perfect moments. And if you haven't thought about or decided to have your birth photographed professionally, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I wish I would have done it with all my kids...the pictures are just priceless**
I didn't have an IV hooked up. There was no time to start any of my paperwork, the nurses didn't even have time to break down the bed. The monitors only had about two minutes of contractions and heart rates recorded. It was a blur, but it was an incredible, wonderful blur.
Seeing her sweet, tiny little face with her paper thin ears and cheeks covered in peach fuzz was overwhelming, to say the least. She's my fourth baby, so I knew this was coming, but it never tires. The wonder is never worn, the magic is never old. The mystery of birth and life is revealed new each time and each time I whisper to myself how I cannot imagine not having done this one more time.
I marvel that Jesus actually knit her together...pieced her precious little self tiny bit by tiny bit, deep in my body. At the same time, He also nurtured a seed of love planted deep in my soul. All her soft little flutters, every time I heard her strong heart beat, every thought of her that passed through my mind were all orchestrated together to create a love that was exploding long before I held her fragile hands, touching each slender finger.
I could go on and on describing the moment, the experience, the feelings and mostly, the baby. My child. My youngest child.
But really, it is summed up so perfectly in such an ordinary way. I needn't do all this blabbering. Just look at her. Just know that Jesus designed her and allowed us to meet her, to hold her, to know her, to love her. I don't need to say much...she tells the story in her soft little noises that sound like a kitten, her sweet baby smell, the velvety smoothness of her skin.
So I'll just leave it at this...the two words that run through my mind all the time.