Sunday, October 28, 2012

Labor Pains... or the Lack Thereof

On Monday, October 15th, we went for our 39th week check up at the doctor. I was only 20% effaced still and dilated to 1 cm. Dr. H decided that she did want us to check into the hospital that evening and start inducing first thing Monday morning.  She decided to have us check us in Monday evening to start a drug called Cytotec overnight to thin my cervix. Then Pitocin would start first thing Tuesday morning to start contractions.  She decided that Caroline was just the right size and that we didn't want to risk her getting much bigger so it was decided to induce 2 days before my due date.

So, we left the appointment at about 11:00 and then ran a few errands and had lunch at Hammontrees. We had planned to go to a movie afterwards, but decided to do a last minute tour of a daycare that we're thinking of sending "C" to. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?) The tour ended up lasting longer than we thought so we missed the movie.  We went to McAlisters and grabbed some tea and desert before headed to the house to get ready to go the hospital. As much as I really wanted to lay down and take a nap, I knew that I would be laying down a lot over the next few days. So, we decided to play some Super Mario Brothers. :) About 4:45. we left for the hospital.

Me at 39.5 weeks. 1 day before Caroline's birth day.

We got all checked in, then my parents and Adam's parents arrived shortly after to keep us company.  I got the Cytotec at 6 pm and midnight. At 6 am, I was no more effaced and only dilated to a 2.  The Cytotec did start some contractions, but I could barely feel them.  The nurse started Pitocin at 6 am and immediately the contractions got intense, but still weren't too painful. The anesthesiologist came by around 8 and I got the epidural. Dr. H stopped by about 8:30 to check on me and I was still at a 2 so she broke my water.  At noon I was dilated to a 4, at 2:30 I was at a six, and at 3:30 I was dilated to a 10! I couldn't believe it when the nurse said it was time to start pushing... I nearly died! I had just woke up from a nap, ha!  
Adam and I when we found out it was gametime!

It was about 4:00 when the nurse said it was time to start pushing.  I remember laughing that it was time to push since I was in no pain and hadn't broken a sweat.  Adam kept asking if Dr. H was going to make it... I was convinced that she wasn't and that our nurse was going to deliver Caroline (which I was totally ok with- she was awesome and I totally didn't care at that point.)  Literally 5 minutes before C was born, Dr. H came barreling through the door. It's amazing how they know just how much time they need to get there!  We were so thankful that our favorite doctor delivered.  Adam was such an amazing "coach." I was so impressed that he was so into the whole process. I was a little nervous about how he would do since he doesn't handle blood well.  He cut the cord and everything! He also cried like a baby when our angel came into the world at 4:23 pm. It was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I have never felt love like that!
Our first look at Caroline Reese

lots of dark hair!

My loves

Our first photo as a family of 3

Adam and I had Caroline all to ourselves for about an hour. We wanted some time just the three of us and I'm so glad we held off on visitors for a bit. That time is so sacred and I knew we would never get it back. We let grandparents, uncle Lee, and Sarah in just before she was taken to the nursery for her bath. The rest of the time in the hospital Caroline rarely laid in her bassinet since someone held her ALL of the time. :)  We ended up staying 3 nights total in the hospital. I had planned on us going home the day after C arrived, but Dr. H and the nurses suggested staying another night... and I'm really glad we did. We felt much more confident taking her home after another night.

The most beautiful baby in the world!

While in the hospital, we had lots of visitors... which I loved! The day C was born I was glad it was just us and close family, but the next day I was ready to see some more faces, ha. It meant so much that people visited and wanted to hold my baby. I also loved the flowers and food we received.
Joodge and Baba with their 4th grandchild.

Pappy and Cece are in love!

Sarah, Caroline and I

Caroline with her DZ aunties... Becca, Britney, and Jessica

Our friends Brad and Mandy came to meet C

One of my best friends, Amy was in town working the day we went home from the hospital and came by to meet Caroline before we left.

Getting ready to go home! Caroline is wearing the same dress that I wore home from the hospital.

Our sweet friends Sean and Nicole had a doctor's appointment upstairs to hear their baby's heartbeat for the first time just before we left the hospital. They came by afterwards and walked us out. It was really neat to be ending our pregnancy journey as they are beginning theirs!

Me and my sweet baby girl in the back seat as daddy drove us home. We stopped at Back Yard Burger for lunch while we waited for my meds to be ready at the pharmacy. 
Gus was there to greet us when we got home. He could have cared less about Caroline... he was so excited to see us, though!
Our first night home with C, the Greens brought us dinner. Payne held Caroline for the first time and cried when it was time for them to go.

We just sat on the couch and stared at our new baby for hours before going to bed. We just kept talking about how surreal it was that we had a baby... and she was ours... and that we get to keep her! We survived our first night at home with Caroline and had 3 full days together, just us, before Adam went back to work the next week.  God is so good and we are so blessed.
While there was very little pain (ok -basically none) during actual labor and delivery, the pain afterwards was more than I anticipated. The first week was pretty tough. Of course, it was worth every ounce of pain, and about day 10 I felt significantly better. I probably overdid it the first couple of days too, getting out of the house to run around town the day after we were home and going for a walk down the street on  day 3. I kind of laughed when people said "take it easy" and "sleep when she sleeps" but now understand the importance of resting those first few days/weeks.  We truly had a wonderful labor/delivery experience and most of all a healthy baby and mom. For that we are so thankful.

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