So most of you know that our precious baby girl, Reese, was born Friday, May 6th at 4:58 am. She is amazing and we love her so much! I have so much to say about her, I'm not sure where to start. I guess I'll start by telling her birth story.
On Friday I started feeling some strong contractions in the afternoon but they were very irregular. My antenna went up because as a 2nd time mom, I know the difference between braxton hicks and real, labor contractions and these were the real deal. Jackson got home from work a little early and we decided to go out to dinner because I didn't feel like cooking. We went to Firehouse and I had a contraction on the way there, 2 in the restaurant and one as we were leaving. I started to wonder if this was it, but was kind of in denial. Then we stopped by our friends house for a quick visit and the contractions continued about 7 minutes apart. I had plans to go get frozen yogurt with my friend Alisa and I debated whether or not I should go and I decided it would be a good distraction. I knew Alisa, who is also 9 months pregnant with her third baby, would be a great and understanding companion. So the contractions continue on the way to Yotinis and I had one on the way there that scared me to death. We waited until the contraction was over, ran inside and got our fro-yo as quickly as possible and I made it to the car before I had another one. We got home and they were still continuing about 7 minutes apart but they were getting stronger and stronger. Around 8 pm and three hours of regular, strong contractions Jackson and I decide I'm probably actually in labor and we should start making some arrangements.
We call my sister and let her know we will need her to come watch Parks and then call my mom who had to drive down from D.C. Jackson and I start getting things ready to go to the hospital and around 10:00 pm we decide it's time to call my midwife. My sister arrives and we head off to the hospital and arrive around 10:45 pm.
This labor felt very different than my labor with Parks. My contractions this time were very, very strong from much earlier on. Even though they weren't super close together, they were intense and the pain was what I remembered from my transition contractions with Parks. I had a few contractions at my house before we left that really scared me because of how strong they were, I thought I might be getting close to transition. Also, I was having terrible back labor which I didn't have at all with Parks. The pain was seriously much worse. Having labored to 10 cm and pushed for an hour and half with no epidural before, I knew the pain/work/feelings that were ahead of me and at around 10:00 pm after some of these really painful contractions I told Jackson, "I don't want to do this tonight. I want an epidural." Poor Jackson was so surprised because I had been preparing myself and him for another natural birth attempt. I was sure I could do it "this time". Well, after chasing around a toddler all day 9 months pregnant and your labor picking up at 10:00 pm at night with horrible back labor (thanks to a posterior baby) I quickly re-evaluated my priorities. After remembering how exhausted and drugged I was with Parks, I knew I wanted to be as rested and refreshed as I could be when I met Reese. So, I quickly made up my mind that I wanted that epidural ASAP. Of course Jackson completely supported me in this decision which meant a lot.
It was a great choice for me. But I still had to labor 2 more hours in the hospital before they were ready to give me the epidural. Those were the hardest 2 hours ever. I was at 7 cm when I received the epidural and it could not have come soon enough. Those contractions were so intense and the worst part was I couldn't get in good positions to manage them because I had to have the fetal monitor on and my IV in. It was the worst but Jackson got me through it.
Then, the epidural kicked in. Ahhhh, the sweetest relief I have ever known. I was seriously sooo happy. It was around 1:00 am and I got to blissfully doze on and off for the next four hours. I was at 10 cm within 2 hours but my midwife wanted to let my contractions push Reese down as far as possible on their own before I started to push so we rested for about 4 hours total before it was time to push. That's one of the great things about an epidural, she was so far down that pushing didn't take long.
She was born at 4:58 am, "sunny side up" meaning posterior hence the back labor. She weighed 8 pounds even (bigger than Parks, we were all shocked!) and measured 21 inches long. Healthy and crying, she stayed with me skin to skin for at least an hour before she was taken from me at all, not even for weighing or measuring. It was awesome. We got off to a great start nursing and she has been a great baby so far. We are so in love and it's amazing how different everything feels with a little girl.
This was a great birth experience and I'm so thankful to the Lord for our little girl and an amazing husband who got me through it again.