This is the looong version of what is probably the most important day of our lives so far. The beginning is pretty detailed and the end is pretty mushy, so if you would like the cliff notes version, scroll down to the end. :D
At about 12:30am, Russ and I were saying prayers and getting ready for bed. He hit me lightly with a pillow and said, "Pillow fight with Sophia!" to which I replied that that was unfair because she couldn't fight back! He challenged her to come out and fight him. Literally a minute later we heard a POP. An actual pop.
Russ: ....What was that?
Adri: I think it was just a really big gas bubble.....in the middle of my stomach? (I jump out of bed) Russ! I'm leaking! (Now this was not like in the movies. I didn't pee my pants or anything, it was just a little. In fact, my first thought was back to CJ Carter's post about her last baby being born, how she kept getting up in the middle of the night because she thought she was peeing, but really her water broke)
I jumped up and went to the bathroom and Russ (after calling his sister-in-law to confirm what we thought happened really just happened) frantically began packing. We weren't even packed!!! Russ got out my packing list (at least I had made that or we would have been too frazzled to do anything) and I sat in the bathroom, shaking and thinking that I wasn't ready yet and that my long-term sub plans didn't cover October! Good thing we had her going home outfit hanging by the door! About 30 crazy minutes later, we were on our way to the hospital. Russ kept saying "10-10-11" (her birthday) and smiling as we packed. He also tried to really rush us out the door, but I was still a little in denial and assured him we had plenty of time. By this time I had started having contractions, but I almost wouldn't have even noticed them because they just felt like cramps.
At 1:25am I had walked myself into Labor and Delivery, we had checked in, and I was in my hospital gown. The nurse checked me and said, "Wow. You're already a 5. You are definitely having a baby tonight!" WHAT!? Half way there and I still didn't really have any pain? This was not what I had expected at all. She hooked everything up so we could hear our little girl's heartbeat and watch my contractions. That was kind of fun. At first I told her to hold off on the epidural because I wasn't really hurting. That lasted about 30 or 45 minutes before I decided I really did want it now. It's funny because I kept trying to tell myself that some people have really bad cramps EVERY month, so I could deal with this for now, but as they increased to every 2 minutes very quickly, that logic made less and less sense.
At 2:45am I got my epidural. Right before he put it in, I had the worst contraction yet. It was ridiculous! Russ was so hyper. Pure adrenaline. He was crackin' jokes and taking pictures and during that contraction I said, "Russ. I need you to stop talking to me and just hold my hand. Thank you, honey." That was as dramatic as I got, and he was great. He just held my hand and told me to breathe. Okay, I think I may have been heard to also mutter a couple of, "This sucks. This sucks. This sucks." too, but that's all! The epidural worked like magic. We'd watch my contractions on the monitor and while I could feel something, it was not pain.
At 3:10am the nurse checked me again and I was completely effaced and almost a 10. It was going by so fast! At 3:50 I started pushing. Pushing wasn't so bad either. It was hard at first because I didn't know how to push, especially when I was so numb. But it was also a lot more calm than in the movies, just holding your breath and pushing harder than you ever have in your life and hope it's enough. By 4:10 the nurse said she was seeing dark brown hair. I don't remember much of what Russ said to me, but I do remember him telling me that she had straight dark brown hair, just like me. The nurse told us it was about an inch long. YES! Hair! Although I swore during prenatal class that no one should ever have to see a birth, they kept getting excited about seeing hair and I wanted to see too! So they got a mirror for a couple minutes, and that helped me push in addition to seeing her cute hair. TMI? Okay. Moving on.
At 4:25 our awesome nurse told me I was doing too good of a job and needed to stop pushing until the doctor got there. He arrived at 4:30 and Sophia arrived at 4:41! Right before he pulled her out, he was sucking out her mouth and nose and she made a little squeak. Russ and I just gasped and looked at each other. Our little girl was here! Russ looked so excited, but all I could see were little fingers. She was very purple and had the cord wrapped tightly around her neck, and they called the respiratory therapist to make sure her transition to breathing air was good since she was early, but Sophia was perfect!
I was completely surprised at how quickly and easily everything went. Don't worry. I know it's not normal. The nurses told me I was probably in the top 5% for dream births. I also didn't need any stitches! It was all so surreal. I watched them cleaning her off and it didn't quite hit me that she was OUR baby.
They brought her over and had her lay on my chest, and that was so incredible. A tiny little baby looking around. She had a perfect little Lee family nose, tiny little fingers and toes, and when she gets mad she turns into a bright red cherry tomato from head to toe. To be honest, the next bit is all a bit of a blur, but I remember having them wrap her back up after a few minutes so that Russ could hold her for the first time. I had been trying to call my parents ALL NIGHT long and they finally answered, so I was talking to my mom and my sister on the phone and Russ was taking lots of pictures. She quickly settled down and fell right to sleep. Russ said while she was in the nursery getting her shots and bath, she'd wake up to cry for a minute but mostly slept through that too. Being born was lots of work!
The days spent in the hospital went by much too quickly. I hardly slept at all, partly because of the adrenaline, and partly because I was trying to call the school to arrange a sub. I really hope I'm not working when I have our next baby because being so preoccupied and worried about work was not fun at all. Yesterday when we got home from the hospital, I went to the Bean Museum literally 30 minutes later where my class was on a field trip so I could meet my sub and give her my plan book. I think I left my class in very capable hands, but I still feel bad she hadn't been able to come in and observe or ask any questions beforehand. Anyway, back to my baby!
Labor and delivery seems like the easy part. Nursing has been hard and emotional because I feel directly responsible and it's a learning process for me and for her. The night before we went home was especially rough and in the morning the nurse said she was so jittery from low blood sugar that if she didn't eat well, she wouldn't be able to go home! Sophia must have heard her because she ate like a champ and together we're getting better at it each time.
We just hold her and stare at her all the time. Every time she's fussy, daddy holds her and she'll immediately calm down. With me, she's a sucker for laying on my chest or in my arms and taking a nap with me. I love that snuggle time! While I've been writing this, I go back into my room every couple minutes to check on her and look at her. She is, in every sense of the word, perfect. There are no words to describe how much we love her. I miss her even when I'm just putting her in her bassinet so I can eat. Sometimes when she's really upset, I can talk to her and she'll calm right down and pop one eye open to look at me.
My own recovery has been as easy as the birth itself. I feel quite good, all things considered, and the doctor told me that I would be okay to resume exercise and activity by next week. Now I've just got to learn to sleep when she sleeps. Russ has a cold that's gotten consistently worse since the day Sophia was born, so he sleeps lots and can't help much with Sophia. Please pray for him to get better so that he can hold his baby again and I don't have to do it all by myself.
I never thought I could love her so much. I thought I loved her when I was pregnant, but it's so different. It's like everyone says, it's like a new part of your heart opens up and everything else in the world is less important. About once a day I go into a cry fest just looking at her and telling her how much I love her and how I want to protect her and make sure no one ever makes her sad. One of the best moments in my life was when our whole little family was on the hospital bed together, just cuddling and knowing we'll be together forever.
|Totally captured her first "smile"|
|Yawns and sneezes are our favorite!|
|This is one of my favorites|
|She makes the cutest faces. We call this one the cccuurrraaaaazy eye!|
|Our first family picture. Unfortunately, this was before my shower and after Russ's.|
|Daddy daughter bonding without spreading germs. It's like visiting animals at the zoo!|
|I'm in love!|
|In her "Daddy Loves Me" outfit. It was so big. I think it was 2x her size.|
12:30am on Monday, October 10 Russ challenges Sophia to a pillow fight and she responds. Water breaks. I was 37 weeks and 1 day - thank goodness she waited long enough to be full term!
1:25am at the hospital, just very small contractions, already dilated to a 5.
2:45 epidural (the contractions had really picked up, so I was grateful!)
3:10 fully effaced and almost dilated to a 10
3:50 begin pushing
4:30 doctor arrives
4:41 Sophia born!
- She has lots of dark brown hair, everyone says she looks like her daddy, she turns bright red when she's mad, she's soo soft and adorable, she has a GIANT big toe that we laugh at every time we see it (unfortunately, we decided it's my feet...so hopefully she'll grow into that big toe).
- I am recovering really well. I didn't need any stitches and I was able to get up and walk around our room later that day. The nurses said I must have a high pain tolerance because I didn't always take my pain medicine, but really I just don't have much pain!
- Russ was a great help at the hospital and as far as I can tell, he got lots of sleep there! He has a cold that has been getting worse and worse so since we got home he hasn't been able to hold our girl much. :( Sometimes we just put her on a pillow so they can look at each other from afar. ;)