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Clara Grace was born February 1, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. weighing 8 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long.
Thursday afternoon I had a doctor’s appointment where I was checked and 3 cm, 60% effaced, head at a -3 station. The midwife told me that her head was still floating up really high so I figured I had a few days before labor would come. That evening I had contractions that weren’t painful but were consistently coming. I just figured they were BH contractions.
Friday morning I went to school like normal. Around 10:30 a.m., I had my first contraction that was painful. I waited for a few more to come and decided to start timing them. I could feel them but they weren’t painful enough that I couldn’t talk or do anything. Around 2:30 p.m. they started to get more painful and were coming about 5-8 minutes apart. I texted DH to let him know because I hadn’t even packed my bags yet!
My mom had just flown in at 2:30 and my sister and dad had flown in the day before. They picked me up around 3:30 from school because they had borrowed my car to go to the airport (good thing I didn’t go into full blown labor earlier that day!) I told them what was going on and we headed home. I started packing my bags and the contractions started to get more painful and were coming 4-5 minutes apart. I took a shower to try to take the edge off. Afterwards, I laid in bed and asked DH to run and pick up some food and I would see how I felt after he got home and we’d determine whether to go to the hospital or not. The last thing I wanted was to get to the hospital and be stuck there with a long labor and not be able to drink or eat anything! I would be regretting these thoughts later!
While DH is gone, contractions start to get closer and closer. By the time he gets home, they are 2-3 minutes apart. As soon as he walked in the room to come get me, I started to have another contraction and felt a small pop. I stand up and head to the bathroom saying “I’m pretty sure my water just broke” and sure enough, it had. By that time, DH is silently freaking out. He had wanted me to head to the hospital earlier and since my water never broke with DD, he was freaked out!
So we immediately start packing up for the hospital. I call L&D and tell them we’re headed in, I have contractions 2-3 min apart and my water broke - and the lady about gives me a heart attack. She asks if our hospital was our closest hospital because she was pretty sure they were full! (I go to a military hospital) So I’m having a small heart attack while waiting for her to tell us what to do. Thankfully she tells me to head in.
We get there and they were going to put me in a Triage room but thankfully it hadn’t been cleaned yet because I would have probably delivered there. By the time we get to the room, contractions are so incredibly painful. I’m checked and already at 7 cm. I immediately ask for an epidural and they told me they would try to find the anesthesiologist. I was NOT prepared to handle contractions or have a natural birth so contractions are coming and I am just screaming in pain. Everyone is telling me to breathe and not scream but I felt like I had no control over it and the pain was so terrible.
Things get crazy from here. I have a lady trying to put an IV in my arm but it must have been her first time because she can’t get one in – especially between my contractions. I kept feeling such pressure during contractions plus more water gushing out of me and get checked again and am already at 9 cm. Not even 5 minutes later and I scream that the baby is coming out. They check me again and I’m 10 cm and yelling for the midwife to get in the room. At this point, I looked at my sister and very pitifully said “I don’t want to give birth naturally!” lol
Clara’s head was pretty much born without any assistant from me. I can’t even tell you that I felt the “ring of fire.” The midwife basically had a hand holding her head in while she finished getting dressed. I got my legs pulled up and in 2 quick pushes, she was born. I was admitted to the hospital at 6:40 p.m. and she was born 20 minutes later.
The most fantastic part is she was placed on me right afterwards. I didn’t get this experience with DD because she had meconium in the fluid after my water broke and I had developed an infection. It was amazing having this freshly born newborn laying on my chest. She was checked and suctioned on my chest. DH got to cut the cord right there which was also something he couldn’t do with DD.
I surprisingly didn’t tear. I was not prepared for a natural birth at all. Now that it’s all over with, I can say I’m happy to have experienced both a medicated and natural birth but I can’t say I’ll ever willingly do a natural birth!
We are doing great. She is nursing like a champ. She weighed in at 7 lbs 8 oz at 4 days old today so she’s lost a little bit of weight. She also has a little bit of jaundice but thankfully it has not gotten any worse so I expect it to be gone in a couple days.
And here are a few pictures of her!
Mommy and Clara:
After her bath:
Big sister Lillian with Clara:
This was taken this morning during one of her longest awake times:
Wow- what a neat story. You are so lucky you made it there in time. She is beautiful and you managed a natural birth without planning it so that is a huge win for you. You are stronger than you thought. Congrats!