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On Tuesday, August 30th, Isaac and I woke up bright and early and headed to the hospital to get ready to meet baby Claire. It had been decided the night before, after a lot of thought and prayer, that I would be induced. This is not a choice I ever thought I would make, but there were a few personal reasons and combined with my midwife's advice, it just felt like the right choice.
So we very nervously arrived at the hospital at 8 AM and I was given a little pill in my mouth about an hour and a half later. Then the waiting game began! Usually with this form of induction, a few doses of the pill are given, a few hours apart. So we were expecting a long, slow process. But quickly after taking the first pill, my body kicked right into gear and started having contractions 2 minutes apart, so I was never given any more medication after that. The contractions weren't painful yet though, so Isaac and I spent the morning just kind of hanging out and talking a lot.
Early in the afternoon, the contractions started getting more intense and soon I was needing to breathe through them for relief. Up until that point I wasn't sure if I wanted to go natural or not. But when I found out I was dilated to a 4 and knew that labor might pick up and go fast after that, I decided I wanted it. The epidural worked perfectly, I was so thankful to have it. I could still move my legs, and could feel the pressure and contractions, but no pain! It was wonderful.
We sat back and began to relax, knowing things would most likely pick up pretty quickly. My midwife came and broke my water to get things going. Soon after my water was broken, Claire's heartbeat began to slow down with each contraction. They kept having me switch from side to side and thought that something was probably going on with the umbilical cord....Either it was being squished somehow, or it was wrapped around Claire. I was only dilated to a 5 at this point, so it seemed like I had a long way to go with Claire in possible danger.
We had a very scary and nerve wracking time, worrying about what was going on. My midwife called the OB and he started getting prepared in case I needed an emergency c-section. She knew how much I did NOT want that and decided to try something first. So they did some technique (I'm not sure what it's called) where they filled my uterus back up with fluid, then had me get on my hands and knees and rest my belly on a giant bean bag. Immediately after those two things, Claire's heart beat was doing better with each contraction. Her heart rate was still going down but not nearly as low as it had been going before.
I was in this position on the bean bag for about 20 minutes, when I started to feel some funny pressure feelings. When I told my midwife this, she checked me and excitedly said "Push! You're complete!" I was so shocked that I asked her if she was joking. I couldn't believe I had gone from a 5 to a 10 so quickly. It felt so weird to be on my hands and knees like that, but I was willing to do just about anything to know Claire was safe. The midwife asked Isaac if he would like to deliver his daughter, and he was very excited about that. So he came over and put his hands on her head to help her come into the world. I pushed through a couple of contractions, then she was out at 5:16 PM.
She cried right away and the first thing I noticed were her huge dark eyes and her beautiful face! It was instant love. The umbilical cord was wound all around her leg really tightly, which might explain the heart decelerations during labor. They unwrapped it and let the cord pulsate for about 5-10 minutes, then let Isaac cut it.
They laid her on my chest and she snuggled right into me and just laid there with her eyes wide open, peacefully looking around for about an hour. She nursed during that time and I was just loving every minute of bonding with her. It was so amazing, there is just nothing that compares with the love and joy you feel in that moment.
We are so thankful that Claire made it into the world safely, and that she is happy and healthy. We are soaking up every little moment with her and can't believe she is really ours to keep!